Saint-Dizier 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 Haute-Marne
Haute-Marne is a department in the northeast of France named after the Marne River.-History:Haute-Marne is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790...

 department in north-eastern France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...


It has a population of 31,000 (2003 figure) and is a subprefecture of the department. Although Saint-Dizier is marginally the most populous commune in Haute-Marne, the préfecture (capital) resides in the somewhat smaller commune of Chaumont
Chaumont, Haute-Marne
Chaumont is a commune of France, and the capital of the Haute-Marne department. , it has a of 24,039.The city stands on the Marne River and is situated on the railway linking Paris and Basel, which runs over a 52 m tall and 600 m long viaduct built in 1856.- History :Historically the...



Located approximately 120 miles (193 km) east of Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, halfway to Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

, it is five miles from Western Europe's largest man-made lake, Lake Der-Chantecoq
Lake Der-Chantecoq
Lake Der-Chantecoq is situated close to the commune of Saint-Dizier in the departments of Marne and Haute-Marne. It is the largest artificial lake in Western Europe, covering 48 km² with 350 million m³ of water...



The town originated as a fortified settlement around a thirteenth century château
A château is a manor house or residence of the lord of the manor or a country house of nobility or gentry, with or without fortifications, originally—and still most frequently—in French-speaking regions...

, eventually becoming a royal fortress to guard the French kingdom's eastern approaches. The town was besieged and captured by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

, in the summer of 1544. A fire in 1775 destroyed two-thirds of the town centre. The château was owned by the Orléans family
House of Orleans
Orléans is the name used by several branches of the Royal House of France, all descended in the legitimate male line from the dynasty's founder, Hugh Capet. It became a tradition during France's ancien régime for the duchy of Orléans to be granted as an appanage to a younger son of the king...

 until the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, was a base for German troops during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, and currently houses the Municipal Museum.

Notable people

Saint-Dizier is the birthplace of
  • Baroque-era musicologist André Pirro
    André Pirro
    André Pirro was a French musicologist and an organist.Born in Saint-Dizier, Pirro learned to play the organ from his father Jean Pirro. In Paris where he became and organist and a choirmaster for the Collège Stanislas de Paris. He studied with César Franck and taught music history at the Schola...

  • Organist André Isoir
    André Isoir
    André Isoir is a renowned French organist.Isoir studied with Édouard Souberbielle and Germaine Mounier at the École César-Franck and under Rolande Falcinelli at the Paris Conservatoire where he won the first prizes in organ and improvisation in 1960.Thereafter he won several international organ...

  • Conductor Jean-Paul Penin
    Jean-Paul Penin
    Jean-Paul Penin is a French conductor.-Biography:Jean-Paul Penin is a graduate of the Strasbourg Conservatory of Music and the University of Strasbourg where he obtained a PhD. in biophysics in 1974 and a Master's degree in musicology in 1978...

  • Former world middleweight boxing champion Marcel Thil
    Marcel Thil
    -Career:Born in Saint-Dizier, Haute-Marne in the Champagne-Ardenne Region of France, Thil started boxing at a very young age and turned professional at the age of sixteen...

    . A street is named in his honor.

External links

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