It is one of the oldest parts of the city, located on the Deûle River. The island was originally called “Island de la Comtesse”, which translates to Countess Island, and it was named after Countess Mathilde who lived there during her lifetime.
The area has had many uses over its long history; from being an agricultural site for local farmers to a military base during World War II. During this time period, it served as a strategic point for German forces due to its location near important bridges leading into France and Belgium.
Today, Countess Island is home to several attractions, such as two museums – Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lille (Museum of Fine Arts) and Musée d’Histoire Naturelle (Natural History Museum). Visitors can also explore some of the old fortifications that were built by French troops in 1793 as well as remnants from other wars such as trenches dug by British soldiers in 1915 or bunkers used by German forces during World War II.
The island also offers plenty of green spaces with parks like Jardin des Plantes where visitors can enjoy walking trails along with stunning views of the riverbank below them. There are even boat rides available, so you can get up close and personal with nature while taking in all that this wonderful place has to offer.
If you’re looking for something more active, then why not try out kayaking or canoeing? You’ll be able to take your pick from either flat water courses or white water rapids, depending on how adventurous you feel. No matter what activity you choose, though, make sure to keep an eye out for wildlife – especially birds – because they often flock here too.
Overall, visiting Countess Island is an experience like no other; whether it’s exploring its rich history or simply enjoying nature at its finest – there’s something here for everyone.