Amiens
Overview
 
Amiens is a city and commune
Communes of France
The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to incorporated municipalities or villages in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany...

 in northern France, 120 km (74.6 mi) north of Paris and 100 km (62.1 mi) south-west of Lille
Lille
Lille is a city in northern France . It is the principal city of the Lille Métropole, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country behind those of Paris, Lyon and Marseille. Lille is situated on the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium...

. It is the capital of the Somme
Somme
Somme is a department of France, located in the north of the country and named after the Somme river. It is part of the Picardy region of France....

 department in Picardy. The city had a population of 136,105 according to the 2006 census.
Originally called Samarobriva
Samarobriva
Samarobriva was the name of Amiens during the Gallo-Roman era.-Origin of the name:Its Gallo-Roman name was Samarobriva, meaning in the prior local language « Bridge on the Somme »....

("Somme bridge") by the Gauls, the town was later given the name Ambianum by the Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 as it was a settlement of the Gallic
Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

 Ambiani
Ambiani
The Ambiani were a Belgic people of Celtic language, who were said to be able to muster 10,000 armed men, in 57 BC, the year of Julius Caesar's Belgic campaign. They submitted to Caesar. Their country lay in the valley of the Samara ; and their chief town Samarobriva, afterwards called Ambiani and...

 people.
Encyclopedia
Amiens is a city and commune
Communes of France
The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to incorporated municipalities or villages in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany...

 in northern France, 120 km (74.6 mi) north of Paris and 100 km (62.1 mi) south-west of Lille
Lille
Lille is a city in northern France . It is the principal city of the Lille Métropole, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country behind those of Paris, Lyon and Marseille. Lille is situated on the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium...

. It is the capital of the Somme
Somme
Somme is a department of France, located in the north of the country and named after the Somme river. It is part of the Picardy region of France....

 department in Picardy. The city had a population of 136,105 according to the 2006 census.

Etymology

Originally called Samarobriva
Samarobriva
Samarobriva was the name of Amiens during the Gallo-Roman era.-Origin of the name:Its Gallo-Roman name was Samarobriva, meaning in the prior local language « Bridge on the Somme »....

("Somme bridge") by the Gauls, the town was later given the name Ambianum by the Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 as it was a settlement of the Gallic
Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

 Ambiani
Ambiani
The Ambiani were a Belgic people of Celtic language, who were said to be able to muster 10,000 armed men, in 57 BC, the year of Julius Caesar's Belgic campaign. They submitted to Caesar. Their country lay in the valley of the Samara ; and their chief town Samarobriva, afterwards called Ambiani and...

 people. The Ambiani derive their name from the Gaulish word ambe meaning 'river' – a reference to the Somme that flows through Amiens.

History

Prehistory

The Paleolithic
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

 culture named Acheulean
Acheulean
Acheulean is the name given to an archaeological industry of stone tool manufacture associated with early humans during the Lower Palaeolithic era across Africa and much of West Asia, South Asia and Europe. Acheulean tools are typically found with Homo erectus remains...

 was named for its first identified site, in Saint-Acheul
Saint-Acheul
Saint-Acheul is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France. It is not to be confused with Saint-Acheul, a suburb of Amiens after which the Acheulean archaeological culture of the Lower Paleolithic is named.-Geography:...

, a neighbourhood of Amiens.

Antiquity

Amiens, the Roman Samarobriva
Samarobriva
Samarobriva was the name of Amiens during the Gallo-Roman era.-Origin of the name:Its Gallo-Roman name was Samarobriva, meaning in the prior local language « Bridge on the Somme »....

, was the central settlement of the Ambiani
Ambiani
The Ambiani were a Belgic people of Celtic language, who were said to be able to muster 10,000 armed men, in 57 BC, the year of Julius Caesar's Belgic campaign. They submitted to Caesar. Their country lay in the valley of the Samara ; and their chief town Samarobriva, afterwards called Ambiani and...

, one of the principal tribes of Gaul, who were issuing coinage, probably from Amiens, in the 1st century BC. By tradition, it was at the gates of Amiens that Saint Martin of Tours
Martin of Tours
Martin of Tours was a Bishop of Tours whose shrine became a famous stopping-point for pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela. Around his name much legendary material accrued, and he has become one of the most familiar and recognizable Christian saints...

, at the time still a Roman soldier, shared his cloak with a naked beggar.
The prosperity of the city made it a target for barbarian
Barbarian
Barbarian and savage are terms used to refer to a person who is perceived to be uncivilized. The word is often used either in a general reference to a member of a nation or ethnos, typically a tribal society as seen by an urban civilization either viewed as inferior, or admired as a noble savage...

 tribes such as the Alans
Alans
The Alans, or the Alani, occasionally termed Alauni or Halani, were a group of Sarmatian tribes, nomadic pastoralists of the 1st millennium AD who spoke an Eastern Iranian language which derived from Scytho-Sarmatian and which in turn evolved into modern Ossetian.-Name:The various forms of Alan —...

