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Carte Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Flag region Nord-Pas-de-Calais

Administration & Statistics

Region Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Departement Nord
Postal code 59200

Elevation 24-49 m
land area 15 km2
Population 92,357 (2006)
Density 6,080 /km2
Tourcoing is a nortern French town located in the Nord department in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais. It is l is close to the cities of Lille and Roubaix and the Belgian border.

Tourcoing was first mentioned in 1080 and was again recorded in a 12th century document giving sovereignty to Germany. Although very close to the border of Belgium it was incorporated into France by Louis X1V.

In 1491 Emperor Maximilian of Austria licensed a trade fair in the town and ensured that Tourcoing became a major centre for the textile trade. The town rapidly grew to become, with Roubaix, the textile capital of France.

With much evidence of it’s past associated with the textile industry and fine examples of the industrial heritage, Tourcoing is an interesting place to visit. Sights include the Napoleon III style Our Lady of the Angels Church, the 11th century, Hospice de Havre, the !9th century neo-gothic Church of St Christopher, and the former Notre Dame des Anges Monastery. The Monastrey was constructed in the 17th and 18th century and is an interesting complex surrounding a cloister. The site hosts events that attract visitors including exhibitions, reading workshops and shows. There are also delightful landscaped gardens on the theme of water and medicinal and dye plants.

Tourcoing, is also renowned as a town of artists, and creative spirits and a centre for culture. It is home to the "Théâtre du Nord" and the "Atelier Lyrique" (opera house), In addition, annually, it hosts many cultural events including the Tourcoing Jazz Festival in October - November and the annual Franche Fair in May which celebrates Tourcoing's medieval trade fairs.

Regional cuisine includes specialities such as Flemish carbonnade, or wild rabbit with prunes. Even more specific to this region is the potjewelh, a pâté with rabbit, veal and bacon, or waterzoï which is a dish of sole and diced mixed vegetables covered with cream.

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