|Canton||Chief town of 3 cantons|
|• Mayor (2001–2008)||Guy Delcourt|
|Area1||11.57 km2 (4.47 sq mi)|
|• Density||3,100/km2 (8,100/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||62498 / 62300|
|Elevation||27–71 m (89–233 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.
Lens (French pronunciation: [lɑ̃s] ( listen)) is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in northern France. It is one of France's large Picarde cities along with Lille, Valenciennes, Amiens, Roubaix, Tourcoing, Arras, and Douai. The inhabitants are called Lensois.
Lens belongs to the intercommunality of Lens-Liévin, which consists of 36 communes, with a total population of 250,000. Lens, along with Douai, forms the metropolitan area of Douai-Lens, whose population at the 1999 census was 552,682.
In the 1520s, Lens was part of the Spanish Netherlands, and only passed back to France in 1659.
In 1849, coal was discovered in Lens, leading to the expansion of the city, becoming an important industrial center.
Since 2012, Lens is the location of the Louvre-Lens.
The Gare de Lens railway station, built in 1927, is served by regional trains towards Lille, Arras, Douai, Dunkirk, Calais and Valenciennes. It is also connected to the TGV network, with high speed trains to Paris.
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