Introduction of Lille
City and capital of the Nord department, 136 mi NNE of Paris, on the Deule River. Fortified in the 11th century by Count Baldwin IV of Fland ers, it became the medieval capital of Fland ers and in the 16th century was the residence of the dukes of Burgundy. Claimed by Louis XIV in 1667, it was captured by the duke of Marlborough in 1708 during the War of the Spanish Succession but was returned to France in 1713. It has been a major industrial center since the 19th century. Occupied by the Germans in both world wars, it enjoyed very rapid industrial expansion in the 1960s.