Sedan, Ardennes

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Subprefecture and commune
Sedan in mid-September 2007
Sedan in mid-September 2007
Coat of arms of Sedan
Coat of arms
Sedan is located in France
Location within Grand Est region
Sedan is located in Grand Est
Coordinates: 49°42′12″N 4°56′20″E / 49.7034°N 4.9388°E / 49.7034; 4.9388Coordinates: 49°42′12″N 4°56′20″E / 49.7034°N 4.9388°E / 49.7034; 4.9388
Country France
Region Grand Est
Department Ardennes
Arrondissement Sedan
Canton Sedan-1, 2 and 3
Intercommunality Ardenne Métropole
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Didier Herbillon
Area1 16.28 km2 (6.29 sq mi)
Population (2015)2 17,248
 • Density 1,100/km2 (2,700/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 08409 /08200
Elevation 149–301 m (489–988 ft)
(avg. 157 m or 515 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Crown Prince Wilhelm inspects German troops in Sedan, November 1917

Sedan (French pronunciation: ​[sədɑ̃]) is a commune in the Ardennes department and Grand Est region of north-eastern France. It is also the chef-lieu (administrative centre) of the arrondissement of the same name.


The town is situated some 200 km from Paris, 85 km north-east of Reims, and 10 km south of the border with Belgium, the historic centre occupies a peninsula formed by a bend in the River Meuse.


Sedan was founded in 1424; in the sixteenth century Sédan was an asylum for Protestant refugees from the Wars of Religion.

Until 1651, the Principality of Sedan belonged to the La Tour d'Auvergne family, it was at that time a sovereign principality. Their most illustrious representative, Marshal Turenne, was born at Sedan on 11 September 1611, with help from the Holy Roman Empire, it managed to defeat France at the Battle of La Marfée, though immediately afterwards it was besieged and its prince, Frédéric Maurice de La Tour d'Auvergne, duc de Bouillon, submitted to France. Only a year after that submission, it was annexed to France in return for sparing his life after he became involved in a conspiracy against France.

This town was also the birthplace of Jacques MacDonald, a general who served in the Napoleonic Wars.

During the Franco-Prussian War, on 2 September 1870 the French emperor Napoleon III was taken prisoner with 100,000 of his soldiers at the First Battle of Sedan. Due to this major victory, which also made the unification of Germany possible, 2 September was declared "Sedan Day" (Sedantag) and a national German holiday in 1871, it remained a holiday until 1919.

Sedan was occupied by the Germans for four years during World War I,[1] on 13 November 1917, the German Crown Prince paraded the 13th Infantry Division over the course of "d'Alsace-Lorraine".

During World War II the German troops first invaded neutral Belgium and crossed the Meuse River by winning the Second Battle of Sedan that lasted from 12 to 15 May 1940. This battle allowed them to win the whole Battle of France as they not only bypassed the French fortification system, the Maginot Line, but it also enabled them to entrap the Allied Forces that were advancing east into Belgium, as part of the Allied Dyle Plan strategy.

Points of interest[edit]


Today Sedan is known for its castle, that is claimed to be the largest fortified medieval castle in Europe with a total area of 30,000 square metres (7.4 acres) on seven levels.[citation needed] Construction started in 1424 and the castle's defences were constantly improved over the ages, it is the only remaining part of the once enormous fortifications in and around the town.

Other points of interest[edit]


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1800 10,634 —    
1806 10,838 +1.9%
1821 12,123 +11.9%
1831 13,806 +13.9%
1841 15,585 +12.9%
1851 16,759 +7.5%
1866 13,793 −17.7%
1872 14,039 +1.8%
1876 16,593 +18.2%
1881 19,556 +17.9%
1891 20,292 +3.8%
1901 19,349 −4.6%
1911 19,516 +0.9%
1921 17,509 −10.3%
1926 18,298 +4.5%
1936 18,559 +1.4%
1946 13,514 −27.2%
1954 17,637 +30.5%
1962 20,336 +15.3%
1968 23,037 +13.3%
1975 25,995 +12.8%
1982 24,977 −3.9%
1990 22,667 −9.2%
1999 21,548 −4.9%
2006 19,934 −7.5%
2015 17,248 −13.5%


A centre of cloth production, begun under the patronage of Cardinal Mazarin, supported the town until the late nineteenth century.


CS Sedan Ardennes is based in the town.


The following notable people lived there:

Twin towns[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "First World War". Retrieved 2012-12-13. 

External links[edit]