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Even if the inhabitants of Watten call the upper part of their town "The mountain", it is only 72 meters high, constituting the last link in the chain of the Monts de Flandre.
Watten was been well-known since antiquity and owes its development to the monks who established an abbey here in the 11th century. As a point of passage between Flanders and Artois, Watten occupied a strategic position that was highly coveted.
Fortified in the 17th century, the town was dismantled after the french Revolution and its abbey was sold as state property.
Fortunately, the demolition of its church tower, dating from the 15th century was forbidden as it served as a landmark for sailors (the sea is about thirty kilometres away).
The earthwork bastions can still be seen distinctly; notably the bastion on which a windmill was constructed in 1731, overlooking the valley and the village that extend along the Aa River.