The town hall in Denain
|Intercommunality||Communauté d'agglomération de la Porte du Hainaut|
|o Mayor (2014-2020)||Anne-Lise Dufour-Tonini|
|11.52 km2 (4.45 sq mi)|
|o Density||1,700/km2 (4,500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||26-115 m (85-377 ft) |
(avg. 33 m or 108 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
It is the largest of 39 communes which comprise the association of communes of Porte du Hainaut, which in 1999 had a total population of 147,989.
A mere village in the beginning of the 19th century, it rapidly increased from 1850 onwards, and, according to the census of 1906, possessed 22,845 inhabitants, more than its 1999 population.
Its vicinity was the scene of the decisive victory gained in 1712 by Marshal Villars over the allies commanded by Prince Eugene of Savoy; and the battlefield is marked by a monolithic monument inscribed with the verses of Voltaire: "Regardez dans Denain l'audacieux Villars/Disputant le tonnerre à l'aigle des Césars." ("See in Denain bold Villars/Fighting the eagle of the Caesars").
Denain was an important centre in the industrial revolution, first for coal-mining from 1720, and steelworks from around 1839. The closure of the large Usinor steelworks at Denain was announced in 1978, and the works finally closed in 1988. Émile Zola is thought to have conducted research into the working of the mine and mining communities by visiting Denain before writing Germinal. A primary school, a park and a road in Denain bear the name of the novelist.