Strategic importance of France’s favourite village

Cassel as depicted in the 1641 century Flandria Illustrata

A small northern village topped a recent popularity poll. Jane Hanks looks at the long, fascinating history of Cassel

Cassel in the Nord, 30km south of Dunkirk is this year’s choice of favourite French village by viewers of the France 2 television programme Le Village Préféré des Français.

It was chosen for its charm, particularly appreciated in its Grand Place which still has some medieval buildings, the Musée de Flandre and restaurants, called locally Estaminets, where you can eat traditional food and drink the beer for which the Flanders region is famous.

The village is also well known ...

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