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Bethune

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Béthune is a city in northern France, sub-prefecture of the Pas-de-Calais department.GeographyBéthune is located in the former province of Artois. It is situated 73km south-east of Calais, 33km west of Lille, and 186km north of Paris.LandmarksBéthune is a town rich in architectural heritage and history. It has, among other features, a large paved square with shops, cafés, and a 47m (133 steps) belfry standing in the center from the top of which the Belgian border can be seen. The chime of the belfry is composed of thirty-six bells. A belfry (French:"beffroi") has stood on the site since 1346. The current belfry plays melodies every 15 minutes, including the ch'ti (regional patois) children's lullaby "min p'tit quinquin" (my little darling).HistoryFirst World War 1914-1918During the war, Béthune was mostly defended by British forces, including units of the Canadian and Indian armies, and initially suffered little damage. It was an important railway junction and hospital site, holding the 33rd Casualty Station until December 1917. However, during the second phase of the Ludendorff Offensive in April 1918, German forces reached Locon, 5km away from the town, and on 21 May 1918 launched a bombardment which virtually flattened it. The whole town has since been rebuilt. Many combatants from both sides are buried in Béthune Town Cemetery.
Bethune is in Pas-de-Calais. Add Bethune and other France destinations to your travel plans using our France travel itinerary planner.
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