, the Burgundians
Burgundians
The Burgundians were an East Germanic tribe which may have emigrated from mainland Scandinavia to the island of Bornholm, whose old form in Old Norse still was Burgundarholmr , and from there to mainland Europe...

 or the Vandals
Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

. They conquered the city several times.

Middle Ages

During the 5th century, Chlodio rose to power among the Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

, and Merovech
Merovech
Merovech is the semi-legendary founder of the Merovingian dynasty of the Salian Franks , which later became the dominant Frankish tribe. He allegedly lived in the first half of the fifth century. His name is a Latinization of a form close to the Old High German given name Marwig, lit. "famed...

 was elected in Amiens by his comrades in arms. Saint Honorius (Honoré)
Honoratus of Amiens
Saint Honoratus of Amiens was the seventh bishop of Amiens. His feast day is May 16.-Life:...

 (d. 600 AD) became the seventh bishop of the city.

Normans
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 sacked the city 859 and again in 882. During the second sacking, the city's cathedral was burned.

During the early part of the 10th century, Count Herbert de Vermandois united the regions of Amiens, Vexin, Laon, and Reims.

In 1095, the people of Amiens began to form a rough municipal organization. In 1113 the city was recognized by the King of France; the city was joined to the Crown of France in 1185.

In 1264, Amiens was chosen as the seat of arbitrations when King Louis IX of France
Louis IX of France
Louis IX , commonly Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death. He was also styled Louis II, Count of Artois from 1226 to 1237. Born at Poissy, near Paris, he was an eighth-generation descendant of Hugh Capet, and thus a member of the House of Capet, and the son of Louis VIII and...

 settled the conflict between King Henry III of England
Henry III of England
Henry III was the son and successor of John as King of England, reigning for 56 years from 1216 until his death. His contemporaries knew him as Henry of Winchester. He was the first child king in England since the reign of Æthelred the Unready...

 and his rebellious barons, led by Simon de Montfort
Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester
Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, 1st Earl of Chester , sometimes referred to as Simon V de Montfort to distinguish him from other Simon de Montforts, was an Anglo-Norman nobleman. He led the barons' rebellion against King Henry III of England during the Second Barons' War of 1263-4, and...

. The arbitrations led to Louis deciding on the Mise of Amiens
Mise of Amiens
The Mise of Amiens was a settlement given by King Louis IX of France on 23 January 1264 in the conflict between King Henry III of England and his rebellious barons, led by Simon de Montfort. Louis' one-sided decision for King Henry led directly to the hostilities of the Barons' War...

 – a one-sided settlement in favor of Henry. This decision almost immediately led to the outbreak of the Barons' War
Second Barons' War
The Second Barons' War was a civil war in England between the forces of a number of barons led by Simon de Montfort, against the Royalist forces led by Prince Edward , in the name of Henry III.-Causes:...

.

In 1435 the city was among the possessions granted to Philip the Good of Burgundy
Duchy of Burgundy
The Duchy of Burgundy , was heir to an ancient and prestigious reputation and a large division of the lands of the Second Kingdom of Burgundy and in its own right was one of the geographically larger ducal territories in the emergence of Early Modern Europe from Medieval Europe.Even in that...

 by the Congress of Arras
Congress of Arras
The Congress of Arras was a diplomatic congregation established in Arras in 1435 between representatives of England, France, and Burgundy. Toward the close of the Hundred Years' War, both the Congress and Treaty of Arras represented diplomatic failures for England and major successes for...

. It was re-acquired again by King Louis XI in 1477 after the death of Charles the Bold.

Renaissance and Industrial Era

In 1597, the Spanish soldiers disguised as peasants entered the city and mounted a surprise attack. After six months of siege, the forces of Henry IV
Henry IV of France
Henry IV , Henri-Quatre, was King of France from 1589 to 1610 and King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610. He was the first monarch of the Bourbon branch of the Capetian dynasty in France....

 regained control of the city and put an end to its autonomous gestion.

During the 18th and 19th century, the textile tradition of Amiens became famous for its velours. The Cosserat family rose to prominence as one of the wealthiest of Amiens' textile manufacturing families.

In 1789 the provinces of France were dismantled and the territory was organised into departments. Much of Picardy
Picardy
This article is about the historical French province. For other uses, see Picardy .Picardy is a historical province of France, in the north of France...

 became the newly-created department of Somme
Somme
Somme is a department of France, located in the north of the country and named after the Somme river. It is part of the Picardy region of France....

, with Amiens as the departmental capital.

In November 1801, British and French delegates began discussing terms of peace in the Amiens Congress. On 25 March 1802, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 and the First French Republic signed the Treaty of Amiens
Treaty of Amiens
The Treaty of Amiens temporarily ended hostilities between the French Republic and the United Kingdom during the French Revolutionary Wars. It was signed in the city of Amiens on 25 March 1802 , by Joseph Bonaparte and the Marquess Cornwallis as a "Definitive Treaty of Peace"...

