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Aisne
Aisne
(French pronunciation: ​[ɛːn]) is a French department in the Hauts-de-France
Hauts-de-France
region of northern France. It is named after the river Aisne.

Contents

1 Geography

1.1 Hydrography 1.2 Railways

2 Climate 3 History 4 Heraldry 5 Economy 6 Politics 7 Administration 8 Demography 9 Tourism 10 Culture

10.1 Languages 10.2 Gastronomy 10.3 Notable people linked to the department 10.4 Second homes

11 See also 12 References 13 External links

Geography[edit] The department of Aisne
Aisne
is surrounded by the French departments of Nord, Somme, Oise, Ardennes, and Seine-et-Marne
Seine-et-Marne
and borders Belgium
Belgium
to the northeast. The Aisne River
Aisne River
crosses the area from east to west, where it joins the Oise
Oise
River. The Marne
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
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%.[1] The landscape is dominated by masses of rock which often have steep flanks. These rocks appear all over the region, but the most impressive examples are at Laon
Laon
and the Chemin des Dames
Chemin des Dames
ridge. The principal cities in Aisne
Aisne
are :

Laon, pop. 26,000 (capital) 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 Guise

See also: List of the communes of the Aisne
Aisne
department and Brie. Hydrography[edit] The Scheldt
Scheldt
(which takes its source near Le Catelet), the Aisne, the Marne, the Ourcq, the Vesle, the Somme (which rises in Fonsommes), the Oise, and the Serre. In the south of the department, there is the Surmelin, the Verdonnelle, and the Dhuys (this river is channeled into the Dhuis Aqueduct, 131 km long, to supply drinking water to Paris
Paris
since 1 October 1865 and also more recently the Leisure Park of Marne-la-Vallée). The department is also crossed by numerous canals (e.g. the Canal of Saint-Quentin, 93 km). Railways[edit] The county is crossed by three railway lines from Paris: the first two from the Gare du Nord
Gare du Nord
and the third from the Gare de l'Est:

the line from Paris
Paris
to Maubeuge, serving cities including Chauny, Tergnier
Tergnier
and Saint-Quentin the line from Paris
Paris
to Laon, serving cities including Soissons, Anizy-le-Château, and Laon
Laon
(prefecture) the line from Paris
Paris
to Strasbourg, serving the city of Château-Thierry.

In 1873, the department of Aisne
Aisne
had 10 railway companies with a total length of 382 km.[2] Climate[edit] There is an average of 500 to 750 mm precipitation annually. Weather Data for Saint Quentin - Roupy

Climate data for Saint Quentin - Roupy from 1961 to 1990

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 4.6 (40.3) 6.3 (43.3) 9.4 (48.9) 13 (55) 17 (63) 20.1 (68.2) 22.3 (72.1) 22.3 (72.1) 19.4 (66.9) 14.7 (58.5) 8.7 (47.7) 5.6 (42.1) 13.6 (56.5)

Daily mean °C (°F) 2.3 (36.1) 3.4 (38.1) 5.8 (42.4) 8.6 (47.5) 12.3 (54.1) 15.2 (59.4) 17.1 (62.8) 17.1 (62.8) 14.6 (58.3) 10.8 (51.4) 5.9 (42.6) 3.2 (37.8) 9.7 (49.5)

Average low °C (°F) 0 (32) 0.4 (32.7) 2.2 (36) 4.2 (39.6) 7.6 (45.7) 10.3 (50.5) 11.9 (53.4) 11.8 (53.2) 9.8 (49.6) 7 (45) 3 (37) 0.9 (33.6) 5.8 (42.4)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 57.1 (2.248) 47.5 (1.87) 57.1 (2.248) 50.2 (1.976) 63 (2.48) 66.2 (2.606) 59.5 (2.343) 51.6 (2.031) 56.7 (2.232) 59.1 (2.327) 68.1 (2.681) 61.1 (2.406) 697.2 (27.449)

Source: Infoclimat: Saint Quentin - Roupy (1961-1990)[3]

History[edit] Aisne
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
France
(Laon, Soissons, Noyon,and Valois), Picardy
Picardy
( Thiérache
Thiérache
Vermandois), and Champagne (Brie,and Omois). 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. Heraldry[edit]

The Arms of Aisne
Aisne
combines the arms of the former Comté de Ponthieu at the top with those of the former Province of Champagne below. The wavy middle bar represents the river Aisne. This shield is a proposal by Robert Louis, and has as yet no official value. The arms of Aisne
Aisne
are blazoned : Party per fess wavy argent, one of Or three bendlets of azure; two of azure with band argent between two cotices potent counter potent of Or and Azure.

