Helfaut

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Helfaut
Coat of arms of Helfaut
Coat of arms
Helfaut is located in France
Helfaut
Helfaut
Coordinates: 50°41′54″N 2°14′38″E / 50.6983°N 2.2439°E / 50.6983; 2.2439Coordinates: 50°41′54″N 2°14′38″E / 50.6983°N 2.2439°E / 50.6983; 2.2439
Country France
Region Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Department Pas-de-Calais
Arrondissement Saint-Omer
Canton Arques
Intercommunality Communauté d'agglomération de Saint-Omer
Government
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Brigitte Leblond
Area1 8.92 km2 (3.44 sq mi)
Population (2006)2 1,744
 • Density 200/km2 (510/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 62423 / 62570
Elevation 23–95 m (75–312 ft)
(avg. 92 m or 302 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Helfaut is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France.

Geography[edit]

A large village situated 4 miles (6 km) south of Saint-Omer, at the D195 and D198 crossroads. It is located on a geological formation called the "plateau d'Helfaut", which separates the Aa valley to the north from the Lys valley, to the south. The commune is home to a unique geological heritage, resulting in an unusual landscape. The sides of the old quarries alongside the plateau display many geological strata. The quarries of Heuringhem and Blendecques have collapsed as a result of soil creep. The commune gave its name to 'Dilluvium d’Helfaut', a flint and clay formation rare in France and Europe. The commune is home to many rare and protected species in a heathland landscape, which is unusual for northern France and justified the creation of a nature reserve (Les Landes d'Helfaut).

Population[edit]

The inhabitants are called Helfalois.

Historical population of Helfaut
Year 1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999
Population 1000 1139 1248 1426 1671 1693
From the year 1962 on: No double counting—residents of multiple communes (e.g. students and military personnel) are counted only once.

History[edit]

The village was subject to much damage during World War II, as it was here that the Germans sited La coupole, an underground bunker, housing a huge concrete dome built by the Nazis between 1943 and 1944. Initially this bunker was to serve as a base to launch V2 rockets, but it never entered service because of the many bombing raids by the Allies. The Dome has been transformed into a museum.[1]

Places of interest[edit]

  • The church of St.Fuscien and St.Victoric, dating from the thirteenth century.
  • The church at Bilques.
  • La Coupole : Second World War museum and visitor’s centre
  • The monument known as the ‘Helfaut column’. See fr:colonne d'Helfaut (French)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]