, putting an end to the Second Coalition against France.

During the 19th century, Amiens began to feel the effects of the industrial revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

. The city walls were demolished, opening up space for large boulevards around the town centre. The Henriville
Henriville
Henriville is a commune in the Moselle department in Lorraine in north-eastern France....

 neighborhood in the south of the city was developed around this time.

In 1848, the first railway arrived in Amiens, linking the city to Boulogne-sur-Mer
Boulogne-sur-Mer
-Road:* Metropolitan bus services are operated by the TCRB* Coach services to Calais and Dunkerque* A16 motorway-Rail:* The main railway station is Gare de Boulogne-Ville and located in the south of the city....

. After this time, the city began to grow beyond the river and into the surrounding hills.

During the 1870 Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

, Somme was invaded by Prussian forces and Amiens was occupied.

Early science fiction author Jules Verne
Jules Verne
Jules Gabriel Verne was a French author who pioneered the science fiction genre. He is best known for his novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea , A Journey to the Center of the Earth , and Around the World in Eighty Days...

 took up residence in Amiens in 1871, having met his wife there at a wedding in 1856. He was later elected city councilman in 1888.

In 1889, Jules Verne officiates the opening of the Amiens circus, including a courthouse, a police station and a museum dedicated to the history of Picardy.

The 20th century

Beginning in 1905, Victor Commont, called "the founding father of modern Prehistoric science," performed important archaeological work in the Picardy area.

The First World War

After earlier bombardment of the city, the Battle of Amiens was the opening phase of the Hundred Days Offensive
Hundred Days Offensive
The Hundred Days Offensive was the final period of the First World War, during which the Allies launched a series of offensives against the Central Powers on the Western Front from 8 August to 11 November 1918, beginning with the Battle of Amiens. The offensive forced the German armies to retreat...

. This offensive led to the armistice which ended the war. Amiens is the town in which much of the book Birdsong
Birdsong (novel)
Birdsong is a 1993 war novel by the English author Sebastian Faulks. Faulks' fourth novel, it tells of a man called Stephen Wraysford at different stages of his life both before and during World War I...

 by Sebastian Faulks
Sebastian Faulks
-Early life:Faulks was born on 20 April 1953 in Donnington, Berkshire to Peter Faulks and Pamela . Edward Faulks, Baron Faulks, is his older brother. He was educated at Elstree School, Reading and went on to Wellington College, Berkshire...

 takes place.

The Second World War

The Picardy region was occupied by Nazi troops and several towns, Amiens included, suffered at least partial destruction by bombardment before being liberated.

On 18 February 1944, British airplanes bombed the prison in Amiens as part of Operation Jericho
Operation Jericho
Operation Jericho was a low-level World War II bombing raid by Allied aircraft on Amiens Prison in German-occupied France on 18 February 1944. The stated object of the raid was to free French Resistance and political prisoners. The raid is remarkable for the precision and daring of the attack,...

. The raid was intended to aid the escape of members of the French Resistance and political prisoners being held there. In all, 258 prisoners escaped.

Post-War Amiens and the French cultural revolution

The city was rebuilt according to Pierre Dufau's plans, with a focus on widening the streets to ease traffic congestion. These newer structures were primarily built of brick, concrete and white stone with slate roofs. The architect Auguste Perret
Auguste Perret
Auguste Perret was a French architect and a world leader and specialist in reinforced concrete construction. In 2005 his post-WWII reconstruction of Le Havre was declared by UNESCO one of the World Heritage Sites....

 designed the Gare d'Amiens
Gare d'Amiens
Gare d'Amiens is the main station for the Northern French city of Amiens.The station opened on 15 March 1847 when the line to Abbeville opened to passengers. The station building was subsequently replaced by the present structure following the allied bombardment and was built in 1955 by Auguste...

 train station and nearby Tour Perret.

On 2 June 1960, the new region of Picardy
Picardy
This article is about the historical French province. For other uses, see Picardy .Picardy is a historical province of France, in the north of France...

 was formed from the departments of Aisne
Aisne
Aisne is a department in the northern part of France named after the Aisne River.- History :Aisne is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was created from parts of the former provinces of Île-de-France, Picardie, and Champagne.Most of the old...

, :Oise and Somme
Somme
Somme is a department of France, located in the north of the country and named after the Somme river. It is part of the Picardy region of France....

.

In May 1968, students in Amiens joined in a large-scale strike that began in Paris. Factory and the railway workers in the city joined them a few days later. Amiens was paralyzed by fighting between conservatives and leftist groups. After President Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969....

's radio address on 31 May, his supporters demonstrated in the streets.

The following October, the University of Amiens (Université d'Amiens) was founded on a campus in the southwestern suburbs of the city.

The city suffered the loss of many jobs as manufacturing plants in the region closed during the late 1970s and 1980s. Despite the hardships, the city made an effort to renovate the degraded area of St-Leu during this time.

