November 26, 2016

2393, 2882 FRANCE (Hauts-de-France) - Nord department

2393 Nord department

Posted on 21.03.2016, 26.11.2016
Since 2016 part of the Hauts-de-France region, Nord department is situated in the north of the country along the western half of the Belgian frontier. The majority of the region was once part of the historical Netherlands, but gradually became part of France between 1477 and 1678. Within the department is located the part of France where the French Flemish dialect of Dutch is still spoken (along with French) as a native language. Unusually long and narrow, it is the country's most populous department.

2882 Nord coast

Its coast begins in south with Gravelines and ends to Bray-Dunes, on Belgian border, and is part of Côte d'Opale, which continues in south up to Picardy Coast. The North Sea resort of Les Dunes de Flandre, stretching from Dunkirk to Bray-Dunes, has a 15km long barrier beach of fine sand flanked by an impressive area of dunes. To note are the museums and belfry in Dunkirk, the Art Deco villas on the Malo-les-Bains seafront, the kite park with its three kite surfing schools, and land yachting and sailing in Bray-Dunes.

The principal city of the department is Lille, situated in French Flanders, on the Deûle River. Lille features an array of architectural styles with various amounts of Flemish influence. Many residential neighborhoods consist of attached 2-3 story houses aligned in a row, with narrow gardens in the back. These architectural attributes, help make Lille a transition in France to neighboring Belgium, as well as nearby Netherlands and England. The Général de Gaulle Square, known as Grand Place, is the main square of Lille and offers an interesting view of the architecture from the 17th to the 20th century.

Located at 10km from the Belgian border, Dunkirk was long time disputed between Spain, the United Netherlands, England and France. During the reign of Louis XIV, a large number of commerce raiders made their base at Dunkirk, Jean Bart being the most famous. Valenciennes, an early center of Calvinism, is historically renowned for its lace. Its Museum of Fine Arts belongs to a generation of museums erected in the Third Republic, with wide open spaces and monumental proportions to display their prestigious collections. Tourcoing is part of the urban area of Lille. One of the best examples of the town's economic success is its town hall, built in Napoleon III-style in 1885.

The Hospital Notre-Dame was founded in 1246 to Seclin by Margaret of Constantinople, countess of Flanders, for pilgrims and poors. The current buildings were erected between the 14th and early 20th century, but presents a remarkable architectural unity of Spanish-Flemish Renaissance style. The Municipal Theatre in Denain was built between 1901 and 1912, being expanded in 1925. Situated on both banks of the Sambre, at 9km from the Belgian border, Maubeuge owes its origin to Maubeuge Abbey, and was fortified by Vauban. Roubaix grew rapidly in the 19th century from its textile industries. In 1993 in this city was open the National Archives of the Working World.

Home to one of the region's most impressive belfries, Douai hosted also, since 1714, the Parliament of Flanders. Caudry is one of the two towns in France where lace is still made, and it has even a lace museum. Fourmies is known for the Fusillade de Fourmies, which occurred on May 1, 1891. It was the first French and international celebration of International Workers' Day on May Day. In Fourmies, troops shot at peaceful strikers: nine died, among whom, a young worker who will remain a symbol, Marie Blondeau. The symbol of Saint-Amand-les-Eaux is a tower standing 82m tall, part of a large ancient abbey, which was located here from its foundation in the 630s by Saint Amand until its dissolution in 1789.

About the stamp
On the postcard 2393

The stamp, depicting Virgin with Child between St. James and St. Dominic (1488-1490), was issued on November 15, 2005. This painting by Hans Memling features a so-called Memling carpet.

On the postcard 2882
The stamp is part of the series Portraits of Regions, about which I wrote here.

Nord (French department) - Wikipedia

Sender 2393: Jeffrey
Sent from Zuydcoote (Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie / France), on 19.02.2016
Photo: Luc Devemy
Sender 2882: Jean Yves Gerlat
Sent from Zuydcoote (Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie / France), on 11.12.2015
Photo: Cristophe Potigny

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