Connected with the University were not only the English College, Douai, founded by William Allen, but also the Irish and Scottish colleges and the Benedictine, Franciscan and Jesuit houses.
The substantial Porte de Valenciennes town gate, a reminder of the town's past military importance, was built in 1453.
One face is built in Gothic style, while the other is of Classical design.
Its site probably corresponds to that of a 4th-century Roman fortress known as Duacum.
From 10th century the town was a romance fiefdom of the counts of Flanders.
Later, following Waldeck-Rousseau's Law of Associations (1901), this community also returned to England in 1903, where it was established at Douai Abbey, near Reading.
Douai School continued as an educational establishment for boys until 1999.
The Gare de Douai railway station is served by regional trains towards Lille, Arras, Lens, Amiens, Saint-Quentin and Valenciennes.
It is also connected to the TGV network, with high speed trains to Paris, Lyon, Nantes and other cities.
The University of Douai was founded under the patronage of Phillip II, when Douai belonged to the Spanish Netherlands.
It was prominent, from the 1560s until the French Revolution, as a centre for the education of English Catholics escaping the persecution in England.
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