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Beauvais coat of arms
Beauvais (France)
region Hauts-de-France
Department Oise ( prefecture )
Arrondissement Beauvais
Canton Beauvais-1 (main town)
Beauvais-2 (main town)
Community association Beauvaisis
Coordinates 49 ° 26 '  N , 2 ° 5'  E Coordinates: 49 ° 26 '  N , 2 ° 5'  E
height 57-170 m
surface 33.31 km 2
Residents 56,254 (January 1, 2017)
Population density 1,689 inhabitants / km 2
Post Code 60000
INSEE code

Saint Pierre Cathedral in Beauvais. On the left the entrance of the former bishop's palace.

Beauvais is a town with 56,254 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2017) in northern France . It is the capital (chef-lieu) of the departments of Oise in the region of Hauts-de-France and three cantons. The entire agglomeration has around 100,000 inhabitants. The city is the bishopric. The department administration and a court of first instance are located here.


Beauvais is located about 84 kilometers (driving distance) north of Paris in a valley of a wooded hilly landscape on the left bank of the Thérain at the confluence with the Avelon in the cultural landscape of Picardy.


Beauvais has a train station on the Paris - Amiens route and a motorway connection on the A16 autoroute . The Beauvais-Tille , that of low cost airlines fly into and charter lines, serves as one of the alternate airports for Paris; There is a frequent bus shuttle service from the French capital. Since 1824 the Route nationale 1 , 31 and 181 traverse the city ​​(today partially graded).

Economy and Infrastructure

Beauvais is mainly known for its manufacture of tapestries (tapestries) from 1664, the Manufacture nationale de Beauvais . It has been in the city's slaughterhouse since 1989, which has been completely rebuilt for this purpose. In 2016, 12 professionals worked there in this traditional craft.

An extensive trade in grain and wine was established. Today AGCO , one of the world's largest agricultural engineering groups, produces its Massey Ferguson and Challenger tractors in Beauvais . Mainly because of its cathedral, the city is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.


Population development of Beauvais

Beauvais was called Caesaromagus during the Roman Empire . The current name comes from the Gallic tribe of Beilovaci ( Bellovaci ), whose headquarters was to be found here. In the 9th century AD, Beauvais became the county of Beauvais , which became part of the Beauvais diocese around 1013 .

In 1346, during the Hundred Years War , the city defended itself against the English , who broke through the walls again in 1433. With the battle of 1472 against Charles the Bold , Duke of Burgundy , the city became famous for its heroic defense under the leadership of Jeanne Hachette . This is still remembered today on the last weekend in June with the Fête Jeanne Hachette . The old jumps have now been destroyed.

In 1930 the name was Beauvais around the world, as the there on October 5 - World's Largest then - transport airship R101 touchdown had and caught fire, with 48 of the 54 passengers died. During the Second World War , the city was badly damaged by German air raids .


Beauvais is the chief town ( chef-lieu ) of three cantons. The canton of Beauvais-Nord-Est covers only part of the urban area. The area of ​​the cantons of Beauvais-Nord-Ouest and Beauvais-Sud-Ouest includes, in addition to the other parts of the city, the surrounding communities of Fouquenies , Herchies , Pierrefitte-en-Beauvaisis and Savignies (each canton of Beauvais-Nord-Ouest) as well as Allonne , Goincourt , Saint-Martin-le-Nœud and Aux Marais (Canton of Beauvais-Sud-Ouest).


There are five Lycées in Beauvais , one of which is the Lycée Félix Faure .


Saint Pierre Cathedral

Floor plan of the Saint-Pierre cathedral

The Cathedral of St. Pierre, one of the most important Gothic buildings , consists of a transept and a choir with apse and seven apse chapels. The pillars inside rise up to 30 meters, the choir itself is the highest Gothic in the world at 48.50 meters.

The small early Romanesque church from the 10th century known as the Basse Oeuvre is one of two surviving Carolingian churches in France. The emerging Gothic allowed Bishop Milon to build a new cathedral in 1225 . Construction began in 1247 , but parts of the choir collapsed in 1284. The choir was only rebuilt after half a century, the structure was reinforced by additional pillars. Then the construction work was stopped.

The transept was not built until the 16th century, from 1500 to 1548. In 1573 the central tower - which was probably planned to be much too large at around 150 m high - collapsed. A main nave was never built. At that time the Gothic was no longer modern, and there was no longer any money.

The south facade shows the rich ornamentation of Gothic architecture. The carved gates in both the north and south are masterpieces of the Gothic and Renaissance periods . The greatest architectural treasure, however, are the colored stained glass windows from the 13th, 14th and 16th centuries; the most beautiful are by the Renaissance artist Engrand Leprince , who was born in Beauvais. The panes in the church of St. Etienne, which is also in the city, are also made by him and show the change in style between Gothic and Renaissance.

The church has a remarkable astronomical clock (1865–1868) by Auguste-Lucien Vérité , who, before he started working as a clockmaker , was already known as an expert in organ building . You can also admire knitted paintings from the 15th and 17th centuries.

Saint-Etienne church

The Romanesque church of Saint-Étienne, which is only about 400 meters south of the Gothic cathedral and later partially Gothicized , is one of the most important and interesting religious buildings in France , both in terms of its architecture and its rich furnishings .


The town of Beauvais has more than 20 monuments registered as Monuments historiques :

  • On the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville and in the old streets near the cathedral, numerous houses from the 12th to the 16th centuries have been preserved. The town hall (hôtel de ville), where the statue of Jeanne Hachette can also be found, was built in 1752.
  • The bishop's palace , now a courthouse, was built in the 16th century, partly on fortifications from the Gallic-Roman period.
  • The Galerie nationale de la Tapisserie , in a new building at 22 Rue Saint-Pierre, shows changing exhibitions.

sons and daughters of the town

Town twinning

Web links

Commons : Beauvais  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Philippe Gloaguen, et al .: Le Routard - Le guide de la visite d'entreprise . No. 79/0425/0 . Hachette Livre, Vanves 2016, ISBN 978-2-01-323703-1 , pp. 126 .
  2. The R101 airship disaster . Retrieved October 29, 2011.