Montreuil, Pas-de-Calais

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Coat of arms of Montreuil
Coat of arms
Montreuil is located in France
Coordinates: 50°27′53″N 1°45′47″E / 50.4648°N 1.763°E / 50.4648; 1.763Coordinates: 50°27′53″N 1°45′47″E / 50.4648°N 1.763°E / 50.4648; 1.763
Country France
Region Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Department Pas-de-Calais
Arrondissement Montreuil
Canton Montreuil
Intercommunality Communauté de communes du Montreuillois
 • Mayor Bruno Béthouart
Area1 2.85 km2 (1.10 sq mi)
Population (2006)2 2,498
 • Density 880/km2 (2,300/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 62588 / 62170
Elevation 2–43 m (6.6–141.1 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.

Montreuil or Montreuil-sur-Mer (French pronunciation: ​[mɔ̃tʁœj syʁ mɛʁ]) is a sub-prefecture in the Pas-de-Calais department in northern France. It is located on the Canche river, not far from Étaples. The sea, however, is now some distance away.


It is surrounded by medieval ramparts, part of the reinforcement work of the famed French military engineer Vauban from his fortification of northern France in the 17th century.


Population (1999): 2,688 inhabitants for the city, 21,603 inhabitants for the canton and 99,288 inhabitants for the arrondissement.


Portrait of Haig at General Headquarters, France, by Sir William Orpen, May 1917

Montreuil was the headquarters of the British Army in France during the First World War from March 1916 until it closed in April 1919. The military academy providing excellent facilities for GHQ. General Haig was quartered in the nearby Château de Beaurepaire, 2 miles (3.2 km) kilometers SE of the town on the D138. There is a plaque on the chateau wall to commemorate the event.

King George V, accompanied by Haig, made a triumphant passage through Montreuil on his way to Paris on 27 November 1918.[1]

A statue of Haig on horseback, commemorating his stay, can be seen outside the theatre on the Place Charles de Gaulle.[2] During the German occupation of the town during the Second World War, the statue was taken down. It was never found and is thought to have been melted down. It was rebuilt in the 1950s, using the sculptor's original mould.


Lawrence Sterne visited the town in 1765. He recounted his visit through the eyes of the narrator of his novel A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy (1768).

Montreuil is the setting for part of Victor Hugo's novel Les Misérables, where it is identified only as M____-sur-M__ in past translations. The protagonist, Jean Valjean (going by the name Father Madeleine), is for a few years the mayor of Montreuil, as well as owner of the local factory, and it is where the character Fantine lives, works, and later becomes a prostitute before dying in a local hospital. Hugo had spent several vacations in Montreuil.[3]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Montreuil is twinned with:


See also[edit]


  2. ^ "Statue équestre du Field Marshal Douglas Haig - Montreuil-sur-Mer". 
  3. ^ Edward Behr, The Complete Book of Les Misérables (Arcade, 1993), 29
  4. ^ "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media Ltd. Retrieved 2013-07-11. 

External links[edit]