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Abbey of Saint Bertin ©Philippe Hudelle

If you are a history buff you cannot miss St Bertin’s Abbey, an ancient monastery founded in the 7th century, which was a religious and cultural centre for many years. Today you can still admire the last remains of this abbey.

saint omer et sa cathedrale
Notre Dame Cathedral ©Le Passage Merveilleux Salon De Thé 2019 Saint Omer 

Notre Dame Cathedral is another must-see for architecture lovers. Notre Dame Cathedral, with its colourful stained glass windows and wooden sculptures, is a perfect example of Gothic architecture and contains many treasures, including an astronomical clock (1558) and an 18th century organ, as well as Rubens and Lebrun paintings.

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La Coupole © Sébastien Jarry CG62

Finally, for those interested in the history of the Second World War, La Coupole is a former German bunker transformed into a museum of history and astronomy. This museum is very interesting and well worth a visit. To stay in this period the blockhouse of Eperlecques, former base of V1 and V2 is also a place to see.

If you’re a nature lover, you can’t miss the Audomarois marshes, a vast network of canals and ponds that are home to a wide variety of birds and other wildlife. Visitors can take a boat trip or walk to admire the natural beauty of the area. The Caps et Marais d’Opale Regional Nature Park is also a must-see for nature lovers.

Finally if you are greedy and curious you can visit the brewery of Saint Omer brewery Goudale and the oldest distillery of grains in activity of France for genever of Houlle at the distillery Persyn.

Another way to visit the Saint Omer area with the Chemin de Fer Touristique de l’Aa or the rando rail de Lumbres.

Here are some other places to visit:

  • The Musée de l’Hôtel Sandelin, housed in a former mansion, offers “exhibitions”, one on medieval art, another on fine arts and the last on ceramics.
  • the public garden, a landscaped park set in former fortifications.
  • The Fontinettes boat lift in Arques is being restored in 2019.
  • La cristallerie d’arques, a jewel in the crown of tableware.

In short, Saint-Omer is a town full of surprises and wonders to discover, with a rich history, magnificent nature, delicious gastronomy.