A Brief History of Armbouts-Cappel
Located on the border between Flanders Maritime and Inland Flanders, Armbouts-Cappel is a small semi-rural town that leads urban Dunkirk into the Flemish countryside. This is a disparate village with a centre and three eccentric hamlets. In the centre, along the tree-lined driveway adjacent to Rue de la Mairie, you will find Saint Martin’s church where historical monuments are located. It was built in 1957 by Pierre Pinsard with stained glass by Jean Bertholle. Near to the church, the ancient presbytery has remodelled the area to create a concert space within the unspoilt nature reserve.
To the North, the privileged site near to the hamlets of Petite-Synthe Bridge and Coq Hardi, welcomes water sports fanatics to the lake during the Summer and during the colder months, many birds species make this area their home. To the South, the hamlet of Grand-Millebrugghe creates a natural border between town and country. This is predominantly an agricultural town that grows wheat and beetroot on the majority of its 1015 hectares of land. A culture of coherent green spaces designed and implemented by the Parks Department combined with significant community input, make a pleasant environment in which to live.
Armbouts-Cappel, like most of Northern France, follow the popular tradition of Character Giants. The Giants tradition can be found in a lot of countries like Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Italy and France. This tradition is reflecting the identity of the inhabitants of an area.
The tradition began in the 16th Century. In these times, Giants with animals or humans shape were shown during several celebrations. They were used to symbolise the power of some corporation against the royal power. One of the most popular Giants is a military one: The Trojan Horse.
Giants are often similar to the Bible’s characters or historical epics. They can also symbolise daily activities of the people from a certain area. Giants were made out of willow but now wood, aluminium or carbon replace it. Nowadays they are present in every carnival and they have become a symbol for each region.