The Town Hall Square
|Intercommunality||Deux Vallées du Canton de Fismes|
|• Mayor (2008-2014)||Jean-Pierre Pinon|
|• Land1||16.75 km2 (6.47 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||320/km2 (830/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||51250 / 51170|
|Elevation||57–179 m (187–587 ft)|
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
The inhabitants of the commune are known as Fismois or Fismoises 
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 Administration
- 4 Demography
- 5 Economy
- 6 Culture and heritage
- 7 Notable people linked to the commune
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 Notes and references
Fismes is located some 25 km west by northwest of Reims and some 12 km east by southeast of Braine. Access is by National Highway N31 from Reims through the heart of the commune and the town and continuing west to Soissons. There is also the D967 road from Longueval-Barbonval in the north to the town and continuing southwest to Chery-Chartreuve. There is also the D386 going south from the village to Saint-Gilles. Apart from Fismes there are three hamlets: Fismette and Baslieux are continuations of the urban area of Fismes while Villette is in the east of the commune.
There is also a railway station in the village on the line from Reims to Soissons.
The Veste river flows through the commune from east to west with the Ruisseau du Moulin and the Ruisseau Saint-Marie flow from the north into the Veste. The Ardre river flows from the south to join the Veste west of the town.
Fismes, on the right bank of the Vesle, developed from a Gallic ancient city named, during the gallo-roman era, “Ad Fines Suessioium” (limit of the Suession people’s territory) or “Ad Fines Remorum” (limit of the Rèmes people’s territory) as the city was situated on the boundary of the two Gallic tribes Suessions and Rèmes.
The barbaric period did not spare Fismes. During the first half of the Middle Ages, the Normands and the Hungarians, destroyed the city of Fismes multiple times. These ravages pushed the agglomeration of the city towards the heights of the Vesle’s right bank.
In 1226, Thibault IV, the Chansonnier (songwriter), helped Fismes become a free city, thanks to hard work of natives that participated in the war led by Thibault. By a charter and a seal that bears the emblem of the commune and under the aegis of a mayor and two deputies, Fismes became autonomous. Thus, the village was able to develop its artisanship, businesses, festivals and markets.
The walls of the city continued to expand; a church of stone, a château which occupied the current plaza of the post office and would one day house as governor, the poet Eustache Deschamps, as well as the City Hall, that continues to occupy the same place, were all constructed in this formative epoch.
The Hundred Years War between the English, the Germans, the Italians, the Dutch and many more, brought, once again, the city of Fismes to ruins. Later the religious wars and the Fronde completely destroyed the walls of the city and the chateau of Fismes.
In 1646, Louis II de Bourbon acquired the manorial rights to Fismes and bestowed them on César de Costentin de Tourville for his good services to the King. In 1647, the land was passed on to the eldest son of Cesar, François-Cesar.
During the Fronde, the ramparts of the city and the chateau were completely destroyed.
After the revolution, a time of much inner conflict among the people of Fismes, Napoleon came to Fismes in order to sign two important declarations. Following Napoleon and the French Revolution, 30,000 Prussians arrived in Fismes and, once again, plundered the village.
In the 19th century, France experienced the rapidly expanding industrial revolution. Sugar beet, porcelain of Fismes (which was rare and expensive), the foundry, the railway, hat making, tanneries and mills mark the advancements of the region and the economic history of this century.
The 20th century began in worse conditions than the preceding finished. Fismes was greatly affected by the First World War. The Germans invaded the city, then remained on the Chemin des Dames before they completely demolished the city in 1918.
Fismes attempted to reconstruct itself slowly. Unfortunately, due to its position as a railway town through which passed trains filled with deportees being sent to Germany, the city suffered during the course of the Second World War. 14 residents of Fismes, who were seized for acts of resistance, died in concentration camps. Among them was the mayor of Fismes, Doctor Genillon.
Fismes is part of the community of communes of the Canton of Deux Vallées of the Canton de Fismes.
List of Successive Mayors
|1795||1798||Claude Louis le Tellier|
|1805||1805||Pierre Edmé Barbey|
|1810||1811||Barbey de Chambrecy|
|1814||1814||Antoine or Jean Baptiste Pilloy|
|1822||1829||Pierre Barbey de Chambrecy|
|1829||1836||Jean Philippe Brule|
|1836||1871||Pierre Louis Regnault|
|1871||1890||Jean Philippe Brule|
|1937||1944||Fernand Genillon||Arrested in the exercise of his duties. Died for France at Buchenwald in 1944|
|2001||2014||Jean Pierre Pinon||PS||Craftsman carpenter retired, General Counsel for the Canton of Fismes|
(Not all data is known)
In 2009, the commune had 5,377 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known through the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger towns that have a sample survey every year.[Note 1]
The local economy was dominated by the presence of a sugar factory which ceased operations in 1978. The activity of light metalworking has also been present for a long time.
Since 2008 the commune of Fismes has been integrated into the production zone for Champagne. The parcels of land authorized for planting vineyards are not yet known.
The main business enterprises are Campa (manufacturing premium electric heaters), Finaxo (methods for water treatment and waste), Profinox, Fimaluplast (Aluminium Joinery and PVC), and Experton-Revollier (wire mesh surfaces); a family group recently took over the Ghent company.
Culture and heritage
Sites and monuments
- City Hall;
- Church of Fismes, dedicated to Saint Macre. The church dates to the 12th century and was rebuilt in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. It has been classed as a historical monument since 1919;
- The town ramparts;
- The pillar of the door on Saint Gilles;
- The royal markers on the route to Soissons: the route to the coronation;
- The house called "Heurtevin" where the kings of France often spent their last night as prince;
- The American Memorial Bridge in honour of the 28th Infantry division from Pennsylvania;
- The Bread Museum.
- The First World War memorial was sculpted by François Mourgues with the help of architect Edward Veis and marbler Mr. Renaud 7 .
- Athanase Coquerel (1820-1875), theologian
- Félix Billet
- Camille Auguste Mercier (1848-1881), scholar
- Sophie Manéglier (1803-1892), writer
- Albert Uderzo, French cartoonist and co-creator of 'Astérix, born in Fismes.
- César de Costentin de Tourville (died in 1647), Count of Fismes, military officer, father of Marshall Anne-Hilarion de Tourville, vice-admiral of France.
- Official website for the commune (French)
- Office of Tourism and Museums of Fismes
- Fismes on the National Geographic Institute website (French)
Notes and references
- At the beginning of the 21st century, the methods of identification have been modified by law No. 2002-276 of 27 February 2002 , the so-called "law of local democracy" and in particular Title V "census operations" which allow, after a transitional period running from 2004 to 2008, the annual publication of the legal population of the different French administrative districts. For communes with a population greater than 10,000 inhabitants, a sample survey is conducted annually, the entire territory of these communes is taken into account at the end of the period of five years. The first "legal population" after 1999 under this new law came into force in 1 January 2009 and was based on the census of 2006.
- Inhabitants of Marne (French)
- Google Maps
- Les noms de lieux, PUF, coll. Que sais-je ?, Paris, 1969
- Notice for the commune of Fismes, consulted on 12 May 2013. (French)
- List of Mayors of France
- French Ministry of Culture Notice PA00078711 Church of Saint Macre (French)
- French Ministry of Culture Notice IA51000558 War memorial (French)