|The 7th century legend of Lydéric and Phinaert|
Monday, 14 March 2011
Ville de Lille
To Lille last week for the mid term review of the five year Livinggreen.eu project.
The meeting took place in the striking town hall built between 1924 and 1932. The exterior was inspired by typical Flemish triangular-gabled houses and features a 104m high belfry which dominates Lille’s skyline.
Inside, the building is full of surprises, not least the room where we had our meeting.The French love bande dessinée and the room was decorated with a full-height comic strip mural depicting episodes in Lille’s history from the 7th century tale of Lydéric and Phinaert to the present day.
Legend has it that Salvaert, prince of Bourgogne and his wife Emergaert were travelling to England when they were attacked by a bandit, Phinaert. Salvaert was killed and Emergaert hid her newborn baby boy in a bush, where he was rescued by a hermit and nursed by a goat. Baby Lydéric grew up to be a fierce warrior and in the year 640 aged 18 he fought and killed Phinaert, who, according to my rusty French, was a giant.
Thankfully our visit and Eurostar home was much less eventful and the only drama we had to contend with while in Lille was a city-wide shortage of milk.