Tower Louis XVI and the river Aire
|Intercommunality||Montfaucon - Varennes en Argonne|
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Jean-Marie Lambert|
|Area1||11.81 km2 (4.56 sq mi)|
|• Density||59/km2 (150/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||55527 / 55270|
|Elevation||192–218 m (630–715 ft)
(avg. 195 m or 640 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.
Population (1999): 691.
It was the scene of the Flight to Varennes: In June 1791 Louis XVI, with his immediate family, made a dash for the nearest friendly border, that of the Austrian Netherlands in modern Belgium (Queen Marie-Antoinette being a sister to the Austrian emperor, Leopold II). But in Varennes Louis and his family were arrested, by Citizen Drouet, the local postmaster, who had been alerted by a message received from nearby Sainte-Menehould. It is said that at Sainte-Menehould, where the escaping party had spent the previous night, a merchant alerted the town authorities of their presence after recognizing the King's face on an Assignat, as Louis tried to buy something from a shop. Once more France's king, queen, and dauphin (crown prince) returned to the Tuileries in humiliating captivity, and Louis and Marie-Antoinette were subsequently executed on the guillotine.
Located in the Zone rouge, Varennes was completely destroyed during the First World War but was reconstructed afterwards. The Pennsylvania Memorial, a monument for volunteers from Pennsylvania in the First World War, was erected in Varennes during the Interwar period.
Points of interest
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