Helfaut

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Helfaut
Commune
The town hall and schools of Helfaut
The town hall and schools of 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 Hauts-de-France
Department Pas-de-Calais
Arrondissement Saint-Omer
Canton Longuenesse
Intercommunality Pays 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)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
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 Hauts-de-France 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]

  1. ^ "Base Mémoire : accès cartographique". culture.gouv.fr. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 

External links[edit]