NORD-PAS DE CALAIS
The French Metropolitan Region, Nord-Pas de Calais is located on the northern part of France. The region shares its border with Belgium. It is divided into two departments namely Nord and Pas-de-Calais.
The capital of this region is Lille. Nord-Pas de Calais is divided into 13 Arrondissements, 156 Cantons and 1,546 Communes. This region covers approximately 12,410 km2 of France.
Till the 20th century, this region was known by the name “Nord”. This region was earlier a part of the Southern Netherlands. It was in 1713, that this region became totally French. Artois and Flanders are two historical provinces that are included in the region.
This region is extremely densely populated. It is the fourth most populous region of France.
This region has been a strategic part of the European continent. French President Charles de Gaulle was born in Lille. In the past the city of lille has been conquered by the Celtic Belgae, the Romans, the barbarian Franks and also the Alamanni.
In the middle ages, the Pas-de-Calais department was made up of County of Boulogne and the County of Artois. Nord department was made up of the southern portions of the County of Flanders and the County of Hainaut.
MAJOR TOWNS OF NORD-PAS DE CALAIS
Some major towns of Nord-Pas de Calais region are Valenciennes, Douai, Lens, Bethune, Dunkirk, Maubeuge, Calais, Boulogne-sur-Mer and Arras.
ECONOMY OF NORD-PAS DE CALAIS
This region was a major center of heavy industry in the 19th century. It capitalized on coalmines, steel mills and traditional textile manufacture. This region was hit badly by World War I and World War II.
Recently, the economy was hit badly. The phase from 1975-1984 was quite bad as the region lost over 130,000 jobs. Over the last 20 years, the region has benefited from the investment made by European Union. An major development in the Nord-Pas de Calais in 1994 was the opening of the Channel Tunnel.
LANGUAGES SPOKEN IN NORD-PAS DE CALAIS
This region is primarily French speaking. Two significant minority language communities of the region are the western Flemings who speak Dutch languages’s West Flemish dialect and the Picards.
The region has been home to many immigrant workers and has been affected by repeated waves of immigrant workers such as Belgians,Poles, Italians and North Africans.
Last Updated on: October 31st, 2017