Dixmude - Encyclopedia




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"DIXMUDE, or in Flemish Dixmuyde, a town in the province of West Flanders, Belgium, on the right bank of the Yser, with a pop. which had risen from 3,278 in 1909 to 3,460 in 1914. It is the centre of an agricultural district noted for cattle-rearing and for its dairy produce. The 15th-century church of St. Nicolas had a remarkably fine rood-loft erected in the 16th century by Jean Bertet and an Adoration of the Magi by Jordaens (1644).

As a result of the World War the town was almost totally destroyed. Dixmude constituted in effect one of the principal points of passage of the Yser and, at the end of Oct. 1914, a force of 5,000 Belgians and a brigade of French marines under Admiral Ronarch successfully resisted the desperate efforts of the Germans to seize the town. The town held out until Nov. 10, by which date, by damming the lower reaches of the Yser and opening the sluices between Dixmude and Nieuport, a large flooded area was placed between the two armies. The town was retaken by the Belgians on Sept. 29 1918. The pop., which after the Armistice had been slowly returning, numbered in 1 9 21 about I,000 persons, housed for the most part in temporary huts, and the rebuilding of the town had begun.

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