End of the 20th century to present day

The 1990s saw a great period of rebirth in the city. The St-Leu renovations were completed, and parts of the University were moved to the city center. The Vallée des Vignes neighborhood was developed in the south of the city, and large parts of the city center were converted to pedestrian areas.

The Gare du Nord was renovated with a controversial new glass roof. The Tour Perret was renovated as well and a new cinema complex was built. The area around the train station began a reorganization.

Main sights

  • Amiens Cathedral
    Amiens Cathedral
    The Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens , or simply Amiens Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral and seat of the Bishop of Amiens...

     (a World Heritage Site
    World Heritage Site
    A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

    ) is the tallest of the large 'classic' Gothic
    Gothic architecture
    Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

     churches of the 13th century and is the largest in France of its kind. After a fire destroyed the former cathedral, the new nave
    Nave
    In Romanesque and Gothic Christian abbey, cathedral basilica and church architecture, the nave is the central approach to the high altar, the main body of the church. "Nave" was probably suggested by the keel shape of its vaulting...

     was begun in 1220 – and finished in 1247. Amiens Cathedral is notable for the coherence of its plan, the beauty of its three-tier interior elevation, the particularly fine display of sculptures on the principal façade and in the south transept, and the labyrinth
    Labyrinth
    In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth was an elaborate structure designed and built by the legendary artificer Daedalus for King Minos of Crete at Knossos...

    , and other inlays of its floor. It is described as the "Parthenon of Gothic architecture", and by John Ruskin
    John Ruskin
    John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political...

     as "Gothic, clear of Roman tradition and of Arabian taint, Gothic pure, authoritative, unsurpassable, and unaccusable."
  • The Belfry
  • The Circus
  • The Perret Tower


Amiens is also known for the hortillonnages, gardens on small islands in the marshland along the Somme River
Somme River
The Somme is a river in Picardy, northern France. The name Somme comes from a Celtic word meaning tranquility. The department Somme was named after this river....

, surrounded by a grid network of man-made canals.

"Quartiers" and villages

Amiens comprises a number neighbourhoods ("quartiers" in French) with their own characteristics, including Saint-Leu
Saint-Leu
Saint-Leu is the name or part of the name of five communes of France:*Saint-Leu in the Réunion département*Saint-Leu-d'Esserent in the Oise département*Saint-Leu-la-Forêt in the Val-d'Oise département...

, St-Maurice, Henriville
Henriville
Henriville is a commune in the Moselle department in Lorraine in north-eastern France....

, and Saint-Acheul
Saint-Acheul
Saint-Acheul is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France. It is not to be confused with Saint-Acheul, a suburb of Amiens after which the Acheulean archaeological culture of the Lower Paleolithic is named.-Geography:...

.

Saint-Leu

St-Leu is a part of Amiens north of the town centre. Its has many older wooden and brick houses and several canals. It was a poor part of town, but since extensive renovation in the 1990s it has become popular with tourists and students as a pretty area with a high concentration of cafés, restaurants and night clubs. Local culture is offered by Chés Cabotans
Chés Cabotans
Chés Cabotans is a marionette show from the city of Amiens, France, performed in the Picard language. Its main character is named Lafleur.It is the last show of its type still in operation in Amiens...

 theatre (puppet shows in the Picard language
Picard language
Picard is a language closely related to French, and as such is one of the larger group of Romance languages. It is spoken in two regions in the far north of France – Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy – and in parts of the Belgian region of Wallonia, the district of Tournai and a part of...

) and 'La Lune des Pirates', a concert hall.

Amiens University's Faculty of Sciences and its Faculty of Law & Economics are located in Saint-Leu.

Saint-Maurice

Situated in between the east of the citadel
Citadel
A citadel is a fortress for protecting a town, sometimes incorporating a castle. The term derives from the same Latin root as the word "city", civis, meaning citizen....

 and the Madeleine cemetery, St-Maurice is one of the industrial parts of Amiens. It is a working-class area which is currently being renovated and rearranged. The walls of the town's former factory of dye
Dye
A dye is a colored substance that has an affinity to the substrate to which it is being applied. The dye is generally applied in an aqueous solution, and requires a mordant to improve the fastness of the dye on the fiber....

 are now those of the École Supérieure d'Art et de Design (ESAD) as well as those of the Faculty of Arts. The École supérieure d'ingénieurs en électronique et électrotechnique
École Supérieure d'Ingénieurs en Électronique et Électrotechnique
ESIEE, , are two French Graduate Schools of Engineering located in Marne-la-Vallée and Amiens delivering the equivalent of a Master's Degree.-General information:It was founded in 1904 and was known until the 1960s as the Breguet school...

 (ESIEE) is in the same neighbourhood.

