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Wars completely destroyed the fortified castle and the medieval city of Fruges, where a terrible fire also ravaged 55 houses in 1595.
Old white stone and brick houses, most of which were rebuilt in the 17th and 18th centuries, line the main square and adjacent roads.
Faces, animals, and arabesque decorations ornament the opulent facades, including former Senator Louis Boudenoot’s home, which now houses the Museum of Nestor Delétoille who was a colorful priest, collector, and historian. Fruges was also the birthplace of Marguerite Duras’s mother in 1877.
The elegant pavilion at the city hall was built around 1840 and features a clock from 1901. During fairs and markets, many local Fruges products are sold. Starting in 1473, the city had many cobblers, a craft that grew particularly in the 18th century with the tannery.
The gas factory, tile factory, the brickworks, and the marble masonry Dechamps gained their outstanding reputations from their extensive work in making regional monuments following the Great War.
The arrival of railways at the end of the 19th century led to la rue de la Gare (Railway Station Road) where a ballroom and cinema have since been built, as well as several houses in seaside style architecture. From there, Digues Road follows along the Traxène river towards the Bât-l’Eau windmill.
Known for its festival of Saint Gilliet and its giant statues of Pô-Louche et Marie Robinet, Fruges remains a vibrant and lively city.