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Tournay is very fertile, producing much corn. Lime is found in abundance; it is quarried in many places, and exported far and wide.
About 5 miles S. E. of Tournay, on the right of the post road to Ath, after passing the village of Bourquembrays, lies the battle field of Fontenoy, where the English under the Duke of Cumberland, with the Dutch and Austrians, were defeated in 1745, by the French under Marshal Saxe, who was at the time so ill as to be unable to sit on horseback, or to wear armour, and was therefore carried in a litter. Though the result was unfavourable to the English, the skill shown by their commanders and the bravery of the troops were highly creditable to them. The fortune of the day was in some measure decided by the bravery of the Irish battalions in the pay of France, who were driven abroad at that period by the political state of Ireland. Bary, St.
Lewze, St. A town of 5000 inhab.
ATH, ST.-(Inns: Cigne, good; Paon d'Or.)-Ath on the Dender, with 8500 inhab., is a fortress upon which Vauban employed his utmost skill, and for which, since the battle of Waterloo, modern art has done all that is practicable to increase its strength. It is a flourishing manufacturing town.
The principal buildings are the Hôtel de Ville, a structure of the time of the Archdukes Albert and Isabella (1600), and the Church of St. Julien, founded in 1393, destroyed by lightning, except its E. end, in 1817, and since rebuilt, but without its tall steeple. The most ancient inonument in the town is a tower called Tour du Burbard, which probably dates from
About 6 m. from Ath, not far off the road, is Beloeil, the patrimonial estate of the Prince de Ligne, celebrated as a diplomatist, a soldier, and an author. He gives in his letters a long description of his country seat and gardens; they were laid out in the formal French taste by le Nôtre, and excited the admiration of Delille, who
mentions this spot in his poem Les Jardins, as —
"Beloeil tout à la fois magnifique et champêtre."
Both Voltaire and Delille visited the Prince in his retirement here. The Castle is an ancient Gothic edifice, built in 1146, surrounded by water. It contains some interesting historical relics and works of art; paintings by Dürer, Holbein, Van Dyk, Velazquez, L. da Vinci, Salv. Rosa; also a collection of firearms, from their invention. The number and length of the avenues and high hornbeam hedges, with windows cut in them, intersecting the grounds in all directions, form the singular and characteristic feature of the Park.
The cultivation of the mulberry and silkworm has been introduced at Meslin l'Evêque, near Ath, apparently with good success. An extensive establishment (Magnanerie) was formed here by the government of the king of Holland.
24 posts from Ath, on the post road to Brussels, is Enghien, a town of 3680 inhabs. It was an ancient possession of the houses of Luxemburg and Bourbon, but was sold by Henry IV., king of France, to the Duke d'Aremberg, in 1607, and still remains in the possession of his family. The Château of the Duke was destroyed at the French Revolution; but the beautiful park and gardens deserve notice. They served, it is said, as a model for the famous gardens of Versailles, and are laid out in the same formal style, with avenues, temples, statues, canals, basins of water, &c. 7 avenues of beech and horsechestnuts diverge from a temple in the park. A fine conservatory has recently been added. Maffles, St. Attre, St. Brugelette, St. Lens, St.
Here the railway joins that from Valenciennes and Mons; for the rest of the route to Brussels see Route 32.
CALAIS TO COURTRAI, BY DUNKIRK AND
58 kilomètres and 13 Belg. posts= 83 Eng. m. Road good, but paved. Diligences twice a day to Dunkirk,
in 5 hours.
24 Gravelines. A fortress and desolate-looking small town, with grass growing in its streets: it has 3000 inhab. "It is," to use the words of an old writer, "very strong, by reason that they can drown it round in 4 hours, so as no land shall be within a mile of it." It is surrounded by a plain, once a vast marsh, below the level of the sea, nearly 20 miles long by 12 broad; almost all this can be laid under water in case of need, to ward off a hostile invasion on this side of France. At present this district supports a population of 60,000. It is protected from the sea by the dunes or sand-hills, and is gradually being drained by its inhabitants. It would cost the arrondissement 10 millions of francs to repair the damage caused by admitting the waters upon the land.
