City strengthened on a hill, Laon has many medieval monuments , private mansions and houses of XVIe, XVIIe and XVIIIe centuries in great number, in particular in the streets Sérurier, Midsummer's Day, Saint-Cyr military school or Vinchon, true urban museums. Its basement is furrowed undergrounds, careers and well whose safeguarding is one of the current patrimonial stakes. Located at its top, its cathedral was worth the nickname of “crowned Mountain to him”.
ToponymyThe old word Gallic dunos , castle, fortress, left its trace in the name of much of French cities even when those were Latin ized by the Romains. Generally, it is associated in the name of a Gallic chief as with Verdun, Meudon or Loudun. Or in the name of Gallic god more venerated Lug as it is the case with Laon and Lyon whose two names derive from Lugduno . Laon thus means " Fortress of Lug ". With Châteaudun, one notices that the name of the city known as thus twice the same thing the first Latin time and the second into Gallic/Celtic.
GeographyThe town of Laon, for its oldest part (the high City), is built on a Butte-témoin which dominates the surrounding plain of a hundred meters. This hillock, detached of the Cuesta of Ile-de-France, is primarily made up of sands. The higher levels consist of clay of Laon (Cuisien), of coarse sands and limestones of the Lutétien. Clays are at the origin of a water table which gives rise to the sources located at the feet of the ramparts of the high city. Those were arranged in fountains and feeding troughs as of the Moyen-âge. Sands and limestones were exploited very early, initially in careers with open sky, then in underground careers, providing the stone of construction and sand for the mortars.
To the north of the hillock the vast Picardy plain extends. Top of the hill, in clear weather, the glance carries to more than twenty kilometers. With a few kilometers in the south, the coast of Ile-de-France mark northern limit of the plates of the Soissonnais.
Successive mayors of the city:
- Marie Jean François Philibert Lecarlier d' Ardon (1752-1799);
- Jean-Charles De Sars (1800-1802);
- Pierre-Felix Nightingale (1802-1806);
- Alexandre de Flavigny (1806-1808);
- Etienne de Theis (1808-1812);
- Jean-Charles Carlier (1812-1815);
- Louis-Antoine de Beffroy (1815);
- Philbert Carlier (1815);
- Pared Eugene-Edmond (1816-1821);
- Pierre-Joseph de Sars (1822 - 1830);
- Philbert Carlier (1830-1832);
- Auguste Oyon (1832-1833);
- Ernest Carlier (1837-1840);
- Pared Edmond (1842-1847);
- Charlemagne Paringault (1847-1848);
- Simon Cuckold (1848-1850);
- Isidore Rope-maker (1850-1852);
- Auguste Marie Charles Charpentier of Beauvillé, (1852-1863);
- Louis Alexandre Vinchon, (1863-1871);
- François Glatigny (1871-1887);
- Eugene Bonnot (1887 -1892);
- Georges Ermant (1892-1919);
- Leon Nanquette (1919-1929);
- Henry Lenain (1929);
- Marcel Levindrey (1935-1940);
- Gérandal (1940-1944).
HistoryThe Topography of the city in fact an exceptional defensive site which, however, also creates a hiatus between the urban center - seat of the capacities - and its suburbs.
AntiquityThe high city probably knew a small Neolithic occupation towards 3000 before Jesus-Christ. On the other hand, no trace of site of the Bronze Ages and the Fer was discovered until now.
The permanent occupation of the high city does not begin that about the middle of first century BC We do not have, from Laon during Antiquity, that a very summary vision. The statute of the city is completely unknown for us for all the ancient period. In the low city, several Gallo-Roman sites are attested.
The Gallo-Roman time is present everywhere in the high city, as well for the Early empire as for the Low Empire. At least for the late Antiquity, it is certain that the Castrum was strengthened, most probably with a wall in masonry. The occupation of the Low Empire seems denser in the Cité, inside the castrum, than in the Borough.
The first traces of Christianity go back to the 5th century, as a funerary stone paléochrétienne discovered in 1998 attests of them.
The Middle Ages
Between 497 and 513, holy Remi, native of the area laonnoise, raises Laon with the dignity of city by the creation of a évêché dismembered that of Rheims. To the 10th century, to the episcopal capacity is added the royal capacity, Laon being a frequent place of residence of the last kings Carolingiens.
At the 6th century, the City still probably merges with the castrum Low Empire. In 580, Wolf, duke of Champagne, put his wife in safety inside the walls of the town of Laon (Gregoire de Tours, Historia Francorum, delivers VI).
The layout of the Ramparts of the City, rebuilt or increased at the time Carolingian, is completely unknown. Apart from the walls of the City, in the west, the settlement develops in the sector of the Saint-Julien church. One or more cores of settlement also seem to develop on the south-western arm of the hillock. Low downtown, the suburb of Be worth exists probably front even the Early middle ages and the suburbs of Saint-Marcel, Semilly and Leuilly appear perhaps at that time. The suburb of Ardon seems rather late and still quasi non-existent at the 10th century (the suburb of Neuville is founded only at the end of the 12th century).
The City contains the cathedral, rebuilt in the first third of the 9th century, the residence of the bishop and the cloister of the canons in north, and, in the south, the royal palace and the abbey Notre-Dame (Midsummer's Day abbey), founded out the walls in 648 by holy Salaberge.
