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Dunkirk (French: Dunkerque, pronounced /dœ̃kɛʀk/ or /dɛ̃kɛʀk/; Dutch: Duinkerke or Duinkerken; German: Dünkirchen or Dünkirche) is a harbour city in the northernmost part of France, in the department of Nord, 10 kilometres (6 mi) from the Belgian border.
Population of the city (commune) at 1999 was 70,850 inhabitants (71,300 inhabitants as of February 2004 estimates). Population of the whole metropolitan area was 265,974 inhabitants at the 1999 census.
Until the middle of the 20th century the city was in the Dutch language area; today the local Dutch dialect still can be found but has been largely replaced by French.
Dunkirk was first mentioned in 1067 as Dunkerk (Dutch: Church of the Dunes).
In World War II, heavy fighting took place around Dunkirk during the German invasion in 1940 (Battle of Dunkirk), but a lull in the action unexpectedly allowed a large number of French and British soldiers to escape to England. The British evacuation of Dunkirk through the English Channel was codenamed Operation Dynamo. During the war, Dunkirk was largely destroyed by bombing.
Dunkirk has the third largest harbour in France, after those of Le Havre and Marseille. It is also an industrial city, heavily dependent on the steel, food processing, oil refining, ship building and chemical industries.
- The Musée Portuaire hosts exhibits images about the history and presence of the port.
- The Musée des Beaux-Arts has a large collection of Flemish, Italian and French paintings and sculptures.
- The Carnival of Dunkirk
Dunkirk is twinned with:
Dunkirk has cooperation agreements with:
- Dartford district, United Kingdom since March 1988
- Thanet district, United Kingdom since June 18, 1993