Bergues: The Filming Location Of Welcome To The Sticks

In 2008, Dany Boon's film Welcome to the Sticks was a box office hit. Since then, the town of Bergues, where this feature film was shot, has seen many tourists, curious visitors, and movie buffs. Here are 5 things to know about this destination that reveals behind-the-scenes secrets.

1- Do not confuse Bergues with Berck.

For tourists who, like Kad Merad in the film, come from the South of France or other regions of the Hexagon, the first thing to know is the exact name of the city... Dany Boon's film was shot in Bergues in the Nord department, not in Berck in the Pas-de-Calais!

Do not confuse the seaside resort of Berck-sur-Mer located on the Opal Coast with the filming location of the movie Welcome to the Sticks.

Although these two towns are located in Hauts-de-France, they are very different. The first is known for its long sandy beach and kites, while the second, located near Dunkirk, owes its fame mainly to Dany Boon's comedy.

2- Bergues has a remarkable heritage.

Even though the city of Bergues was less known to tourists before Dany Boon decided to film there, this commune in the North boasts remarkable architectural heritage. The city is entirely surrounded by ramparts, some of which date back to the Middle Ages while others were built by Vauban.

Another iconic monument of the city, the Belfry of Bergues, has been destroyed and rebuilt several times. Dynamited by German troops in 1944, it was reconstructed between 1958 and 1961 and then protected as a Historical Monument in 2004.

This emblem, to which the inhabitants are very attached and which features prominently on the poster of the film "Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis," was added to the World Heritage list in 2005. This monument is also the reason why Dany Boon chose this filming location. Indeed, his great-uncle was the city's carillonneur from 1934 to 1999.

This belfry, standing at a height of 47 meters, underwent renovation between 2018 and 2020. Now, the rooms located in the tower house an interpretation center about the city, its carnival, as well as the history of the belfry and its carillon. To reach its carillon of 50 bells, you will have to climb no fewer than 206 steps. But your efforts will be rewarded with a breathtaking panorama!

3- The walk on the ramparts allows you to get some fresh air.

In Bergues in the North, about 4 km of fortifications surround the city. These ramparts are not only a testament to the region's military past but also a place for a walk not to be missed. Paths have been laid out so that visitors can freely explore these remnants, most of which were designed by Vauban (the famous engineer of the Sun King).

Today, part of this walkway has been classified as a Natural Area of Ecological, Faunistic and Floristic Interest. There you will find a pedestrian path accessible to people with reduced mobility. This developed route is dotted with interpretation panels about the local fauna and flora as well as the still-visible military architecture.

4- The Ch’ti tour takes movie enthusiasts to the filming locations.

If you are one of those visitors who come to Bergues to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Dany Boon's film, know that a tourist circuit has been specially created for movie lovers: the Ch’ti tour!

A flagship product of the Bergues Tourist Office, this guided tour has always been very successful, more than fifteen years after the film's release. It must be said that Welcome to the Sticks has garnered over 28 million admissions worldwide and is ranked as the second most-watched film in French cinemas, just behind Titanic!

Thanks to the Ch’ti tour, you will be able to relive the three weeks of filming and learn many anecdotes about the film accompanied by a guide. This approximately 800-meter route is accessible to everyone. It will take you from the belfry to Antoine Bailleul's house, passing by the canal scene and the bicycle waterfall scene...

5- The Bergues market is another must-see.

Even though it does not appear in the film Welcome to the Sticks, the Monday morning market is another must-see for anyone wanting to discover the city and its specialties.

The Bergues sausage has been a local specialty since the 16th century. This sausage, made of pure pork meat and Spanish spices, was created when the city was under the rule of the Spanish Netherlands.

This northern city has also lent its name to a raw milk cheese made on nearby farms. It is a soft cow's milk cheese with a strong odor.

On carnival day, which is one of the last major carnivals in the Dunkirk region, the mayor throws Bergues sausage and cheese of the same name to the crowd from the balcony of the Town Hall.

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: Pierre-André Leclercq
Tags: bergues, CITY, Dany Boon, Belfry, Cheese, sausage, ramparts, filming location, monument, market, North, Dunkirk, Vauban, heritage, berck, région, Carillon, circuit, flora, waterfall, bicycle, Bailleul, military architecture, 800-meter, French, pedestrian, flagship, Atmosphere, fauna, Spanish Netherlands, balcony, carnivals, Carnival day, odor, Milk, cow, Raw milk, spices, Spanish, meat, Mayor, pork, Town Hall, Sun King, kites, Hauts-de-France, Opal Coast, Berck-sur-Mer, seaside resort, Pas-de-Calais,
More informations:
In French: Bergues : le lieu de tournage de Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis
En español: Bergues: el lugar de rodaje de Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis
In italiano: Bergues: il luogo delle riprese di Benvenuti al Sud
Auf Deutsch: Bergues: der Drehort von Willkommen bei den Sch'tis
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