The Town center
Boulevard Emile Basly and Place Jean Jaurès
Located where the two main retailing high streets(boulevard Basly and the rue Lanoy) meet in the town of Lens, the Place Jean Jaurès is the epicentre of the town. Lined with town houses and colourful shops with wide window displays, the Place Jean Jaurès acts as a reminder of how trade has always been a prosperous part of Lens ever since the times when miners came here to spend their fortnightly pay.
Lens preserved this tradition with its small shops and the recent developments with the widening of the pavements have helped to ensure that the place is teeming with shoppers every Saturday. Rebuilt as an exact copy after the First World War in the 1960s, the Town Hall and Saint-Léger Church represent the political and spiritual centre of the town.
Given that Lens was completely destroyed during the Great War and rebuilt mainly in the styles that were fashionable at the time (Art deco in particular), the church is the only example of what the town looked like before 1914.