|Detail of model of Lille ©Graham White|
After consuming an enormous meal in a very popular restaurant we staggered off towards the Palais des Beaux Arts to indulge in some visual culture. As we were a group of seven we decided to split up and go our own ways during our visit and meet up in the café later. My husband and I headed for the exhibits on show in the basement and after we'd had a look at the illuminated manuscripts for a bit we felt a pull to go and see our favourite part of the museum which are Vauban's models.
Sébastien de Vauban (1633-1707) was considered the greatest military engineer of his age. He lived during a period when France was constantly at war and he fortified over 160 towns in France during his lifetime. There are 19 of his detailed models of towns housed in the museum including Lille and Calais – they are in a dimly lit room and protected behind glass. There is nothing to stop you from banging your nose on the glass as I did more than once while I was trying to get a closer look.