Soissons is a commune in the northern French department of Aisne, in the region of Hauts-de-France. Located on the Aisne River, about 100 kilometres northeast of Paris, it is one of the most ancient towns of France, is the ancient capital of the Suessiones. Soissons is the see of an ancient Roman Catholic diocese, whose establishment dates from about 300, it was the location of a number of church synods called "Council of Soissons". Soissons enters written history under its Celtic name, meaning "new hillfort". At Roman contact, it was a town of the Suessiones, mentioned by Julius Caesar. Caesar, after leaving the Axona, entered the territory of the Suessiones, making one day's long march, reached Noviodunum, surrounded by a high wall and a broad ditch; the place surrendered to Caesar. From 457 to 486, under Aegidius and his son Syagrius, Noviodunum was the capital of the Kingdom of Soissons, until it fell to the Frankish king Clovis I in 486 after the Battle of Soissons. Part of the Frankish territory of Neustria, the Soissons region, the Abbey of Saint-Médard, built in the 8th century, played an important political part during the rule of the Merovingian kings.
After the death of Clovis I in 511, Soissons was made the capital of one of the four kingdoms into which his states were divided. The kingdom of Soissons disappeared in 613 when the Frankish lands were amalgamated under Chlothar II; the 744 Council of Soissons met at the instigation of Pepin the Short and Saint Boniface, the Pope's missionary to pagan Germany, secured the condemnation of the Frankish bishop Adalbert and the Irish missionary Clement. During the Hundred Years' War, French forces committed a notorious massacre of English archers stationed at the town's garrison, in which many of the French townsfolk were themselves raped and killed; the massacre of French citizens by French soldiers shocked Europe. Between June 1728 and July 1729 it hosted the Congress of Soissons an attempt to resolve a long-standing series of disputes between the Kingdom of Great Britain and Spain which had spilled over into the Anglo-Spanish War of 1727–1729; the Congress was successful and led to the signing of a peace treaty between them.
During World War I, the city came under heavy bombardment. There was mutiny after the disastrous Chemin des Dames offensive at the Second Battle of the Aisne. A statue erected with images of French soldiers killed in action in 1917 is behind the St Peter's Church, next to the Soissons Courthouse. On 16 June 1972, 108 passengers were killed when two passenger trains hit the debris of a collapsed tunnel; the town was on the main path of totality for the solar eclipse of August 11, 1999. Today, Soissons is a commercial and manufacturing centre with the 12th century Soissons Cathedral and the ruins of St. Jean des Vignes Abbey as two of its most important historical buildings; the nearby Espace Pierres Folles contains a museum, geological trail, botanical garden. The Cathédrale Saint-Gervais-et-Saint-Protais de Soissons is constructed in the style of Gothic architecture; the building of the south transept was begun about 1177, the lowest courses of the choir in 1182. The choir with its original three-storey elevation and tall clerestory was completed in 1211.
This was earlier than Chartres. Work continued into the nave until the late 13th century; the former abbey of Notre Dame, former royal abbey, founded in the Merovingian era, famous for its rich treasure of relics, including the "shoe of the Virgin." The abbey was prestigious abbesses like Gisèle, sister of Charlemagne, or Catherine de Bourbon, aunt of Henry IV. The Saint-Médard Abbey was a Benedictine monastery of Soissons whose foundation went back to the sixth century. Today, only the crypt remains. Since 1833 the city hall has been housed in a chateau built by architect Jean-François Advyné between 1772 and 1775 at the request of the Intendant Pelletier Mortefontaine on the site of a previous one belonging to the counts of Soissons. Arsenal: contemporary art exhibitions. UK Monument The Gateway Anglais Bridge is a concrete casson built cantilevered from an abutment against-weight with an isostatic central beam of 20.50 m in length. The floor has a width of 3.50 m between railings. The original bridge was destroyed in 1914.
