City History


Founded around 1150 by Count Baldwin IV of Hainaut, the town has remained a royal residence for 400 years.

Charles V has modified the walls in the 16th century, they disappeared when Vauban, under Louis XIV, has supervised the overhaul of the city from 1668 to 1673.

Here is a list of important people who have close contact with the history of Le Quesnoy.

Jeanne and Marguerite of Hainaut and of Flanders have governed successively these two provinces, after the death of their father's Baudouin VI of Constantinople who loved living there.

William of Hainault improved the fortifications.

Isabeau of Bavière lived in his castle before marrying with King Charles VI.

Charles le Téméraire, spent his youth in Quesnoy near his aunt Beatrice of Portugal.

Louis XI sieged to the city and he tried for the first time to join it to the crown of France.

Charles V strengthened the walls by adding the bastions.

Vauban worked more intensively in the organization of his defense, and he had grandiose plans designed to make it invulnerable.

Villars took it to Prince Eugene and Malborough who seized it at the Battle of Malplaquet.

Chappe who is the inventor of air telegraph, inaugurated his discovery in Le Quesnoy.

George V, king of England signed the Register of Proceedings of City Council after the liberation of the city by New Zealand troops.


Marguerite de Bourgogne

French version

Guillaume IV of Hainault, known as "the Good" was a Major in 1405. He married Marguerite, daughter of Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, known for this reason under the name of Marguerite of Bourgogne. She was notable by his good works and piety. She died March 8, 1441 at age 68.

Today it remains the cellars of Château Marguerite de Bourgogne (right here), and the song of Pierrot.

Indeed, during the marriage of Margaret of Burgundy, a giant named Peter Host, was selected to distribute caramels and dragees to inhabitants of Le Quesnoy, in honor of the newlyweds.

As he had been drinking heavily, he went into the woods for Gard to sleep it off.

Children of the town found him asleep, they stole his basket filled with candies and ate them, then they returned to town by explaining their story.

The comtesse Marguerite stopped his servant and the next day he was dressed in white and walked throw the city to deliver a new supply of caramel.

The following year on the anniversary of the wedding of Marguerite, a servant of the princess because he was tall, was choose to play the role of Dragier Pierrot giant walked.

He traveled the city and distributed again some dragees. This is the origin of the song of Pierrot Bimberlot and the origine that a geant walk through the town.

I put on for fun, the lyrics of Pierrot Bimberlot

Click below to hear me singing the beginning
of The Song of Bimberlot!


    She also has struggled to recover ...  
Now a Maori giant accompanies Bimberlot, when he goes through the town























Here are the 2 giants
at a carnival at Quesnoy.





For more detailed information on Le Quesnoy,
click on this image.