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An aerial view in 1920
An aerial view in 1920
Coat of arms of Harnes
Location of Harnes
Harnes is located in France
Harnes is located in Hauts-de-France
Coordinates: 50°26′45″N 2°54′24″E / 50.4458°N 2.9067°E / 50.4458; 2.9067Coordinates: 50°26′45″N 2°54′24″E / 50.4458°N 2.9067°E / 50.4458; 2.9067
IntercommunalityCA Lens-Liévin
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Philippe Duquesnoy[1]
10.76 km2 (4.15 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2019)[2]
 • Density1,100/km2 (2,900/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
62413 /62440
Elevation20–44 m (66–144 ft)
(avg. 32 m or 105 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Harnes (French pronunciation: ​[aʁn]) is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Hauts-de-France region of France.[3]


Harnes is an ex-coalmining and light industrial town situated some 4 miles (6.4 km) northeast of Lens, at the junction of the D162e and the D39. The Lens canal forms much of the southern border of the town and the A21 autoroute passes by a few yards from the canal.


First recorded as Hamas, the town was known as Harnis until, in the 12th century, when its present spelling was used. It’s possible that the name comes from the Flemish "Hearn" meaning “Marsh”.

The town was settled during the Gallo-Roman period, as archaeological finds have proved. In the municipal museum of Harnes, one can see the "treasure of Harnes": Coins, building materials, urns, vases, spears, iron objects and bones as well as some Samian ware (red glazed pottery) decorated with eagles, lions, sphinxes etc.

In 1304, Harnes was looted and burned by the Flemish. Under the Counts of Burgundy, from 1384 to 1482, civil and foreign wars were waged. Fighting, famine, plague and epidemics badly affected the people and prosperity of the region.

In 1438, Harnes was recorded with "31 fires (homes) and 109 inhabitants". The village was so poor that it was exempted from paying taxes.

In 1493, during the reign of Philip the Fair, the Austrians attacked France. They made camp at Harnes and then destroyed the castle.

On 2 November 1789 the National Assembly voted through the law of nationalization of all religious property. The people of Harnes were able to buy all the land that once belonged to the monastery, part of the abbey of St. Pierre at Ghent.


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1968 14,622—    
1975 13,845−0.78%
1982 13,996+0.16%
1990 14,309+0.28%
1999 13,700−0.48%
2007 12,922−0.73%
2012 12,220−1.11%
2017 12,354+0.22%
Source: INSEE[4]

Eco water treatment system[edit]

In the old riverbed of the Deûle/Souchez river (long-since drained by the creation of the Lens canal) and on the former mining area, the local authorities have created a landscape whose objective is to supplement the wastewater treatment leaving the sewage treatment plant at Fouquières by biological methods to eliminate pathogens and phosphates. Five successive treatments are employed, involving filtration by coppiced willow, tanks planted with reeds, iris, bulrush etc., oxygenation and exposure to sunlight. The energy needed for pumping the water provided by four wind turbines. It takes about one month for the impure water to pass through the cleaning course, before joining the Lens canal.

This project, which took five years to build (1999–2004), was awarded the “Rosa Barba” at the fourth biennial European landscape congress in Barcelona. .[5]

Main sights[edit]

  • The mining museum
  • The archaeology and history museum
  • Florimond woods
  • The “Pont Maudit”, a bridge dating from the 18th century
  • The church of St.Martin, dating from the 20th century
  • The war memorial

Twin towns - sister cities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires". data.gouv.fr, Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises (in French). 2 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2019". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 29 December 2021.
  3. ^ INSEE commune file
  4. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
  5. ^ "Lagunage on the website of the Communaupole". Archived from the original on 2007-05-17. Retrieved 2008-08-03.

External links[edit]