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The commune of Charleville-Mézières was created in 1966 by the fusion of two adjacent communities, Charleville and Mézières. Another commune, Le Theux, had already been merged into Mézières in 1965. It has a population of about 51,000. The inhabitants of Charleville were known as Carolopolitains; those of Mézières as Macériens. The inhabitants of the new merged community are called Carolomacériens.
A marionette festival (French: Le festival des marionnettes) has been held there every three years since 1961. However, starting from 2011 marks its transition to a biennial event. There is also a giant marionette incorporated into a building, displaying a little show every 15 minutes when working normally.
The poet Arthur Rimbaud (1854–1891) was born in Charleville. The Musée Rimbaud (Rimbaud museum) is located in the old water mill (Le Vieux Moulin) to the north of the town.
City buses are run by TAC, Transports de l’Agglomération de Charleville-Mézières. The Gare de Charleville-Mézières railway station offers connections to Paris (by TGV), Reims, Lille, Metz and regional destinations.