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The Town Hall Square
The Town Hall Square
Coat of arms of Fismes
Coat of arms
Location of Fismes
Fismes is located in France
Fismes is located in Grand Est
Coordinates: 49°18′28″N 3°40′53″E / 49.3078°N 3.6814°E / 49.3078; 3.6814Coordinates: 49°18′28″N 3°40′53″E / 49.3078°N 3.6814°E / 49.3078; 3.6814
RegionGrand Est
CantonFismes-Montagne de Reims
IntercommunalityCU Grand Reims
 • Mayor (2001-2020) Jean-Pierre Pinon
16.75 km2 (6.47 sq mi)
 • Density330/km2 (850/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
51250 /51170
Elevation57–179 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.

Fismes [fim] is a commune in the Marne department in the Grand Est region of north-eastern France.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Fismois or Fismoises[2]

The commune has been awarded three flowers by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom.[3]


Fismes is located 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.[4]

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.

Neighbouring communes and villages[edit]



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.

As Charles Rostaing indicates, the Latin word "fines" is a translation from the Gallic toponym equoranda which means "boundary" or "limit".[5]

Middle Ages[edit]

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.

Modern Era[edit]

From Louis XIII to Charles X almost all the future Kings of France passed through Fismes which was their last stop on the way to their coronation at the Cathedral of Reims.

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 Nazi concentration camps. Among them was the mayor of Fismes, Doctor Genillon.


Arms of Fismes

Quarterly, 1 and 4 of Gules a dexter arm of argent armed with a sword the same surmounted by a helmet of azure quarter turned from profile; 2 and 3 barry of argent and azure of 10 pieces debruised by 3 chevrons of gules, the first écimé; over all an inescutcheon of azure with 3 persons armed in Or: at dexter with a lance, at centre with a sword and at sinister with a halberd, bordered in argent charged with the legend SIGILL. MAIORIS ET IURATORIUN COMMUNIE DE FIMES in capital letters plain of sable.


Administrative situation[edit]

The town has been the capital of the Canton of Fismes since its inception during the French Revolution. It belongs to the arrondissement of Reims (district of Reims until 1801).[6]

Fismes is part of the community of communes of the Canton of Deux Vallées of the Canton de Fismes.

List of Successive Mayors[7]

Mayors from the French Revolution to 1937
From To Name Party Position
1793 1794 François Bonde
1794 1795 Henri Servant
1795 1798 Claude Louis le Tellier
1798 1805 Henri Servant
1805 1805 Pierre Edmé Barbey
1806 1810 Henri Servant
1810 1811 Barbey de Chambrecy
1811 1814 Louis Heurtevin
1814 1814 Antoine or Jean Baptiste Pilloy
1814 1814 Gérard Billet
1814 1815 Antoine Clement
1815 1822 Gérard Billet
1822 1829 Pierre Barbey de Chambrecy
1829 1836 Jean Philippe Brule
1836 1871 Pierre Louis Regnault
1871 1890 Jean Philippe Brule
1890 1919 Constantin Couvreur
1919 1919 Henri Goumant
1919 1929 Edgard Maquerlot
1929 1932 Lucien Laplanche
1932 1934 Paul Bouche
1934 1936 Fernand Genillon Doctor
1936 1937 Louis Cochoit
Mayors from 1937
From To Name Party Position
1937 1944 Fernand Genillon Arrested in the exercise of his duties. Died for France at Buchenwald in 1944
1944 1945 Ernest Guyomar
1945 1947 Henri Bertho
1947 1948 Edmond Launoy
1948 1971 Marc Olivier
1971 1977 Aimé Bouchez
1977 2001 Paul Caffe PS Teacher
2001 2020 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]

Population change (See database)
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
2,025 2,129 2,139 1,938 2,110 2,120 2,366 2,422 2,371
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
2,505 2,705 2,840 2,717 3,218 3,275 3,238 3,303 3,343
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
3,355 3,411 3,330 2,338 3,186 3,151 3,111 3,029 3,222
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2009 -
3,490 3,634 4,233 4,674 5,286 5,313 5,351 5,377 -

Sources : Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 (population without double counting and municipal population from 2006)

Population of Fismes


A train of the Chemins de fer de la Banlieue de Reims at Fismes station before the First World War, next to a large sugar refinery.

