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Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Gravelines

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GRAVELINES (Flemish Gravelinghe, German Gravelingen), a fortified seaport town of France, in the department of Nord and arrondissement of Dunkirk, is situated near the mouth of the Aa, 11 miles S.W. of Dunkirk. The principal buildings are a church of the 16th century, the magazine, and the town hall. The harbour is only accessible at flood tide, but there is a considerable shipping trade in fish, apples, vegetables, and eggs. Shipbuilding is also carried on, and there are salt refineries, sail and linen manufactories, saw mills and meal mills. The fortifications were constructed anew by Vauban in the reign of Louis XIV. For its defence the land, to the distance of a mile all round, can be laid under water at pleasure. The population in 1876 was 4182.

Gravelines was formed in 1160 by Count Thierry of Flanders, was conquered by the English in 1383, and came into the possession of the duke of Burgundy in 1405. It is celebrated for the victory gained by the Spanish under Egmont over the French under Marshal de Thermes, 13th July 1558. It was taken by the duke of Orleans in 1644, retaken by Archduke Leopold in 1652, and again taken by the French under Vauban in 1658, after which it was confirmed to France by the treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659.