It was rebuilt by British soldiers, logically took the name of the English bridge. Again destroyed during World War II, the bridge was rebuilt in 1950 as a footbridge; the covered market, built in 1908 by architect Albert-Désiré Guilbert. The actress Aurore Clément was born in Soissons in 1945; the saints Crispin and Crispinian were martyred c. 286 at Soissons for preaching Christianity to the local Gauls. The 6th century Burgundian king Guntram was born in Soissons around 532. Battle of Soissons Communes of the Aisne department Franks List of Frankish kings Merovingians Suessiones Vase of Soissons Wolf of Soissons Sessions This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed.. "article name needed". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray. INSEE Official website Catholic Encyclopedia: Soissons A live view of the port of Soissons Discovering Soissons Soissons Powerlifting club Local Bus Routes
Reims, a city in the Grand Est region of France, lies 129 km east-northeast of Paris. The 2013 census recorded 182,592 inhabitants in the city of Reims proper, 317,611 inhabitants in the metropolitan area, its primary river, the Vesle, is a tributary of the Aisne. Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire. Reims played a prominent ceremonial role in French monarchical history as the traditional site of the crowning of the kings of France; the Cathedral of Reims housed the Holy Ampulla containing the Saint Chrême brought by a white dove at the baptism of Clovis in 496. It was used for the most important part of the coronation of French kings. Reims functions as a subprefecture of the department of Marne, in the administrative region of Grand Est. Although Reims is by far the largest commune in its department, Châlons-en-Champagne is the prefecture. Before the Roman conquest of northern Gaul, founded circa 80 BC as *Durocorteron, served as the capital of the tribe of the Remi — whose name the town would subsequently echo.
In the course of Julius Caesar's conquest of Gaul, the Remi allied themselves with the Romans, by their fidelity throughout the various Gallic insurrections secured the special favour of the imperial power. At its height in Roman times the city had a population in the range of 30,000 - 50,000 or up to 100,000. Christianity had become established in the city by 260, at which period Saint Sixtus of Reims founded the bishopric of Reims; the consul Jovinus, an influential supporter of the new faith, repelled the Alamanni who invaded Champagne in 336. In 496 – ten years after Clovis, King of the Salian Franks, won his victory at Soissons — Remigius, the bishop of Reims, baptized him using the oil of the sacred phial – purportedly brought from heaven by a dove for the baptism of Clovis and subsequently preserved in the Abbey of Saint-Remi. For centuries the events at the crowning of Clovis I became a symbol used by the monarchy to claim the divine right to rule. Meetings of Pope Stephen II with Pepin the Short, of Pope Leo III with Charlemagne, took place at Reims.
King Louis IV gave the city and countship of Reims to the archbishop Artaldus in 940. King Louis VII gave the title of duke and peer to William of Champagne, archbishop from 1176 to 1202, the archbishops of Reims took precedence over the other ecclesiastical peers of the realm. By the 10th century Reims had become a centre of intellectual culture. Archbishop Adalberon, seconded by the monk Gerbert, founded schools which taught the classical "liberal arts"; the archbishops held the important prerogative of the consecration of the kings of France – a privilege which they exercised from the time of Philippe II Augustus to that of Charles X. Louis VII granted the city a communal charter in 1139; the Treaty of Troyes ceded it to the English, who had made a futile attempt to take it by siege in 1360. Louis XI cruelly suppressed a revolt at Reims, caused in 1461 by the salt tax. During the French Wars of Religion the city sided with the Catholic League, but submitted to King Henri IV after the battle of Ivry.
In the invasions of the War of the Sixth Coalition in 1814, anti-Napoleonic allied armies captured and re-captured Reims. In August 1909 Reims hosted the first international aviation meet, the Grande Semaine d'Aviation de la Champagne. Major aviation personages such as Glenn Curtiss, Louis Blériot and Louis Paulhan participated. Hostilities in World War I damaged the city. German bombardment and a subsequent fire in 1914 did severe damage to the cathedral; the ruined cathedral became one of the central images of anti-German propaganda produced in France during the war, which presented it, along with the ruins of the Cloth Hall at Ypres and the University Library in Louvain, as evidence that German aggression targeted cultural landmarks of European civilization. From the end of World War I to the present day an international effort to restore the cathedral from the ruins has continued; the Palace of Tau, St Jacques Church and the Abbey of St Remi were protected and restored. The collection of preserved buildings and Roman ruins remains monumentally impressive.
