Fourmies (French pronunciation: [fuʁmi]) is a commune in the Nord department in northern France.[3] The inhabitants are called Fourmisiens. It lies on the river Helpe Mineure (Helpe Minor or Little Helpe). Since 2015, Fourmies has been the seat of the Canton of Fourmies, an administrative division of the Nord department. The canton was created at the French canton reorganization which came into effect in March 2015.[4]

A view within Fourmies
A view within Fourmies
Coat of arms of Fourmies
Location of Fourmies
Fourmies is located in France
Fourmies is located in Hauts-de-France
Coordinates: 50°01′05″N 4°03′14″E / 50.0181°N 4.0539°E / 50.0181; 4.0539
IntercommunalityCC Sud Avesnois
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Mickaël Hiraux[1]
22.98 km2 (8.87 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2020)[2]
 • Density500/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
59249 /59610
Elevation174–247 m (571–810 ft)
(avg. 202 m or 663 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Geography Edit

Fourmies is situated in the Euroregion of Thiérache, a region of Northern France and Southern Belgium. It is 50 km (31 mi) from Valenciennes, 100 km (62 mi) from Lille, and 175 km (109 mi) from Paris. The city is surrounded by forests and ponds.

History Edit

Roman coins have been discovered in Fourmies. In the 11th century, the town was first mentioned under the name "Formeias", which may refer to the swamp area in the valley of the river Helpe Mineure.[5][6] Since the 12th century, the village has been called Formies, Furmies, Formies, Formiis and Fourmies.[6] At one time it was property of the Avesnes family, and the Liessies Abbey.[7]

Glassworks were created in Fourmies in 1599. They were the first established in northern France.[8]

On May 1, 1891, the Fusillade de Fourmies occurred. It was the first French and international celebration of International Workers' Day on May Day. In Fourmies, troops shot at peaceful strikers: nine died, including eight demonstrators under 21 years old, among whom a young worker who will remain a symbol, Marie Blondeau. Thirty-five strikers were also wounded.[9]

The shooting of 1 May in Fourmies evoked strong emotions in France. It is regarded today as one of the founding events of the French Section of the Workers' International. Jean Jaurès visited Fourmies afterwards to make a speech there while Georges Clemenceau declared in front of the French Parliament that "it is the Fourth estate which rose" (« c'est le Quatrième état qui s'est levé ». ).

Heraldry Edit

Arms of Fourmies
The arms of Fourmies are blazoned :
Gules, 3 fesses argent (Croÿ) dimidiated with Bendy Or and gules (Avesnes)

Population Edit

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1968 15,117—    
1975 15,505+0.36%
1982 15,242−0.24%
1990 14,505−0.62%
1999 13,867−0.50%
2007 13,233−0.58%
2012 12,663−0.88%
2017 11,727−1.52%
Source: INSEE[10]

Events Edit

  • Every year, since 1928, the city hosts the Grand Prix de Fourmies, a professional cycle race.
  • The music festival (fête de la musique)
  • The traditional fun fair (traditionnelle fête foraine) attracts many people each summer.

Economy Edit

Medtronic has an assembly plant in Fourmies.[11]

Transportation Edit

Formies is on the rail line between Lille and Hirson. The SNCF station (Gare de Formies) is served by the TER Nord-Pas-de-Calais.

It is planned to be crossed by the Trans-European Cycle Route Paris-Moscow knowns as EV3 The Pilgrims Route.[12]

The Arc-en-Ciel (réseau interurbain du Nord) interurban departmental network in Hauts de France Nord provides bus service to the city of Fourmies in the 4 region (lines 402 express, 402, 433, 438 and 439).[13]

Twin towns – sister cities Edit

Fourmies is twinned with:[14]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires" (in French)., Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises. 13 September 2022.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2020". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 29 December 2022.
  3. ^ Commune de Fourmies (59249), INSEE
  4. ^ "Décret n° 2014-167 du 17 février 2014 portant délimitation des cantons dans le département du Nord | Legifrance". Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  5. ^ Patrimoine de Fourmies auf den Webseiten der Gemeinde
  6. ^ a b Eugène Mannier, Études étymologiques, historiques et comparatives sur les noms des villes, bourgs et villages du département du Nord. 1861. S. 355
  7. ^ Chronologie auf den Webseiten der Gemeinde
  8. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Fourmies" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 10 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 758.
  9. ^ "The May Day Labour Demonstration". Guardian (UK). 6 May 1891. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  10. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
  11. ^ "Locations". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  12. ^ French part of EuroVelo 3, called "La Scandibérique"., retrieved March 31, 2023
  13. ^ Arc en ciel 4 Hauts de France, retrieved March 31, 2023
  14. ^ "Jumelage" (in French). Fourmies. Retrieved 11 March 2022.