The town hall and church of Racquinghem
|Intercommunality||Pays de Saint-Omer|
|• Mayor (2014-2020)||Bernard Idzik|
|5.32 km2 (2.05 sq mi)|
|• Density||440/km2 (1,100/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||20–68 m (66–223 ft) |
(avg. 41 m or 135 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
The commune is close to the eastern boundary of the Helfaut plateau, a remarkable geological and ecological area, not typical of the region, which now hosts the Helfaut Nature Reserve. Its flora comprises both dry and wet heathland and some protected fauna, mostly amphibians.
The area has been populated since before Roman times, as testified by artefacts discovered in the commune. The name is probably derived from Rikiwulfinga-haim, referring to the occupation by the Viking Rikiwulf in 880, who also settled nearby Reclinghem.
Various wars have been waged around the town, including the war of 1046 to 1056 between Baldwin V, Count of Flanders (the Pious) and Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor, one battle of which was fought between Arques and Aire-sur-la-Lys. An artificial border was created on this occasion by digging a defensive canal called the Neufe-Fosse, which eventually became the Noeufossé canal.
Places of interest
- The church of Notre-Dame, dating from the nineteenth century.
- The Château de Bambecque.
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