Historic city of French Flanders located a few tens of kilometers from the border with Belgium. Douai in the Middle Ages became an important center of trade and production of fabrics, was first part of the county of Flanders and then of Burgundy. In 1477 it became part of the possessions of the Habsburgs, a dynasty to which it remained linked until 1667, the year in which it was conquered by French troops. Douai is home to one of the most beautiful bell towers (beffroi) in France, in Gothic style, it was built in the 14th century and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site (Beffrois de Belgique et de France). The city, which was an important university site since the 16th century, is the birthplace of Giambologna (Jean Boulogne), a famous late Renaissance and Mannerist sculptor who worked mainly in the Tuscan city of Florence. The Douai Christmas Market is the most important event of the Advent period in this historic town in French Flanders.
DOUAI CHRISTMAS MARKET
Douai Christmas Market (Marché de Noël de Douai). The market takes place in the place d’Armes in the center of this town in French Flanders, a short distance from the famous belfry. The center of Douai – despite the destruction caused by the two world wars that fought here – preserves valuable Gothic and Renaissance buildings. The Douai Christmas market is made up of around 40 stalls offering handicrafts, Christmas decorations and typical gastronomy. Among the attractions of the Christmas market you will find Santa Claus and lots of entertainment and games for children. The amusements are usually completed by the presence of a Great Wheel (Grande Roue) almost 40 meters high which is usually placed on the place d’Armes. If you visit the city for the Christmas market, also stop and visit the collection of works of art – collections of paintings, collections of natural sciences and archeology – exhibited in the Musée de la Chartreuse.