The Fontinettes boat lift
|Intercommunality||Pays de Saint-Omer|
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Joël Duquesnoy|
|Area1||22.41 km2 (8.65 sq mi)|
|• Density||440/km2 (1,100/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|INSEE/Postal code||62040 /62510|
|Elevation||2–62 m (6.6–203.4 ft)
(avg. 10 m or 33 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.
The town is crossed by the Neufossé Canal, which connects the rivers Aa and Lys. The commune also includes several lakes—Beauséjour, Arc-en-ciel, Malhôve, Batavia—and part of the forest of Rihout-Clairmarais.
Arques is in the region of French Flanders. As this area has been under Belgian, English, French and Spanish rule, many of the names are French versions of names in other languages.
In the wake of the Battle of the Golden Spurs a battle was fought here in April 1303 between French and Flemish. The Flemish were victorious in the Battle of Arques (1303). Arques is not to be confused with Arques-la-Bataille, where the Battle of Arques (1589) took place. It is also close to Agincourt.
It was one of the first towns in the region which subscribed to Agenda 21.
Places of interest
- The Fontinettes Boat Lift and the Arques lock (l'écluse des Fontinettes, not to be confused with l'ecluse de Flandres, a smaller lock, also in Arques)
- Arc International
- The Aa Valley Tourist Railroad (CFTVA: Chemin de Fer Touristique de la vallée de l'Aa) which runs between Arques and Lumbres
- The Audomarais marshes and the Parc naturel régional des caps et marais d'Opale (a park that runs from the Opal Coast landinwards)
- It is near the Forest of Éperlecques, which houses the Blockhaus d'Éperlecques
- The local church, château and town hall
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