French Flanders

French Flanders


French Flanders ( _fr. La Flandre française; _nl. Frans-Vlaanderen) is a part of the historical, originally Dutch-speaking region Flanders in present-day France. The region today lies in the modern-day région of Nord-Pas de Calais, the "département" of Nord, and roughly corresponds to the "arrondissements" of Lille, Douai, and Dunkirk on the Belgian border.


French Flanders is mostly flat marshlands in the coal-rich area just south of the North Sea.French Flanders consists of two regions:
#French Westhoek to the northwest, lying between the Lys River and the North Sea, roughly the same area as the Arrondissement of Dunkirk
#Lille Flanders (French: "La Flandre Lilloise"; Dutch: "Rijsels-Vlaanderen"), the French parts of Romance Flanders (historically also Walloon Flanders) to the southeast, south of the Lys and now the arrondissements of Lille and Douai


The region was originally part of the feudal County of Flanders, then part of the Spanish Netherlands, in present-day Belgium. It was separated from the county in 1659 due to the Peace of the Pyrenees, which ended the French-Spanish conflict in the Thirty Years War, and other parts of the region were added in successive treaties in 1668 and 1678. The region was ceded to the Kingdom of France, and became part of the province of Flanders and Hainaut. The bulk became part of French the modern administrative Department of Nord, although some western parts of the region which separated in 1237 and became County of Artois before the cession to the French are now part of Pas-de-Calais.

During World War II, French Flanders referred to all of Nord-Pas de Calais which was first attached to military administration of German-occupied Belgium, then part of "Belgien-Nordfrankreich" under a Reichskommissar, and, finally part of a theoretical Reichsgau of Flanders.

Rich in coal, and bordering the North Sea, French Flanders was fought over numerous times between the middle ages and WWII.


The traditional language of northern French Flanders (Westhoek) is a dialect of the Dutch language known as West Flemish, specifically, a subdialect known as French Flemish, but there are few speakers today. The traditional language of southern French Flanders (Romance Flanders) is Picard (and its dialects such as "Ch'ti" or "Rouchi") and it is likewise seldom spoken. Standard French has largely replaced these regional languages.

ee also

*Nord (department)
*French Flemish
*French Netherlands
*Greater Netherlands
*Seventeen Provinces
*Burgundian Netherlands

ources and references

*"Nouveau Petit Larousse Illustré", 1952.
* [ French Flanders]
* [ Ethnologue Report for West Flemish]
* [ Flemish in France]
*Frenchtrans|Flandre française|2007-07-25

External links

* [ The Extent of Flemish in France in 1970, contains language maps]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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