The center of Lille, the Grand Place (or, as it's officially called, the Place du Général de Gaulle) is a magnet for tourists and a meeting point for locals. Celebrations, ceremonies, Christmas markets - it all happens here.
The plaza is surrounded by grand buildings in the Belgian style, including the La Vieille Bourse (once the stock exchange, now a peaceful enclave for booksellers and chess players) with its riotous fruit and flower ornamentation.
The focal point of the square is a monument depicting Deesse, the goddess particularly associated with Lille. Her statue commemorates the siege of the city by Austrian troops in the 18th century, and the bravery of the Lillois in refusing to yield their town to the invaders.