Charleville-Mézières

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Charleville-Mézières
Place Ducale
Place Ducale
Coat of arms of Charleville-Mézières
Coat of arms
Charleville-Mézières is located in France
Charleville-Mézières
Charleville-Mézières
Coordinates: 49°46′19″N 4°42′58″E / 49.7719°N 4.7161°E / 49.7719; 4.7161Coordinates: 49°46′19″N 4°42′58″E / 49.7719°N 4.7161°E / 49.7719; 4.7161
Country France
Region Grand Est
Department Ardennes
Arrondissement Charleville-Mézières
Canton Charleville-Mézières-1, 2, 3 and 4
Intercommunality Cœur d'Ardenne
Government
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Boris Ravignon
Area1 31.44 km2 (12.14 sq mi)
Population (2009[1])2 49,975
 • Density 1,600/km2 (4,100/sq mi)
Demonym(s) French: Carolomacérien
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 08105 /08000
Elevation 133–323 m (436–1,060 ft)
(avg. 148 m or 486 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.

Charleville-Mézières (French pronunciation: ​[ʃaʁ.lə.vil.me.zjɛʁ]) is a commune in northern France, capital of the Ardennes department in the Grand Est region. Charleville-Mézières is located on the banks of the Meuse River.

History[edit]

Charleville in 1625

Charleville and Mézières were originally separate communities on opposite banks of the Meuse, about a mile (2 km) distant from one another.[2]

Charleville was founded by Charles Gonzaga, the 8th duke of Mantua, in 1606. Its inhabitants were known as Carolopolitans (Carolopolitains). It was prosperous from the 17th century, although its fortifications were dismantled under Louis XIV in 1687 and it passed into French hands in 1708. It was plundered by the Prussians in 1815. France's royal armaments factory was formerly located there and gave its name to the Charleville musket, before being relocated and divided between Tulle and Chatellerault. In the 19th century, the city continued to produce arms through private firms, as well as nails, hardware, wine, spirits, coal, iron, and slate. It boasted a spacious port, a theater, a large public library, and a museum of natural history.[2]

The inhabitants of Mézières were known as Macerians (Macériens).

By the mid-19th century, the two towns were linked by a suspension bridge.[2] The present commune was established in 1966. Another commune, Le Theux, had already been merged into Mézières in 1965. It has a population of about 51,000.

Panorama of Place ducale

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Charleville-Mézières (1981–2010 averages)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.0
(59)
17.5
(63.5)
22.0
(71.6)
28.1
(82.6)
30.7
(87.3)
34.9
(94.8)
35.3
(95.5)
37.0
(98.6)
30.7
(87.3)
27.7
(81.9)
19.9
(67.8)
15.6
(60.1)
37.0
(98.6)
Average high °C (°F) 5.1
(41.2)
6.6
(43.9)
10.8
(51.4)
14.6
(58.3)
18.8
(65.8)
21.6
(70.9)
24.1
(75.4)
23.7
(74.7)
19.6
(67.3)
14.9
(58.8)
9.1
(48.4)
5.7
(42.3)
14.6
(58.3)
Average low °C (°F) −0.5
(31.1)
−0.7
(30.7)
1.6
(34.9)
3.3
(37.9)
7.3
(45.1)
10.2
(50.4)
12.1
(53.8)
11.7
(53.1)
8.9
(48)
6.2
(43.2)
2.7
(36.9)
0.5
(32.9)
5.3
(41.5)
Record low °C (°F) −17.5
(0.5)
−16.7
(1.9)
−13.8
(7.2)
−8.5
(16.7)
−4.4
(24.1)
−2.4
(27.7)
1.7
(35.1)
0.4
(32.7)
−2.0
(28.4)
−6.7
(19.9)
−11.8
(10.8)
−16.4
(2.5)
−17.5
(0.5)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 102.3
(4.028)
77.0
(3.031)
82.5
(3.248)
62.7
(2.469)
69.4
(2.732)
70.4
(2.772)
74.6
(2.937)
70.8
(2.787)
67.2
(2.646)
88.3
(3.476)
86.9
(3.421)
106.3
(4.185)
958.4
(37.732)
Average precipitation days 13.7 11.3 13.3 10.9 11.3 10.4 10.0 9.6 10.2 11.8 12.9 14.1 139.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 53.6 66.5 118.5 163.5 186.6 195.2 206.3 196.9 143.5 97.2 45.6 42.6 1,515.9
Source: Météo France[3][4]

Population[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1793 7,240 —    
1800 7,724 +6.7%
1806 8,430 +9.1%
1821 8,320 −1.3%
1831 7,773 −6.6%
1836 8,878 +14.2%
1841 9,875 +11.2%
1846 9,353 −5.3%
1851 9,162 −2.0%
1866 11,244 +22.7%
1872 12,676 +12.7%
1876 13,759 +8.5%
1881 16,185 +17.6%
1886 16,906 +4.5%
1891 17,390 +2.9%
1896 17,805 +2.4%
1901 18,772 +5.4%
1906 20,702 +10.3%
1911 22,654 +9.4%
1921 21,689 −4.3%
1926 22,634 +4.4%
1931 22,708 +0.3%
1936 22,557 −0.7%
1946 20,193 −10.5%
1954 22,536 +11.6%
1962 24,668 +9.5%
1968 55,343 +124.4%
1975 60,176 +8.7%
1982 58,667 −2.5%
1990 57,008 −2.8%
1999 55,490 −2.7%
2008 50,876 −8.3%
2009 49,975 −1.8%

Culture[edit]

Puppetry is an important part of the cultural life of Charleville-Mézières, which is called the "World Capital of Puppetry Arts". An international puppet festival has been held there every three years since 1961 and became biennial event in 2011.[5] The town is also home to the world headquarters of UNIMA[6] as well as the International Puppetry Institute (French: Institut International de la Marionnette),[7] which is housed in a historic building featuring a giant automaton of a puppeteer who performs a puppet show every hour on the hour.

The poet Arthur Rimbaud (1854–1891) was born in Charleville. The Rimbaud museum (fr) is located in the old water mill (Le Vieux Moulin) to the north of the town.

Transport[edit]

City buses are run by TAC,[8] 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.

Sport[edit]

OFC Charleville represent the town at association football. Étoile de Charleville-Mézières is a basketball club.

Famous residents[edit]

International relations[edit]

Charleville-Mézières is twinned with:[9]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Insee - Chiffres cls : Commune de Charleville-Mzires (08105)". Insee.fr. Retrieved 2015-09-05. 
  2. ^ a b c d EB (1878), "Charleville".
  3. ^ "Données climatiques de la station de Charleville-Mézières" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved December 30, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Climat Champagne-Ardenne" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved December 30, 2015. 
  5. ^ "L'histoire". Festival-marionnette.com. Retrieved 2015-09-05. 
  6. ^ "UNIMA: Accueil". Unima.org. Retrieved 2015-09-05. 
  7. ^ "INSTITUT INTERNATIONAL DE LA MARIONNETTE - IIM". Marionnette.com. Retrieved 2015-09-05. 
  8. ^ [1] Archived 21 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "Les villes jumelles". charleville-mezieres.fr. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]