The Nord: Le Quesnoy and Mauberge!

And continuing my saga of the Nord or north of my belle France I take you closer to family and times expent there for years since 1990. As usually the case with places so familiar and personal , photos are minimum. Need to come back for them lol!!!

On this particular Sunday, I like to take you to visit two nice cities along the Franco-Belgian border, that is Le Quesnoy and Mauberge in the department 59 of the Nord, in the region of Hauts de France.

I have written on them a bit before such as from this writing:  We stay in the way Nord to see two small towns ,Mauberge with its wall fortifications going back to 1676, the museum les Corps de Garde, and the nice places to eat with good beers of the north. We have Le Quesnoy,it has fortified ramparts, they are 12 km of walls in line around a fortified wall intact of 3,5 km in circle with an ingenious systems of wells.  A belltower or Beffroi of 48 carillons,and a Hotel de Ville city govt building from 1700, and a most vivid a memorial to New Zealanders who fought here in WWI ,and now Le Quesnoy is forever linked to the city of Cambridge in New Zealand. A vivid nice memorial for all to see and not forget.

And I go on with some update wonderful information to help you visit these wonderful frontier towns.

Maubeuge is a town in the Nord department 59 in Hauts-de-France region. The Franco-Belgian border is only 7 km north of the city. The province passes to the House of Austria from 1478 to 1513, and to the House of Spain from 1513 to 1678. Maubeuge was definitively attached to France by the Treaty of Nijmegen of 1678, ratified by King Louis XIV a few days later, and by the King of Spain Carlos II , a few days further on.

A bit of history I like

During the French revolution in 1793, the siege was placed before the city by the Austrians of the Prince of Saxe-Coburg. A few months later it was the Battle of the Sambre, in 1794, which took over Maubeuge, and ended with the victory of the revolutionaries, thus securing the conquest of Belgium.

Following the defeat of the Napoleonic armies in Leipzig in October 1813, the coalition forces invaded France. The stronghold of Maubeuge resisted victoriously in 1814 to the attacks of the Duke of Saxe-Weimar troops. During the Hundred Days, Napoleon’s troops prepared here for the nearby Battle of Waterloo. Three days after this defeat, on June 21, 1815, Maubeuge was besieged by 12 000 Prussians and had to surrender. Following three years of occupation by the Prussian and then Russian troops.

In 1678, the signing of the Treaty of Nijmegen ended the war in the United Provinces. This treaty allows France to fill a fortified border in the north of its territory. This line of fortifications is almost identical to our current border with Belgium (from Dunkirk to Givet). The ensemble imagined for Maubeuge is composed of a line of ramparts of a height of ten meters flanked by seven bastions in Roll-ons. To close the space between two bastions, a half-moon belt is added (completely surrounded by ditches). The construction of this ensemble lasted from 1679 to 1685 in the north, on the place Vauban, leaning against the wall the Porte de Mons, a stone work surmounted by attics as of the Mansart style. Built in 1682 with materials of local origin two buildings from the military heritage have survived; the powder shop located near the rue de la Croix exhibits a vaulted room covered with a thick earth mount. The Arsenal built between 1678 and 1689 develops a long silhouette on three levels (103 meters long by 12 meters wide). This building is part of the barracks planned at the time to house the troops of the garrison.

In WWI will re-test the city until finally liberated by the British on 9 November 1918. WWII, on the other hand, had a disastrous effect on the city destroying the heart of Maubeuge at more than 90%. On September 2, 1944, the city was liberated from the Nazis occupier by the American’ 3rd Armoured Division known as SpearHead , led by Gen Maurice Rose.

The town other than fortications has a nice Zoo , to visit is worth the detour.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip to nice Mauberge are

City of Mauberge on heritage

Tourist office of Mauberge on heritage

Offical Zoo of Mauberge

Info, contact on the tourist office are Tél  +33 (0) 3 27 62 11 93, and email tourisme.maubeuge@gmail.com

Tourist office of the region Avesnois on things to see

Moving right along to Le Quesnoy,  also a town in the Nord department 59 in the Hauts-de-France region. It has kept intact its characteristic ramparts which show the evolution of the art of Defence of the 17C (the so-called Spanish era) at the beginning of the 20C passing by the famous Vauban who changed its appearance. Belgium is 10 km away!

The border town undergoes a siege by the Austrian army of Cobourg and falls in 1793 it was retaken in 1794 by the troops of Schérer after a severe siege under a downpour rain.The news of the capture of the city is transmitted in a few hours by the telegraph Chappe, a world premiere, to the Committee of Parisian Public Salvation which welcomes it.

le quesnoy

le quesnoy

The city taken in 1914 by the German troops suffered a severe occupation during four years, that after a difficult approach by the Valley of the Ecaillon, the city was liberated in 1918 by a New Zealand Division. In 1923, the New Zealand monument was inaugurated. The Mayor Daniel Vincent welcomes Marshal Joffre, Lord Milner (one of the English signatories to the Treaty of Versailles) and Sir Allen, representative of New Zealand. The communal cemetery of the Quesnoy and its extension host 189 war graves of the Commonwealth War Graves Soldier’s Commission who died in November 1918, of which 49 are New Zealanders.

le quesnoy

A bit of history I like

The city was under Hainaut, Burgundian, and Spanish occupation and or control .Before the end of the Fronde in 1654, the city is taken by the Royal French Army of Turenne. The city that had never been French became it for the great pleasure of the court. The young king Louis XIV receives the city as a gift of his coronation.

In WWII, once defeated the Algerian Tirailleurs Battalion, which defended Jolimetz with a few tanks in support after the Nazis’ breakthrough through the defences of the Sambre, the 5th Panzer stood in front of the ramparts of the Quesnoy on 18 May 1940 towards the end of In the afternoon. The Nazis of the 5th Panzer, who are preparing a new attack with tanks and heavy artillery, propose to the defenders to give their surrender, which they accept in the afternoon.

Some webpages here to help you plan your trip are

City of Le Quesnoy on heritage

Tourist office of Le Quesnoy on heritage

Tourist office of the Avesnois on Le Quesnoy

Hope it helps come over to this wonderful northern region of France, unique and different but still the my belle France. Mauberge and Le Quesnoy are those town that are full of history and architecture but seldom gets recognition by the visitors. Hope it helps you discovered them

And remember, happy travel, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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