DOUAI, or DouAv, an ancient and once strongly-fortified town of France, at the head of an arrondissement, in the department of Nord, situated on the Scarpe, at a railway junction 18 miles S. of Lille. Its triple line of fortifica-tions, partly the work of Vauban and partly of more modern structure, includes a considerably larger space than is requisite for the area of its buildings ; the streets are consequently' spacious, and the number and size of the gardens unusually large. Besides a variety of adininistra-tive offices, the town possesses a court of appeal, which holds its sessions in the palace of the ancient parlement of Flandres ; it contains also one of the principal cannon foundries of the kingdom, an arsenal, and large artillery establishments, and is further remarkable for the number of its literary and scientific institutions, among which may be mentioned the academy, with its faculties of letters and law, representing the university established in 1562, the college, founded by cardinal Allen, for the education of English Roman Catholic priests, the Government school of artillery', a school of drawing and music, a museum of natural history' and antiquities, enriched with sculptured stones and inscriptions from Bevai, a botanical garden, a collection of paintings, and a public library of upwards of 40,000 volumes, and among the rest about 300 incunabula. The church of Notre Dame dates from the 12th and 14th centuries, and preserves a remarkable painting, containing 254 figures, which formerly belonged to the 'abbey of Anchin, and was apparently the work of Jean Bellegambe ; the ancient Carthusian convent is still extant as an artillery magazine ; and the town-house ranks as one of the historical monuments of France, and is architecturally interesting for its ogival windows and its belfry and spire. Railways and canals open up to Douai an extensive trade in corn, wine, brandy, cattle, wool, fiax, and other agricultural pro-ducts ; and it manufactures lace, gauze, cottons, linens, thread, earthenware, soap, salt, and beer. The origin of the town is a matter of dispute ; but it rose into importance in the Middle Ages under the Counts of Flanders, passed afterwards into the possession of the dukes of Burgundy, and thus became subject to the Spanish crown. In 1667 it was captured by the French under Louis XIV. ; and though the allies under Marlborough and Eugene obtained possession in 1710, it was retaken by the French in 1711, and finally incorporated with France in 1714. Population in 1872, 21,703.