1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers >
1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population
without double counting : residents of multiple communes (e.g.,
students and military personnel) only counted once.
DUNKIRK (/dʌnˈkɜːrk/ or /ˈdʌnkɜːrk/ ; French : Dunkerque,
pronounced ; Dutch : Duinkerke(n), pronounced ( listen )) is a
commune in the Nord department in northern
France . It lies 10
kilometres (6.2 mi) from the Belgian border. The population of the
city (commune) at the 2016 census was 91,412 inhabitants.
* 1 Etymology and language use
* 2 History
* 2.1 Middle Ages
* 2.2 Corsair base
World War I
World War I
World War II
World War II
* 2.4.1 Evacuation
* 2.4.2 Liberation
* 2.5 Postwar
* 3 Politics
* 3.1 Presidential elections 2nd round
* 4 Climate
* 5 Heraldry
* 6 Administration
* 7 Economy
* 8 Cuisine
* 9 Prototype metre
* 10 Tourist attractions
* 11 Transport
* 12 Sports
* 13 Notable residents
* 14 International relations
* 14.1 Twin towns – sister cities
* 14.2 Friendship links
* 15 See also
* 16 References
* 17 External links
ETYMOLOGY AND LANGUAGE USE
Linguistic evolution in
The name of
Dunkirk derives from
West Flemish dun(e) 'dune ' or 'dun
' and kerke 'church', which together means 'church in the dunes'.
Until the middle of the 20th century, the city was situated in the
French Flemish area; today the local
Flemish variety of the Dutch
language can still be heard, but has largely been supplanted by French
Dunkirk is the world's northernmost Francophone city (not
counting minor Canadian settlements such as
Fermont Quebec, which does
have French as a majority language , but is not classified as a city
Saint Eloi Church.
A fishing village arose late in the tenth century, in the originally
flooded coastal area of the
English Channel south of the Western
Scheldt , when the area was held by the Counts of Flanders , vassals
of the French Crown. About 960AD, Count Baldwin III had a town wall
erected in order to protect the settlement against
Viking raids. The
surrounding wetlands were drained and cultivated by the monks of
Bergues Abbey. The name Dunkirka was first mentioned in a tithe
privilege of 27 May 1067, issued by Count Baldwin V of Flanders .
Count Philip I (1157–1191) brought further large tracts of marshland
under cultivation, laid out the first plans to build a Canal from
Bergues and vested the
Dunkirkers with market rights .
In the late 13th century, when the Dampierre count Guy of Flanders
entered into the Franco-
Flemish War with his suzerain King Philippe IV
France , the citizens of
Dunkirk sided with the French against
their count, who at first was defeated at the 1297
Battle of Furnes ,
but reached de facto autonomy upon the victorious Battle of the Golden
Spurs five years later and exacted vengeance. Guy's son, Count Robert
III (1305–1322), nevertheless granted further city rights to
Dunkirk; his successor Count Louis I (1322–1346) had to face the
Peasant revolt of 1323–1328 , which was crushed by King Philippe VI
France at the 1328 Battle of Cassel , whereafter the Dunkirkers
again were affected by the repressive measures of their
Count Louis remained a loyal liensman of the French king upon the
outbreak of the Hundred Years\' War with
England in 1337, and
prohibited the maritime trade, which led to another revolt by the
Dunkirk citizens. After the count had been killed in the 1346 Battle
of Crécy , his son and successor Count Louis II of Flanders (1346 –
1384) signed a truce with the English; the trade again flourished and
the port was significantly enlarged. However, in the course of the
Western Schism from 1378, English supporters of
Pope Urban VI (the
Roman claimant) disembarked at Dunkirk, captured the city and flooded
the surrounding estates. They were ejected by King Charles VI of
France , but left great devastations in and around the town.
Upon the extinction of the Counts of Flanders with the death of Louis
II in 1384, Flanders was acquired by the Burgundian , Duke Philip the
Bold . The fortifications were again enlarged, including the
construction of a belfry daymark. As a strategic point,
always been exposed to political covetousness, by Duke Robert I of Bar
in 1395, by Louis de Luxembourg in 1435 and finally by the Austrian
archduke Maximilian I of Habsburg , who in 1477 married Mary of
Burgundy , sole heiress of late Duke
Charles the Bold
Charles the Bold . As Maximilian
was the son of Emperor Frederick III , all Flanders was immediately
seized by King Louis XI of
France . However, the archduke defeated the
French troops in 1479 at the Battle of Guinegate . When Mary died in
1482, Maximilian retained Flanders according to the terms of the 1482
Treaty of Arras . Dunkirk, along with the rest of Flanders, was
incorporated into the
Habsburg Netherlands and upon the 1581 secession
of the Seven United Netherlands , remained part of the Southern
Netherlands , which were held by
Habsburg Spain (Spanish Netherlands)
as Imperial fiefs.