Henriville

The Henriville neighbourhood was mostly built during the 19th century after the demolition of the city wall. It lies at the south of the town-centre and gathers numerous bourgeois houses and a certain number of town houses such as Jules Verne's house. Several examples of the architectural styles of the times like néoclassique, troubadour
Troubadour
A troubadour was a composer and performer of Old Occitan lyric poetry during the High Middle Ages . Since the word "troubadour" is etymologically masculine, a female troubadour is usually called a trobairitz....

 and néogothique, can be found there.

Saint-Acheul

This is where archaeological excavations in the nineteenth century discovered prehistoric tool sets typical of the "Acheulean
Acheulean
Acheulean is the name given to an archaeological industry of stone tool manufacture associated with early humans during the Lower Palaeolithic era across Africa and much of West Asia, South Asia and Europe. Acheulean tools are typically found with Homo erectus remains...

" prehistorical era, named after this neighbourhood (also spelled Acheulian, pronounced /əˈʃuːliən/). Not to be confused with the commune
Commune
Commune may refer to:In society:* Commune, a human community in which resources are shared* Commune , a township or municipality* One of the Communes of France* An Italian Comune...

 of Saint-Acheul
Saint-Acheul
Saint-Acheul is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France. It is not to be confused with Saint-Acheul, a suburb of Amiens after which the Acheulean archaeological culture of the Lower Paleolithic is named.-Geography:...

 situated 37 km (23 mi) to the north, the quarter of Saint-Acheul is also the site of a military cemetery from the First World War (1914–1918). It contains the so-called "English neighbourhood," with typical English style houses. At the feet of this area lie the hortillonnages, a marshy area criss-crossed by canals.

Other neighbourhoods

There are also other famous working-class areas in Amiens, such as the Pigeonnier famous for its weekend market in the north, Etouvie in the east, and Victorine Autier in the south-east. These areas know lots of social troubles and have regularly been the place for riots.

Site

Amiens lies on the basin of the Somme
Somme
Somme is a department of France, located in the north of the country and named after the Somme river. It is part of the Picardy region of France....

 river more or less where its tributaries the Selle
Selle
For the composer, see Thomas SelleThe Selle is a river of Picardie, France. Rising at Catheux, just north of Crèvecœur-le-Grand, Oise, it flows past Conty, Saleux, Salouël and Pont-de-Metz before joining the Somme River at Amiens.In many places along its course, the river widens to form or fill...

 and Avre
Avre (Somme)
The Avre is a river in Picardie and is the principal tributary, from the left side, of the Somme. At 66 kilometres long, it drains a relatively important basin of 1,150 km² but only flows at best 5,1 m³/s near its confluence at Longueau....

 flow into it. The old town is situated in a swampy area at the bottom of the valley. The river Somme rarely floods, but did so in 2001.

Climate

The town shares the typical oceanic climate
Oceanic climate
An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...

 of northern France. It is characterised by frequent rainfall, moderate winters and summers.

Situation

Amiens is a hub between:
  • the Île de France
    Île-de-France (région)
    Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

     and the rest of the North of France
  • Normandy
    Normandy
    Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

     and Benelux
    Benelux
    The Benelux is an economic union in Western Europe comprising three neighbouring countries, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. These countries are located in northwestern Europe between France and Germany...

  • France and Great Britain

Amiens is not currently directly on principal European road and rail arteries, such as the A1 motorway
A1 autoroute (France)
The A1 Autoroute, also known as l'autoroute du Nord , is the busiest of France's autoroutes. With a length of , it connects Paris with the northern city of Lille. It is managed by the Société des Autoroutes du Nord et de l'Est de la France...

 and the Paris-Lille TGV
TGV
The TGV is France's high-speed rail service, currently operated by SNCF Voyages, the long-distance rail branch of SNCF, the French national rail operator....

 train line.

Twin towns – Sister cities

Amiens is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: Dortmund
Dortmund
Dortmund is a city in Germany. It is located in the Bundesland of North Rhine-Westphalia, in the Ruhr area. Its population of 585,045 makes it the 7th largest city in Germany and the 34th largest in the European Union....

, Germany Görlitz
Görlitz
Görlitz is a town in Germany. It is the easternmost town in the country, located on the Lusatian Neisse River in the Bundesland of Saxony. It is opposite the Polish town of Zgorzelec, which was a part of Görlitz until 1945. Historically, Görlitz was in the region of Upper Lusatia...

, Germany Tulsa
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma and 46th-largest city in the United States. With a population of 391,906 as of the 2010 census, it is the principal municipality of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area, a region with 937,478 residents in the MSA and 988,454 in the CSA. Tulsa's...

, USA Darlington
Darlington
Darlington is a market town in the Borough of Darlington, part of the ceremonial county of County Durham, England. It lies on the small River Skerne, a tributary of the River Tees, not far from the main river. It is the main population centre in the borough, with a population of 97,838 as of 2001...

