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Former French region (until 2015)
Flag of the former Champagne-Ardenne region Coat of arms of the former Champagne-Ardenne region
Nord-Pas-de-Calais Picardie Champagne-Ardenne Lothringen Elsass Haute-Normandie Basse-Normandie Bretagne Centre-Val de Loire Ile-de-France Burgund Franche-Comté Pays de la Loire Poitou-Charentes Limousin Aquitanien Midi-Pyrénées Languedoc-Roussillon Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Korsika Andorra Monaco Liechtenstein Österreich Luxemburg Belgien Niederlande Vereinigtes Königreich Deutschland Schweiz Italien Guernsey Jersey SpanienLocation of the former Champagne-Ardenne region in France
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Basic data
Today part of Grand Est
Administrative headquarters Châlons-en-Champagne

 - total January 1, 2017
 - density

1,328,134 inhabitants
51.9 inhabitants per km²


 - total
 - share in France :

25,606 km²

Departments 4th
Arrondissements 15th
Cantons 146
Communities 1.953
Formerly ISO 3166-2 code FR-G

Champagne-Ardenne [ ʃɑ̃ˌpaɲaʀˈdɛn ] is a former region in northeastern France , which consisted of the departments of Ardennes , Aube , Marne and Haute-Marne . It was named after the historic landscape of Champagne and the Ardennes mountains. The region has formed the western part of the new Grand Est region since 2016 . Champagne-Ardenne had an area of ​​25,606 km² and 1,328,134 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2017). The capital of the region was Châlons-en-Champagne , while Reims is the largest and historically most important city .


The former Champagne-Ardenne region is located in north-eastern France . It borders Belgium to the north and Lorraine and Franche-Comté to the east . In the south joins Burgundy and the west lie the Ile-de-France and Picardy .

The river network is oriented east-west and is dominated by the Seine , its tributaries Marne and Aube , the Aisne (a tributary of the Oise ) and the Meuse ( Meuse ).

There are four dams on the larger rivers, which, among other things, are supposed to protect the Paris area from the floods of the Seine. The Lac du Der-Chantecoq (also Lac du Der for short ) on the Marne west of Saint-Dizier is the largest reservoir in France, on the Seine is the Lac de la Forêt d'Orient and on the Aube the Lac du Temple and the Lac Amance .

In the north of the region are the Ardennes mountains .

coat of arms

Description: In blue a white diagonal bar with a gold-blue meander on both sides.


Settlement area of ​​the Remer in the last century BC Chr.

The area around Reims has been populated since the earliest times. The Remer founded an urban settlement here called Durocortorum by the Romans . After the conquest of Gaul by Caesar , the city became the Civitas . From Durocortorum Remorum the short form was in Roman times draw , the current name Reims developed from. It became the capital of the Roman province of Gallia Belgica and an important road junction. Next to Augusta Treverorum , it was probably the most populous city north of the Alps.

At Christmas 496 the Frankish ruler Clovis I was baptized by Saint Remigius of Reims in Reims. For this reason, Reims was the coronation city of the French kings until the Revolution and again in 1823 when Charles X took office .

Around the year 1000, the Archbishop of Reims , Gerbert von Aurillac, played a major role. He became Pope under the name Silvester II and he was a friend of Emperor Otto III. From the end of the 12th century to the 14th century, Champagne was a very rich region. The fairs in Lagny (in the Ile de France region), Provins , Troyes and Bar-sur-Aube , which were on two pilgrimage routes towards Rome, were of international importance .

In 1871 the Battle of Sedan in the Ardennes took place during the Franco-German War .

During the First World War , the Champagne was the scene of fighting after the first Battle of the Marne near Paris (September 6-9, 1914), the Chemin des Dames (Aisne, spring 1917), then until the second Battle of the Marne (1918) ) .

During the Second World War, the Ardennes were also the scene of fierce fighting, which took place from 1940 (French defeat) to 1944 (counter-offensive in the Ardennes).