During World War II the city suffered additional damage. But in Reims, at 2:41 on the morning of 7 May 1945, General Eisenhower and the Allies received the unconditional surrender of the German Wehrmacht. General Alfred Jodl, German Chief-of-Staff, signed the surrender at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force as the representative for German President Karl Dönitz; the British statesman Leslie Hore-Belisha died of a cerebral haemorrhage while making a speech at the Reims hôtel de ville in February 1957. The principal squares of Reims include the
Charlemagne or Charles the Great, numbered Charles I, was King of the Franks from 768, King of the Lombards from 774, Holy Roman Emperor from 800. He united much of central Europe during the Early Middle Ages, he was the first recognised emperor to rule from western Europe since the fall of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state that Charlemagne founded is called the Carolingian Empire, he was canonized by Antipope Paschal III. Charlemagne was the eldest son of Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon, born before their canonical marriage, he became king in 768 following his father's death as co-ruler with his brother Carloman I. Carloman's sudden death in December 771 under unexplained circumstances left Charlemagne as the sole ruler of the Frankish Kingdom, he continued his father's policy towards the papacy and became its protector, removing the Lombards from power in northern Italy and leading an incursion into Muslim Spain. He campaigned against the Saxons to his east, Christianizing them upon penalty of death and leading to events such as the Massacre of Verden.
He reached the height of his power in 800 when he was crowned "Emperor of the Romans" by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day at Rome's Old St. Peter's Basilica. Charlemagne has been called the "Father of Europe", as he united most of Western Europe for the first time since the classical era of the Roman Empire and united parts of Europe that had never been under Frankish or Roman rule, his rule spurred the Carolingian Renaissance, a period of energetic cultural and intellectual activity within the Western Church. All Holy Roman Emperors considered their kingdoms to be descendants of Charlemagne's empire, as did the French and German monarchies. However, the Eastern Orthodox Church views Charlemagne more controversially, labelling as heterodox his support of the filioque and the Pope's recognition of him as legitimate Roman Emperor rather than Irene of Athens of the Byzantine Empire; these and other machinations led to the eventual split of Rome and Constantinople in the Great Schism of 1054. Charlemagne died in 814, having ruled as emperor for 14 years and as king for 46 years.
He was laid to rest in his imperial capital city of Aachen. He married at least four times and had three legitimate sons, but only his son Louis the Pious survived to succeed him. By the 6th century, the western Germanic tribe of the Franks had been Christianised, due in considerable measure to the Catholic conversion of Clovis I. Francia, ruled by the Merovingians, was the most powerful of the kingdoms that succeeded the Western Roman Empire. Following the Battle of Tertry, the Merovingians declined into powerlessness, for which they have been dubbed the rois fainéants. All government powers were exercised by their chief officer, the mayor of the palace. In 687, Pepin of Herstal, mayor of the palace of Austrasia, ended the strife between various kings and their mayors with his victory at Tertry, he became the sole governor of the entire Frankish kingdom. Pepin was the grandson of two important figures of the Austrasian Kingdom: Saint Arnulf of Metz and Pepin of Landen. Pepin of Herstal was succeeded by his son Charles known as Charles Martel.
After 737, Charles declined to call himself king. Charles was succeeded in 741 by his sons Pepin the Short, the father of Charlemagne. In 743, the brothers placed Childeric III on the throne to curb separatism in the periphery, he was the last Merovingian king. Carloman resigned office in 746. Pepin brought the question of the kingship before Pope Zachary, asking whether it was logical for a king to have no royal power; the pope handed down his decision in 749, decreeing that it was better for Pepin to be called king, as he had the powers of high office as Mayor, so as not to confuse the hierarchy. He, ordered him to become the true king. In 750, Pepin was elected by an assembly of the Franks, anointed by the archbishop, raised to the office of king; the Pope ordered him into a monastery. The Merovingian dynasty was thereby replaced by the Carolingian dynasty, named after Charles Martel. In 753, Pope Stephen II fled from Italy to Francia, appealing to Pepin for assistance for the rights of St. Peter.
