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town, Nord departement, Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, northern France, just northeast of Lille and near the Belgian frontier. Sheep were grazed on this portion of the plain of Flanders long before the Romans came. There is record of consignment to Germany at the end of the 12th century. In the 15th century Tourcoing's supremacy in textiles was assured. Emperor Maximilian of Austria licensed a trade fair for the town in 1491. Louis XIV incorporated the town into the French kingdom in 1668. In 1794, at Tourcoing, the French defeated a combined army of Austrians and English. The 19th-century neo-Gothic Church of Saint-Christophe dominates the central square, the Grande Place. Together with Roubaix, its neighbouring city, Tourcoing is a centre for wool and cotton textiles. Both towns, with their suburbs, have become part of the urban agglomeration of Lille. Pop. (1990) 94,425.