Dunkirkers Statue of
Jean Bart in Dunkirk, the
most famous corsair of the city.
The area remained much disputed between the
Kingdom of Spain
Kingdom of Spain , the
United Netherlands , the
Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of France
. At the beginning of the Eighty Years\' War ,
Dunkirk was briefly in
the hands of the Dutch rebels, from 1577. Spanish forces under Duke
Alexander Farnese of Parma re-established Spanish rule in 1583 and it
became a base for the notorious Dunkirkers. The
lost their home port when the city was conquered by the French in 1646
but Spanish forces recaptured the city in 1652. In 1658, as a result
of the long war between
France and Spain, it was captured after a
siege by Franco-English forces following the battle of the Dunes . The
city along with
Fort-Mardyck was awarded to
England in the peace the
following year as agreed in the Franco-English alliance against Spain.
It came under French rule when King
Charles II of England
Charles II of England sold it to
France for £320,000 on 17 October 1662. The French government
developed the town as a fortified port. The town's existing defences
were adapted to create ten bastions. The port was expanded in the
1670s by the construction of a basin that could hold up to thirty
warships with a double lock system to maintain water levels at low
tide. The basin was linked to the sea by a channel dug through coastal
sandbanks secured by two jetties. This work was completed by 1678. The
jetties were defended a few years later by the construction of five
forts, Château d'Espérance, Château Vert, Grand Risban, Château
Gaillard, and Fort de Revers. An additional fort was built in 1701
called Fort Blanc. The jetties, their forts, and the port facilities
were demolished in 1713 under the terms of the
Treaty of Utrecht .
During the reign of King Louis XIV , a large number of commerce
raiders once again made their base at Dunkirk.
Jean Bart was the most
famous. The main character (and possible real prisoner) in the famous
Man in the Iron Mask by
Alexandre Dumas was arrested at Dunkirk.
The eighteenth-century Swedish privateers and pirates Lars Gathenhielm
and his wife Ingela Hammar , are known to have sold their ill-gotten
gains in Dunkirk. The
Treaty of Paris (1763)
Treaty of Paris (1763) between
France and Great
Britain ending the Seven Years\' War (1756–1763), included a clause
restricting French rights to fortify Dunkirk, to allay British fears
of it being used as an invasion base to cross the English Channel.
DUNKIRK IN WORLD WAR I
In January, 1916, spy hysteria broke out in Dunkirk. The writer
Robert W. Service
Robert W. Service , then a war correspondent for the
Toronto Star ,
was mistakenly arrested as a spy and narrowly avoided being executed
out of hand. On 1 January 1918, the
United States Navy
United States Navy established a
naval air station to operate seaplanes during the First World War
(1914–1918). The base closed shortly after the Armistice of 11
November 1918 .
During the war,
Dunkirk was heavily attacked by the largest gun of
the world, the German 'Lange Max '. On a regular basis, heavy shells
weighing approximately 750kg were fired from
Belgium ) to
Dunkirk, which is about 45 – 50 km away.
DUNKIRK IN WORLD WAR II
Battle of Dunkirk
Battle of Dunkirk ,
Dunkirk evacuation , and Siege of
Dunkirk evacuation Film reenactment of British
troops retreating from
Dunkirk in 1940.
During the Second World War (1939–1945), in the May 1940 Battle of
France , the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in
France aiding the
French were cut off from the rest of the
French Army by the German
advance. Encircled by the Germans, they retreated to the area around
the port of Dunkirk. For years, it was assumed that Adolf Hitler
ordered the German Army to stop the attack, favouring bombardment by
Luftwaffe . However, according to the Official War Diary of Army
Group A , its commander,
Gerd von Rundstedt
Gerd von Rundstedt , ordered
the halt. Hitler merely validated the order several hours after the
fact. This lull in the action gave the British a few days to evacuate
by sea and fortify defences.
