Le Quesnoy and Mauberge!!

I updating this memorable post from visiting nearby family in the Nord dept 59 of my belle France. We took advantage of visiting older brother of my wife and decided to do short road warrior trips along the Belgian border. We came upon two picturesque towns of Le Quesnoy and Mauberge. This is their story as per my opinion. Hope you enjoy it as I.

I take you closer to family and times expent there for years since 1990. As usually the case with places so familiar and personal , pictures are minimum. Need to come back for them lol!!!  On this particular road warrior trip, 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.

 We were nearby by so why not do a run and see something new, this time in the 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 Nord (north).  And Le Quesnoy,  with it 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 Hôtel 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 near the Franco-Belgian border  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.

Mauberge pl jean mabuse MF PF twins Jun02

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 French 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. Followed by three years of occupation of 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:

The Zoo of Maubergehttp://www.zoodemaubeuge.fr/wp/

The city of Mauberge on its heritagehttps://ville-maubeuge.fr/la-patrimoine-maubeugeois/

The Sambre-Avesnois tourist office on Mauberge and the zoo: https://www.partagetonsecret.com/avoirafaire

The local Avesnois tourist office on Mauberge fortificationshttp://en.tourisme-avesnois.com/dont-miss/fortified-towns

The local towns and villages of the Avesnois on Mauberge heritage : http://villesetvillagesdelavesnois.org/maubeuge/maubeuge.html

Moving right along to Le Quesnoy,  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!

le quesnoy

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!

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.

The city was 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-mem-new-zealand-wwi jun02

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 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.

le-quesnoy-ramparts-fortifications jun02

Le Quesnoy fortification MF et PF jun02

Some webpages here to help you plan your trip to Le Quesnoy are:

The City of Le Quesnoy on its heritage: http://www.lequesnoy.fr/vivre-a-le-quesnoy/lhistoire-de-la-ville/

The Mormal country tourist office on Le Quesnoy: https://www.tourisme-paysdemormal.fr/visiter-quesnoy.html

The Avesnois tourist office on Le Quesnoy fortifications: http://en.tourisme-avesnois.com/dont-miss/fortified-towns

The local towns and villages of the Avesnois on Le Quesnoy heritage : http://villesetvillagesdelavesnois.org/lequesnoy/le_quesnoy.html

Hope it helps come over to this wonderful northern region of the Nord, 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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