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Coat of arms of Châlons-en-Champagne
Châlons-en-Champagne (France)
region Grand Est
Department Marne ( prefecture )
Arrondissement Châlons-en-Champagne
Canton Chief lieu of 3 cantons
Community association Châlons-en-Champagne
Coordinates 48 ° 57 '  N , 4 ° 22'  E Coordinates: 48 ° 57 '  N , 4 ° 22'  E
height 79-153 m
surface 26.05 km 2
Residents 44,753 (January 1, 2017)
Population density 1,718 inhabitants / km 2
Post Code 51000
INSEE code

Notre-Dame-en-Vaux in Châlons-en-Champagne

Châlons-en-Champagne ( [ˌʃaˈlɔ̃ː.ɑ̃ .ˌʃɑ̃ːˈpaɲə] ; until 1997 Châlons-sur-Marne [ ˌʃaˈlɔ̃ː.syʁ.maʀn ]) is a city with 44,753 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2017) in northeast France in the historic Champagne region . It is the capital of the department Marne and was the capital (chef-lieu) of the existing 2015 Region Champagne-Ardenne , now the region Grand Est belongs.


In Roman times, Châlons-en-Champagne was called Catalaunum or Durocatalaunum and was the capital of the Gallic tribe of the Catalauni and an important city of the Gallia Belgica . In the vicinity of Châlons, Emperor Aurelian defeated the Gallic counter-emperor Tetricus in a battle in AD 274 . Saint Memmie preached Christianity here in the second half of the 3rd century and became the first bishop of Châlons . In the year 451 the battle of the Catalaunian fields possibly took place near Châlons , in which the army of Attila suffered a defeat against the Visigoths under Theodoric I , who fell, and the Romans under Aëtius . In 931 the city was conquered and devastated by Rudolf of Burgundy and in 963 by Robert von Vermandois .

In the Middle Ages, the city was administered by the Bishops of Châlons from the 10th century, which gave it numerous sacred buildings , including a. the cathedral of Saint-Etienne , Notre-Dame-en-Vaux and Saint-Jean . The clergy, however, restricted the bourgeoisie and with it the economic development of the city. This led to the fact that the agricultural industry is still the most important branch of the economy today.

In the 12th and 13th centuries, Châlons developed into an important French trading center. In 1147 Bernhard von Clairvaux preached the crusade here in the presence of King Louis VII and Pope Eugene III. who had come to the city for the inauguration of the cathedral. In 1214 the Châlons militia took part in the Battle of Bouvines . In 1360 King John II united the county of Châlons with the crown domain. During the Hundred Years War, the inhabitants of Châlons fought back about 8,000 advancing English in 1430 and 1434.

At the end of the 16th century, the city sided with the French King Henry IV , who therefore moved the parliament from Paris to Châlons in 1589 . On June 15, 1591, the excommunication bull of Pope Gregory XIV directed against Henry IV and the bull of Clement VIII in 1592 were publicly burned by the executioner here.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, Châlons was the scene of several weddings of the high nobility. Philippe d'Orléans and Liselotte of the Palatinate married here on November 16, 1671 , the Great Dauphin and Maria Anna Victoria of Bavaria on March 7, 1680 , Louis d'Orléans and Auguste of Baden-Baden on July 13, 1724 and on July 24, 1728 Louis IV. Henri de Bourbon, prince de Condé and Caroline Charlotte of Hessen-Rheinfels-Rotenburg . (The latter two marriages took place in Sarry, very close to Châlons.)

The Triumphal Arch Porte Sainte-Croix commemorates Marie Antoinette's transit from Vienna to Paris on the way to her wedding with Louis XVI.

The Constituent Assembly established Châlons in 1790 as the place of the central administration of the Marne department. On June 20, 1791, the Louis XVI family passed on their flight to Varennes the post office of Châlons. On February 4, 1814, the Prussians under York captured the suburb of St. Memmie, which MacDonald was defending, and after MacDonald's withdrawal occupied the city itself the following day. On July 3, 1815, it was conquered by Chernyshev . The diocese of Châlons, which was abolished in 1790, was re-established in 1822.