He was supported in this appeal by Charles' brother. In return, the pope could provide only legitimacy, he did this by again anointing and confirming Pepin, this time adding his young sons Carolus and Carloman to the royal patrimony. They thereby became heirs to the realm that covered most of western Europe. In 754, Pepin accepted the Pope's invitation to visit Italy on behalf of St. Peter's rights, dealing with the Lombards. Under the Carolingians, the Frankish kingdom spread to encompass an area including most of Western Europe. Orman portrays the Treaty of Verdun between the warring grandsons of Charlemagne as the foundation event of an independent France under its first king Charles the Bald; the middle kingdom had broken up by 890 and absorbed into the Western kingdom and the Eastern kingdom and the rest developing into smaller "buffer" nations that exist between Fr
Odo of France
Odo was the elected King of Francia from 888 to 898 as the first king from the Robertian dynasty. Before assuming the kingship, Odo held the title of Count of Paris. Odo was the eldest son of Robert the Strong, Duke of the Franks, Marquis of Neustria, Count of Anjou. After his father's death at the Battle of Brissarthe in 866, Odo inherited his Marquis of Neustria title. Odo lost this title in 868. Odo regained it following the death of Hugh in 886. After 882 he held the post of Count of Paris. Odo was the lay abbot of St. Martin of Tours. In 882 or 883 Odo married Théodrate of Troyes. Evidence of their children comes from non-contemporary or inauthentic sources; the eleventh-century chronicler Adémar de Chabannes wrote that they had a son, who died shortly after his father. Guy is named as one of the couple's children in an Alan I's charter dated 28 August 903, but genealogist Christian Settipani says it's a falsification; the genealogical work Europäische Stammtafeln refers to Raoul as a son of Odo by Théodrate, but its primary source is not known.
For his skill and bravery in resisting the attacks of Vikings at the Siege of Paris, Odo was chosen by the western Frankish nobles to be their king following the overthrow of Emperor Charles the Fat. He was crowned at Compiègne in February 888 by Walter, Archbishop of Sens. Odo continued to battle against the Vikings and defeated them at Montfaucon, but was soon involved in a struggle with powerful Frankish nobles who supported the claim of Charles the Simple to the throne. In 890 Odo granted special privileges to the County of Manresa in Osona; because of its position on the front line against the Moorish aggression, Manresa was given the right to build towers of defence known as manresanas or manresanes. This privilege was responsible for giving Manresa its unique character, distinct from the rest of Osona, for the next two centuries. To gain prestige and support, Odo paid homage to the East Francia's King Arnulf in 888. Despite this, in 894 Arnulf declared his support for Charles the Simple, after a conflict which lasted three years, Odo was compelled to come to terms with his rival and surrender a district north of the Seine to him.
Odo died in La Fère on 1 January 898. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Odo, king of the Franks". Encyclopædia Britannica. 20. Cambridge University Press. Pp. 4–5
Rudolph of France
Rudolph or Rudolf was the elected King of France from 923 until his death in 936. Prior to his election as king, he was Duke of Burgundy and Count of Troyes from 921, he was the son of Richard, Duke of Burgundy, Adelaide of Auxerre, inherited the Duchy of Burgundy from his father. He married Emma of daughter of king Robert I of France, he is confused with his uncle Rudolph I of Burgundy. Rudolph was elected king of West Francia in 923 by an assembly of Frankish nobles, to succeed his father-in-law Robert I, killed at the Battle of Soissons against the deposed king Charles the Simple, he was crowned by Walter, Archbishop of Sens at St. Médard in Soissons on Sunday, 13 July 923. On assuming the crown he passed the Duchy of Burgundy to his younger brother Hugh the Black. In contemporary Latin documents, his name is Rodulfus, from the Germanic roots hruod, "glory", wulf, "wolf". Rodulf and Rudolf are variants of this name. By contrast, the king is known as Raoul in modern French, a name which derives from Radulfus, from Germanic rad, "counsel", wulf.
