Around Amiens

Here are some photos of our new home town, Amiens, actually taken last year on our two visits.

amiens-landmarksThese are the two most striking landmarks in the town. On the left is the Cathedral: the largest gothic cathedral in the world and completely amazing. Inside it is a lot lighter than many such buildings in France, making it rather more appealing to me.

On the right is La tour Perret (the Perret Tower), which is a mix of office space and flats. It was designed in 1942 by Auguste Perret but not completed until 1952. It currently tops out at 110m, which is carefully under the height of the Cathedral spire at 112.7m!

You can see these two buildings from quite a distance and each has its own appeal.

amiens-gareThe station, above, is quite an impressive building, close to the tower. At only an hour or so from Paris by intercity train, the town is well connected.

amiens-centre1 The town centre is attractive, with a long pedestrianised area. The shops do suffer from the competition from large out-of-town shopping areas where choice tends to be better.

amiens-centre2The river, La Somme, flows through the town and is a pleasant place to wander or to eat.

amiens-riverThe statue in the middle tends to change his clothing depending on which student has most recently got out there to dress him!

Amiens does have many different facets: the charming old centre, the modern University and Hospital areas in the south, the narrow streets of terraced brick Amienoise houses just out of the centre, the huge modern-ish tower blocks of the north.

A final facet is the Zone Industriel Nord, which we drive through on our way in. We top a hill and there before us is this huge industrial sprawl of factories and huge belching chimneys: very different to the Cathedral area! The industrial area is declining, which is part of the reason for the high unemployment rate (about twice the national average).

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