Place:Roubaix, Nord, France


Coordinates50.7°N 3.167°E
Located inNord, France
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

Roubaix is a French commune located in the Nord départment, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region. Two versions exist concerning the etymology of the name: the latin explanation uses the word Robacum which means plains river, while the Germanic explanation relates Roubaix to the German word Rosbach, i.e. reed river. The inhabitants are called Roubaisiens


The first known reference to Roubaix is on 9th century maps. At that time Roubaix belongs to the Tournai diocese. Roubaix then grows from a middle-sized town to become a major city under the reign of [1] during the 15th century. In the 19th century Roubaix becomes one of the textile world capitals, being even for a time the siege of the wool stock exchange (now in Australia). It then undergoes intense industrialization, with numerous factories spread over the city, leading to the nickname "the city with a thousand chimneys". Nowadays few signs of this industrial activity remain, but a few of these chimneys are still standing.

The Roubaix City Hall is a witness to the city's past prosperity. Its pediment is decorated by figures representing the various trades practiced in the town in the 19th century.