The Emperor Charles V. here paid a visit to Henry VIII. on his return from his interview with Francis I. at the Field of the Cloth of Gold, 1520.
Beyond Gravelines the road is paved. 20 DUNKIRK; Fr. DUNKERQUE (H. de Flandres, very good, and not dear; table d'hôte at 6, good, 23 fr.; breakfast with eggs, 1 fr. 75 c. ;-Chaperon Rouge), a considerable fortified town and seaport, with 25,400 inhab. Large sums have been expended in endeavouring to clear the mouth of the harbour from the bar of sand which obstructs it, by means of basins and sluices, which are filled by the flowing of the tide, and discharged at low water, so as to scour a channel through the mud. They are said to have failed in producing the results anticipated. Dunkirk nevertheless is the best harbour which France possesses in the N. Sea, and ranks fourth in the value of its exports and imports of all the seaports in the
kingdom. It serves as the outlet for the manufacturing district of the Dépt. du Nord. "It is one of the cleanest towns in France, with wide streets, well paved; living cheap; baths, very good."-D. C.
The Quai, usually crowded with vessels, and Pier, extending far into the sea, are worth seeing; so is the Corinthian portico of the church of St. Eloi, a handsome but most incongruous frontispiece to a Gothic building; in front of it is a fine detached Gothic belfry, containing the chimes. The interior of the church is fine: it has a double side aisle.
There is an English Protestant church, Rue des Sœurs Blanches—a proof of the number of British residents.
A statue of Jean Bart, a famous seacaptain, born here (temp. Louis XIV.), stands in the great market-place.
Dunkirk owes its origin to a chapel built by St. Eloi in the 7th century among the dunes or sand-hills, and thence comes its name—“ Church of the Dunes." Here was equipped the Flemish division of the Spanish Armada, designed to combine in the invasion of England under the com. mand of the Prince of Parma; but that skilful general, perhaps foreseeing the result, refrained from putting out to sea. Dunkirk, after having been hardly won by the English, under Oliver Cromwell, from the Spaniards, 1658, was basely sold by Charles II. to Louis XIV. for 6 millions of livres, in 1662.
By the treaty of Utrecht (1715), the French were compelled to demolish the town and fortifications; and an English commissioner was actually sent hither to ascertain that the stipulations of the treaty were complied with to the letter; a source of deep humiliation to French pride, but of more immediate misery to the poor inhabitants. port and fortifications were not restored and rebuilt until 1740.
The country around is little better than a dreary waste of sand-hills, thrown up by the wind. It was in the neighbourhood of them that Turenne de
feated, in 1658, the Spanish army, under enjoy the view. Cassel is an ancient Don John of Austria and the great town of 4234 inhab. Here at length the Condé, who had sided at that time country becomes more interesting. Caswith the enemies of France in the bat- sel is most agreeably situated, comtle of the Dunes. The siege of the manding one of the most extensive town had been commenced by Maza- views in Europe. Although it has no rin, at the dictation of Cromwell, whose striking features, it cannot be contemfleet blockaded it by sea. The Spaniards, plated without deep interest, as exunprovided with artillery, advanced to hibiting on a clear day an unusually meet the French, by marching close to extensive tract of highly cultivated and Condé remonstrated in vain productive country. Its most remarkwith Don John against a measure so able feature is, that the horizon is perilous: "Vous ne connoissez pas, almost always equally distant in every M. de Turenne;" said he, "on ne fait direction, as no rising ground interpas impunément des fautes devant un rupts the sight. It extends over the si grand homme;" and just as the ac- flat and fertile plains of Flanders, and tion began, he turned to the young as far as the white cliffs of England, Duke of Gloucester, and asked if he into 3 different kingdoms; includes 32 had ever been in a battle before. "No," towns and 100 villages. St. Omer, answered the Duke. "Then you will Dunkirk, Ypres, Ostend, and the beausee one lost in half an hour." The tiful steeple of Hazebrouck are the action was commenced by 6000 En- most prominent objects: no fresh water glish soldiers of Cromwell, commanded is visible in this vast expanse. Mount by Lockhart, his ambassador, who Cassel is only 800 English ft. high it formed the left wing of the French was one of the principal signal stations army, and distinguished themselves of the great trigonometrical survey car eminently their charge carried every-ried on during the reign of Napoleon. thing before it, and contributed not a A small map of the country visible little to the result. The Duke of York may be purchased on the spot for 20 (afterwards James II.) fought in the sous. opposite ranks, at the head of a regiment of cavaliers; and it was from them that their fellow-countrymen suffered
The Spaniards lost 4000 men, and Dunkirk surrendered ten days after in consequence of this defeat.
