Nord-Pas-de-Calais

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Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Region o Fraunce

Flag
Official logo of Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Logo
Kintra Banner o Fraunce Fraunce
Prefectur Lille
Depairtments
Government
 • Preses Daniel Percheron (PS)
Area
 • Total 12,414 km2 (4,793 sq mi)
Population (2008-01-01)
 • Total 4,022,000
 • Density 320/km2 (840/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
NUTS Region FR3
Website nordpasdecalais.fr

Nord-Pas de Calais (French pronunciation: [nɔʁ pa də kalɛ] ( listen); Dutch: Noord-Nauw van Kales), Nord for short, is the northmaist o the 27 regions o Fraunce. It consists of the depairtments o Nord an Pas-de-Calais, in the north an haes a border wi Belgium. Maist o the region wis ance pairt o the Soothren Netherlands, athin the Law Kintras, an gradually became pairt o Fraunce atween 1477 an 1678. The historical provinces nou included in Nord-Pas-de-Calais are Artois, Boulonnais, Calaisis, Cambraisis, French Flanders, French Hainaut an portions o northren Picardy, an the regional nickname Bassin Minier or Meiners-Bassen (Miners' or Minin Basin in the region's twa leids) derived frae historically lairge minin deposits. These provincial designations are still frequently uised bi the inhabitants, which affers a sense o civic pride.

Wi its 323.7 fowk per km2 on juist ower 12,400 km2, it is a densely populatit region, haein some fower million inhabitants—seiven percent o Fraunce's total population, makkin it the fowert maist muckle region in the kintra—83% o whom live in urban communities. Its admeenistrative centre an lairgest ceety is Lille. The seicont lairgest ceety is Calais, which serves as a major continental economic/transportation hub wi Dover o Great Breetain 42 kilometres (26 mi) away; the White Cliffs o Dover are visible frae Calais on a clear day. Ither major touns include Valenciennes, Lens, Douai, Béthune, Dunkirk, Maubeuge, Boulogne, Arras, Cambrai an Saint-Omer.

Name[eedit | eedit soorce]

The name Nord-Pas-de-Calais combines the names o the constituent depairtments o Nord (literally 'North', the northmaist depairtment o Fraunce) an Pas-de-Calais ('Strait o Calais', the French name o the Strait o Dover). The regional council, however, spells the name Nord-Pas de Calais.[1]

The northren pairt o the region wis historically a pairt o Flanders, wi Douai (Dutch: Dowaai) as its caipital. The minority who wish tae evidence the historical links the region haes wi Belgium an the Netherlands prefer tae caw this region the French Law Kintras, which an aw means French Netherlands in French (French: Pays-Bas français; Dutch: Franse Nederlanden or Franse Lage Landen).[2] Various petitions, which hae impact on the population but no on the politeecians nor the local govrenments,[3] are currently takin place in favour o renamin.[4]

Ither alternative names are Région Flandre(s)-Artois, Hauts-de-France, ('Upper Fraunce') an Picardie-du-Nord ('Northren Picardy'). Even the regional nickname Bassin des Minieres is gainin popularity an the momentum for a regional renamin wants less representation o being "French" an mair o being "Belgian", while the fowk are patriotic tae Fraunce but proud tae be Flemish.

Demographics[eedit | eedit soorce]

While the region is predominantly French-speakin, it an aw haes twa significant minority leid communities: the wastren Flemings, whose presence is evident in the mony Dutch placenames in the aurie an who speak French Flemish, a variety o the Wast Flemish dialect o Dutch (perhaps 20,000 inhabitants o Nord-Pas-de-Calais uise Flemish daily an an estimatit 40,000 uise it occasionally, baith, primarily in an aroond the arrondissement o Dunkirk[5] ); an the Picards, who speak the Picard leid, or Ch'ti (speakers, "chitimi", hae been wirkin tae revive the nearly-extinct regional speech syne the 1980s). Although neighbourin Belgium currently recognizes an fosters baith Picard an Dutch, an a few ceety-level govrenments athin Nord-Pas-de-Calais hae introduced initiatives tae encourage baith leids, the naitional French govrenment maintains a policy o linguistic unity an generally ignores baith leids,[6] as it does wi ither regional leids in Fraunce.

