The Saint-Leu district

WITH ITS CANALS, HALF-TIMBERED HOUSES, BOUTIQUES AND CAFE TERRACES, THE OLDEST PART OF AMIENS HAS BECOME “THE PLACE TO BE” IN PICARDY’S CAPITAL.

La petite Venise du NordLa petite Venise du Nord - noscoeursvoyageurs

Little Venice of the North

Crossed by branches of the Somme, the Saint-Leu quarter was born in the Middle Ages. In those times, water and mills provided the energy necessary for the work done by weavers, dyers, tanners and other millers. Today, the charm of the historic district of Saint-Leu invites you to stroll through its picturesque alleys between colourful houses, made of cob, wood and brick.

Designer boutiques, stalls, second-hand booksellers and dealers have sprouted up here since the rehabilitation of this former working-class district in the heart of the city. Located a stone's throw from the University of Picardy Jules Verne, it is the ideal place to have a drink on the terrace and meet around a table of food. At nightfall, theatres, concerts and shows create a typical Amiens atmosphere.

La petite Venise du NordLa petite Venise du Nord - noscoeursvoyageurs

Take a stroll along the canals

Leaving the Notre-Dame cathedral district, go from the upper town to the lower town to enter the Saint-Leu district. Take the footbridge to the Place du Don where the city’s oldest houses, known as gabled houses, are found.

The “Chés Cabotans d'Amiens” puppet theatre installed in a former weaving factory illustrates the city’s great tradition of puppetry. These wooden figures, controlled by rods and threads, are called cabotins in Picardy, and they represent the soul of the neighbourhood. Their hero character, Lafleur, originated around 1811 in Saint-Leu, which had up to nineteen puppet theatres. This rebellious but loyal character dominates Aristide Briand square.

Don’t miss the “Passe-avant” and “Passe-arrière” mills which remain as the two final witnesses to a time when nearly twenty-five mills operated in Saint-Leu. They were used to grind wheat, crush woad leaves (used for pigment for the famous Amiens blue), grind bark, tread fabrics etc.

Un quartier vivant et animéUn quartier vivant et animé - noscoeursvoyageurs

A lively, bustling district

Throughout the year, and according to the seasons, the Saint-Leu district offers a wide range of events, concerts and theatrical performances.

The market on the water

Once a year, as part of June’s “La rue est à Amiens” festival, the market on the water takes place as before. The Hortillonnages market gardeners, in traditional costumes, arrive at the quayside with their “barques à cornet” gondola-like boats loaded with fruit and vegetables.

Les Médiévales au bord de l’eau (Medieval Festival by the Waterside)

On the first weekend of September, the “les Médiévales au bord de l’eau” festival plunges Saint-Leu into a medieval atmosphere: visitors learn about Middle Ages daily life, customs and trades, at installations showcasing those times.

Show venues

In the heart of the district, Ciné Saint-Leu, Maison du Théâtre, Théâtre de Marionnettes, and Lune des Pirates (concert hall) offer a rich cultural entertainment program throughout the year.

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