, United Kingdom Nafplio, Greece

Motorways

Amiens is served by several motorways
  • A16
    A16 autoroute
    The A16 autoroute – also known as L'Européenne and forming between Abbeville and Dunkirk a part of the larger Autoroute des estuaires – is a motorway in northern France....

     to Calais
    Calais
    Calais is a town in Northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's capital is its third-largest city of Arras....

     via Abbeville
    Abbeville
    Abbeville is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.-Location:Abbeville is located on the Somme River, from its modern mouth in the English Channel, and northwest of Amiens...

     and Boulogne-sur-Mer
    Boulogne-sur-Mer
    -Road:* Metropolitan bus services are operated by the TCRB* Coach services to Calais and Dunkerque* A16 motorway-Rail:* The main railway station is Gare de Boulogne-Ville and located in the south of the city....

  • A16 to Paris via Beauvais
    Beauvais
    Beauvais is a city approximately by highway north of central Paris, in the northern French region of Picardie. It currently has a population of over 60,000 inhabitants.- History :...

  • A29
    A29 autoroute
    The A29 is a motorway in Normandy, northern France. The road is also European Route 44.-Route:The road connects the port of Le Havre with the A26 autoroute at Saint-Quentin...

     to Rouen
    Rouen
    Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...

     and Le Havre
    Le Havre
    Le Havre is a city in the Seine-Maritime department of the Haute-Normandie region in France. It is situated in north-western France, on the right bank of the mouth of the river Seine on the English Channel. Le Havre is the most populous commune in the Haute-Normandie region, although the total...

     via Neufchâtel-en-Bray
    Neufchâtel-en-Bray
    Neufchâtel-en-Bray is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Haute-Normandie region in northern France.-Geography:A small town of farming and associated light industry situated by the banks of the river Bethune in the Pays de Bray, some southeast of Dieppe at the junction of the D1, the...

  • A29 to Reims
    Reims
    Reims , a city in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France, lies east-northeast of Paris. Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire....

     via Saint-Quentin
    Saint-Quentin, Aisne
    Saint-Quentin is a commune in the Aisne department in Picardy in northern France. It has been identified as the Augusta Veromanduorum of antiquity. It is named after Saint Quentin, who is said to have been martyred here in the 3rd century....

     and Laon
    Laon
    Laon is the capital city of the Aisne department in Picardy in northern France.-History:The hilly district of Laon, which rises a hundred metres above the otherwise flat Picardy plain, has always held strategic importance...

  • The proposed A24 autoroute from Amiens to Lille
    Lille
    Lille is a city in northern France . It is the principal city of the Lille Métropole, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country behind those of Paris, Lyon and Marseille. Lille is situated on the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium...

     via Doullens
    Doullens
    Doullens is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.Its inhabitants are called Doullennais and Doullennaises.-Geography:...

     was cancelled in 2006.

Railways

Amiens has two stations: the Gare d'Amiens
Gare d'Amiens
Gare d'Amiens is the main station for the Northern French city of Amiens.The station opened on 15 March 1847 when the line to Abbeville opened to passengers. The station building was subsequently replaced by the present structure following the allied bombardment and was built in 1955 by Auguste...

 (the former Gare du Nord) and the Gare de Saint-Roch (Somme), with connections:
  • to Lille
    Gare de Lille-Flandres
    Lille-Flandres is the main station of the city of Lille, France. It is a terminus for SNCF Intercity and regional trains and was named Flandres in 1993 when Lille-Europe station opened....

     via Arras and Douai
    Douai
    -Main sights:Douai's ornate Gothic style belfry was begun in 1380, on the site of an earlier tower. The 80 m high structure includes an impressive carillon, consisting of 62 bells spanning 5 octaves. The originals, some dating from 1391 were removed in 1917 during World War I by the occupying...

  • to Boulogne via Abbeville
    Abbeville
    Abbeville is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.-Location:Abbeville is located on the Somme River, from its modern mouth in the English Channel, and northwest of Amiens...

  • to Paris-Nord via Creil
    Creil
    Creil is a large town in northern France. It is designated municipally as a commune within the département of Oise.-History:Archaeological remains in the area include a Neolithic site, as well as a late Iron Age necropolis, perhaps belonging to a Gaulish fortress or protected camp.The city itself...

     or Compiègne
    Compiègne
    Compiègne is a city in northern France. It is designated municipally as a commune within the département of Oise.The city is located along the Oise River...

  • to Reims
    Reims
    Reims , a city in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France, lies east-northeast of Paris. Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire....

     via Tergnier
    Tergnier
    Tergnier is a commune in the Aisne department in Picardy in northern France.-Population:...

  • to Rouen
    Rouen
    Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...


The station Gare TGV Haute-Picardie
Gare TGV Haute-Picardie
TGV Haute-Picardie is a railway station on the LGV Nord-Europe between Lille and Paris. Geographically, it is located about ten kilometers west of Péronne, between the towns of Saint Quentin and Amiens. When built, it was criticised by the press for being too far from any of the towns to be useful...

 on the TGV line Lille-Paris is reachable by bus from Amiens.

