It is one of the last fortified towns in the Pas-de-Calais. The city of Aire-sur-la-Lys is a border town between the Audomarois and the Artois, an ideal entry point for any visitor coming from the west. The historic centre offers winding, narrow streets inherited from the past, opens onto numerous squares and gives pride of place to the water, those of the rivers Lys and Laquette where some old houses still stand. Founded in the 10th century, the town was then equipped with a collegiate church and, under the double influence of the Count of Flanders and the religious, prospered to the point of welcoming a guard house, now the bailiwick. The two buildings still bear witness to this favoured period. After the battles of the late Middle Ages and the return to the French bosom, the city was rebuilt in the classical style that we know today, notably through its belfry and the town hall, which also houses the library and the old collection. The city has no less than twenty-three historical monuments.

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