Lille is a city in northern France, in French Flanders. On the Deûle River, near France’s border with Belgium, it is the capital of the Hauts-de-France region and the prefecture of the Nord department. As of 2009, Lille had a population of 226,827 within its administrative limits and an urban population of 1,015,744, making it the fourth largest urban area in France after Paris, Lyon and Marseille.
Lille used to be a rather unpleasant industrial city. In recent years, Lille has recovered and is now a great place to visit. Buildings with a distinct Flemish feel surround the Grand Place and serve as a reminder of the wealthy merchants who lived here in the past.