Last modified: 2021-01-30 by ivan sache
Keywords: wattignies |
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Flag of Wattignies, two versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 14 July 2020
The municipality of Wattignies (14,738 inhabitants in 2018; 631 ha) is located south-west of Lille.
Wattignies was already known in 1159. The chapel of the Saint-Lambert church, built in the first pregothic style (between the Romanesque and the Gothic) on the return of the Second Crusade (Baldwin of Flanders, around 1100), could be the oldest north of Paris.
A first feudal castle of the 12th century would have been built on the hillock lowered since, a low door of the chapel's right side giving access to this small castle, which was destroyed on an unknown date around 1550/1600.
A "second castle" was built 500 meters from the site of the firstone, during a long troubled period (1615-1640) by Philippe de Kessel, lord of Wattignies since 1610; his first garden was designed around 1635 by young André Le Nôtre, future gardener of Louis XIV. The remains of the castle were destroyed by a fire in 1929, leaving only the green theater and the monumental gate (18th century) heading to the so-called Marlborough alley.
In 1708, the French lost in Wattignies a decisive battle against the Duke of Malborough, who besieged Lille defended by Marshal de Boufflers. A victory at Wattignies would have allowed the French to have access to the road of Loos-lez-Lille and to reach, protected by embankments, the English trenches surrounding Lille. The seizure of the town (October 1708) and of the citadel (December 1708) of Lille allowed Malborough to take one by one all the fortresses of Flanders (Oudenaarde, Ghent). This prompted Louis XIV to sign the first Treaty of Utrecht (1713) which transferred Canadian Acadia to the English.
Olivier Touzeau, 14 July 2020
The flag of Wattignies is white, either with the municipal coat of arms (photo) or the municipal logo (photo).
The arms of Wattignies, "Or a saltire embattled counter-embattled sable", were assigned by Th. Leuridan (Armorial des communes du département du Nord, 1909) as the arms of the Kessel, once lords of Watignies. The arms are known since 1610 and the marriage of Philippe de Kessel with Madeleine van Appelteren, heioress of the doamin of Wattignies from her mother, Jeanne Castellain. The Kessel were erectd Count of Wattignies in 1700.
A Wattignies lineage has been recorded, but there is no evidence they were ever lords of Wattignies.
Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 5 August 2020