Gayant family - Giants - Belfry - UNESCO -Douai - Douaisis - Northern France (c)ADLangletGayant family - Giants - Belfry - UNESCO -Douai - Douaisis - Northern France (c)ADLanglet
©Gayant family - Giants - Belfry - UNESCO -Douai - Douaisis - Northern France (c)ADLanglet
Douai features a trio at Unesco World Heritage sites

Douai Unesco World Heritage

Fête de Gayants, the belfry and the mining basin, a trio at Unesco heritage sites. Sandstone giants, wicker giants, and iron giants… Douai’s Eiffel Towers are Unesco World Heritage listed.

A belfry that sings

Victor Hugo described it as the most beautiful belfry in Europe. At 61 metres high, built in 1380, of sandstone, and decorated with a spire featuring the lion of Flanders and 54 golden suns, it is little wonder it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visits are possible every day. Your guide will take you to the top where you can see the 62-bell carillon, still in daily operation, and enjoy the views over the rooftops of Douai and the surrounding countryside. On your way up, you will learn more about the history of the town, the history of the Gayant family and the construction of the belfry.

The giants. Who are these wicker characters?

Do you know the Gayant family? At 8.5 metres tall and weighing 370 kilos, Mr Gayant is a true giant! Just like his wife, Marie Cagenon, 6.26 metres tall and weighing 250 kilos. These two wicker figures move thanks to the actions of six men, hidden under their skirts! They are accompanied by their three children Fillon, Jacquot and Binbin, weighing between 45 and 80 kg but carried by only one man! Come and dance the traditional folk Rigodon to the sound of the Douai Orchestra during the Gayant festivities, held the first Sunday after 5 July. Your unique opportunity to see them, as they only appear once a year…

A strong and deep-rooted heritage

Listed as a mining heritage site in 2012, the Nord-Pas de Calais coalfield is no longer just a black hole of history! Discover testimony, tradition, and evolution, follow in the footsteps of this recent past. The slag heaps are now wooded and rewilded and offer you a unique setting for a bucolic stroll, the headframes are witnesses to the industrial past and the galleries tell the story of a rich mining tradition. Take a walk in Roost-Warendin or Waziers, discover the architecture of the housing estates with their terraced corons, and admire the beautiful Notre-Dame des Mineurs church, built especially for the Polish miners who came to work the mines; even its interior resembles a mine gallery!

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à 30 minutes de Lille

à 1h10 de Paris

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