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[edit]

Civil heritage[edit]

The commune has a number of buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments:

  • The Laplanche Foundry (19th century)[8]
  • The Ets Déodat Fancy Goods Factory (20th century)[9]
  • The Ets Beucher Wire Works (20th century)[10]
  • The Goumant Sugar Refinery (20th century)[11]
  • The War Memorial (20th century)[12] This First World War memorial was sculpted by François Mourgues with the help of architect Edward Veis and marbler Mr. Renaud
  • The Ets Gantois Wire Works (20th century)[13]
  • The Roland Flour Mill (20th century)[14]
Other sites of interest
  • The Town Hall
  • The Town ramparts
  • The Royal Milestones on the route to Soissons which was the route to the coronation
  • Heurtevin House 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

Religious heritage[edit]

The Church of Saint Macre
  • The Church of Saint Macre (12th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg is registered as an historical monument.[15]
  • The Pillar of the door on Saint Gilles;

Picture Gallery[edit]

Fismes Memorial '18[edit]

The Fismes Memorial site is located along the Vesle river, near the memorial bridge that was constructed with the help of the State of Pennsylvania.[16]

The Battle of Fismes and Fismette that occurred during World War I sparked a lasting friendship between the City of Fismes and the United States, particularly Pennsylvania. This bloody battle took place from August 3 to September 1, 1918 and was the last major German attack on the Allies during World War I. The 32nd American Division lost 2,000 men during its first attempt to cross the Vesle and attack the Germans. The 28th American Infantry Division, consisting of soldiers mostly from Pennsylvania, replaced the former division, forced the Germans to retreat, and proceeded to liberate Fismes.

As a result of the aid Fismes received from the American armies during World War I, the city constructed a memorial to honor the lives of the men in the 28th American Infantry Division. The main intentions of this memorial are to commemorate the soldiers' sacrifices and strengthen the ties that exist between Fismes and the United States, specifically Pennsylvania. The memorial site is the result of a collaboration of the City of Fismes with the Fismes Office of Tourism and the Association of Leisure and Recreation Services.[17]

The memorial consists of informational plaques and a set of sculptures from renowned artist Christian Lapie. Christian Lapie[18][circular reference]

The memorial was officially inaugurated on September 15, 2018. The mayor of Meadville, Pennsylvania, one of Fismes' sister cities, was present at the ceremony along with Meadville government and community members. Fismes' sister cities of Triuggio, Italy and Bad Oeynhausen, Germany were represented as well.

Notable people linked to the commune[edit]

  • 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ At the beginning of the 21st century, the methods of identification have been modified by law No. 2002-276 of 27 February 2002 [1], 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 on 1 January 2009 and was based on the census of 2006.


  1. ^ "Populations légales 2017". INSEE. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  2. ^ Inhabitants of Marne (in French)
  3. ^ Fismes in the Competition for Towns and Villages in Bloom Archived December 10, 2014, at the Wayback Machine (in French)
  4. ^ Google Maps
  5. ^ Les noms de lieux, PUF, coll. Que sais-je ?, Paris, 1969
  6. ^ Notice for the commune of Fismes, consulted on 12 May 2013. (in French)
  7. ^ List of Mayors of France
  8. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA51000140 Laplanche Foundry (in French)
  9. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA51000136 Ets Déodat Fancy Goods Factory (in French)
  10. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA51000135 Ets Beucher Wire Works (in French)
  11. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA51000139 Goumant Sugar Refinery (in French)
  12. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA51000558 War Memorial (in French)
  13. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA51000225 Ets Gantois Wire Works (in French)
  14. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA51000141 Roland Flour Mill (in French)
  15. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00078711 Church of Saint Macre (in French)Camera aabb.svg
  16. ^ Husson, Jean-Pierre. "Le Pont-monument de Fismette à Fismes (Marne)". Supplément du Bulletin municipal. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
  17. ^ Pinon, Jean-Pierre. "Project for the Establishment of a Memorial Site in Fismes 1914-1918". County Centennial Committee of the First World War. Hôtel de Ville à Fismes.
  18. ^ fr:Christian Lapie

External links[edit]