Although this name is of different origin, it was sometimes used interchangeably by contemporaries with Rodulfus. The king himself, always used Rodulfus, as on his personal seal. Nonetheless, he is sometimes called Radulf in English; the deposed Charles the Simple claimed the throne. This was solved when Rudolph's brother-in-law, Herbert II, Count of Vermandois, married to Emma's sister, tricked Charles, a fellow Carolingian, into meeting and took him prisoner. Rudolph's first act was to lead an army against the king of East Francia Henry the Fowler, who had made a pact with King Robert I at Jülich earlier in the year. After trying to annex Lotharingia Henry met Rudolph with a considerably-sized army and made peace again. However, in 925 Henry attacked Gilbert, Duke of Lorraine and took over Lotharingia permanently, Rudolph being in no position to resist. In 924 Vikings made a fresh series of raids into West Francia. From the Loire Valley they threatened Hugh the Great, brother of Queen Emma, but Rudolph did nothing.
Soon they attacked the domain of Rudolph's brother. They were repulsed, moved on to Melun, where they threatened the royal lands. Joined only by his ecclesiastic vassals and Herbert, he recruited troops in Burgundy, while Hugh the Great was convinced to join him. After the Vikings left, the Normans, whom Charles the Simple had settled in Duchy of Normandy in 911, began ravaging that whole region. Herbert and Arnulf I of Flanders joined Rudolph and together they took Eu, but were ambushed near Fauquembergues where the king was wounded, the Count of Ponthieu killed, many Normans left dead on the field. In that year, Rudolph conversed with Louis the Blind, king of Provence, over the Magyars, the newest barbarian migrants to Europe menacing Louis. In 930 Magyars left before the king could engage them. In 935 Magyars invaded Burgundy and Rudolph brought a large army against them, causing their retreat without a battle. West Francia was temporarily safe from both Magyars at Rudolphs's death. In order to increase his own power, Herbert II, Count of Vermandois used his royal prisoner as a bargaining tool to secure the archbishopric of Rheims for his son Hugh in 925 and the county of Laon for his son Odo in 927.
The complaints from Rudolph led Herbert II to bring Charles before William Longsword, Count of Rouen, for homage and to Rheims to press Charles' claim on Pope John X. In 928 Herbert II got possession of Laon, but the next year Charles died at Péronne and Herbert II lost his leverage against Rudolph. After defeating Vikings of the Limousin, Rudolph received the allegiance of the Aquitainians and homage from William Longsword, to whom he granted in 933 the islands off the coast of Normandy, now referred to as the Channel Islands. In 929 Rudolph attempted to reduce the power of Duke of Aquitaine, he withdrew from him access to Berry, in 932 granted the title of prince of Gothia to the count of Toulouse, Raymond Pons, his brother of Rouergue, Ermengol. He transferred the title Count of Auvergne to Raymond. Moreover, the territory of the march, under the control of the lord of Charroux was transformed into an independent county. However, Rudolph was campaigning with Ebalus in the south to eradicate the last Viking strongholds there.
He proceeded aggressively against Herbert II, marching into Rheims and replacing Hugh with Artald in 931. Joined by Hugh the Great, Rudolph burned Herbert's fortresses and cornered him in Château-Thierry, where he had first imprisoned Charles, from 933 to 934; the two made peace in 935 and Rudolph fell ill, dying a few months on 14 or 15 January 936. Gwatking, H. M. Whitney, J. P. et al. Cambridge Medieval History: Volume III—Germany and the Western Empire. Cambridge University Press: London, 1930
Charles the Simple
Charles III, called the Simple or the Straightforward, was the King of West Francia from 898 until 922 and the King of Lotharingia from 911 until 919–23. He was a member of the Carolingian dynasty. Charles was the third and posthumous son of king Louis the Stammerer by his second wife Adelaide of Paris; as a child, Charles was prevented from succeeding to the throne at the time of the death in 884 of his half-brother, king Carloman II. Instead, Frankish nobles of the realm asked Emperor Charles the Fat to assume the crown, he was prevented from succeeding the unpopular Charles the Fat, deposed in November 887 and died in January 888, although it is unknown if his overthrow was accepted or made known in West Francia before his death. The nobility elected Odo, the hero of the Siege of Paris as the new king, although there was a faction that supported claims of Guy III of Spoleto; the young Charles was put under the protection of Ranulf II, the Duke of Aquitaine, who may have tried to claim the throne for him and in the end used the royal title himself until making peace with Odo.
