Mourmelon-le-Grand is a 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 the Marne
Marne is a department in north-eastern France named after the river Marne which flows through the department. The prefecture of Marne is Châlons-en-Champagne...

 department in north-eastern France.

Camp Châlons

'Camp Châlons' (:fr:Camp de Châlons, also known as "Camp Mourmelon") is a military camp of circa 10,000 hectares nearby Mourmelon-le-Grand. It was created at the behest of Napoleon III and opened August 30, 1857 during the Second French Empire
Second French Empire
The Second French Empire or French Empire was the Imperial Bonapartist regime of Napoleon III from 1852 to 1870, between the Second Republic and the Third Republic, in France.-Rule of Napoleon III:...


The initial purpose was simply for practising military manoeuvres, but it quickly turned into a showcase of the French Imperial Army, a theatrical propaganda display, where French citizens could meet the army and watch parades. Each year the camp was transformed into a town of tents and wooden chalets.

The camp survived the fall of the Second Empire in 1872, but changed into a training camp and a departure point for troops engaging in overseas operations.

The camp is used for military manoeuvres, and cavalry training, along with the neighbouring, 2,500 hectare, 'Camp Moronvillers'
In 1911, the small village of Moronvilliers had 86 inhabitants.On 2 September 1914, in the first month of World War I, the village, only 15 kilometers north-east from Rheims, was occupied by German troops. Situated on the frontline, the village was deserted and destroyed during the war.The village...

. Firing of live ordnance (rockets, missiles) is prohibited.

Further reading

  • The Bonapartes in Châlons en Champagne (Les Bonaparte à Châlons en Champagne), by Jean-Paul Barbier and Michel Bursaux, Marnaise Studies (Etudes Marnaises), SACSAM, 2009.

External links

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