You are here: Home Western & Southeastern Europe France DOUAI: (Nord department, Nord-Pas-de-Calais région)
DOUAI: (Nord department, Nord-Pas-de-Calais région) PDF Print E-mail

50°22'17" N 03°04'48" E. Historically, known as Douay (Doway in English). Located on the river Scarpe some 25 miles (40 km) from Lille and 16 miles (25 km) from Arras, Douai is home to one of the region's most impressive belfries with carillons. The population of the metropolitan area, including Lens, was 552,682 in 1999. The main industries in the town are chemical and metal engineering and its coal fields. Its site probably corresponds to that of a 4th century Roman fortress known as Duacum. The town became a flourishing textile market center during the Middle Ages under the Counts of Flanders. In 1384, it passed into the domains of the Counts of Burgundy and thence in 1477 into Habsburg possessions. 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 1713, the town was fully integrated into France. 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, while World War II also brought considerable damage to Douai. The Jewish Community, created in 1825, was recreated in 1962 with the arrival of repatriated Jewry. "Alley of the Jews" can be found in Douai, but the community consists of only a few families. Services are no longer celebrated so they go to Lille (in 35 km). [January 2008]


Burials may have been in Lille otherwise as no site of a cemetery is known. [January 2008]

Web site created by Open Sky Web Design based on a template by Red Evolution