Douai

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Douai
Douai rue de la mairie.jpg
The belfry of the town hall in Douai
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Coat of arms
Location of Douai
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Douai
Hauts-de-France region location map.svg
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Douai
Coordinates: 50°22′17″N3°04′48″E / 50.3714°N 3.08°E / 50.3714; 3.08 Coordinates: 50°22′17″N3°04′48″E / 50.3714°N 3.08°E / 50.3714; 3.08
Country France
Region Hauts-de-France
Department Nord
Arrondissement Douai
Canton Douai
Intercommunality Communauté d'agglomération du Douaisis
Government
  Mayor (2014-2020) Frédéric Chéreau
Area
1
16.88 km2 (6.52 sq mi)
Population
 (2016-01-01) [1]
40,860
  Density2,400/km2 (6,300/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
59178 /59500
Elevation16–38 m (52–125 ft)
(avg. 24 m or 79 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Douai (French:  [dwɛ] ; Dutch : Dowaai; historically "Doway" in English) is a commune in the Nord département in northern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department. Located on the river Scarpe some 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Lille and 25 km (16 mi) from Arras, Douai is home to one of the region's most impressive belfries. The population of the metropolitan area, including Lens, was 552,682 in 1999.

Dutch language West Germanic language

Dutch(Nederlands ) is a West Germanic language spoken by around 24 million people as a first language and 5 million people as a second language, constituting the majority of people in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is the third-most-widely spoken Germanic language, after its close relatives English and German.

The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain. The United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered. The communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France.

Nord (French department) Department of France

Nord is a department in the far north of France. It was created from the western halves of the historical counties of Flanders and Hainaut, and the Bishopric of Cambrai. The modern coat of arms was inherited from the County of Flanders.

Contents

Economy

The main industries in the town are in the chemical and metal engineering sectors. Renault has a large vehicle assembly plant near the town, which has produced many well known Renault vehicles, such as the R14, R11, R19, and the Megane and Scenic of today.

Renault French automobile manufacturing company

Groupe Renault is a French multinational automobile manufacturer established in 1899. The company produces a range of cars and vans, and in the past has manufactured trucks, tractors, tanks, buses/coaches and autorail vehicles.

Assembly line manufacturing process

An assembly line is a manufacturing process in which parts are added as the semi-finished assembly moves from workstation to workstation where the parts are added in sequence until the final assembly is produced. By mechanically moving the parts to the assembly work and moving the semi-finished assembly from work station to work station, a finished product can be assembled faster and with less labor than by having workers carry parts to a stationary piece for assembly.

Renault 14 car model

The Renault 14 is a compact car produced by the French manufacturer Renault between 1976 and 1983. It was first shown in January 1976 with production beginning in June of that year.

Transport

The Gare de Douai railway station is served by regional trains towards Lille, Arras, Lens, Amiens, Saint-Quentin and Valenciennes. It is also connected to the TGV network, with high speed trains to Paris, Lyon, Nantes and other cities. [2]

Gare de Douai railway station in France

Douai is a railway station serving the town of Douai, Nord, France. The station opened in 1846 and is located on the Paris–Lille railway and Douai–Valenciennes railway. The train services are operated by SNCF.

Lille Prefecture and commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Lille is a city at the northern tip of France, in French Flanders. On the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium, it is the capital of the Hauts-de-France region, the prefecture of the Nord department, and the main city of the European Metropolis of Lille.

Arras Prefecture and commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Arras is the capital (chef-lieu/préfecture) of the Pas-de-Calais department, which forms part of the region of Hauts-de-France; prior to the reorganization of 2014 it was located in Nord-Pas-de-Calais. The historic centre of the Artois region, with a Baroque town square, Arras is located in Northern France at the confluence of the Scarpe river and the Crinchon River.

History

Its site probably corresponds to that of a 4th-century Roman fortress known as Duacum. From the 10th century the town was a romance fiefdom of the counts of Flanders. The town became a flourishing textile market centre during the Middle Ages, historically known as Douay or Doway in English. In 1384, the county of Flanders passed into the domains of the Dukes of Burgundy and thence in 1477 into Habsburg possessions.

Romance languages All the related languages derived from Vulgar Latin

The Romance languages are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin between the third and eighth centuries and that form a subgroup of the Italic languages within the Indo-European language family.

The count of Flanders was the ruler or sub-ruler of the county of Flanders, beginning in the 9th century. The title was held for a time by the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire and Spain. During the French Revolution in 1790, the county of Flanders was annexed to France and ceased to exist. In the 19th century, the title was appropriated by Belgium and granted twice to younger sons of Belgian kings. The most recent holder died in 1983.

County of Flanders French fiefdom and historic territory in the Low Countries

The County of Flanders was a historic territory in the Low Countries.

In 1667, Douai was taken by the troops of Louis XIV of France, and by the 1668 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, the town was ceded to France. During successive sieges from 1710 to 1712, Douai was almost completely destroyed by the British Army. By 1713, the town was fully integrated into France. Douai became the seat of the Parliament of Flanders (fr).

