Location of Bourbourg in the arrondissement of Dunkirk
|Intercommunality||Dunkerque grand littoral|
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Francis Bassemon|
|• Land1||38.49 km2 (14.86 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||180/km2 (460/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||59094 / 59630|
|Elevation||0–10 m (0–33 ft)
(avg. 3 m or 9.8 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.
Bourbourg (Dutch: Broekburg) is a commune in the Nord department in northern France. It is situated in the maritime plain of northern France, in the middle of a triangle formed by Dunkirk, Calais, and Saint-Omer.
The arms of Bourbourg are blazoned:
There are a large number of historic sites to see, such as the former jail. Originally built in 1539 under Spanish rule, the three-storey 18th-century prison building in the main square includes several dungeons and strongrooms. Above the entrance door is a sundial with the motto Qua hora non putatis, part of a verse from the Bible, Luke 12:40, Et vos estote parati quia qua hora non putatis Filius hominis venit ("Be you then also ready: for at what hour you think not the Son of man will come.").
Other interesting old buildings include the Gothic church (Eglise Saint-Jean-Baptiste), parts of which date from the thirteenth century, and whose choir shelters a huge installation by Anthony Caro called "The Chapel of Light"; the old Fishmarket (halle au poisson) which dates from 1587 and has twice-weekly fresh fish markets; and a 16th-century fortified farmhouse, the Manoir du Withof.
Places of interest
The town is crossed by the canal that goes from Dunkirk to the Aa. You can walk along the canal which skirts the old town walls built by Spanish king Philip II as part of his border defences for Flanders. There are also footpaths and cycle routes out into the attractive flat countryside typical of the coastal area between Calais and Dunkerque.
A new boat-stop quay provides facilities for leisure boaters touring the region's canals and waterways to stop here. The 18th-century canal was once important for carrying agricultural produce to Dunkirk, avoiding the hazards of the North Sea coast.
The town's market day is Tuesday morning; fish markets are on Tuesday and Friday mornings, and there is a Christmas market in the Fishmarket.
- Charles Étienne Brasseur de Bourbourg (1814-1874), writer, ethnographer, historian and archaeologist who specialized in Mesoamerican history
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