Last modified: 2013-03-12 by ivan sache
Keywords: pas-de-calais | arques |
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The municipality of Arques (9,945 inhabitants in 2009: 2,241 ha) is an industrial town located in the middle of the triangle Lille-Dunkirk-Boulogne.
The name of Arques probably comes from Latin arces, "a citadel".
Arques is famous for its crystal glassworks (Cristallerie d'Arques, now Arc International), founded by the Durand family in 1825, as a traditional, home-scale glass producer for the Bordeaux winemakers. Following a stay in the USA in 1930, Jacques Durand completely revamped the production system towards a large-scale industry. Today, Arc International hires 13,000 workers and produces more than 1,000 tons of glass per day. Jean-Jacques Durand is ranked among the top ten richest people in France.
The boat lift of Fontinettes, a famous industrial wizardry, is located in Arques, once an important river port, located on the junction of the river Aa and of the canal of Neuffossée, which links the Aa to the Lys. The junction required the crossing of five locks, with a difference in height of 13.13 m, causing huge traffic jams. In 1888, a baot lift was set up to replace the locks. The barges were placed into two compartments filled up with water and fixed on two huge pistons constituting a kind of hydraulic scales: one of the compartment was lifted up whereas the other was pushed down. The boat lift was replaced in 1967 by a single big lock, which can transfer six boats in 20 minutes.
Source: Municipal website
Ivan Sache, 31 March 2004
Former flag of Arques - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 31 March 2004
The flag of Arques, as communicated in 2004 by the PR department
of the municipality, was white with the municipal logotype.
Since the municipal logo (image) has been changed since then, this flag must be obsolete.
Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 12 March 2013