There is a canal from Dunkirk to Furnes, Ostend, and Bruges, traversed daily by a barge.
Diligences daily to Ostend. Steamers to London and Hamburg every Saturday; to St. Petersburg, the 1st and 15th of every month.
A railway connects Dunkirk with the line from Calais to Lille and Paris at Hazebrouck, passing by Bergues and Cassel. Its length is 41 kilomètres=25 miles.
8 Bergues, St. (see below).
7 Cassel, St. (Inns: H. Cassel; H. du Sauvage.) It is worth while, in fine weather, to stop here for a short time to
The gardens and grounds of the late General Vandamme, who was born here, are commonly shown to strangers, and are very tastefully laid out. The stable is worthy of remark on account of its size.
"Flemish is the general language of the entire population in the northern parts of the Dépt. du Nord: it is spoken at Cassel, and as far as Watel." G. C. L.
10 Hazebrouck Stat. (See Rte. 15.).
Route to Courtrai continued by railway to
Bergues (Inn: Poste-small, but cheap), a small and poor fortified town of 6000 inhab., situated on an elevation, surrounded by marshes and salt lakes, called Möere, formerly waste and insalubrious; but having been drained within a few years, by the construction of hydraulic works, they are now becoming more productive and less un
wholesome. Though only a fortress | pulpit, and a picture representing, of the third class, the possession of compartments, the story of the Fall of Bergues has been deemed of such con- Man, attributed to Van Eyck, but sequence in every war, that it has been bearing the date 1525, and probably 8 times taken and retaken, and 9 times by Peter Porbus. It is well coloured, pillaged, in the course of 8 centuries. and a faithful representation of the huIt has a picturesque beffroi 150 ft. high. man form, but without grace or beauty. A very important corn market is held A flat stone in the choir marks the here every Monday. The gates are tomb of Jansen, founder of the sect closed at 10, after which neither ingress called Jansenists, so long persecuted by nor egress is allowed. the Jesuits. He was Bishop of Ypres, and died 1638.
The French frontier and customhouse is reached at Oest Cappel: here the "acquit à caution" (p. 107.) must be delivered up.
The country through which the road passes is most fertile, enclosed with hedges, and abounding in wood, which gives it, though flat, a pleasing English character. Large quantities of hops are cultivated in this district.
12 Rousbrugge, a Belgian village. 2 YPRES. (Inns: A la Châtellenie; Tête d'Or.) A fortified town of 15,750 inhab., in a fertile plain. The marshes around it have, for the most part, been drained, and it is consequently less unhealthy than formerly. The kind of linen called diaper, that is, d'Ypres, was made here: the English word comes from the corrupt pronunciation of the name of the place where it was manufactured. Thread is the principal article made here at present.
The extent and prosperity of its manufactures had raised the number of its inhabs. to 200,000 souls in the 14th century, at which period 4000 looms were constantly at work.
Its importance has long since departed; and the only relic which remains to prove its former greatness is the Town House, called Les Halles, in the great market-place, a building of prodigious size, and in a rich style of Gothic architecture, surmounted by a stately tower in the centre. It was begun in 1230, and continued till 1342. The E. end, supported on pillars, was added in 1730. It was, in fact, a cloth hall, devoted to the service of the cloth manufacturers in olden times. Close to it is the Cathedral of St. Martin, a Gothic edifice of considerable size, but not of great beauty. It contains a carved
2 MENIN (Inn: Faucon), on the Lys. Another frontier fortress, with 7640 inhabs., very dismal and lifeless; it lies quite close to the boundary line of France, which actually touches the glacis.