The reconciliation ceremony between France and Germany took place in Reims Cathedral. It was celebrated by Cardinal François Marty in the presence of General de Gaulle and Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer .

With the establishment of the regions in 1960, the Champagne-Ardenne region was created within the current borders. In 1972 the region received the status of an établissement public under the direction of a regional prefect. The decentralization laws of 1982 gave the regions the status of collectivités territoriales ( territorial authorities ), which until then had only been enjoyed by the municipalities and the départements . In 1986 the regional councils were directly elected for the first time. Since then, the region's powers vis-à-vis the central government in Paris have been gradually expanded.

In 1996 Pope John Paul II visited Reims on the occasion of the 1500th anniversary of the baptism of Clovis and his soldiers by St. Remigius .

On January 1, 2016, the Champagne-Ardenne region was merged with the Lorraine and Alsace regions to form the Grand Est region (provisional name until September 2016: Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine).



Due to the rural exodus, the population has been steadily decreasing since 1982. With only 2.5% of the national population and a density of 52 inhabitants / km², the Champagne-Ardenne region is one of the most sparsely populated French regions.


The most populous cities in the Champagne-Ardenne region are:

city Inhabitants (year) Department
Reims 182,460 (2017) Marne
Troyes 61,652 (2017) Aube
Charleville-Mezieres 46,428 (2017) Ardennes
Châlons-en-Champagne 44,753 (2017) Marne
Saint-Dizier 24,012 (2017) Haute-Marne
Epernay 22,671 (2017) Marne
Chaumont 21,945 (2017) Haute-Marne
Sedan 16,428 (2017) Ardennes
Romilly-sur-Seine 14,451 (2017) Aube
Vitry-le-François 12,133 (2017) Marne

Political structure

The Champagne-Ardenne region is divided into four departments :

Department prefecture ISO 3166-2 Arrondissements Cantons Communities Inhabitants (year) Area
(inh / km²)
Ardennes Charleville-Mezieres FR-08 4th 37 463
000000000273579.0000000000273,579 (2017)
000000000005229.00000000005,229 000000000000052.300000000052.3
Aube Troyes FR-10 3 33 433
000000000310020.0000000000310.020 (2017)
000000000006004.00000000006.004 000000000000051.600000000051.6
Marne Châlons-en-Champagne FR-51 5 44 620
000000000568895.0000000000568,895 (2017)
000000000008162.00000000008,162 000000000000069.700000000069.7
Haute-Marne Chaumont FR-52 3 32 437
000000000175640.0000000000175,640 (2017)
000000000006211.00000000006.211 000000000000028.300000000028.3


Compared with the GDP of the EU expressed in purchasing power standards reached the region in 2013 an index of 94 (EU-27 = 100).

The region is strongly characterized by agriculture and 61.4% of the area is used for agricultural purposes. The region ranks first in France for the production of barley and alfalfa , second for the production of industrial beets , onions and peas and third for wheat and rapeseed production. Over 28,000 hectares of vineyards are cultivated in the Champagne wine-growing region and champagne production has been growing steadily for years. In 2012, 309 million bottles of champagne were sold, 44% of which were exported abroad.


With a total volume of 2.5 million tonnes of grain, the Coopérative Champagne-Céréales is the leading grain production cooperative in Europe. It unites 9,300 farmers and not only takes care of the marketing, but also of the further processing of the grain and pulses in its own factories, malthouses and mills. The Cristal Union is the second largest French sugar producer. In the production facilities in Arcis-Sur-Aube, Bar-Sur-Aube, Buchères, Bazancourt, Châlons-En-Champagne, Sermaize and Sillery, alcohol ( ethanol ) and dry fodder are produced in addition to sugar . Béghin-Say , also a sugar producer, has its headquarters in Connantre near Reims and a distillery in Morains near Châlons. The group was sold to Téréos in 2003 and some of its factories to Cristal Union. The Groupe Soufflet Nogent on the Seine is the largest grain buyers in France. The leading French exporter of grain also operates the largest European mill.


