Rather than weaving links to its past as a textile centre, which endowed it with an exceptional heritage, the former world capital of wool is following its own path to become a "capital" in many other areas: fashion, street art, zero waste, the digital economy and —of course— cycling!
Welcome to the city that transformed its thousand chimneys and oldindustrial bastions into fertile ground for creativity, experimentation and innovation.
Roubaix, a land of cycling… and soft mobility
Leading the pack of cycling cities, Roubaix has a long-running connection with cycling, epitomised by the Queen of Classics, which it has hosted since 1896. Roubaix is home to the Parc des Sports, a cycling venue like noother in Europe.
Its main site is the historic André Pétrieux Velodrome, where the legends of cycling proudly hold the fabled cobblestone trophy of Paris–Roubaix aloft. There is also the Jean Stablinski regional indoor velodrome, which hosted the 2021 UCI Track Cycling World Championships. Last but not least, the BMX circuit is where the annual BMX Open takes place. The Vélo Club de Roubaix and its Continental team, Go Sport–Roubaix–Lille Métropole, which flies the flag for pro cycling, are also part and parcel of city life.
Roubaix has almost 40 km of bicycle lanes and a further 33 km of roads with measures to make cycling easier. It also boasts a public bicycle sharing system completed by City Hall in 2021, with 500 bicycles and e-scooters available from over 150 stations. Finally, Roubaix is heavily sport-oriented and proud of its "Terre d'Excellence Cycliste" and "Terre de Jeux 2024" labels, as well as its 3-laurel wreath "Ville active et sportive" rating. Its most recent label is the "Tour de France Cycle City", awarded by ASO, with a two-bicycle rating in the inaugural edition.
City of art and history
The history and heritage of Roubaix are worth exploring and sharing. The award of the "City of art and history" label in 2001 spurred on new efforts to write and rewrite history. In Roubaix, heritage is so much more than just old stones. It also impregnates the everyday life of Roubaisiens. Roubaix delivers on its promise with La Piscine Museum, which welcomes 250,000 visitors a year, as well as reimagined spaces such as La Condition Publique, a real laboratory for culture and social, urban and environmental innovation. There are, of course, other must-see places such as La Manufacture (a textile history museum), the churches of Saint Joseph and Saint Martin, the Motte-Bossut factory, the City Hall and Parc Barbieux, the largest urban park to the north of Paris.
After the arduous edition of October 2021, the air is once again buzzing with anticipation ahead of the start of Paris–Roubaix.
It is a new opportunity to show that Compiègne is a cycling hub and, now, an Olympic hub. The City of Compiègne is going to set up an Olympic sport village in Place du Château de Compiègne to liven up the start village on Saturday 16 April.
The Sports Department of the Compiègne Region Conurbation will again organise the Salon de Paris–Roubaix during the team presentation on Saturday to be as close to the riders as possible. Cycling bargain hunters will embark on a quest for treasures, rummaging through the stands in their search for the one collectible, poster or jersey that is still missing from their collections.
Compiègne recently submitted its application to renew its "Ville active et sportive" label, this time aiming for an even higher rating, thanks to its educational and sports policies as well as wide-ranging investments in high-performance facilities in the context of the "Terre de Jeux 2024" label.
The Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (OCOG) for Paris 2024 selected eight sports facilities to host the Olympic delegations. Our Olympic Games preparation centres (CPJ) were added to the official catalogue sent out to international delegations. We may host up to 15 of the 54 sports on the programme. No other French department has as many CPJs as Oise, with Compiègne at its helm.
Educational institutions at the cutting edge of research
Compiègne is home to a real higher learning hub. The University of Technology of Compiègne (UTC), recognised as the top post-baccalaureate general engineering school (2018–2019 Eduniversal Ranking), and the Higher School of Organic and Mineral Chemistry (ESCOM) make Compiègne an attractive place to do business and boost the city's national and international profile.
A land of remembrance
The Internment and Deportation Memorial makes Compiègne a true open-air museum and makes sure these poignant events are never forgotten. Visitors can explore the living reality of history to gain a better understanding of these dark years and vigorously say "never again".
Monuments such as the Abbey of Saint Cornelius, the churches of Saint James and Saint Anthony, the King's Great Stables and the Gothic-style City Hall hark back to the rich past of the city. Ever since the Merovingian era, numerous sovereigns who wanted to hunt in Compiègne have had residences built here. Louis XV, Napoleon and Napoleon III were the driving forces behind what is now known as the Château de Compiègne. The Armistice that ended World War I was signed in a clearing in the north of Compiègne.