Airports

In addition to Glisy
Glisy
Glisy is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.-Geography:Glisy is situated east of Amiens on the D4029 road. Amiens airport is within the boundaries of the village. It was used as a military base by the occupying German forces between 1940 and 1944.-Population:-External...

 aerodrome bordering on the town's eastern edge, there are several airports nearby
  • Beauvais-Tillé Airport (served by a bus service from Amiens)
  • Lille Airport (reachable by train or by road using the A29 and A1)
  • Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (reachable by train or by road using the A29 and A1, or A16 and N104)

Waterways

The Somme canal
Canal
Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:#Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying people, further subdivided into two kinds:...

 runs through the town to the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

. This canal is linked to the Canal du Nord
Canal du Nord
The Canal du Nord is a long canal in northern France. The canal connects the Canal latéral à l'Oise at Pont-l'Évêque to the Sensée Canal at Arleux. The French government, in partnership with coal-mining companies in the Nord and Pas-de-Calais departments, developed the canal to help French coal...

 (Paris to Lille metropolitan area)

Urban transportation

The town's public transport network is managed by Ametis. It links most of Amiens Metropole's communes.
Proposals to build a tram network are under discussion.
In 2008 the municipality established Vélam
VELAM
VELAM was a French automobile manufacturer that made VELAM microcars under the licence of the Isetta from the Italian Iso...

, a system of public rental bicycles similar to those in other European cities.

Museums

  • Museum of the Hôtel Berny (Arts, History)
  • Museum of Picardy
    Musée de Picardie
    The Musée de Picardie is the main museum of Amiens and Picardy, at 48, rue de la République. Its collections stretch from prehistory to the 19th century and form one of the largest regional museums in France....

     (Arts, Archeology, Ethnology...)
  • Museum of Natural History

Theatres

  • La Comédie de Picardie
  • La Maison de la Culture
  • Chés Cabotans
    Chés Cabotans
    Chés Cabotans is a marionette show from the city of Amiens, France, performed in the Picard language. Its main character is named Lafleur.It is the last show of its type still in operation in Amiens...

    (Puppet show in Picard
    Picard language
    Picard is a language closely related to French, and as such is one of the larger group of Romance languages. It is spoken in two regions in the far north of France – Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy – and in parts of the Belgian region of Wallonia, the district of Tournai and a part of...

    )
  • La Maison du Théâtre

Concert halls

The city has a number of concert spaces, mostly small venues. Pubs also host numerous concerts throughout the year.
  • Le Zénith
    Zenith
    The zenith is an imaginary point directly "above" a particular location, on the imaginary celestial sphere. "Above" means in the vertical direction opposite to the apparent gravitational force at that location. The opposite direction, i.e...

     Amiens
  • La Lune des Pirates
  • La Maison de la Culture
  • Mégacité

le grand wazoo
  • La Briqueterie

Exhibition halls

  • Le Safran
  • Mégacité
  • Maison de la culture
  • Archives départementales
  • Centre Jacques Tati
  • Maison de l'architecture
  • La Briqueterie

Education

The city has several schools and colleges
  • The University of Picardy which has a broad range of courses
    • Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy
    • Faculty of Law, Politics and Economics
    • Faculty of Sciences
    • IUP MIAGE (computing in companies)
    • Faculty of Human Sciences, Literature, Languages, Sport Sciences
    • IUT
      Institut universitaire de technologie
      The Instituts universitaires de technologie or IUT are part of the university system in France. The IUT were created in 1966...

       (Institut Universitaire Technique) of Management, Administration, Computing, Mechanical Engineering, Biological Engineering, Commercial Management.
    • Faculty of Arts
    • Free training courses
  • Preparatory courses for sciences, economics, biology schools and others
  • ESIEE(Engineering School of Electronics and Electrical Technology)
  • Business school
  • ISAM
    ISAM
    ISAM stands for Indexed Sequential Access Method, a method for indexing data for fast retrieval. ISAM was originally developed by IBM for mainframe computers...

     (Institute of Management and Administration)
  • ESAD (School of Art and Design)
  • Brevet de technicien supérieur (advanced vocational diploma) in audio-visual methods
  • School of Nursing
    Nursing
    Nursing is a healthcare profession focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life from conception to death....

  • Midwifery
    Midwifery
    Midwifery is a health care profession in which providers offer care to childbearing women during pregnancy, labour and birth, and during the postpartum period. They also help care for the newborn and assist the mother with breastfeeding....

     college
  • Physiotherapy and Massage School
  • Teacher training college

Notable people associated with Amiens

  • Magnentius
    Magnentius
    Flavius Magnus Magnentius was a usurper of the Roman Empire .-Early life and career:...

     303 – 353, Imperial usurper
  • Ansgar
    Ansgar
    Saint Ansgar, Anskar or Oscar, was an Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen. The see of Hamburg was designated a "Mission to bring Christianity to the North", and Ansgar became known as the "Apostle of the North".-Life:After his mother’s early death Ansgar was brought up in Corbie Abbey, and made rapid...

