Douai


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Douai

(do͞o`ā, do͞oā`), town (1990 pop. 44,195), Nord dept., N France, in French Flanders, on the Scarpe River. It is a major industrial and commercial center in what formerly was the northern coal region. The chief industries are foundry products, automobile parts, glass, chemicals, and printing.

Probably a Roman fortress (Duacum) built in the 4th cent., Douai was a possession of the counts of Flanders during the Middle Ages. Because of its prosperity as a center of the cloth trade, the town received a charter (1228) granting some autonomy. With the Hundred Years War (1337–1453) and the resulting curtailment of English wool imports, the town declined and passed in 1384 to the dukes of Burgundy and in 1477 to the Spanish Hapsburgs. Louis XIV seized Douai in 1667, and after the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14), the town was permanently restored to France by the Peace of Utrecht (1713).

Points of interest include the town hall (15th cent.); the belfry (14th cent.); the Palace of Justice (16th and 18th cent.); and St. Peter's Church (16th and 18th cent.). Under the patronage of Philip II of Spain, a Roman Catholic college was established in Douai for English priests. At the college the Old Testament of the Douay Bible was prepared in 1609.

Douai

an industrial city in N France: the political and religious centre of exiled English Roman Catholics in the 16th and 17th centuries. Pop.: 42 796 (1999)
References in periodicals archive ?
The two images considered here, one a diptych comprised of two painted panels and the other a triptych consisting of three, have been assigned on stylistic grounds to Jean Bellegambe of Douai (1470-75/1535).
Douai began the fourteenth century, however, not as a Flemish town, but as a French one, and remained under French political and cultural influence throughout the period under discussion.
Rather then impute motives to the various writers of marriage contracts, she instead seeks to describe how attitudes towards marital property changed in Douai and in the process "to tease social and gender meaning out of the legal sources" (10).
Both Agnes de Harnes and Crestiene de Hazebruech, inhabitants of Douai, for example, received routine life rents from Bruges;(25) Marie file Pance, who made her will in Douai, came from Bethune.(26) Major towns exercised sufficiently constant influence over the more rural regions that surrounded them to guarantee considerable uniformity of practice between town and countryside.(27) During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the county was moreover developing into a cohesive political entity.(28)