Napoleon III built the Châlons camp 24 km northeast of the city in 1856 , which was initially intended for training purposes for the French army, but later played an important role in the Franco-Prussian War . In August 1870, the French army under Mac-Mahon assembled in a strength of 130,000 men after their retreat from Alsace in Châlons, where Napoleon III. Joined her on August 16. The so-called army of Châlons was supposed to relieve Marshal Bazaine in Metz from here , but had to evade northwards from the Prussians - first to Reims , later to Beaumont and finally in the defeat of the Battle of Sedan .

During the First World War , German troops arriving from the north reached the city on September 4, 1914 and were able to enter without major resistance. The French garrison hurriedly withdrew, leaving equipment behind.

Until 1997 the city was called Châlons-sur-Marne .

Population development

year 1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2017
Residents 41,705 50,764 52,275 51,137 48,423 47,339 46.184 44,753
Sources: Cassini and INSEE


coat of arms

Blazon : "In blue a continuous golden bar cross , angled by four golden lilies ."

Town twinning

Transport links

Châlons-en-Champagne train station

Châlons-en-Champagne is on the Paris – Nancy – Strasbourg line , and there are connections to Metz , Reims , Verdun and the Champagne-Ardenne TGV train station on the LGV Est européenne .

The A4 / Autoroute de l'Est (Strasbourg-Paris) runs north of the city, and to the west of Châlons is the A26 / Autoroute des Anglais , which connects Calais ( Eurotunnel ) with Troyes and is part of the Grand contournement de Paris . Furthermore, Châlons was a junction for long national roads until 1973: in east-west direction the N3 (today D3), which connects Paris with Germany near Saarbrücken, in north-east-south-west direction the N77 (today D977), the Nevers with Belgium at Bouillon connects, as well as the N44 north towards Saint-Quentin. By 1949 the N4 to Germany began near Strasbourg; which was extended from Vitry to Paris in 1949 and replaced by an extended N44. The N33 branched off to the west and served as a southern alternative to the N3. Today there is only the N44, which leads east around the city.

The Chalons Vatry airport is located about 20 kilometers south of the city.


  • The first still existing campus of Arts et Métiers ParisTech, an elite university for engineering , has existed here since 1806 .
  • College St. Étienne, episcopal school, partner school of the Johannes-Gymnasium Lahnstein and the Wilhelm-Hofmann-Gymnasium in St. Goarshausen.
  • National Center for Circus Arts ( Center national des arts du cirque , CNAC for short), founded in 1986


Notre-Dame-en-Vaux church

The city is associated with the Montagne de Reims Regional Natural Park as an access point.


sons and daughters of the town

Nicolas Appert

Other personalities


  • Jean-Paul Barbier: Des Châlonnais célèbres, illustres et mémorables. Biography châlonnaise (= Petit Catalaunien Illustré. 33). Éditions du "Petit Catalaunien", Châlons-en-Champagne 2000, ISBN 2-9509546-1-8 .
  • Sonja Benner: Châlons-en-Champagne. The city, the monastery of Toussaint and the surrounding area up to the middle of the 14th century (= Trier historical research. Vol. 55). Kliomedia, Trier 2006, ISBN 3-89890-101-7 (also: Trier, University, dissertation, 2003).
  • Saul David : The greatest failures in military history. From the battle in the Teutoburg Forest to Operation Desert Storm. Heyne, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-453-19073-4 .

Web links

Commons : Châlons-en-Champagne  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Johannes Trimborn, War Diary of Dr. Johannes Trimborn , number 4, Magdeburg City Archives
  2. Our exchange of France, official website of the Wilhelm-Hofmann-Gymnasium , accessed on December 20, 2009.
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