Béthune is located in the former province of Artois. It is situated 73 kilometres (45 miles) south-east of Calais, 33 kilometres (21 miles) west of Lille, and 186 kilometres (116 miles) north of Paris.
Béthune is a town rich in architectural heritage and history. It has, among other features, a large paved square with shops, cafés, and a 47-metre-tall (154 ft) (133 steps) belfry standing in the center from the top of which the Belgian border can be seen. The chime of the belfry is composed of thirty-six bells. A belfry (French:"beffroi") has stood on the site since 1346.
Competition to illuminate the belfry of Bethune was part of a larger effort to revitalize the city of Lille, France.
A metal ring floats around the tower, it’s shiny outer surface reflecting the image of the surrounding city during the day, it’s inner surface becoming a glowing halo at night. The light changes according to the current phase of the moon, beginning with a translucent blue during a full moon, adding a brighter white in quarters until the new moon, when the belfry is illuminated by a brilliant white light.