Economy[edit] Agriculture dominates the economy, especially cereal crops. Beet sugar is one of the most important industrial crops of the area. Silk, cotton, and wool weaving flourish in Saint-Quentin and other towns. Saint-Gobain
Saint-Gobain
is known for its production of mirrors, which started in the 17th century. Guise
Guise
is the agricultural centre of the northern area of Aisne. Politics[edit] The department is a mixture of rural areas and working-class towns. As a place of residence for some families working in Paris
Paris
or Île-de-France, Aisne
Aisne
was for many years a department rather oriented to the left, with a majority on the General Council on the left since 1998, and 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, Vervins
Vervins
and the railway city of Tergnier
Tergnier
are sources of support for left-wing parties. Four political groups are represented in the General Council, all of them (except the Front National) are composed of multiple political parties. The President of the General Council is the Liberal Nicolas Fricoteaux.

Party seats

Conservatives and Liberals (LR - UDI) 18

• Socialists and Ecologists (PS - EELV) 10

• Front National 8

• French Communist Party 6

In the second round of the French presidential elections of 2017 Aisne was one of only two departments (along nearby Pas-de-Calais) in which the candidate of the Front National, Marine Le Pen, received a majority of the votes cast: 52.91%.[4] Administration[edit] Aisne
Aisne
is divided into five arrondissements and 21 cantons. The department has 804 communes and five parliamentary constituencies. Demography[edit]

The main cities of the department

The department of Aisne
Aisne
includes one medium-sized city (Saint-Quentin) and three small cities (Laon, Soissons
Soissons
and Château-Thierry) to which may be added the conglomeration formed by Chauny
Chauny
and Tergnier. There are many other agglomerations of an urban character because Aisne
Aisne
has been densely populated since before the 19th century. The villages are numerous and rather small. Aisne
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 (Saint-Quentin, Chaunois, Thiérache). Greatly affected by the First World War, the department has seen its population grow slightly to the same level as in 1900. For thirty years, the industrial decline has caused stagnation of the population (526,346 in 1968, 535,489 in 1999). Only the south-west of the department, close to the Paris
Paris
conurbation, has seen much population growth. Tourism[edit]

Laon
Laon
Cathedral

The keep of the castle of Septmonts

Saint-Quentin townhall

Fortified church of Parfondeval

Ruins of the Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes
Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes
in Soissons

The boat tours relates in part to the Canal de Saint-Quentin
Canal de Saint-Quentin
with its electric towage and two tunnels (Lesdins and Riqueval/Vendhuile). 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
Chemin des Dames
and the Château de Coucy. Among the many places to explore are:

Monuments

Castle of Villers-Cotterets
Villers-Cotterets
at Château-Thierry Château de Condé Château de Coucy Castle Oigny-en-Valois Dungeon of Septmonts Château of Guise

Cathedrals

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Laon Soissons
Soissons
Cathedral

Churches and abbeys

Saint-Michel-en- Thiérache
Thiérache
Abbey Abbaye du Tortoir de Saint Nicolas aux Bois Abbaye Saint-Vincent de Laon Abbaye Saint-Martin de Laon Longpont Abbey Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes Vauclair Abbey Church of Saint-Caprais Abbey church of Saint-Yved de Braine

War memorials of the First World War

Chemin des Dames The Caverne of the Dragon The Landowski Ghosts, Margival Bois de Belleau/Bois de la Brigade de Marine

Musées

Musée Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse
à Bohain-en-Vermandois Quentin de Latour Museum in Saint-Quentin Musée du cheminot, the Familistère de Godin at Guise.