The Saint-Vincent abbey appears in the historical sources only at the end of the 9th century. The oldest mention of the existence of this church goes back to 886. Until 961, it is described as Ecclesia . It is only towards 961 that Saint-Vincent becomes an abbey, when the bishop of Laon, bastard Roricon, wire of the king Charles Simple the supports the arrival of a community of monks Benedictines which replace a college of canons.
As of the end of the 11th century, Laon experiences a very significant development, and, about the middle of the 13th century, the city shelters a population of at least 10 000 inhabitants, whose approximately two thirds occupy the high city. The city remains the center of the capacities, the king and the bishop being Co-lords of the city. During all full Middle Ages, it is the closed field of conflicts which oppose or link the king, the bishop, the chapter cathédral, the abbeys and the communal institution. However, the king, increasingly absent, leaves face to face the Church and a Bourgeoisie incipient resulting from the local aristocracy. After the communal revolt of 1112, the bishop does not play any more one paramount role, but most important chapter cathédral of France - 83 canons in 1270 - is of all its weight on the city.
At the 12th century, the city knows an important economic advancement which results in an intense activity of construction and rebuilding. The most important building site is that of the cathedral and the canonic and episcopal district.
After the suppression of the communal institution, the city is controlled by a royal provost. Laon becomes the seat of very important the Bailliage of Vermandois in 1237 and is equipped with a Présidial in 1551. It loses its preeminence with the profit of Soissons at the extreme end of the 16th century.
The City is entirely girded of Remparts as of XIe century, which is still places from there today in a remarkable state of conservation. In the west, the Borough is strengthened gradually, between 12th and the 14th century. About 1350, all the high city is urbanized and encloses, except for two districts. Still today, the ramparts are almost completely preserved of rise and, in spite of the posterior rehandlings, their layout remained very near to that of the middle of the 14th century.
During the wars of religion, the city takes the party of the Ligue the USSR. Its Spaniard garrison ordered by the Mansfeld captain capitulates to Henri IV on July 22nd 1594. During the seat, the Spaniards try to release the city (Bataille of Cerny). In 1596, the présidial is transferred to Soissons which becomes seat of the General information in 1599. A Citadelle is built of 1595 to 1598 by the architect Jean Errard.
With the French revolution, Laon finds its preeminence while becoming chief town of the department.
- Bertrade de Laon, mother of Charlemagne
- Anselme de Laon, Theologist of the Middle Ages.
- Guillaume d' Ercuis
- Enguerrand Quarton medieval painter
- Jean Simon Berthélemy (1743-1811), painter.
- the Brothers the Dwarf: Louis, Antoine and Mathieu the Dwarf, born with Burgundian-under-Montbavin, close to Laon.
- Jacques Inlays, discoverer of the the Mississippi with Louis Jolliet.
- Jean Mathieu Philibert Sérurier (1742-1819), General of the Revolution and Marshal of Empire.
- Gilbert Lavoine, champion of Europe welterweight of English Boxing in 1953
- Pierre Watier, count of Saint-Alphonse (1770-1846) general and rider of Napoleon i
- Jules Champfleury
- Louis IV known as '' of Outremer', king de France (936-954)
- Lothaire, king de France (954-986)
- Charles of Low-Lorraine, brother of the king Lothaire
- Adalbéron known as '' Ascelin '', bishop of Laon under the king Lothaire
- Robert the Cock, bishop of Laon, appointed with the General states of 1356.
- Paul Doumer
- : President of the French Republic under IIIe republic (1931-1932), it was appointed as a preliminary of Laon in 1888.
- Victor Suin
- Jean Wallon
- Augustin Melleville
- Antoine Louis de Romance
- Edouard Fleury
- Pierre François André Méchain
- Raoul Duval
- Gaston Ganault
- Alain Brosseau, poet
- Louis Abel Beffroy de Reigny
Tourist monuments and places
See also: Cathedral Notre-Dame de Laon
Laon is classified town of art and history. It is fully justified taking into consideration number of buildings and remarkable sites of the commune, in particular on the Montagne of Laon.
It is necessary to note:
- the cathedral Notre-Dame , of Gothic style, dominates the hill, the city and its ramparts. Of a length of 110 meters, it was used as model with the Cathédrale Notre-Dame of Chartres and with that of Paris.
This “automatic funicular system”, of uneven of 98 m, connects the town hall (high city) to the Gare of Laon (low city) on a way of 1,5 km approximately, while passing by the station of Be worth.
Poma 2000 draws its name from the company which conceived it: Pomagalski (company created by Jean Pomagalski, specialized in transport by cable - in particular ski lifts of the ski stations).
This mini-subway was brought into service on February 4th 1989.
It replaces old a Tramway with toothed rack dating from the end of the 19th century (brought into service on July 9th 1899) which had been withdrawn from circulation on January 27th 1971 for safety reason, after 72 years of good and faithful services.
In addition, the Urban transport Laonnois also exploit a network of urban bus.
- the football club of Laon (Sporting union laonnoise) was announced while meeting, on January 20th, 2007, the champion of France Lyon in sixteenth of finale of the Coupe de France. In spite of four divisions of variation, Laon opened the score before being demolishes 3 goals with 1.
- Laon has a racecourse, the Hippodrome of Ardon.
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