Lille (Flemish Ryssel), a manufacturing town and first-class fortress of France, chief town of the dep. of Nord, is situated on a sub-tributary of the Scheldt, 66 miles by rail SE. of Calais. Lille derives its name from the 11th-century castle of the Counts of Flanders around which it arose, and which from its position in the midst of marshes was called L'Isle. Burgundian from 1365, Lille was conquered by Louis XIV. in 1667, and finally handed over to France in 1713. Its defences consist of Vauban's pentagonal citadel, and a series of seven forts encircling the town. The old fortifications were mostly levelled from 1858 onwards. The town possesses few notable buildings except the church of Notre Dame (1855), and the town-hall with the museum, the famous Wicar collection of drawings by the Old Masters, and a library of 41,000 volumes. It has a Catholic 'free university,' independent faculties of medicine and science, technical schools, a music school, and an academy of art. Lille is a great centre of textile industries : the spinning of linen and cotton, the manufacture of thread, damask, cloth, tulle, tickings, etc. - these textile industries employ 20,000 workpeople - as also of tobacco, beer, paper, sugar, machinery, etc. Pop. (1872) 152,775 ; (1901) 215,431.