Notre-Dame des Miracles Cathedral 2022 - Saint-Omer (14)Notre-Dame des Miracles Cathedral 2022 - Saint-Omer (14)
©Notre-Dame des Miracles Cathedral - Saint-Omer|Quentin MAILLARD - Tourisme en Pays de Saint-Omer

Discover our heritage with the Pays d'Art et d'Histoire

Initiated in 1985 by the French Ministry of Culture, the Ville et Pays d’art et d’histoire label recognizes local authorities, communes or groups of communes, that are committed to promoting the heritage, architecture and urban planning of their territory. The Pays de Saint-Omer is one of 202 towns and villages in France, including 16 in the Hauts-de-France region. It is even one of the four Pays d’Art et d’Histoire in Hauts-de-France, with a policy of education aimed at local residents, young people and visitors


Heritage for all

For several years now, the Pays d’Art et d’Histoire has been developing a desire to share heritage with as many people as possible, in particular to raise awareness among the general public. Inhabitants are made aware of their architectural and landscape heritage through various actions and the implementation of tools or equipment to give them keys to understanding.

The young public is initiated from school to high school through actions in partnership with the National Education and the Communauté d’Agglomération du Pays de Saint-Omer (CAPSO) through more playful workshops during the vacations. Last but not least, we welcome tourists with a program of discoveries for individuals and groups, in conjunction with the Pays de Saint-Omer Tourist Office.

Heritage facilities to visit

Aside from guided tours, there are museum spaces not to be missed, part of the heritage but also part of the local history and rich past. These facilities provide a better understanding of this territory with its rich past, with different themes or scenographies.

The Musée Sandelin is one fine example, with an incredible and priceless collection of works of art with nearly 3,000 works and objets d’art ranging from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. Renovated in 2022, this fine arts museum is housed in a magnificent 18th-century mansion and is one of 1218 labeled “Musées de France”.

Also in this label, the Henri Dupuis museum, closed to the public since 2004, is an impressive natural history collection with birds from all over the world or thousands of classified shells. The museum can be visited on special occasions, but for a chance to catch a glimpse of this museum with its very special atmosphere, we recommend taking part in the “Le Secret de Dupuis” escape game.

The Maison de l’archéologie de Thérouanne is also well worth a look. Who would have imagined that in this peaceful rural village once stood a very important religious center with a cathedral at its summit. Since 2019, the Pays d’Art et d’Histoire has been running the Maison de l’Archéologie to remind us of the glorious past, but above all thanks to a unique and revolutionary process: preventive archaeology.

The Centre d’interprétation de l’architecture et du patrimoine (or CIAP for those in the know) will soon house the Maison du Patrimoine (for part, the other being housed at the Maison de l’Archéologie in Thérouanne)and will be nothing less than a showcase for the architectural identity of a territory whose cathedral is ultimately just a sample of the rich heritage that generations of builders have erected over the centuries, with a common fierce desire to always push back the technological limits of their time and the boundaries of the imaginary.

Unmissable events

In addition to a full program of guided tours and educational workshops, the Pays d’Art et d’Histoire enables visitors to experience major events on its territory by integrating national or European days but also events that are specific to the Pays de Saint-Omer.

The Journées Européennes du Patrimoine is always an eagerly-awaited event, but other major events include the Journée Européennes de l’Archéologie, the Nuit des Cathédrales, Les Rendez-vous aux jardins and the Fête des Moulins. The Pays d’Art et d’Histoire accompanies these major days on local soil, but has also been able to create the bal des années folles, dedicated to Art Deco, or participate in specific cultural and secular events such as the Fête des Epeutnaerts, the Fête de la Moisson or the Saint-Omer nautical procession.



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