On the way to Courtrai is the vil lage of Bisseghem, near which the Duke of York was defeated in 1793, by General Souham, and lost 65 pieces of cannon.
COURTRAI, (Flemish CORTRYK). Inns: Poste, called also the Damier, good and cheap; table d'hôte at 12; Lion d'Or.
A manufacturing town of 19,500 inhabs., on the Lys, remarkable for its cleanliness, and for the table damask and other linen made here, which is sent to all parts of Europe. An immense quantity of flax of very fine quality is cultivated in the surrounding plain, and supplies not only the manufactories of the town, but many of the markets of Europe. There are large bleaching-grounds in the neighbourhood, the waters of the Lys being supposed to possess qualities favourable for bleaching, as well as for the steeping of flax. The first Flemish cloth manufacture was established here in 1260.
The principal buildings are the Hôtel de Ville in the market-place, a plain but neat Gothic edifice, rebuilt 1526. It contains two very singu lar carved chimney-pieces, containing figures of the Virtues and Vices, basreliefs of subjects relating to the municipal and judicial destination of the building, and to events in the early history of the town, including a procession of women on horseback, holding a banner in one hand and a dagger in
the other. Many of them may be styled caricatures in bas-relief. They bear the date of 1587 and 1595; the statues of Charles V., and of the Archduke Albert and Isabella, occupy conspicuous places.
The Church of Notre Dame is a Gothic edifice, founded 1238, by Baldwin, Count of Flanders, and Empr. of Constantinople, but modernised, except a small portion on one side, and lined with marble. It contains behind the high altar a celebrated painting by Vandyk, the Raising of the Cross. The drawing is bold and powerful, reminding one of Rubens; only the colouring is inferior to his in freshness. current story, that the canons of the church, being dissatisfied with the picture when sent home, abused it before the artist's face, and that he in consequence refused to paint any others for them, after they had confessed their error, is rendered doubtful, by the discovery at Ghent of Vandyk's autograph letter, acknowledging with thanks the receipt of the money for the painting, as well as of some goffres, a thin sweet cake, for which Courtrai is still celebrated, presented to him by the canons. Here is a beautiful tabernacle or shrine of carved stonework, in the richest Gothic style,-date probably end of the 15th century,- for holding the sacrament. Courtrai once boasted of a curious clock, in which 2 figures, male and female, came out alternately to strike the hours. This gave rise to the saying applied to a husband and wife who are never seen together: "Ils s'accordent comme Jacquemart (i. e. Jaken (Jem) op de markt) et sa femme." Charles the Bold carried it to Dijon in 1382.
Under the walls of Courtrai was fought the famous Battle of Spurs, 1302 (not to be confounded with the "Battle of Spurs," in which Henry VIII. put the French chivalry to flight, 1513), gained by an army of 20,000 Flemings, principally weavers of Ghent and Bruges, under the Count de Namur, over the French under the Count d'Artois, in which the latter was slain, and with him 1200 knights, while several thousand common soldiers were
700 gilt spurs
left dead on the field.
Railroads to Ghent and to Lille (see R. 15.), with a branch to Tournay (p. 113.), turning off at Mouscron, where the Belgian Custom House is.
See Route 16.
A well-appointed omnibus runs daily from Dunkirk to Ostend, in direct com. munication with the railway trains, in 5 hrs. Avoid the trekschuit from Dunkirk to Ostend.
The nearest way from Dunkirk to Furnes, when the state of the tide permits, is across the sands by the sea-side; but they are sometimes quick. At the extremity of the sands, about 4 m. from Furnes, is the boundary of France and Belgium, and the station of the customhouse.
22 Furnes (Flemish, Veuren). A sickly town, owing to the malaria from the surrounding marshes: 4600 inhab. A great part of the linen manufactured in Belgium is sold here at large fairs held three times a year.