Places to visit | Local area map | rail travel*
on the Valenciennes - Aulnoy-Aymeries line

Le Quesnoy

Fortified town
Le Quesnoy guards a low-lying river valley that in former times was a “gateway” border area, wide open to an attack from either direction.

Its carefully designed fort was built as a vital part of the defences of the Spanish Netherlands. When the area was captured by France, it was rebuilt to face the other way. The work was the first fort designed by the famous French military engineer, Vauban. He used the river to flood lakes and moats around the walls.

The fortified town is now carefully preserved as amongst the most complete examples in the whole of France.

Le Quesnoy ramparts
1. Le Quesnoy lies within the town ramparts, among the best preserved in France. There was a castle here in the 12th century. Spanish king Charles Quint modernised the town fortifications for a new age of cannons and muskets. After capture by France in 1654, Vauban worked to develop his ideas of a “low-lying and bastioned” fort.

2 and 3. In August 1794, a Revolutionary army besieged the town. Every two years, this is re-created with a camp in the ramparts. 4. Today the lakes around the fortifications are ideal for fishing, boating, or just a quiet walk.

5-6. Just outside the walls are walks around the town defences, or 7. into the woods.

Local producers make cider and apple juice from the area's fertile orchards

Local farm produce
The area has rich pastures and many orchards. Milk from local dairy herds is used by farm-based cheese-makers.

Small-scale farm workshops make traditional cider and apple juices.

Weblinks and more information
Maison du Tourisme du Quesnoy
1 rue du Maréchal Joffre, LE QUESNOY
Tel: 00 33 3 27 20 54 70

Local area map:

Click on places for more information

Places to visit
Boat trips on the river Sambre - at Maubeuge
Brasserie Au Baron - small traditional brewery near Bavay
Museum of Textiles & Social Life, Fourmies
Fourmies-Trélon Ecomusée - Museum of old craft industries at 9 sites
Roman Forum & Archaeological Site - Bavay

Avenois Regional Nature Park - outdoor sporting and leisure area, natural park (see map right).

Background Information:
Vauban - 17th century military engineer
Historic Fortifications Network
Louis XIV - king who captured Le Quesnoy for France in 17th century

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Avesnes Last updated 7th September 2001 © Copyright Invicta Media 1999-2001