Champagne (historical province)

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Flag of Champagne
Coat of arms of Champagne
Coat of arms
County of Champagne.png
Country France
Time zone CET

Champagne (French pronunciation: ​[ʃɑ̃paɲ]) is a historic province in the northeast of France, now best known as the Champagne wine region for the sparkling white wine that bears its name. It was founded in 1065 near the city of Provins and was made up of different counties that came from the former kingdom of Austrasia.

Formerly ruled by the counts of Champagne, its western edge is about 100 miles (160 km) east of Paris. The cities of Troyes, Reims, and Épernay are the commercial centers of the area. Most of Champagne is now part of the French administrative region of Champagne-Ardenne, which comprises four departments: Ardennes, Aube, Haute-Marne, and Marne.

The name Champagne comes from the Latin campania and referred to the similarities between the rolling hills of the province and the Italian countryside of Campania located south of Rome.

In the High Middle Ages, the province was famous for the Champagne Fairs which were very important in the economy of the Western societies. The chivalric romance had its first beginnings in the county of Champagne with the famous writer Chrétien de Troyes who wrote stories of the Round Table from the Arthurian legends.

A few counts of Champagne were French kings and even some of them King of France and of Navarre. Counts of Champagne were highly considered by the french aristocracy.

Coordinates: 49°00′N 4°00′E / 49.000°N 4.000°E / 49.000; 4.000