Hauts de France – Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie

Hauts de France is the newly adopted name of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region.

It is one of the 13 new regions created by the territorial reform that took effect on January 1, 2016.

Its name will be officially registered by the Council of State on October 1, 2016.

It brings together the former administrative regions of Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardie.

The Nord department corresponds to the former French Flanders and Hainaut, and the ecclesiastical principality of Cambresis.

The main cities are Douai, Dunkirk, Hazebrouck, Maubeuge, Tourcoing, Roubaix and Valenciennes and the préfecture Lille.

The Pas-de-Calais replaced the historical provinces of Calaisis, Boulonnais, Artois and Ponthieu.

The main cities are Béthune, Boulogne-sur-mer, Calais, Lens, Liévin and the préfecture Arras.

Finally, Picardie replaced the historical region of Picardie.

The main cities are Abbeville, Beauvais, Laon, Saint-Quentin and the préfecture Amiens.

The Hauts de France are delineated to the north by Belgium, to the west by the English Channel and Normandy, to the east by  the Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Alsace region and to the south by the Ile de France.

The Hauts de France includes 5 departments:

Nord (59 – Lille), Pas-de-Calais (62 – Calais), Aisne (02 – Laon), Oise (60 – Beauvais) and Somme (80 – Amiens).

Lille is the region’s administrative centre or préfecture.

The Hauts de France was at the heart of the deadly offensives that took place of the Western front during WWI.

The region’s many ancient battlefields, war memorials and military cemeteries have triggered an active memorial tourism.

Finally, the region’s pleasant oceanic climate and its sandy and pebble beaches contributed to the development of trendy seaside resorts.

Area: 31,813 km2
Population: 5,973.098 (2012)

Photo via Wikimedia Commons: Map by Oie blanche is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
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