Culture[edit] During World War I
World War I
a number of significant architectural monuments were destroyed. Of the buildings that survived, the medieval churches in Laon, Braine, and Urcel
Urcel
are the most significant. The ruined castle of La Ferté-Milon
La Ferté-Milon
escaped further damage during the war. Of the castles that survived, some were used as prisons, such as the Castle of Vadancourt, near Saint-Quentin (500 prisoners).[5] It is thought that the Aisne River
Aisne River
was the birthplace of the trench warfare seen in the First World War. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) had initial early successes driving the Germans back to the Aisne
Aisne
River; the German troops dug in and managed to hold out against both British and French attacks. This German entrenchment was to mould the entire face of World War One as both sides began digging in and fortifying their positions. Thus began the stalemate that became a significant feature of the First World War. Languages[edit]

Picard in the north Champenois dialect in the south the French of Île-de- France
France
in the centre and the south.

This linguistic variance probably explains the difficulty for residents south of Aisne
Aisne
to identify themselves as belonging to the Picardy
Picardy
region. Gastronomy[edit]

Rustic cuisine. The north of the department is a farming area and there are products made from cow's milk such as Maroilles cheese
Maroilles cheese
and Dulce de leche. There are also typically Picardy
Picardy
specialties such as "ficelle", a sort of rolled crêpe with cream cheese, béchamel, ham, and mushrooms. Foie gras
Foie gras
is a product developed in Thiérache
Thiérache
of the highest quality. The cultivation of red fruit (strawberries) is beginning to develop. Trade shows for: cheeses (La Capelle), blood sausage (Saint-Quentin). Tastings in flea markets and many opportunities to discover local products in a traditional atmosphere. In the south there are kidney beans form Soissons
Soissons
and the Tourist route of Champagne where some champagnes produced in the Chateau-Thierry region, like the maroilles, are recognized by the Appellation d'origine contrôlée
Appellation d'origine contrôlée
(AOC). Thiérache
Thiérache
cider and its eau-de-vie and the production of beer (mostly craft) give the department of Aisne
Aisne
real identity. Large swarms of bees mean that the flavours of honey, mead, gingerbread, vinegar etc. can be found.

Notable people linked to the department[edit]

Achille Jacopin is a sculptor born in 1874 and died in 1958 at Château-Thierry Paul and Camille Claudel
Camille Claudel
came from Tardenois Jean de la Fontaine
Jean de la Fontaine
was from Château-Thierry Paul Doumer, French president from 1931 to 1932, founder of the journal La tribune de l' Aisne
Aisne
and long time deputy for the departement Alexandre Dumas
Alexandre Dumas
was from Villers-Cotterets

The fictional character Jean Valjean
Jean Valjean
was born in Faverolles, Aisne

Jean Racine
Jean Racine
was from La Ferte-Milon Maurice Quentin de la Tour
Maurice Quentin de la Tour
was born in Saint-Quentin François-Noël Babeuf, called Gracchus Babeuf
Gracchus Babeuf
(1760-1797) was from Saint Quentin Guillaume-Benoît Houdet, lawyer, MP, and Mayor of Château-Thierry (1800-1805) Henri Matisse, painter, spent his childhood in Bohain-en-Vermandois Sébastien Cauet, host-producer of television and radio French, is from Marle Jean-Baptiste André Godin
Jean-Baptiste André Godin
(1817-1888), an industrialist and French philanthropist, creator of Familistère de Guise Nicolas de Condorcet
Nicolas de Condorcet
(1743-1794), a philosopher, mathematician and political scientist was from Ribemont Leo Lemoine, mayor of Saulchery
Saulchery
member of the Resistance in February 1941 and died for France
France
in exile at Buchenwald
Buchenwald
Dora[6] with his son Jacques (17 years old) Kamini, a rapper, is from Le Nouvion-en-Thiérache

Second homes[edit] In 2008, the department had 4.1% of second homes. This table shows the main communes of Aisne
Aisne
that have second homes which occasionally exceed 10% of total housing.[7]

Town Municipal Population Number of Lodgings Secondary Lodgings %age Secondary Lodgings

