The Marne starts in the Langres plateau, runs generally north then bends west between Saint-Dizier and Châlons-en-Champagne, joining the Seine at Charenton just upstream from Paris. In the Champagne région, part of the water is led through the artificial lake Lac du Der-Chantecoq, in order to regulate the water discharge. This way, large inundations or low river levels downstream are prevented.
The Celts of Gaul worshipped a goddess known as Dea Matrona ("divine mother goddess") who was associated with the Marne.
The Marne is famous as the site of the eponymous two battles during the First World War. The first battle was a turning point of World War I, fought in 1914. The second battle was fought four years later, in 1918.
During the 19th and 20th centuries the Marne inspired many painters, among whom were: