Nord-Pas de Calais (French pronunciation: [nɔʁ pa də kalɛ] ( listen); Dutch: Noord-Nauw van Kales), Nord for short, is the northmaist o the 27 regions o Fraunce. It consists o the depairtments o Nord an Pas-de-Calais, in the north an haes a border wi Belgium. Maist o the region wis ance pairt o the Soothren Netherlands, athin the Law Kintras, an gradually became pairt o Fraunce atween 1477 an 1678. The historical provinces nou included in Nord-Pas-de-Calais are Artois, Boulonnais, Calaisis, Cambraisis, French Flanders, French Hainaut an portions o northren Picardy, an the regional nickname Bassin Minier or Meiners-Bassen (Miners' or Minin Basin in the region's twa leids) derived frae historically lairge minin deposits. These provincial designations are still frequently uised bi the indwallers, which affers a sense o civic pride.

Banner o Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Kintra Fraunce
 • PresesDaniel Percheron (PS)
 • Total12414 km2 (4,793 sq mi)
 • Total4,022,000
 • Density320/km2 (840/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
NUTS RegionFR3

Wi its 323.7 fowk per km2 on juist ower 12,400 km2, it is a densely populatit region, haein some fower million indwallers—seiven percent o Fraunce's tot population, makkin it the fowert maist muckle region in the kintra—83% o whom live in urban communities. Its admeenistrative centre an lairgest ceety is Lille. The seicont lairgest ceety is Calais, which serves as a major continental economic/transportation hub wi Dover o Great Breetain 42 kilometres (26 mi) away; the White Cliffs o Dover are visible frae Calais on a clear day. Ither major touns include Valenciennes, Lens, Douai, Béthune, Dunkirk, Maubeuge, Boulogne, Arras, Cambrai an Saint-Omer.

The name Nord-Pas-de-Calais combines the names o the constituent depairtments o Nord (literally 'North', the northmaist depairtment o Fraunce) an Pas-de-Calais ('Strait o Calais', the French name o the Strait o Dover). The regional council, houiver, spells the name Nord-Pas de Calais.[1]

The northren pairt o the region wis historically a pairt o Flanders, wi Douai (Dutch: Dowaai) as its caipital. The minority who wish tae evidence the historical links the region haes wi Belgium an the Netherlands prefer tae caw this region the French Law Kintras, which an aw means French Netherlands in French (French: Pays-Bas français; Dutch: Franse Nederlanden or Franse Lage Landen).[2] Various petitions, which hae impact on the population but no on the politeecians nor the local govrenments,[3] are currently takin place in favour o renamin.[4]

Ither alternative names are Région Flandre(s)-Artois, Hauts-de-France, ('Upper Fraunce') an Picardie-du-Nord ('Northren Picardy'). Even the regional nickname Bassin des Minieres is gainin popularity an the momentum for a regional renamin wants less representation o bein "French" an mair o bein "Belgian", while the fowk are patriotic tae Fraunce but proud tae be Flemish.



While the region is predominantly French-speakin, it an aw haes twa significant minority leid communities: the wastren Flemings, whose presence is evident in the mony Dutch placenames in the aurie an who speak French Flemish, a variety o the Wast Flemish dialect o Dutch (aiblins 20,000 indwallers o Nord-Pas-de-Calais uise Flemish daily an an estimatit 40,000 uise it occasionally, baith, primarily in an aroond the arrondissement o Dunkirk[5] ); an the Picards, who speak the Picard leid, or Ch'ti (speakers, "chitimi", hae been wirkin tae revive the nearly-extinct regional speech syne the 1980s). Awtho neighbourin Belgium currently recognises an fosters baith Picard an Dutch, an a few ceety-level govrenments athin Nord-Pas-de-Calais hae introduced initiatives tae encourage baith leids, the naitional French govrenment maintains a policy o linguistic unity an generally ignores baith leids,[6] as it daes wi ither regional leids in Fraunce.

The region's ethnic diversity haes been affectit bi repeatit waves o immigrant wirkers frae abroad: Belgians, some Erse an Welsh frae Breetain, afore 1910; Poles, Czechs, Italians, an Portuguese in the 1920s an 1930s; North Africans, Greeks, Slovaks an Yugoslavs syne 1945; several thoosan descendants o Cheenese an Vietnamese ditch diggers an railwey crews hired bi French govrenment contractors in Warld War I; some Turks hae settled in the region, beginnin in the 1960s; an lairge ceeties lik Lille, Calais, an Boulogne are hame tae sizable communities o Breetish, Dutch, Scandinavian, Sub-Saharan African, an Laitin American immigrants an thair descendants.

