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Trip Planner Europe  /  France  /  Hauts-de-France  /  Nord  /  Gravelines

Gravelines

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Gravelines is a commune in the Nord department in Northern France. It lies at the mouth of the river Aa 15mi southwest of Dunkirk. It was formed in the 12th century around the mouth of a canal built to connect Saint-Omer with the sea. As it was on the western borders of Spanish territory in Flanders it became heavily fortified, some of which still remains.There is a market in the town square (Place Charles Valentin) on Fridays. The "Arsenal" approached from the town square is home to an extensive and carefully displayed art collection. There are modern bronze statues in the grounds. The town is also home to French basketball club BCM Gravelines.HistoryIn the early 12th century, Saint-Omer was an important port in western Flanders. Silting gradually cut it off from the North Sea, resulting in the construction of a canal to the new coast at what is now Gravelines. The name is derived from the Dutch Gravenenga, meaning Count's Canal. The new town became heavily fortified as it guarded the western borders of Spanish territory in Flanders.Gravelines was taken by Henry le Despenser's English forces during the Norwich Crusade of 1383 and was that year destroyed on his orders as the English retreated towards Calais. Gravelines is in Nord. Add Gravelines and other destinations in France to your travel plans using our France trip itinerary planner.
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