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Title: Oignies  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Courrières, Marie of Oignies, SNCF Class CC 65500, Estrées, Nord, Beaucamps-Ligny
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Oignies is located in France
Country France
Region Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Department Pas-de-Calais
Arrondissement Lens
Canton Hénin-Beaumont-1
Intercommunality Communauté d'agglomération d'Hénin-Carvin
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Jean-Pierre Corbisez
Area1 5.52 km2 (2.13 sq mi)
Population (2010)2 9,877
 • Density 1,800/km2 (4,600/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 62637 / 62590
Elevation 23–33 m (75–108 ft)
(avg. 28 m or 92 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.

Oignies is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France.


  • Geography 1
  • History 2
    • Ancient times 2.1
    • Coal is discovered 2.2
    • The two world wars 2.3
    • End of coal mining 2.4
  • Heraldry 3
  • Population 4
  • Notable people 5
  • Places of interest 6
  • Twin towns 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Oignies is a former coalmining town, nowadays a light industrial town, 10 miles (16 km) northeast of Lens, at the junction of the D46 and the D160 roads. The A1 autoroute passes through the commune, alongside a wooded and lake-filled parkland area.


Ancient times

The town of Oignies seems to have been inhabited since early Christian times. Then it was known as Ongniacume.

Coal is discovered

In the grounds of the Château of Mme De Clercq on 7 June 1842 an Engineer, Monsieur Mulot, discovered the presence of coal, an economic godsend for the region which then developed a huge mining industry. This was the first discovery of coal in the region.

The two world wars

During The First World War, the town was occupied by the Germans. Shortly before their retreat from the territory in October 1918 they destroyed the town and coal mines.

Between 28 May 1940 and 2 September 1944, the town was once again occupied by the troops of Nazi Germany. Shortly after they arrived the occupying forces burned 380 houses and killed 80 civilians in revenge for the fierce resistance they met on the bridge of the Battery.

In 1919, Oignies had seen the arrival in the town of Vincent Auriol accompanied by François Mitterrand who once again bestowed the cross on the town. He inaugurated a mausoleum remembering those 80 shot on 28 May 1940 and declared Oignies a "Ville Martyre" (martyred town).[1]

End of coal mining

On 21 December 1990, the last truck of coal was hoisted from the shaft 9 of Oignies. This well-publicized event marked the end of coal mining in the whole of the north of France.


Arms of Oignies
The arms of Oignies are blazoned :

Vert, a fess ermine. (Oignies, Beaucamps-Ligny, Estrées, Gruson and Wicres use the same arms.)


Historical population of Oignies
Year 1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2010
Population 11,340 12,563 11,649 10,546 10,660 10,531 9,877
From the year 1962 on: No double counting—residents of multiple communes (e.g. students and military personnel) are counted only once.

Notable people

Places of interest

The coal mines
  • The church of St. Barthélemy, rebuilt along with most of the town, after the First World War.
  • The coalmining museum.
  • The chateau, dating from the sixteenth century.
  • The war .

Twin towns

See also


  • INSEE commune file
  1. ^ Local history, Oignies town site consulted 10 Jan 09

External links

  • Official town website (French)
  • Website of the agglomération d'Hénin-Carvin (French)
  • Oignies on the Quid website (French)
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