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Back in Roman times, the city of Beauvais's predecessor was named Caesaromagus, or 'Caesar's Market'. Beauvais developed in the Middle Ages as a major textile-making centre and splendid monuments were built in the town.

In 1940, near the start of the Second World War, the city of Beauvais suffered terrible bombardments and was two-thirds destroyed. At least a fair number of old houses, the cathedral and Saint-Lazare's lepers' house survived. Today, Beauvais is a dynamic town with a busy international airport catering to several million passengers a year. It also has a university campus, plus, among other cultural attractions, you can visit the Galerie Nationale de la Tapisserie, an impressive tapestry museum.