The Church of Saint-Martin

Coat of arms

Coordinates: 50°19′50″N 3°15′07″E / 50.3306°N 3.2519°E / 50.3306; 3.2519Coordinates: 50°19′50″N 3°15′07″E / 50.3306°N 3.2519°E / 50.3306; 3.2519
Country France
Region Hauts-de-France
Department Nord
Arrondissement Douai
Canton Douai-Sud
Intercommunality Cœur d'Ostrevent
  Mayor (20142020) Marc Hémez
Area1 6.52 km2 (2.52 sq mi)
Population (2009)2 10,079
  Density 1,500/km2 (4,000/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 59008 / 59580
Elevation 26–71 m (85–233 ft)
(avg. 65 m or 213 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Aniche is a French commune in the Nord department in the Hauts-de-France region of northern France.

The commune, located in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais mining area, long lived on the mining of coal with fourteen pits on its territory. Eleven pits were owned by the Aniche Mining Company and three by the Compagnie des mines d'Azincourt (Agincourt Mining Company).

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Anichois or Anichoises.[1]


Middle Ages

Aniche and Auberchicourt long had the same lords.

Cartulary of Duke Charles de Croy

Aniche and the slag heap of Sainte-Catherine at the beginning of the 20th century

The Gouache painting (opposite) was probably painted in 1603 and appears in the Albums de Croÿ. It is part of a wide range of topographical paintings made at the request of the Duke of Croy: an oval with a bird's-eye view of the landscape is framed in the four corners by four naked male figures with those at the top facing and the lower ones facing to the rear. The oval medallion contains a cartouche with the name of the village over a representation of the landscape seen from the south in late summer (see the plowed field and leaves on the trees).

In the foreground
In the background
In the far background

From the 16th century to the Revolution

Peter Paul Rubens The Entombment in the Church of Saint-Géry of Cambrai.

The Entombment by Rubens is always visible in the Church of Saint-Gery of Cambrai.

18th century

On the morning of 7 February 1827 at the Saint Hyacinthe pit, fire broke out in an access passage for the workers to descend into the pit. Thick smoke spread inside the mine and asphyxiated 46 workers employed in the coal extraction tunnels. Seven young men and two fathers were found dead.[8]

From the 19th century to the present day

Jules Verne in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea described Captain Nemo observing underwater life through one of the nine windows of Nautilus

After the creation of the first glassworks in 1823, Aniche became, from the middle of the 19th century, the French capital of the window glass industry and went from 4,000 to 7,500 inhabitants in 1900. The Antoine Lumière & son plates and photographic papers Company (Lyon) were supplied by the Glassworks of the Station, better known under the name "Belotte Glass".

Jules Verne came to meet the glassworkers at Aniche in 1860 to test the feasibility of nine large sized windows for the Nautilus whose design was attributed to Captain Nemo with Professor Aronax.[9] The Nautilus is described in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea but the origin of the windows is in one of the ghost chapters deleted from the manuscripts by request of the publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel. These windows are described on page 144 of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea when Captain Nemo announces a maximum thickness of 21 cm to withstand a pressure of 100 atmospheres.

Aniche was served by the former Tramway of Douai, seen here on the Rue de Valenciennes in the late 1910s

On 28 November 1900, 21 workers were killed by the explosion of 148 kg of dynamite in the Fenelon pit owned by the Aniche Mining Company.[10]

The First World War caused a sharp slowdown in industrial activity and led to the destruction by the occupying power of the majority of installations before their departure in October 1918.

The occupation lasted 49 months from September 1914 to 20 October 1918 when the village was liberated by British forces. There were 314 war victims from Aniche: 299 at the front or from injuries and 15 civilian victims.[11]

The period between the wars saw the decline of the mining industry with the cessation of operations of the last pit in 1938 and the final closure of the glassworks at the beginning of the Second World War.


The arms of Aniche are blazoned :

Ermine, on a cross gules, 5 roses Or. (Aniche, Bugnicourt, and Rieulay use the same arms.)


Aniche is located some 15 km south-east of Douai and some 7 km north-west of Douchy-les-Mines in the heart of the old Ostrevent region. Access is by the D943 road from Bouchain in the south-east passing through the commune to the town. There is also the D645 from Auberchicourt in the west passing through the town and continuing east to Abscon. The D47 road comes from Bruille-lez-Marchiennes in the north passing through the town and continuing south-west to Monchecourt. More than half of the commune consists of the urban area of Aniche town with the rest of the commune in the east and south farmland.[12]

Geology and terrain

On 27 December 1893, an earthquake occurred in the glass-making district[13] which indicated a seismic risk that the coal mines then more or less took into account.

Communications and transport

Aniche is connected to Douai by bus route 1 (Aniche-Guesnain) which connects with Tram A (Guesnain-Douai) of the SMTC of Douai, as well as routes 211 (Guesnain-Denain via Aniche), 210 (Aniche-Somain), and 201 (Aniche-Villeneuve d'Ascq) operated by the Arc-en-Ciel network.

Phase 3 of Route A will link Aniche on the Évéole network of autobuses to Douai. The line will link the Champ de la Nation in the centre of town and pass along the Rue Henri-Barbusse.[14]

The commune was served by rail transport through Aniche station which was demolished in 2010.

Neighbouring communes and villages



The name of Aniche (Anic) was mentioned for the first time in 1103 in a list of the possessions of the abbey of Marchiennes, then as Enice in 1113 and Henice in 1181. It was in 1219 that the name Aniche appears under the seal of Robert, Lord of Aniche and of Auberchicourt.

In Flemish, the commune is called Anik.


