Forum Hadriani was the northern-most Roman city on the European continent and the second oldest city of The Netherlands. It was located in the Roman province Germania Inferior and is mentioned on the Tabula Peutingeriana, a Roman road map.
The site Forum Hadriani formed the nucleus of the civitas of the Cananefates, who lived west of the Batavians. It was situated along the Fossa Corbulonis or Corbulo-canal. This waterway was established about 47 CE by the Roman general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, forming an important shortcut between the rivers Rhine and Meuse. After the Batavian Rebellion, in which they participated, the Cananefates became loyal allies of the Romans.
In 121 emperor Hadrian made a long voyage along the northwestern border of the empire, during which he visited the Cananefate town. He gave the town his own name, Forum Hadriani (Hadrian’s Market). An alternate name, maybe the only official name, was Municipium Aelium Cananefatium (Aelius being the family name of Hadrian). The shortened version of this name, MAC, has been found engraved in a couple of Roman milestones found in the neighbourhood.
About 270 CE, after several plagues and attacks by Saxon pirates, the Romans abandoned Forum Hadriani.
In 1771 a bronze right hand was excavated during garden work on the estate Arentsburg. This hand was used by Étienne Maurice Falconet as model for the equestrian statue of Peter the Great, The Bronze Horseman. The first scientific excavations at the site of Forum Hadriani were carried out by Caspar Reuvens, between 1827-1833. Reuvens held the first professorship Archaeology ever, worldwide. Reuvens died before he could publish his findings. More excavations were done between 1908 and 1915 by Jan Hendrik Holwerda, he published the results of Reuvens together with his own discoveries in a comprehensive monograph in 1923.References:
The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.
The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.
The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.
During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.