Louis XIV of France King of France and Navarra, from 1643 to 1715

Louis XIV, known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who reigned as King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralisation of power.

Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1668) treaty that ended the War of Devolution

The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle or Aachen ended the War of Devolution between France and Spain. It was signed on 2 May 1668 in Aachen. Spain acceded on 7 May 1669.

Parlement Ancien Régime justice court

A parlement, in the Ancien Régime of France, was a provincial appellate court. In 1789, France had 13 parlements, the most important of which was the Parlement of Paris. While the English word parliament derives from this French term, parlements were not legislative bodies. They consisted of a dozen or more appellate judges, or about 1,100 judges nationwide. They were the court of final appeal of the judicial system, and typically wielded much power over a wide range of subject matter, particularly taxation. Laws and edicts issued by the Crown were not official in their respective jurisdictions until the parlements gave their assent by publishing them. The members were aristocrats called nobles of the gown who had bought or inherited their offices, and were independent of the King.

Apart from the ferment of the French Revolution, it was again caught up in hostilities in World War I, [3] and in 1918, the town was partly burned and liberated by the British Army after the Battle of Courtrai. World War II also brought considerable damage to Douai. The town is still a transportation and commercial center for the area, which was known up to the Sixties for its coalfield, the richest in northern France.

French Revolution Revolution in France, 1789 to 1798

The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as, "the war to end all wars," it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the resulting 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Battle of Courtrai (1918) battle of the Hundred Days Offensive of World War I

The Battle of Courtrai was one of a series of offensives in northern France and southern Belgium that took place in late September and October 1918.

Heraldry

Arms of Douai Blason Vide 3D.svg
Arms of Douai
The arms of Douai are blazoned:
Gules simple.

Main sites

Douai's ornate Gothic style belfry was begun in 1380, on the site of an earlier tower. The 80 m high structure includes an impressive carillon, consisting of 62 bells spanning 5 octaves. The originals, some dating from 1391 were removed in 1917 during World War I by the occupying German forces, who intended to melt them down for the metal. They were reinstalled after repairs in 1924, but 47 of them were replaced in 1954 to obtain a better sound. An additional larger bell in the summit, a La called "Joyeuse", dates from 1471 and weighs 5.5 tonnes. The chimes are rung by a mechanism every quarter-hour, but are also played via a keyboard on Saturday mornings and at certain other times. In 2005 the belfry was included in a list of world heritage sites as a part of object The Belfries of Belgium and France by UNESCO.

The substantial Porte de Valenciennes town gate, a reminder of the town's past military importance, was built in 1453. One face is built in Gothic style, while the other is of Classical design.

University of Douai

Colleges at University of Douai Cartulaire douai 3 colleges.JPG
Colleges at University of Douai

Catholic studies

The University of Douai was founded under the patronage of Phillip II, when Douai belonged to the Spanish Netherlands.

It was prominent, from the 1560s until the French Revolution, as a centre for the education of English Catholics escaping the persecution in England. Connected with the University were not only the English College, Douai, founded by William Allen, but also the Irish and Scottish colleges and the Benedictine, Franciscan and Jesuit houses.

The Benedictine priory of St Gregory the Great was founded by Saint John Roberts at Douai in 1605, with a handful of exiled English Benedictines who had entered various monasteries in Spain, as the first house after the Reformation to begin conventual life. The community was established within the English Benedictine Congregation and started a college for English Catholic boys who were unable to find a Catholic education at home, and pursued studies in the University of Douai. However, the community was expelled at the time of the French Revolution in 1793 and, after some years of wandering, finally settled at Downside Abbey, Somerset, in 1814.

Another English Benedictine community, the Priory of St. Edmund, which had been formed in Paris in 1615 by Dom Gabriel Gifford, later Archbishop of Rheims and primate of France, was expelled from Paris during the Revolution, and eventually took over the vacant buildings of the community of St Gregory's in 1818. Later, following Waldeck-Rousseau's Law of Associations (1901), this community also returned to England in 1903, where it was established at Douai Abbey, near Reading. Douai School continued as an educational establishment for boys until 1999.

In 1609 the English College published a translation of the Old Testament, which, together with the New Testament published at Rheims 27 years earlier, was the Douay-Rheims Bible used by Anglophone Roman Catholics almost exclusively for more than 300 years.

For a time there was a Carthusian monastery (charterhouse) in Douai, which is now the Musée de la Chartreuse de Douai.

Modern university

Founded as University of Douai in 1562, the state university in Northern France was renamed Université impériale de Douai-Lille in 1808, then as Université de Lille with faculty expansion from Douai to Lille from mid-19th century onwards.

Notable people

Douai was the birthplace of:

Twin towns

Douai is twinned with:

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References

  1. "Populations légales 2016". INSEE . Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  2. "Horaires des trains à l'arrivée de la gare de Douai". www.ter.sncf.com.
  3. Vimy Ridge Archived 25 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "British towns twinned with French towns [via WaybackMachine.com]". Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2013.