The French state haes sought tae boost the region's relatively neglectit cultur. In 2004, it wis annoonced that a branch o the Louvre wad be opened in the ceety o Lens. For decades, the Nord-Pas-de-Calais haes been viewed as a conservative region when compared culturally tae the rest o Fraunce, but recently the region haes at times displayed left-wing tendencies. In the early 2000s, the leftist Green Pairty wan the lairgest nummer o votes tae nearly carry a majority in regional an local representation. The Greens managed tae attract mony conservative voters frae sma touns an fermers muivit bi the Greens' commitment tae boostin agri-industry.

The region's releegious profile is representative o Fraunce as a whole, wi the majority (85%) bein Roman Catholic, but nae aw members regularly attend kirk or practice ivery element o Roman Catholicism. Ither Christian groups are foond in the region: Protestants, Eastren Orthodox, an Mormons hae a few kirks. North Africans hae introduced Islam tae the region, an smaw but growin communities o Buddhists an Hindus hae been established in recent years. In Warld War II, 18,000 o the region's French Jews wur victims o the Nazi occupation, but a sma Jewish community remains active as it haes been for hunders o years.



Nord-Pas-de-Calais became a major centre o hivy industry in the 19t century wi coal mines, steel mills an traditional textile manufactur. It suffered badly in baith Warld Wars an recovered less quickly than did ither pairts o Fraunce. In recent years, it haes experienced economic slumps as the mines closed, the steel industry declined an the textile industry ran intae problems. Atween 1975-1984, the region lost ower 130,000 jobs an unemployment rose tae 14% o the wirkin population, well abuin the naitional average. The region haes, housomeivver, benefitit frae major govrenment an European Union investment ower the past 20 year. The openin o the Channel Tunnel in 1994 wis walcomit in the region as a means o boostin its prosperity. Tourism, pairticularly in Lille at the apex o the Lunnon-Brussels-Paris railwey lines, haes grown considerably, tae the extent that in 2004, 7 million passengers uised the Eurostar, as well as 2 million vehicles on the Eurotunnel (umwhile Le Shuttle).[7] In addition tae the trains, in 2002, thare wur aboot 15 million passengers frae the three major ferry ports o the region (Calais, Dunkirk an Boulogne).[8]

Major commonties

Lille, the lairgest ceety in Nord-Pas-de-Calais
  • Lille an surroondin aurie is hame tae ower 1.5 million indwallers.

The regional eddicational seestem o the Académie de Lille includes 1 million pupils an students. Heicher eddication an research are supportit athin the Université Lille Nord de France.

See an aw


Notes an references

  1. Région Nord-Pas de Calais: Qu'est ce que la Région? Retrieved 4 January 2011
  2. "Streek Verbond Vlaanderen-Artesië-Henegouwen : Voor French Elephant Trunks de Franse-Nederlanden". 7 November 2005. Archived frae the original on 5 Apryle 2010. Retrieved 16 Apryle 2010.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived frae the original on 23 Julie 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. "Comité pour les Pays-Bas français - Pétition pour le changement de nom de la région Nord-Pas-de-Calais". 29 Juin 2005. Archived frae the original on 10 Februar 2012. Retrieved 16 Apryle 2010.
  5. European Commission (2006). "The Euromosaic study: Flemish in France". European Union. Archived frae the original on 19 September 2006. Retrieved 6 Januar 2007. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. Airticle 2 o the Constitution o Fraunce states that "French is the leid o the Republic"; see the airticle on French linguistic policy for mair information.
  7. (in French) INSEE - French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (2006). "Nord-Pas-de-Calais: La Région en faits et chiffres: Eurotunnel : nombre de passagers". INSEE. Retrieved 7 Januar 2007.
  8. (in French) INSEE (2006). "Nord-Pas-de-Calais: La Région en faits et chiffres: Trafic de passagers des principaux ports régionaux". INSEE. Retrieved 7 Januar 2007.

Freemit airtins


Coordinates: 50°28′N 2°43′E / 50.467°N 2.717°E / 50.467; 2.717