The town hall was built between 1897 and 1901 in the neo-Flemish style by regional architect Louis-Marie Cordonnier. Clad in a mixture of red brick and stone, the belfry rises to 75 metres in height. Above the central balcony sits an equestrian statue of Louis XIV, who bought the city back from the English in 1662. The interior of the belfry's base is lit by a large stained glass window representing the triumphant return of the famous Dunkirk privateer Jean Bart after his victory at the battle of the Texel in 1694. The town hall balcony has a special role in the Dunkirk Carnival, too: it's always from here that the mayor, assisted by a few fellow citizens, throws kippers (smoked herrings) to the jubilant crowd below.