The former Jesuits’ chapel and library in Valenciennes (XVIII.)
This large building is today home to the municipal media library and includes one of the finest collections of ancient manuscripts in the region, which came here from the abbeys. Among these works we find the "Cantilène de sainte Eulalie" the oldest known text in the French language written around 882. The main facade featuring Louis XIII style windows on two floors, and oculi decorated with Louis XVI garlands demonstrates the influence of French ornamentation on the local architects but also illustrates the use of brick edged with white stone, of slate roofs and of stepped gables. On the ground floor we find the former parlour while the upper floor houses the "Jesuits room", a former library restored to its initial condition. The most comprehensive example of 13th century French painted decor can be admired here today.