Fortified towns

Villes fortifiées

The walled towns of the Nord, reminders of the strategic importance of a prosperous and oft-coveted region, have been carefully restored and transformed into places for leisurely walks, into veritable open-air museums.

During the "Euroregional Walled Towns Festival ", guided tours, walks, entertainment, exhibitions, historical re-enactments and other unexpected live events provide opportunities for visitors to enjoy the town walls, citadels and forts, architectural gems in the rich and diverse heritage of the region's fortifications.

These military emplacements, most of them strengthened and re-equipped by Vauban, formed the "Pré carré" system of fortifications, the first line of defence running from Dunkerque to Maubeuge via Bergues, Lille, Condé-sur-l'Escaut, Valenciennes and finally Le Quesnoy, while the second stretched from Gravelines to Avesnes-sur-Helpe.