     801 – 865, 'Apostle to the North'
  • Peter the Hermit
    Peter the Hermit
    Peter the Hermit was a priest of Amiens and a key figure during the First Crusade.-Before 1096:According to Anna Comnena, he had attempted to go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem before 1096, but was prevented by the Seljuk Turks from reaching his goal and was tortured.Sources differ as to whether he...

     11th century – 12th century, instigator of the First Crusade
    First Crusade
    The First Crusade was a military expedition by Western Christianity to regain the Holy Lands taken in the Muslim conquest of the Levant, ultimately resulting in the recapture of Jerusalem...

  • Vincent Voiture
    Vincent Voiture
    Vincent Voiture , French poet, was the son of a rich merchant of Amiens. He was introduced by a schoolfellow, the count Claude d'Avaux, to Gaston, Duke of Orléans, and accompanied him to Brussels and Lorraine on diplomatic missions.Although a follower of Gaston, he won the favour of Cardinal...

     1597–1648, poet and prose writer
  • Jules Verne
    Jules Verne
    Jules Gabriel Verne was a French author who pioneered the science fiction genre. He is best known for his novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea , A Journey to the Center of the Earth , and Around the World in Eighty Days...

     1828–1905, writer
  • Alfred-Georges Regner
    Alfred-Georges Regner
    Alfred-Georges Regner , was a French surrealist painter and engraver.-Books of Regner's work:* Georges Turpin. A-G. Regner. Les palettes nouvelles. Paris: R. Debresse, 1951. ...

     1902–1987, painter-engraver
  • Antoine Gavory writer and novelist, journalist
  • Landry Matondo
    Landry Matondo
    Landry Matondo Youla is a French-Congolese and Guinean football player who is currently playing for Turkish side Boluspor.-Career:...

    , footballer
  • Yann M'Vila
    Yann M'Vila
    Yann M'Vila is a French international footballer who plays for French club Rennes in Ligue 1. He operates as a defensive midfielder and is described by his club as a player who possesses "excellent defensive abilities" and "impressive physical strength"...

    , footballer
  • Yohan M'Vila
    Yohan M'Vila
    Yohan M'Vila is a French-born Congolese professional football player. Currently, he plays in the Ligue 2 for Dijon FCO. He also holds French citizenship....

    , footballer
  • Dorian N'Goma
    Dorian N'Goma
    Dorian N'Goma Bassinga is a French-born Congolese football striker last playing for AS Beauvais in the French Championnat National.- International :...

    , footballer
  • Cedric Ouattara
    Cédric Ouattara
    Cédric Ouattara is a French professional football player. Currently, he plays in the Championnat de France amateur for USL Dunkerque. He also holds Ivorian citizenship....

    , footballer
  • Yannick Salem
    Yannick Salem
    Yannick Salem is a French-born Congolese international footballer who plays for Liga I side, Concordia Chiajna.-Career:The first three clubs that Salem played for were Grenoble, Créteil and Châteauroux. In 2005 he moved to the Dutch team De Graafschap. After impressing at De Graafschap, Salem went...

    , footballer

Newspapers

  • The Courrier Picard
  • The Journal des Amienois (JDA) (newspaper of the municipality)
  • The Fakir
  • Agir en Picardie (administrative region newspaper)
  • Vivre en Somme (département newspaper)

Gastronomy

  • Macarons d'Amiens
    Macarons d'Amiens
    Macarons d'Amiens are small round-shaped baked biscuits of baked almond paste. This macaron consists of almond, fruit and honey, and dates back to 16th century Macarons d'Amiens are small round-shaped baked biscuits of baked almond paste. This macaron consists of almond, fruit and honey, and dates...

  • Chocolate Tuile
    Tuile
    A tuile is a thin, crisp sweet or savory cookie or wafer made of dough or cheese. Originally from France, 'tuile' means tile in French, and is named after the shape of French roof tiles it is supposed to resemble...

    s
  • Flamiche
    Flamiche
    Flamiche is a specialty of Picardy in the north of France. It is a sort of pie stuffed with cooked leek. The pastry is made of a brioche type dough.It resembles a quiche. It is also a speciality of Dinant and of Walloon cuisine, a tart made from a base of low-fat cheese butter and eggs, is eaten...

  • The Summer Rambo apple cultivar that originated near Amiens in the 16th century
  • Duck pâté
    Pâté
    Pâté is a mixture of ground meat and fat minced into a spreadable paste. Common additions include vegetables, herbs, spices, and either wine or cognac, armagnac or brandy...

  • Ficelle Picarde (Picard string), an oven-baked cheese-topped crêpe
    Crêpe
    A crêpe or crepe , is a type of very thin pancake, usually made from wheat flour or buckwheat flour . The word is of French origin, deriving from the Latin crispa, meaning "curled". While crêpes originate from Brittany, a region in the northwest of France, their consumption is widespread in France...

    with ham and mushroom filling

External links

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