Roubaix

France

Roubaix is a city in northern France, located in the Lille metropolitan area on the Belgian border. Inhabitants of Roubaix are known in English as “Roubaisians” and in French as Roubaisiens.

CountryFrance
RegionHauts-de-France
DepartmentNord
ArrondissementLille
 Mayor (2020–2026)Guillaume Delbar
Area13.23 km2 (5.11 sq mi)
Population (2017-01-01)96,990
 Density7,300/km2 (19,000/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)

Geography

Location

Roubaix occupies a central position on the north-east slope of the Métropole Européenne de Lille: it is set on the eastern side of Lille and the southern side of Tourcoing, close to the Belgian border. As regards towns’ boundaries, Roubaix is encompassed by seven cities which constitute its immediate neighbouring environment.

As the crow flies, the distance between Roubaix and the following cities is some odd: 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) to Tournai, 18 kilometres (11 mi) to Kortrijk, 84 kilometres (52 mi) to Brussels and 213 kilometres (132 mi) to Paris.

Climate

Roubaix is a temperate oceanic climate: while summer experiences mild temperatures, winter’s temperatures may fall to below zero. 

Religion

  • Christianity. The city of Roubaix is divided into six Catholic parishes and belongs to the deanery of the same name in the archdiocese of Lille.
  • Judaism. In the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War and the German annexation of Alsace-Lorraine, many Jews left their homes and emigrated.
  • Islam. According to estimates by the mayor’s office, around 20,000 people, or about 20 percent of the population were Muslims.
  • Buddhism. Roubaix has brought together two Buddhist traditions on its territory, hence cultural variations across communities: Mahāyāna and Theravāda with, respectively, one and four places of worship.

Landmarks

Remarkable buildings, old brick factories and warehouses abound in this once renowned city. Several profane or sacral buildings of Roubaix are registered as historic monuments.

Secular buildings

  • Monument historique registered secular buildings
  • Barbieux health centre
  • ENSAIT
  • Prouvost private mansion
  • Art nouveau house
  • Three-storey stately house
  • Rémy Cogghe’s house
  • Law court
  • Huchon water tower
  • National Archives of the Working World

Sacral buildings

  • Monument historique registered sacral buildings
  • Convent of Clarisses
  • Deconsecrated Church Notre-Dame
  • Church Saint-Martin

Sculptures and memorials

The city has been the place where illustrious names of French sculptors put their skills to create memorial monuments since the end of the 19th century until the middle of the 20th century. The sculptures and memorial monuments in Roubaix which deserve notice for their historical or artistical interest are mentioned below.

  • Discobolos
  • Joan of Arc statue
  • Memorial to Jean-Baptiste Lebas
  • Memorial to Resistance Martyrs of Roubaix
  • Memorial to Eugène Motte
  • Memorial to Jean-Joseph Weerts
  • Memorial to Louis Bossut
  • Monuments aux Morts 
  • Memorial to Jules Guesde
  • Memorial to Amédée Prouvost
  • Memorial to Pierre Destombes
  • Memorial to Gustave Nadaud

Culture

Museums

Roubaix has been home to two major museums of the region Hauts-de-France since the beginning of the 21st century: La Piscine and La Manufacture; inheriting both of the local socioeconomic history. 

Theatre and performing arts centres

  • Centre chorégraphique national Roubaix – Hauts-de-France
  • Colisée
  • Condition publique
  • Théâtre de l’Oiseau-Mouche “Le Garage”
  • Théâtre Louis Richard
  • Théâtre Pierre de Roubaix

Higher education

  • The EDHEC Business School
  • ENSAIT is a higher education and research institute, gathering all the disciplines related to textiles
  • ESAAT is a design education institute
  • Decentralisation of the Universities of Lille II and Lille III

Libraries

  • Médiathèque “La Grand’Plage”
  • National Archives of the World of Work

Sport

Roubaix has an old sporting heritage and is home to the finishing of one of the world’s oldest races of professional road cycling at its velodrome: Paris–Roubaix known as the Hell of the North. While Roubaix is famous for its velodrome, there is more to this city than the cycling sports facilities.

The building of indoor and outdoor sports amenities in the city should be associated with its era of economic rise during the industrial revolution, in addition to the development of local sporting clubs and associations.

Economy

Roubaix’s high level of unemployment is a consequence of the desindustrialisation. The town is listed among France’s poorest cities.  While undergoing conversion efforts, the city is experimenting with new models and able to take advantage of successful economic stories, with online retail and information technology, and seems to be on the way to reverse the decades of decline.

Textile industry

Nowadays, local textile companies are focussing on developing high-tech textile products.

Commerce and services

Mail order companies of international renown such as La Redoute, Damart and 3 Suisses, stemmed from textile industries which were founded in Roubaix. Showroomprive.com has been locally established since 2016 as an e-commerce company that specialises in online flash sales.

Information technology and e-business

  • OVH 
  • Ankama Games 
  • Blanchemaille

Infrastructure

Transportation

The Gare de Roubaix railway station offers connections to Antwerp, Lille, Ostend, Paris and Tourcoing.

The city is also served by the Lille Metro.

Environmental perspectives

Roubaix has one of the most efficient biomass district heating plant in France and is therefore among the most advanced cities for sustainability in Hauts-de-France.

Contact

City of Roubaix
email
contact@ville-roubaix.fr
address
15 Grand Place, 59100 Roubaix, France
phone
+33 3 20 66 46 00