In 893, Charles was crowned by a faction opposed to the rule of Odo at the Reims Cathedral, becoming monarch of West Francia only after the death of Odo in 898. In 911, a group of Vikings led by Rollo besieged Paris and Chartres. After a victory near Chartres on 26 August, Charles decided to negotiate with Rollo, resulting in the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte which created the Duchy of Normandy. In return for the Vikings' loyalty, they were granted all the land between the river Epte and the sea, as well as Duchy of Brittany, which at the time was an independent country which West Francia had unsuccessfully tried to conquer. Rollo agreed to be baptised and to marry Charles' daughter Gisela. In 911, Louis the Child, the last Carolingian king of East Francia died, nobles of Lotharingia, loyal to him, under the leadership of Reginar, Duke of Lorraine declared Charles their new king, breaking from East Francia which had elected non-Carolingian Conrad I as the new king. Charles had tried to win Lotharingian support for years, for instance, by marrying in April 907 a Lotharingian woman named Frederuna, in 909 his niece Cunigunda married Wigeric of Lotharingia.
Charles defended Lotharingia against two attacks by Conrad I. In 925, Lotharingia was once again seized by East Francia. Queen Frederuna died on 10 February 917 leaving six daughters and no sons, leaving the succession uncertain. On 7 October 919 Charles married Eadgifu, the daughter of Edward the Elder, King of England, who bore him a son, the future King Louis IV of France. By this time, Charles' excessive favouritism towards a certain Hagano had turned the aristocracy against him, he endowed Hagano with monasteries that were the benefices of other barons, alienating them. In Lotharingia, he earned the enmity of the new duke Gilbert, who in 919 declared loyalty to the new king of East Francia Henry the Fowler. Opposition to Charles in Lotharingia was not universal, however; the nobles exasperated with Charles' policies and his favoritism of count Hagano, seized Charles in 920. After negotiations by Archbishop Herveus of Reims the king was released. In 922, the Frankish nobles revolted again led by Robert of Neustria.
Robert, Odo's brother, was elected king by the rebels and crowned, while Charles had to flee to Lotharingia. On 2 July 922, Charles lost his most faithful supporter, Herveus of Reims, who had succeeded Fulk in 900. Charles returned with a Norman army in 923 but was defeated on 15 June at the Battle of Soissons by Robert, who died in the battle. Charles was captured and imprisoned in a castle at Péronne under the guard of Herbert II of Vermandois. Robert's son-in-law Rudolph of Burgundy was elected to succeed him as king. Charles was buried at the nearby abbey of Saint-Fursy, his son by Eadgifu would be crowned in 936 as Louis IV of France. In the initial aftermath of Charles's defeat, Queen Eadgifu and children had fled to England. On 6 December 884, King Carloman II of West Francia died without a male heir and his half-brother, the future Charles the Simple, was just a five-year-old boy; because of this, their cousin Charles the Fat Holy Roman Emperor and King of East Francia, was invited by the nobles of the Kingdom to assume the throne.
Since the beginning, the new monarch was forced to deal with constant Viking raids, with little success. After three years of incompetent government, Charles the Fat was deposed by the Diet of Tribur in 887. Faced with the growing threat of northern invaders, the local nobles again rejected the succession of Charles the Simple because he was too young, Odo, Count of Paris was chosen as the new King of West Francia, after defending Paris against the Vikings, led by Rollo. In 893, aided by Archbishop Fulk of Reims, Charles the Simple attempted to reclaim the throne, but in vain. By 897, the young prince ruled only the city of Laon before Odo on his deathbed designated him as his successor. Following the death of Odo in January 898, Charles the Simple assumed the title of king of West Francia. Soon the new monarch showed his ambition to conquer Lotharingia, the main objective of all the monarchs of West Francia since Charles the Bald. Lotharingia was the cradle of the Carolingian dynasty. Charlemagne's ancestors, the Pippinids were from Lotharingia.
