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For the battle, see Battle of Hondschoote.
Hondshoote in the arrondissement of Dunkirk
Hondshoote in the arrondissement of Dunkirk

Coordinates: 50°58′49″N 2°35′10″E / 50.9803°N 2.5861°E / 50.9803; 2.5861Coordinates: 50°58′49″N 2°35′10″E / 50.9803°N 2.5861°E / 50.9803; 2.5861{{#coordinates:50.9803|2.5861|type:city(3811)_region:FR|||||| |primary |name=

Country France
Region Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Department Nord
Arrondissement Dunkirk
Canton Hondschoote
Intercommunality Flandre
 • Mayor (2001–2008) Hervé Saison
Area1 23.66 km2 (9.14 sq mi)
Population (1999)2 3,811
 • Density 160/km2 (420/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 59309 / 59122
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1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Hondschoote (from Dutch; Hondschote in the modern Dutch spelling) is a commune of the Nord département, in northern France.


The arms of Hondschoote are blazoned :

Ermine, on a bend gules, 3 escallops bendwise Or. (Ghyvelde and Hondschoote use the same arms.)


Hondschoote lies on the French side of the Franco-Belgian frontier, just inland from the North Sea.


The Noordmeulen windmill dates from 1127 and another windmill, the Spinnewyn was restored in 1993. The church dates from the fourteenth century - its tower was completed in 1513 but burnt during the religious troubles in 1582. It was restored in the early 17th century - it is a surprisingly large building for this small town. On the square are several fine old buildings, particularly the town hall. The tourist office is a tiny structure near the front of the church.


In the Middle Ages, Hondeschoote was part of the Spanish Netherlands. A thriving wealthy cloth-town, it had thousands of small workshops making serge cloth from locally-grown linen flax. But in the 16th century, when French armies attacked the Spanish army, battles raged over Hondschoote. The French burned and looted the town. The cloth-makers of Hondeschoote fled as refugees to what is now Belgium and to England, taking their skills to benefit France's rivals.

The battle of Hondschoote in 1793 was a key event in saving the French Republic after the Revolution. The English king sent an army via Flanders to capture Dunkerque as key invasion port to rid the country of revolutionaries. They were joined by troops from Hanover and Austrians from neighbouring Austrian Flanders. The foreign invaders were beaten by a French volunteer army in a fierce patriotic battle near Hondeschoote, where the windmill was a look-out post and first-aid station.

Twin towns

See also


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