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Douvrin (Municipality, Pas-de-Calais, France)

Last modified: 2021-01-11 by ivan sache
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Flag of Douvrin - Image by Ivan Sache, 23 May 2014

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Presentation of Douvrin

The municipality of Douvrin (5,000 inhabitants in 2011; 958 ha; municipal website) is located in the former coal-mining basin of northern France, 10 km north of Lens and 15 km east of Béthune.

Douvrin is named for the Celtic root dubr, "water", and suffix in, indicating a dwelling; therefore Douvrin must have meant "dwellings on water". The region was indeed in the past an alluvial zone; remains of posts, fences and ditches confirm the early human settlement of a marshy area.
Excavations made in the place named La Timbale have yielded Roman tiles and shards dated from the 1st-2nd centuries AD. Remains of a Gallo-Roman villa located on the way connecting Arras and Estaires have been found; based on the excavated pieces of furniture and pottery, the villa appears to be dated form the beginning of the 2nd century. Stakes have been identified as parts of the frame of retting tanks.

Douvrin was mentioned for the first time in 1098, as Doverin. The subsequent written forms of the village's name are Dovring (1220), Dovrin (1149), Dovrign (1218), Douvringum (1229), Douvring (1290). Douvrin (Douvrain in 1652) appeared in the 15th century.
There were several domains in Douvrin, all ruled by the St. Vaast abbey in Arras. The oldest known lord of Douvrin is Anselm, mentioned in 1149. The next rulers of Douvrin belonged to the Fretin (13th-mid 14th century), Canteleu (14th-15th century), Bernemicourt / Saluces de Bernemicourt (until 1747), Vanderlaen, and Languedonc (aka Lendoncq) families.
Douvrin was fiercely disputed by the French and the Spaniards until the definitive incorporation of Artois to the Kingdom of France by the Treaty of the Pyrenees (1659).

Coal-mining started in Douvrin in 1863, with the establishment of a mining company. The concession was sold in 1873 to the Société des Mines de Lens.
The village was destroyed at 95% during the First World War, including the St. Denis church. The new church was consecrated on 25 September 1927; it keeps the pulpit of the original church, made of sculpted oak, which had been transferred by a German colonel to Annœullin and was given back to Douvrin in 1921.

Ivan Sache, 23 May 2014

Flag of Douvrin

The flag of Douvrin (photo) is horizontally divided red-white-yellow (4:1:5), with the greater municipal arms surmounted by the name of the municipality, written in black capital letters forming an arch.

The coat of arms of Douvrin (municipal website) is "Or a chief gules charged with a leopard argent." These arms, which are the old arms of the lords of Douvrin, were adopted in May 1960 by the Municipal Council. The greater arms, adopted in 1996, have the shield surrounded by two branches of laurel and the Cross of War 1914-1918 appended beneath.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 23 May 2014