Winston Churchill , the British Prime
Minister , ordered any ship or boat available, large or small, to
collect the stranded soldiers. 338,226 men (including 123,000 French
soldiers) were evacuated – the miracle of Dunkirk, as Churchill
called it. It took over 900 vessels to evacuate the BEF, with
two-thirds of those rescued embarking via the harbour, and over
100,000 taken off the beaches. More than 40,000 vehicles as well as
massive amounts of other military equipment and supplies were left
behind, their value being regarded as less than that of trained
fighting men. The British evacuation of
Dunkirk through the English
Channel was codenamed
Operation Dynamo . Forty thousand Allied
soldiers (some who carried on fighting after the official evacuation)
were captured or forced to make their own way home through a variety
of routes including via neutral Spain.
Dunkirk surroundings, during the Allied attempt to
Dunkirk in 1944.
The city was again contested in 1944, with the 2nd Canadian Infantry
Division attempting to liberate the city in September, as Allied
forces surged northeast after their victory in the Battle of Normandy
. However, German forces refused to relinquish their control of the
city, which had been converted into a fortress. The German garrison
there was "masked" by Allied troops, notably 1st Czechoslovak Armoured
Brigade . During the
German occupation ,
Dunkirk was largely destroyed
by Allied bombings. The artillery siege of
Dunkirk was directed on the
final day of the war by pilots from
No. 652 Squadron RAF , and No. 665
Squadron RCAF . The fortress under command of German Admiral Friedrich
Frisius eventually unconditionally surrendered to the commander of the
Alois Liška , on 9 May 1945.
THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it .
On 14 December 2002, the Norwegian auto carrier Tricolor collided
with the Bahamian -registered Kariba and sank off
causing a hazard to navigation in the
English Channel .
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS 2ND ROUND
Dunkirk has an oceanic climate , with cool winters and warm summers.
According to the
Köppen Climate Classification
Köppen Climate Classification system,
Dunkirk has a
marine west coast climate , abbreviated "Cfb" on climate maps.
Summers are averaging around 21 °C (70 °F), being significantly
influenced by the marine currents.
Climate data for
RECORD HIGH °C (°F)
AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F)
DAILY MEAN °C (°F)
AVERAGE LOW °C (°F)
RECORD LOW °C (°F)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES)
AVERAGE RAINY DAYS
AVERAGE SNOWY DAYS
The arms of
Dunkirk are blazoned :
Per fess Or and argent, a lion passant sable armed and langued gules,
and a dolphin naiant azure crested, barbed, finned and tailed gules.
Full achievement of the arms of
Dunkirk in the arrondissement of
The commune has grown substantially by absorbing several neighbouring
* 1970: Merger with Malo-les-Bains (which had been created by being
Dunkirk in 1881)
* 1972: Fusion with
Petite-Synthe and Rosendaël (the latter had
been created by being detached from
Téteghem in 1856)
* 1980: Fusion-association with Mardyck (which became an associated
commune , with a population of 372 in 1999)
* 1980: A large part of
Petite-Synthe is detached from
* 2003: Project of fusion with
Saint-Pol-sur-Mer (commune created by
its territory being detached from
Petite-Synthe in 1877). On 19
December 2003, the municipal councils of
Dunkirk and Saint-Pol-sur-Mer
decided in favour of a fusion-association, which would create a new
entity with a population of 94,187. The prefect requested a referendum
, although this procedure was not mandatory (it became mandatory on 1
January 2005). The referendum took place on 5 December 2004, actually
covering three communes: Dunkerque,
Saint-Pol-sur-Mer and Fort-Mardyck
. Although the yes won with 54% of the votes, it did not gather 25% of
the potential electorate, as required by the law. The prefect rejected
the fusion proposal as a consequence.
Dunkirk has the third-largest harbour in France, after those of Le
Marseille . As an industrial city it depends heavily on the
steel , food processing , oil-refining , ship-building and chemical
The cuisine of
Dunkirk closely resembles
Flemish cuisine ; perhaps
one of the best known dishes is coq à la bière – chicken in a
creamy beer sauce.
History of the metre
History of the metre The free-standing belfry –
the northerly end of meridianal survey of 1792–9
In June 1792 the French astronomers
Jean Baptiste Joseph Delambre and
Pierre François André Méchain set out to measure the meridian arc
Barcelona , two cities lying on approximately
the same longitude as each other and also the longitude through Paris.
The belfry was chosen as the reference point in Dunkirk.
Using this measurement and the latitudes of the two cities they could
calculate the distance between the
North Pole and the
classical French units of length and hence produce the first prototype
metre which was defined as being one ten millionth of that distance.
The definitive metre bar, manufactured from platinum, was presented to
the French legislative assembly on 22 June 1799.