After the Treaty of Verdun in 843, the Lotharingia was part of Middle Francia for a short time and both West and East Francia tried to gain control over it. Arnulf of Carinthia, King of East Francia prevented this b
Aisne is a French department in the Hauts-de-France region of northern France. It is named after the river Aisne; the department of Aisne is surrounded by the French departments of Nord, Oise and Seine-et-Marne and borders Belgium to the northeast. The Aisne River crosses the area from east to west; the Marne forms part of the southern boundary of the department with the department of Seine-et-Marne. The southern part of the department is the geographical region known as la Brie poilleuse, a drier plateau known for its dairy products and Brie cheese. According to the 2003 census, the forested area of the department was 123,392 hectares, or 16.6% for an average metropolitan area of 27.4%. The landscape is dominated by masses of rock which have steep flanks; these rocks appear all over the region, but the most impressive examples are at Laon and the Chemin des Dames ridge. The principal cities in Aisne are: pop. 26,000 Saint-Quentin, pop. 60,000 Soissons, pop. 30,000 Château-Thierry, pop. 15,000 Tergnier, pop.
15,000 Chauny Hirson Villers-Cotterêts La Fère Vervins GuiseSee also: List of the communes of the Aisne department and Brie. The Scheldt, the Aisne, the Marne, the Ourcq, the Vesle, the Somme, the Oise, the Serre. In the south of the department, there is the Surmelin, the Verdonnelle, the Dhuys; the department is crossed by numerous canals. The county is crossed by three railway lines from Paris: the first two from the Gare du Nord and the third from the Gare de l'Est: the line from Paris to Maubeuge, serving cities including Chauny and Saint-Quentin the line from Paris to Laon, serving cities including Soissons, Anizy-le-Château, Laon the line from Paris to Strasbourg, serving the city of Château-Thierry. In 1873, the department of Aisne had 10 railway companies with a total length of 382 km. There is an average of 500 to 750 mm precipitation annually. Weather Data for Saint Quentin - Roupy Aisne developed from the ancient settlement of Acinum, from which its name derives; the Battle of the Axona was fought nearby in 57 BC.
Aisne is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was created from parts of the former provinces of Île-de-France and Champagne. Most of the old growth forests in the area were destroyed during battles in World War I; the French offensive against the Chemin des Dames in spring 1917 is sometimes referred to as the Second Battle of the Aisne. Agriculture dominates the economy cereal crops. Beet sugar is one of the most important industrial crops of the area. Silk and wool weaving flourish in Saint-Quentin and other towns. Saint-Gobain is known for its production of mirrors. Guise is the agricultural centre of the northern area of Aisne; the department is a mixture of working-class towns. As a place of residence for some families working in Paris or Île-de-France, Aisne was for many years a department rather oriented to the left, with a majority on the General Council on the left since 1998, the same for the majority of parliamentary seats representing the department in the National Assembly.
The smaller cities of the northern department such as Guise, Hirson and the railway city of Tergnier are sources of support for left-wing parties. Four political groups are represented in the General Council, all of them are composed of multiple political parties; the President of the General Council is the Liberal Nicolas Fricoteaux. In the second round of the French presidential elections of 2017 Aisne was one of only two departments in which the candidate of the Front National, Marine Le Pen, received a majority of the votes cast: 52.91%. Aisne is divided into 21 cantons; the department has five parliamentary constituencies. The department of Aisne includes one medium-sized city and three small cities to which may be added the conglomeration formed by Chauny and Tergnier. There are many other agglomerations of an urban character because Aisne has been densely populated since before the 19th century; the villages are numerous and rather small. Aisne lost some of its population in the second half of the 19th century, due to the rural exodus but this was limited by the industrial development in the north of the department.
Affected by the First World War, the department has seen its population grow to the same level as in 1900. For thirty years, the industrial decline has caused stagnation of the population. Only the south-west of the department, close to the Paris conurbation, has seen much population growth; the boat tours relates in part to the Canal de Saint-Quentin with its electric towage and two tunnels. In 2007, a large infrastructure for tourist accommodation, the Center Parcs, was built on the Lake of Ailette, close to many tourist attractions such as the Cathedral of Laon, the Chemin des Dames and the Château de Coucy. Among the many places to explore are: MonumentsCastle of Villers-Cotterets at Château-Thierry Château de Condé Château de Coucy Castle Oigny-en-Valois Dungeon of Septmonts Château of GuiseCathedralsCathédrale Notre-Dame de Laon Soissons Cathedr