The region's ethnic diversity haes been affectit bi repeatit waves o immigrant wirkers frae abroad: Belgians, some Erse an Welsh frae Breetain, afore 1910; Poles, Czechs, Italians, an Portuguese in the 1920s an 1930s; North Africans, Greeks, Slovaks an Yugoslavs syne 1945; several thoosan descendants o Cheenese an Vietnamese ditch diggers and railroad crews hired by French government contractors in Warld War I; some Turks hae settled in the region, beginnin in the 1960s; an lairge ceeties like Lille, Calais, an Boulogne are hame tae sizable communities o Breetish, Dutch, Scandinavian, Sub-Saharan African, an Laitin American immigrants an their descendants.

The French state haes sought tae boost the region's relatively neglectit cultur. In 2004, it wis annoonced that a branch o the Louvre wad be opened in the ceety o Lens. For decades, the Nord-Pas-de-Calais haes been viewed as a conservative region when compared culturally tae the rest o Fraunce, but recently the region haes at times displayed left-wing tendencies. In the early 2000s, the leftist Green Party wan the lairgest number o votes tae nearly carry a majority in regional an local representation. The Greens managed tae attract mony conservative voters frae sma touns an fermers muivit bi the Greens' commitment tae boostin agri-industry.

The region's releegious profile is representative o Fraunce as a whole, wi the majority (85%) being Roman Catholic, but not aw members regularly attend kirk or practice ivery element o Roman Catholicism. Ither Christian groups are found in the region: Protestants, Eastern Orthodox, an Mormons hae a few kirks. North Africans hae introduced Islam tae the region, an smaw but growin communities o Buddhists an Hindus hae been established in recent years. In Warld War II, 18,000 o the region's French Jews wur victims o the Nazi occupation, but a sma Jewish community remains active as it haes been for hunders o years.

Economy[eedit | eedit soorce]

Nord-Pas-de-Calais became a major centre o hivy industry in the 19t century wi coal mines, steel mills an traditional textile manufactur. It suffered badly in baith Warld Wars an recovered less quickly than did ither pairts o Fraunce. In recent years, it haes experienced economic slumps as the mines closed, the steel industry declined an the textile industry ran intae problems. Atween 1975-1984, the region lost ower 130,000 jobs an unemployment rose tae 14% o the wirkin population, well abuin the naitional average. The region haes, housomeivver, benefitit frae major govrenment an European Union investment over the past 20 years. The openin o the Channel Tunnel in 1994 wis walcomit in the region as a means o boostin its prosperity. Tourism, pairticularly in Lille at the apex o the Lunnon-Brussels-Paris railway lines, haes grown considerably, tae the extent that in 2004, 7 million passengers uised the Eurostar, as well as 2 million vehicles on the Eurotunnel (umwhile Le Shuttle).[7] In addition tae the trains, in 2002, there wur aboot 15 million passengers frae the three major ferry ports o the region (Calais, Dunkirk an Boulogne).[8]

Major commonties[eedit | eedit soorce]

Lille, the lairgest ceety in Nord-Pas-de-Calais
  • Lille an surroondin aurie is hame tae ower 1.5 million inhabitants.


The regional eddicational seestem o the Académie de Lille includes 1 million pupils an students. Heicher eddication an research are supportit athin the Université Lille Nord de France.

See an aw[eedit | eedit soorce]

Notes an references[eedit | eedit soorce]

Freemit airtins[eedit | eedit soorce]

Coordinates: 50°28′N 2°43′E / 50.467°N 2.717°E / 50.467; 2.717