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Discovering the Cité des Électriciens is not an experience you are likely to forget. It is both an immersion in history and a look to the future through a dream that emerged in a burst of colour. The red brick houses, flower beds, vegetable gardens, cultural and artistic activities, and an innovative and participatory spirit all contribute to a certain vitality which is both energising and calming. Corons (miner's cottages), barreaux (rungs), carins (sheds for rabbits and poultry), voyettes (pathways through fields), these very words form the property's foundations through a language rich in history and poetry. Here, the past glows with future possibilities and everyone can find their place during a getaway or other activities.
In 2016, I was enchanted and convinced by the ambitious rehabilitation project of the Cité des Électriciens. At the time, the Cité was a vast site longing for a heart and soul. Three years later, the gamble paid off and the Cité officially opened to the public and became a place for tours, leisure and life!
The property features red brick facades, carins (outbuildings) voyettes (pathways) and a contemporary building. The rehabilitation, carried out by the Philippe Prost Architecture Agency, subtly combines historical conformity and modernity. La Cité is also an example of the compatibility between built heritage and sustainable development.
Completed in 1861, the Cité des Électriciens is the oldest preserved mining town in northern France and has been listed as a Historic Monument since 2009. Today, it has been converted into a cultural, tourist facility.
When our visitors stay at the Cité, they are enchanted by the bubble of tranquility where heritage and new experiences blend harmoniously. Staying in a restyled miner's cottage is a rather unique experience!
A few minutes from the Cité des Électriciens is another 30 hectare green setting - the Lawe park. Arranged on a flat slag heap, one can cross from one side of the city to the other in the middle of nature! The hiking trails (15 and 8km) immerse walkers in a strangely Celtic atmosphere. Along the river, take the time to have lunch in the "Pic-niche", it is a half-cabin, half-barge spot for breaks, meetings and sharing by the water. For an even more convivial atmosphere, come to the brand new Brasserie Coesette which has just launched a Brewpub! You can even taste nectars bearing the Cité des Électriciens' effigy. Last but not least is the Bookkafe, a literary solidarity bistro.
Welcome refreshments (coffee and pastries), provision of equipment (overhead projector, flipchart, wifi), afternoon refreshments (cakes, coffee, tea, etc.).