List of Successive Mayors[15]

Mayors from 1930
From To Name Party Position
1942 1944 Gaston Lefort
1944 1959 Jean Schmidt
1959 1971 François Longelin
1971 1989 Jean Charles François Quiquempois
1989 2014 Michel Meurdesoif PCF Professor of English
2014 2020 Marc Hémez

(Not all data is known)


Aniche has twinning associations with:[16]


According to historians,[17] in 1540 Aniche had 47 fires of which 7 were of ploughmen (the others had no horse & carts or other animals).

In 2009 the commune had 10,079 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger towns that have a sample survey every year.[Note 1]

Population Change (See database)
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
840 804 1,064 1,733 1,926 1,807 2,030 2,537 3,057
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
3,826 4,156 4,501 4,922 5,484 5,861 6,253 6,765 6,924
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
7,434 8,321 8,603 8,808 9,348 9,105 9,037 8,836 9,421
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2009 -
10,419 10,190 9,690 9,533 9,672 9,768 - 10,079 -

Sources : Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 (population without double counting and municipal population from 2006)

Distribution of age groups

Percentage Distribution of Age Groups in Aniche and Nord Department in 2009

Aniche Aniche Nord Nord
Age Range Men Women Men Women
0 to 14 Years 24.5 22.9 21.4 18.9
15 to 29 Years 22.1 20.2 22.2 20.5
30 to 44 Years 20.5 18.4 20.6 19.5
45 to 59 Years 18.6 18.4 19.6 19.4
60 to 74 Years 9.7 10.5 11.1 12.4
75 to 89 Years 4.5 8.9 4.9 8.6
90 Years+ 0.1 0.8 0.2 0.7


Culture and heritage

Sites and monuments

The Pyramid

Notable people linked to the commune

Map of the Arrondissement of Valenciennes, 1887


Alexandre-Joseph Consil known as Kopierre was born in Auberchicourt, the neighbouring commune, on 25 May 1834 and died at the Aniche Hospice on 28 December 1909. He was Drum Major of the Saint-Cyr school during the 14 July parade in Paris in 1879. He was a picturesque character in Nord department.

See also

Notes and references


  1. At the beginning of the 21st century, the methods of identification have been modified by law No. 2002-276 of 27 February 2002 , the so-called "law of local democracy" and in particular Title V "census operations" allows, after a transitional period running from 2004 to 2008, the annual publication of the legal population of the different French administrative districts. For communes with a population greater than 10,000 inhabitants, a sample survey is conducted annually, the entire territory of these communes is taken into account at the end of the period of five years. The first "legal population" after 1999 under this new law came into force on 1 January 2009 and was based on the census of 2006.


  1. Inhabitants of Nord (French)
  2. Page 610 Archaeological Statistics of Nord Department. Second part 1867 - archived at Harvard College Library numbered in Google Books.
  3. André-Joseph-Ghislain Le Glay Researches on the metropolitan church of Cambrai, L. Didot, 1825, 235 pages, Tables on what was ordered by the Chapter of Cambrai who were pleased with his work. He came to the town but the Chapter found his demands exorbitant. He was not accustomed to be haggled with. Read online, consulted on 22 May 2013 (French).
  4. Michel Dusart, The Rubens of Cambrai, Société d’Emulation de Cambrai, Cambrai, 2009, 79 pages, ISBN 285845003X (French)
  5. André-Joseph-Ghislain Le Glay, Cameracum christianum or Ecclesiastical History of the Diocese of Cambrai, L. Lefort, Cambrai, 1849, 542 pages, Read online, consulted on 22 May 2013 (French)
  6. Eugéne-Bouly de Lesdain, Letters on Cambrai: Historic outlines, Hivert, Cambrai, 1835, 140 pages, Rubens did the Christ naked and later a foreign hand cast a veil of decency on the painting which he felt obliged to impose, Read online, consulted on 21 May 2013 (French)
  7. Voix du Nord of 7 December 2008
  8. p. 29, Memoires of the inhabitants of Douai or Notes in response to the work of Mr. Plouvain on the history of this town from 1 January 1822 to 30 November 1842, 1843, imprimerie de D. Ceret-Carpentier, 5 rue des chapelets, Douai - Archive from Harvard College Library
  9. Jean-Marc Demetz, The Eggs of Lewarde, Engelaere éditions, Lewarde, March 2013, 143 pages, page 67: "Jules Verne came to meet the Bellotte glassworks in May 1860", ISBN 978-2-917621-19-6, (French)
  10. The Progrès Illustré of 8 December 1900 supplement of the Progrès de Lyon (French)
  11. The Voix du Nord of 11 November 2008 (French)
  12. 1 2 Google Maps
  13. Meteorology by the Meteorological Society of France published in 1894 (archived at the New-York Public Library) (French)
  14. The SMTD continues its reorganistion and plans for the future (French)
  15. List of Mayors of France
  16. National Commission for Decentralised cooperation (French)
  17. Image and legend of gouache made for the Duke of Croÿ around 1600 Archived July 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  18. Voix du Nord from 11 November 2008 (French)
  19. Ministry of Culture website (French)
  20. Charles Dolly, Itinerary of Napoléon Bonaparte from his departure from Corsica to his arrival at Longwood, A. and G. Laguionie, 1842, 47 pages, Arrived at Douai 17 October 1786. Left Douai at the end of January 1787 on leave to go to Corsica, Read online, consulted on 22 May 2013 (French)
  21. Page 474, Revue du Nord by Alexandre Saint-Légéer, Université de Lille, 1985, numbered by Google Books (French)
  22. Vincent van Gogh, (Vincent van Gogh in the Douai area), Edition No. 21671, La Voix du Nord, Lewarde, May 2013, Read online (French)
  23. Dossier of local history of Aniche (French)
  24. Michel Leduc, an Anichois who had great days of lyrical opera, La Voix du Nord, (Douai), 26 and 27 August, 1 September 2010. (French)

External links

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