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A little history of Bergues belfry

The belfry | Velvet / CC-BY-SA
Belfry Bergues belfry

Near Dunkerque, this is Northern France tallest belfry, with 55 metres high!

Historians used to say it was raised by the Spanish, during wars in the 16th century. Nowadays, we know it’s wrong, but we still don’t know when and by who our building was raised...

One thing is sure: it already existed in 1383, when the French besieged the city. When the struggle ended, the belfry was set to fire... and the roof was destroyed.

The reconstruction dates back to the 16th century. At the top of the building, we have the weathercock, Flanders lion. Inside, we used to find two big bells, nickname Tocsin ("warning bell") and Retreat’s bell.

We had about 30 little bells making a huge carillon.

Unfortunately, the belfry was damaged during World War II: blew up with dynamite, smashed to piece! The reconstruction of the current building dates back to 1960.

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!