Places to visit | Local area map | rail travel *
* station 1,5 km from town, on Hazebrouck - Dunkerque line

Cassel


Cafe in the market square - which is the scene of carnival festivities at the annual procession of the town's famous giants.

Town Gates are still preserved.

Panoramic view from Mont Cassell over the coastal plain.

You stand on top of a 176metre-high hill - the highest on the Flanders coastal plain. Looking out over the former marshlands, once dotted with windmills - and scene of many bloody battles - you can see why Cassel has been a stronghold for centuries.

Fortified town
For centuries, Cassel's walls used to ring the upper part of the hill. They were demolished in the 19th century, as no longer effective against modern artillery. But you still enter the town up steep slopes and through the old gates. In the First World War, General Haig used Cassel as his headquarters during the key battles of Flanders that stemmed the German advance and stopped them occupying this part of France and the neighbouring corner of Belgium. His statue stands by the old mill in a small park on the crest of the hill. Once the town inside was dominated by a large monastic abbey - there is still a beautiful old church to explore.


Old windmill on top of the hill. Still working - each visitor takes away a bag of flour. You can also see linseed oil being pressed by traditional tilt-hammer techniques.

Painting of Cassel's "giants" in the market square -
"Reuze Papa" and "Reuze Maman". More details about giants

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Weblinks and more information

Historic Fortifications Network: www.fortifications.org.uk

Local area map:
map
Click on towns for more information

Places to visit
'T Kasteelhof Estaminet - traditional Flemish barin Cassel
Cassel Windmill - see it working!
Maison Guillaume de Rubrouck - museum about local monk who went to Mongolia in 13th cent. (12km from Cassel)

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QUICK TOUR round the Heart of Flanders, starting with a typical Flemish estaminet...

Background Information:
Flemish dialect and customs
More about GIANTS and when to see them

Bergues

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www.theotherside.co.uk Last updated 7th July 2001 © Copyright Invicta Media 1999-2001