Place:Tourcoing, Nord, France


Coordinates50.733°N 3.167°E
Located inNord, France
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

Tourcoing (Dutch: Toerkonje), is a French commune located in the Nord département. Its inhabitants are called Tourquennois. With a population of a little under 100,000, close to Belgium, Tourcoing is part of a larger metropolitan area that also contains the bordering cities of Lille and Roubaix, to which is sometimes added the smaller Belgian city of Mouscron. The city remains famous for the phenomenal economic growth which took place there during the industrial revolution in the 19th century, thanks to its textile works.


The first official mention of Tourcoing is in a 1080 text, the deed of the Harelbecque abbey, which is witnessed by a Saswalus de Turconium. In 1130 is built the first church, dedicated to St. Vaast. This church will latr become the church of St. Christopher). The Tourcoing fiefdom, which contains an agricultural town whose inhabitants also sell textile, barely survives the hardship brought about by the Hundred Years' War and the successive Wars of Religion. In 1360 the inhabitants obtain a Royal Seal certifying the quality of their bedsheets. In 1491, Maximilian of Austria, who rules Flanders, allows a Fair to be conducted there. In 1668 the Lille "châtellenie", to which Tourcoing belongs, is finally integrated into France. At the time of the Revolution, the city is home to nearly 15000 inhbaitants.

In the 19th century an extraordinary period of growth takes place following the industrial revolution. Tourcoing becomes one of the "Textile Queens". The population soon reaches 100,000 inhabitants. In 1860 St. Christopher Church is expanded and becomes one of the most beautiful neo-gothic buildings in the North. In 1885 the present City Hall is built. In 1906, for the international textile industries fair, taking place in Tourcoing, the clock tower of the Chamber of Commerce is built.

In the 20th century Tourcoing undergoes difficult periods of occupation by the German troops during the First and Second World War. The crisis of the textile industry in the 1970s severely affects the city and signals a period of industrial decline.

External links

  • For more information, see the FR Wikipedia article Tourcoing.

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