Amateur of old stones, built heritage and monuments? Saint-Omer and the Audomarois country will surprise you. Labeled Country of Art and History, our territory is rich in churches, civil monuments and old quarters revealing a history that has its origins in the XNUMXth century.
Are you planning to discover the Saint-Omer marsh? So don't take the "only" route for our beautiful rivers. Optimize your trip for a full day or a stay in Saint-Omer!
Here is an idea of a program allowing you to discover the Audomarois heritage in one or more days.
In the morning: morning walk in the public garden of Saint-Omer
The Saint-Omer public garden is one of the most beautiful in Pas-de-Calais. In the early morning, start your day with a stroll through the English garden, the French garden at the foot of the Vauban fortifications... Walk the paths in the heart of the animal park and the arboretum, take a breakfast break on the steps from the bandstand… A lovely rejuvenating walk to get the day off to a good start!
Discover the Dome of Helfaut or the Blockhaus of Eperlecques
Are you a lover of heritage related to the Second World War? The Pays de Saint-Omer contains two major remembrance tourism sites: the blockhouse of Eperlecques and the famous Dome of Helfaut.
These two sites are located a quarter of an hour by car from the center of Saint-Omer.
The Eperlecques blockhouse is a former bunker that was used to manufacture V2s during WWII. This was dismantled in extremis by the allies before it could be finalized. There is a museum dedicated to the war as well as an exhibited missile.
The Dome of Helfaut is an enormous concrete bunker designed by the Nazi regime to serve as a launching pad for V2 over London. Today, this incredible reinforced concrete building in the shape of a dome contains a museum dedicated to the war and the deportation. The missile designed by Von Braun being the ancestor of modern rockets, the Dome of Helfaut is also dedicated to the conquest of space. Special mention to its 3D planetarium displaying a resolution of 10k! (Allow at least 2 hours on site).
Taste a good Audomarois meal
Emotions are hollow. That's good, good restaurants abound in Saint-Omer! Whether you want to eat on the go, take your time in a tavern, try out a gourmet restaurant or try out a chip shop, you are spoiled for choice!
Another possibility, by reservation, is a vegetable meal by the water at the Makers of Boats. On the menu, fries, local faluches with small vegetables, Flemish carbonade, Maroilles chicken… All in a unique rural setting!
Discover the natural and historical heritage by boat
Once restored, digest aboard a bacôve. The Makers of Boats organize guided tours allowing you to appreciate the landscapes of the Audomarois marshes, but also the flora and fauna of this environment recognized by UNESCO.
These river tours aboard an oak wooden bacôve offer you a unique view of the suburb of Lyzel, a former market garden polder, part of the inhabited marsh and the town's monuments. A complete panorama makes it possible to contemplate “the city with beautiful steeples” in a different way, as Froissart said so well in his time.
Following this excursion, the boat builders open the doors of their shipyard and reveal their trade secrets to you.
Visit of the cathedral of Saint-Omer
When you return from the visit to the marsh, go up to the town of Saint-Omer to visit the cathedral. It closes at 18 p.m., giving you time to appreciate one of the richest cathedrals in France.
You can admire its chapels teeming with treasures, its organ case, its astrolabe clock, its paintings, its sacred furniture... But also its architecture revealing all the currents of Gothic art. Saint-Omer Cathedral was indeed built over a period of 300 years between the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries!
Visit the Saint-Omer/Goudale brewery
Of course, it is impossible to do everything in one day. So you have to make a choice… or stay several days in Saint-Omer!
Because if the cathedral is worth the detour, so is the Goudale brewery. Dependent on the famous brewery producing Saint-Omer beer, this huge facility brews millions of hectoliters of the famous Goudale beer. Renowned beers, such as Secret des Moines and Belzebuth, are also brewed on site.
A circuit within the factory allows you to get as close as possible to ultra high-tech installations.
Stroll through the streets of the old town
At the end of the day, while waiting to return or find a good restaurant for dinner, allow yourself a walk in the city center of Saint-Omer. The setting sun admirably puts into perspective the monuments, the mansions, the XNUMXth and XNUMXth century mansions, the medieval alleys and the streets…
Not to be missed in Saint-Omer: the Saint-Bertin ruins, the historic canals, the suburbs, the Jesuit chapel, the Italian theater on the Grand'Place…etc.