Dunkirk was the most easterly cross-channel measuring point for the
Anglo-French Survey (1784–1790) , which used trigonometry to
calculate the precise distance between the
Paris Observatory and the
Royal Greenwich Observatory . Sightings were made of signal lights at
Dover Castle from the
Dunkirk Belfry, and vice versa.
* The Musée Portuaire displays exhibits of images about the history
and presence of the port.
* The Musée des Beaux-Arts has a large collection of Flemish,
Italian and French paintings and sculptures.
* The Carnival of Dunkirk
The Tour du Leughenaer (fr) (the Liar's Tower)
Dunkirk Town Hall
Malo-les-Bains beach front
Dunkirk has a ferry with the firm DFDS with regular services each day
to England. The
Gare de Dunkerque railway station offers connections
Gare de Calais-Ville ,
Gare de Lille Flandres
Gare de Lille Flandres , Arras and Paris,
and several regional destinations in France. The railway line from
De Panne and
Belgium , is closed and has been
dismantled in places.
Dunkirk's public transit service offers free public transport on
weekends; and starting in September 2018 it will be free every day.
USL Dunkerque , French football club, currently playing in the
Four Days of Dunkirk (or Quatre Jours de Dunkerque) is an
important elite professional road bicycle racing event.
* Stage 2 of the 2007 Tour de
France departed from Dunkirk.
Jean Bart , naval commander and privateer
Marvin Gakpa , footballer
Robert Malm , footballer
Jean-Paul Rouve , actor
François Rozenthal , ice hockey player
Maurice Rozenthal , ice hockey player
Djoumin Sangaré , footballer
Tancrède Vallerey , writer
KioShiMa , CSGO player
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in
TWIN TOWNS – SISTER CITIES
Dunkirk is twinned with:
Krefeld , North Rhine-Westphalia,
Germany since 15 June 1974
Middlesbrough , England,
United Kingdom since 12 April 1976
* Gaza , Palestine since 2 April 1996
Latvia since 1960
Liberec , Czech Republic
Rostock , Mecklenburg-Vorpommern,
Germany since 9 April 2000
* Vitória , Espírito Santo,
Brazil since unknown date
Corumbá , Mato Grosso do Sul,
Brazil since unknown date
Ramat HaSharon ,
Israel since 15 September 1997
China since 25–26 September 2000
Dunkirk has co-operation agreements with:
* Dartford ,
Kent , England,
United Kingdom since March 1988
Thanet , Kent, England,
United Kingdom since 18 June 1993
Hortense Clémentine Tanvet
Treaty of Dunkirk
* ^ Pul, Paul Van (2007). In Flanders Flooded Fields: Before Ypres
There Was Yser. Pen and Sword. p. 89. ISBN 978-1473814318 . The French
name of Dunkerque in fact is derived from the
Flemish Duinkerke, which
means 'church in the dunes'!
* ^ "Correspondence and papers of the first Duke of Ormonde,
chiefly on Irish and English public affairs: ref. MS. Carte 218,
fol(s). 5 – date: 26 December 1662" (Description of contents of
carte papers). Oxford University, Bodleian Library, Special
Collections and Western Manuscripts: Carte Papers. 2006. Retrieved 17
* ^ "> 3D >
Dunkirk Sea Forts". Fortified Places. Retrieved
* ^ Van Wyen, Adrian O. (1969). Naval Aviation in World War I.
Washington, D.C.: Chief of Naval Operations. p. 60.
* ^ Lange Max Museum
* ^ (in Czech) Czech army page Archived 2007-12-02 at the Wayback
* ^ "Dunkerque,
France Köppen Climate Classification
(Weatherbase)". Weatherbase. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
* ^ "Meteo 59-62". Archived from the original on October 18, 2013.
Retrieved April 18, 2013.
* ^ "La Meteo". Retrieved April 18, 2013.
* ^ Adler, Ken (2002). The measure of all things: The seven year
odyssey that transformed the world. Abacus. ISBN 0-349-11507-9 .
* ^ Bliss, Laura (25 October 2017). "This Petite French Town Turned
a Stadium Boondoggle into Free Public Transportation". CityLab . The
Atlantic. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
* ^ A B C D E F G H I J "
Dunkirk International" (in French).
Archived from the original on November 9, 2007. Retrieved December 17,
* ^ "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community
Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 2013-07-05. Retrieved
* ^ "Town Twinning".
Middlesbrough Council. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
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