In industrial terms, the region is known for its hosiery , as 25% of all French production is made here. In addition, Champagne-Ardenne is the third largest heavy industry region in France.

The Verreries Mécaniques de Champagne (VMC) in Reims were among the largest and best-known companies in the region . The factories, formerly owned by BSN and later by Owens-Illinois , specialized in glass bottles and were closed in 2009. Vallourec in Vitry-le-François is an automotive supplier. The Devanlay in Troyes are textile factories ( Lacoste ) with over 1,000 employees. The Kléber rubber factory in La Chapelle-Saint-Luc also employs almost 1,000 people. The PSA Group's foundry in Ayvelles has 2,700 employees, the PSA automobile factory in Villers-Semeuse over 1,000.


Road traffic

The region is crossed by 460 km of motorways, divided into three axes:

  • the A4 Paris-Strasbourg motorway with the center at Reims
  • the A5 Paris-Dijon motorway , which passes Troyes and Chaumont
  • The A26 Calais-Dijon motorway , which passes Reims and Châlons and joins the A5 at Troyes.

Rail transport

The railway network is characterized by four lines. The LGV Est européenne line is the eastward high-speed line of the TGV . This axis serves Reims with the Champagne-Ardenne TGV station north of the city. The Paris- Strasbourg line follows the Marne valley via Épernay , Châlons-en-Champagne and Vitry-le-François . There are also the Paris- Charleville-Mézières and Paris- Basel lines , which follow the Seine valley. This non-electrified axis is being challenged by the profitability policy of the SNCF and could be replaced by the future TGV Paris-Dijon-Basel line for profit reasons.

Water transport

The navigable river network is supplemented by several canals. The Canal latéral à la Marne (German: Marne-Seitenkanal ) connects Vitry-le-François with Dizy . There it flows into the canalized Marne . The Canal de la Marne au Rhin (German: Rhein-Marne-Kanal) leaves the Marne in Vitry-le-François and connects it with the Rhine near Strasbourg . The Canal des Ardennes (German: Ardennen Canal ), connects the valleys of the Aisne and the Meuse . The Canal de la Meuse (German: Maas Canal ) was formerly called Canal de l'Est, branch north . It connects the Meuse, starting from Givet , with the Moselle near Toul . The Canal des Vosges (German: Vogesen Canal ) was formerly called Canal de l'Est, branche Sud . It connects the Moselle with the upper reaches of the Saône.

air traffic

Vatry International Airport is mainly used for the handling of cargo traffic. It has a long runway of 3650 m, but it is slightly curved. Since it is only 150 km from Paris and, moreover, in a very sparsely populated area, it is being discussed as a candidate for a third Paris airport.

Culture and tourism

Moulin de Valmy

The region is particularly well developed for tourism, which is mainly due to the combination of history, culture and gastronomy. In addition to the historic city centers, most visitors are also interested in the history of the champagne houses. The champagne route offers a good opportunity to get an overview of the region and the specialties. The areas to be visited differ in terms of their cultural and gastronomic characteristics. A total of 290 recognized tourism hotels with 8000 rooms or 150 guest houses are available to guests. The region offers 19 museums, 92 cinemas, 16 theaters and 10 golf courses. More than 650 km of waterways and 8 reservoirs, including Lac du Der-Chantecoq , the largest reservoir in France, can be used by tourists.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Champagne-Ardenne  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. GDP per capita in the EU in 2013: Seven capital regions among the ten wealthiest regions , May 21, 2015.
  2. CIVC Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne , November 11, 2013.
  3. Que deviennent les verreries rémoises? In: L'Union . March 27, 2013, accessed December 6, 2015 .

Coordinates: 48 ° 53 '  N , 4 ° 14'  E