The belfry of the town hall in Douai
|Intercommunality||Communauté d'agglomération du Douaisis|
|• Mayor (2014-2020)||Frédéric Chéreau|
|16.88 km2 (6.52 sq mi)|
|• Density||2,400/km2 (6,300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||16–38 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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,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.
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, 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.
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.
|The arms of Douai are blazoned:|
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.
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.
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.
Douai was the birthplace of:
Douai is twinned with:
Nord-Pas-de-Calais (French pronunciation: [nɔʁ pɑ d kalɛ], is a former administrative region of France. Since 1 January 2016, it is part of the new region Hauts-de-France. It consisted of the departments of Nord and Pas-de-Calais. Nord-Pas-de-Calais borders the English Channel, the North Sea, Belgium and Picardy. The majority of the region was once part of the historical Netherlands, but gradually became part of France between 1477 and 1678, particularly during the reign of king Louis XIV. The historical French provinces that preceded Nord-Pas-de-Calais are Artois, French Flanders, French Hainaut and Picardy. These provincial designations are still frequently used by the inhabitants.
Lens is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in northern France. It is one of the main towns of Hauts-de-France along with Lille, Valenciennes, Amiens, Roubaix, Tourcoing, Arras and Douai. The inhabitants are called Lensois.
The Douay–Rheims Bible is a translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into English made by members of the English College, Douai, in the service of the Catholic Church. The New Testament portion was published in Reims, France, in 1582, in one volume with extensive commentary and notes. The Old Testament portion was published in two volumes twenty-seven years later in 1609 and 1610 by the University of Douai. The first volume, covering Genesis through Job, was published in 1609; the second, covering Psalms to 2 Machabees plus the apocrypha of the Vulgate was published in 1610. Marginal notes took up the bulk of the volumes and had a strong polemical and patristic character. They offered insights on issues of translation, and on the Hebrew and Greek source texts of the Vulgate.
The LGV Nord is a French 333-kilometre (207 mi)-long high-speed rail line, opened in 1993, that connects Paris to the Belgian border and the Channel Tunnel via Lille.
The original public university in the Lille region of France was the University of Douai established in 1559 in Douai and that was moved to Lille in 1887 as University of Lille.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cambrai is an archdiocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in France, comprising the arrondissements of Avesnes-sur-Helpe, Cambrai, Douai, and Valenciennes within the département of Nord, in the region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais. The current archbishop is Vincent Dollmann, appointed in December 2000. Since 2002 the archdiocese has been a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Lille, returning to the prior arrangement.
The University of Douai is a former university in Douai, France. With a medieval heritage of scholarly activities in Douai, the university was established in 1559 and lectures started in 1562. It closed from 1795 to 1808. In 1887, it was transferred as University of Lille 27 km away from Douai.
The English College, was a Catholic seminary in Douai, now in France, associated with the University of Douai. It was established in about 1561, and was suppressed in 1793. It is known for a Bible translation referred to as the Douay–Rheims Bible. Of over 300 priests from Douai sent on the English mission, about one-third were executed. The dissolution of the college at the tie of the French Revolution led to the founding of Crook Hall and St Edmund's College, Ware. It is popularly believed that the indemnification funds paid by the French for the seizure of Douai's property were diverted by the British commissioners to complete the furnishings of George IV's Royal Pavilion at Brighton.
TER Nord-Pas-de-Calais was the regional rail network serving Nord-Pas-de-Calais région, France. In 2017 it was merged into the new TER Hauts-de-France.
Lille Flandres is the main railway station of Lille, capital of French Flanders. It is a terminus for SNCF Intercity and regional trains. It opened in 1842 as the Gare de Lille, but was renamed in 1993 when Lille Europe station opened. There is a 500m walking distance between the two stations, which are also adjacent stops on one of the lines of the Lille Metro.
The Community of Universities and Institutions (COMUE) Lille Nord de France is a French Groups of Universities and Institutions (COMUE) spread over multiple campuses and centered in Lille. It includes a European Doctoral College and federates universities, engineering schools and research centers. With more than one hundred thousand students, it is one of the largest university federations in France. The University of Lille, with nearly 70,000 students, is the main component.
Gabriel Gifford OSB was an English Roman Catholic Benedictine monk who became Archbishop of Reims.
Anchin Abbey was a Benedictine monastery founded in 1079 in the commune of Pecquencourt in what is now the Nord department of France.
Gare de Valenciennes is a railway station serving the town of Valenciennes, Nord, France.
Arras is a railway station serving the town Arras, Pas-de-Calais department, northern France. This station, which opened in 1846, is located on the Paris–Lille railway and Arras-Dunkirk railway and accessible from LGV Nord. The train services are operated by SNCF.
The railway from Paris to Lille is an important French 251-kilometre long railway line, that connects Paris to the northern French city Lille. Branch lines offer connections to Belgium and Great Britain. As one of the first railway lines in France, it was opened on 20 June 1846. The opening of the LGV Nord high speed line from Paris to Lille in 1993 has decreased its importance for passenger traffic.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Douai .|