The museum is housed in a site of architectural splendour, the ancient Saint-Vaast Abbey, its works exhibited in the elegant galleries on the ground floor. Collections put together during the Revolution have grown over the years, through donations and the discovery medieval remains during the digging phase for the construction of the Saint-Nicolas-en Cité church. The museum was partly destroyed in 1915 by German bombs. It was faithfully rebuilt, and now contains one of the finest collections in the region: a room of 17th-century paintings by the French and former Netherlands schools (Champaigne, Vignon, Lebrun, Largillière, Rubens…), as well as monumental pieces of 17th-century French religious painting. There are also ancient archeology items and medieval sculptures on display, along with the cathedral's treasure, porcelain pieces from Arras and landscape paintings.