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soissons, soissons battle
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² 0386 sq mi or 247 acres and river estuaries

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes eg, students and military personnel only counted once

Soissons French pronunciation: ​swasɔ̃ is a commune in the Aisne department in Hauts-de-France in northern France, located on the Aisne River, about 100 kilometres 62 mi northeast of Paris It is one of the most ancient towns of France, and is probably the ancient capital of the Suessiones Soissons is also the see of an ancient Roman Catholic diocese, whose establishment dates from about 300


  • 1 History
  • 2 Population
  • 3 Sights
  • 4 Landmarks
    • 41 Cathedral
  • 5 Abbey of Notre Dame
    • 51 Saint-Médard Abbey
    • 52 City Hall
    • 53 La passerelle des Anglais Bridge
  • 6 Personalities
  • 7 See also
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links


Soissons enters written history under its Celtic name as later borrowed in Latin, Noviodunum, meaning "new hillfort" At Roman contact, it was a town of the Suessiones, mentioned by Julius Caesar B G ii 12 Caesar BC 57, after leaving the Axona modern Aisne, entered the territory of the Suessiones, and making one day's long march, reached Noviodunum, which was surrounded by a high wall and a broad ditch The place surrendered to Caesar

From 457 to 486, under Aegidius and his son Syagrius, Noviodunum was the capital of the "Kingdom of Soissons", until it fell to the Frankish king Clovis I in the Battle of Soissons

Part of the Frankish territory of Neustria, the Soissons region, and the Abbey of Saint-Médard, built in the 8th century, played an important political part during the rule of the Merovingian kings AD 447-751 After the death of Clovis I in 511, Soissons was made the capital of one of the four kingdoms into which his states were divided Eventually, the kingdom of Soissons disappeared in 613 when the Frankish lands were amalgamated under Clotaire II

In 744 the Synod of Soissons met at the instigation of Pippin III, and Saint Boniface, the Pope's missionary to pagan Germany, secured the condemnation of the Frankish bishop Adalbert and the Irish missionary Clement

During the Hundred Years' War, French forces committed a notorious massacre of English archers stationed at the town's garrison, in which many of the French townsfolk were themselves raped and killed1 The massacre of French citizens by French soldiers shocked Europe; Henry V of England, noting that the town of Soissons was dedicated to the saints Crispin and Crispinian, claimed to avenge the honour of the saints when he met the French forces at the Battle of Agincourt on St Crispin's Day 1415

Between June 1728 and July 1729 it hosted the Congress of Soissons an attempt to resolve a long-standing series of disputes between Great Britain and Spain which had spilled over into the Anglo-Spanish War of 1727 The Congress was largely successful and led to the signing of a peace treaty between them

During the First World War The city came under heavy bombardment There was mutiny after the disastrous Chemin des Dames offensive A statue erected with images of French soldiers killed in action in 1917 is behind the St Peter's Church, next to the Soissons Courthouse

Panorama of Soissons in ruins in 1919

The town was on the main path of totality for the Solar eclipse of August 11, 1999


Year Pop ±%
1793 7,675 —    
1800 7,229 −58%
1806 8,126 +124%
1821 7,765 −44%
1831 8,149 +49%
1836 8,424 +34%
1841 9,152 +86%
1846 10,143 +108%
1851 9,477 −66%
1856 7,875 −169%
1861 10,208 +296%
1866 11,099 +87%
1872 10,404 −63%
1876 11,089 +66%
1881 11,112 +02%
1886 11,850 +66%
1891 12,074 +19%
1896 12,373 +25%
1901 13,240 +70%
1906 14,334 +83%
1911 14,458 +09%
1921 14,391 −05%
1926 17,865 +241%
1931 18,705 +47%
1936 20,090 +74%
1946 18,174 −95%
1954 20,484 +127%
1962 23,150 +130%
1968 25,890 +118%
1975 30,009 +159%
1982 30,213 +07%
1990 29,829 −13%
1999 29,439 −13%
2008 28,523 −31%
2012 28,309 −08%


Today, Soissons is a commercial and manufacturing centre with the 12th century Soissons Cathedral and the ruins of St Jean des Vignes Abbey as two of its most important historical buildings The nearby Espace Pierres Folles contains a museum, geological trail, and botanical garden



Panoramic view of the Cathedral The ruins of the Abbey of St Jean des Vignes Main article: Soissons Cathedral

The Cathédrale Saint-Gervais-et-Saint-Protais de Soissons is constructed in the style of Gothic architecture The building of the south transept was begun about 1177, and the lowest courses of the choir in 1182 The choir with its original three-storey elevation and extremely tall clerestory was completed in 1211 This was earlier than Chartres, on which the design was supposed to have been based Work then continued into the nave until the late 13th century2

Abbey of Notre Dameedit

The former abbey of Notre Dame, former royal abbey, founded in the Merovingian era, famous for its rich treasure of relics, including the "shoe of the Virgin" The abbey was prestigious abbesses like Gisèle, sister of Charlemagne, or Catherine de Bourbon, aunt of Henry IV

Saint-Médard Abbeyedit

The Saint-Médard Abbey was a Benedictine monastery of Soissons whose foundation went back to the sixth century Only the crypt remains today

City Halledit

The city hall built by architect Jean-François Advyné, between 1772 and 1775, at the request of the Intendant Pelletier Mortefontaine on the site of the old castle counts of Soissons The town hall settled there in 1833

Arsenal: contemporary art exhibitions UK Monument 1914-1918

La passerelle des Anglais Bridgeedit

The Gateway Anglais Bridge is a concrete casson built cantilevered from an abutment against-weight with an isostatic central beam of 2050 m in length The floor has a width of 350 m between railings The original bridge was destroyed in 1914 It was rebuilt by British soldiers, and logically took the name of the English bridge Again destroyed during World War II, the bridge was rebuilt in 1950 as a footbridge The covered market, built in 1908 by architect Albert-Désiré Guilbert 1866-1949


  • The actress Aurore Clément was born in Soissons in 1945
  • The saints Crispin and Crispinian were martyred c 286 at Soissons for preaching Christianity to the local Gauls
  • The 6th century Burgundian king Guntram was born in Soissons around 532

See alsoedit

  • Battle of Soissons
  • Communes of the Aisne department
  • Franks
  • List of Frankish Kings
  • Merovingians
  • Suessiones
  • Vase of Soissons
  • Wolf of Soissons
  • Sessions surname


  1. ^ "At Agincourt : Chapter XIX Agincourt by G A Henty @ Classic Reader" classicreadercom Retrieved 2010-06-07 
  2. ^ John James, The Template-makers of the Paris Basin, Leura, 1989
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed 1854–1857 "article name needed" Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography London: John Murray 

External linksedit

  • Official website in French
  • Catholic Encyclopedia: Soissons
  • A live view of the port of Soissons
  • Discovering Soissons
  • Soissons Powerlifting club english
  • Local Bus Routes

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