Chamouille 0 0 0256 0 0 0628 0 0 0526 83.81%

Neuville-sur-Ailette 0 0 0 086 0 0 0147 0 0 0110 74.86%

Berny-Rivière 0 0 0596 0 0 0653 0 0 0396 60.69%

Ressons-le-Long 0 0 0762 0 0 0393 0 0 0 090 22.90%

See also[edit]

Cantons of the Aisne
Aisne
department Communes of the Aisne
Aisne
department Arrondissements of the Aisne
Aisne
department

References[edit]

^ "National Forestry Inventory: Départment of Aisne" (PDF). www.ifn.fr (in French).  ^ Geography of the department of Aisne
Aisne
(2nd edition), by Adolphe Joanne, 1874, p. 36 ^ Monthly Climate Archives - Saint Quentin - Roupy (1961-1990), consulted on 17 May 2013. ^ "Résultats Aisne
Aisne
- Présidentielle 2017 - 1er et 2nd tour". Le Monde.fr.  ^ Castle of Vadancourt Archived 9 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine. (in French) ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 June 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013.  ^ http://www.insee.fr/fr/recensement/page_accueil_rp.htm, INSEE, as at 1 January 2008.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aisne.

(in French) Prefecture website (in French) General Council website (in English) Set up your business in Aisne (in French) Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Aisne (in French) Chamber of Trades of Aisne (in French) Aisne
Aisne
Chamber of Agriculture (in English) Aisne
Aisne
Development Agency (in English) Official Tourist Board (in French) Maps of Aisne Dmoz (in French) Département de l’ Aisne
Aisne
The Accounts of the Communes in fiscal groupings—Individual data for budget, consolidated data for the "Principle Budget and budget annexes"

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Departments of France

01 Ain 02 Aisne 03 Allier 04 Alpes-de-Haute-Provence 05 Hautes-Alpes 06 Alpes-Maritimes 07 Ardèche 08 Ardennes 09 Ariège 10 Aube 11 Aude 12 Aveyron 13 Bouches-du-Rhône 14 Calvados 15 Cantal 16 Charente 17 Charente-Maritime 18 Cher 19 Corrèze 2A Corse-du-Sud 2B Haute-Corse 21 Côte-d'Or 22 Côtes-d'Armor 23 Creuse 24 Dordogne 25 Doubs 26 Drôme 27 Eure 28 Eure-et-Loir 29 Finistère 30 Gard 31 Haute-Garonne 32 Gers 33 Gironde 34 Hérault 35 Ille-et-Vilaine 36 Indre 37 Indre-et-Loire 38 Isère 39 Jura 40 Landes 41 Loir-et-Cher 42 Loire 43 Haute-Loire 44 Loire-Atlantique 45 Loiret 46 Lot 47 Lot-et-Garonne 48 Lozère 49 Maine-et-Loire 50 Manche 51 Marne 52 Haute-Marne 53 Mayenne 54 Meurthe-et-Moselle 55 Meuse 56 Morbihan 57 Moselle 58 Nièvre 59 Nord 60 Oise 61 Orne 62 Pas-de-Calais 63 Puy-de-Dôme 64 Pyrénées-Atlantiques 65 Hautes-Pyrénées 66 Pyrénées-Orientales 67 Bas-Rhin 68 Haut-Rhin 69D Rhône 70 Haute-Saône 71 Saône-et-Loire 72 Sarthe 73 Savoie 74 Haute-Savoie 75 Paris 76 Seine-Maritime 77 Seine-et-Marne 78 Yvelines 79 Deux-Sèvres 80 Somme 81 Tarn 82 Tarn-et-Garonne 83 Var 84 Vaucluse 85 Vendée 86 Vienne 87 Haute-Vienne 88 Vosges 89 Yonne 90 Territoire de Belfort 91 Essonne 92 Hauts-de-Seine 93 Seine-Saint-Denis 94 Val-de-Marne 95 Val-d'Oise

Overseas departments 971 Guadeloupe 972 Martinique 973 French Guiana 974 Réunion 976 Mayotte

Metropolis with territorial collectivity statute 69M Lyon

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 148931080 LCCN: n81039829 GND: 4079664-4 BNF:

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