Compiègne, city (1990 pop. 44,703), Oise dept., N France, in Île-de-France, on the Oise River. It is an industrial center with varied manufactures; a large glassworks is located in the suburbs. As far back as the Merovingian period (7th cent.), Compiègne had been the site of royal gatherings; from the 17th to 19th cent. French monarchs used it as a summer residence. The forest of Compiègne was a royal hunting ground. Joan of Arc was captured (1430) by the Burgundians at Compiègne. In a railroad car in the forest the armistice ending World War I was signed; in 1940, Hitler forced the French to surrender in the same car (which was later taken to Germany and destroyed). The large 15th-century palace, other old structures, and the place's historic connotations attract many tourists.
Compiègne is a commune in the Oise département of France, of which it is a sous-préfecture. Compiègne is located in the Arrondissement of Compiègne in Oise; the département is part of the region of Picardie.

The city is located along the Oise River. Its inhabitants are called Compiégnois.


Compiègne is the chief town of 3 cantons


665 - Saint Wilfrid consecrated Bishop of York.

February 888 - Odo, Count of Paris and king of the Franks was crowned in Compiègne.

May 23, 1430 - During the Hundred Years' War, Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians while attempting to free Compiègne. They then sold her to the English.

1630 - Marie de' Medici's attempts to displace Richelieu ultimately led to her exile to Compiègne, from where she escaped to Brussels in 1631.

November 11, 1918 - The Armistice with Germany (Compiègne), agreed at Le Francport near Compiègne, ends fighting of World War I

June 22, 1940 - Another Armistice with France (Second Compiègne) was signed between Nazi Germany and the defeated France in Le Francport, near Compiègne, in the same place as in 1918, in the same railroad carriage, but with the seats swapped.

1968 - The starting location of the Paris-Roubaix bicycle race was changed from Paris to Compiègne.

2004 - The Communauté de Communes de la Région de Compiègne becomes a partner in a European Union INTERREG IIIb project called SAND (see link below)

Historical population

  • 1882: 13,393
  • 1990: 41,663 (municipal), 44,703 (total)
  • 1999: 41,076 (municipal), 44,703 (total), 69,903 (agglomeration), urban (108,234)


Compiègne Forest

The Compiègne Forest was the site of the signing of two armistices; the 1918 Armistice with Germany and the 1940 Armistice with France. Hitler specifically chose the location, and had the original signing carriage moved from Paris to Compiègne, as an irony for the defeated French. The site still houses several memorials to the 1918 armistice, including a copy of the original railway carriage (the original, after used in the 1940 armistice, was moved to Berlin and subsequently destroyed during an Allied air raid).


Compiègne is the traditional start of the Paris-Roubaix bicycle race. It was also the finish of Stage 3 in the 2007 Tour de France.


Compiègne was the birthplace of:

Twin towns

Compiègne is twinned with:

See also

External links

North: Clairoix, Choisy-au-Bac and Margny-lès-Compiègne
West: Jaux, Venette
Compiègne East: Saint-Jean-aux-Bois and Vieux-Moulin
South: Lacroix-Saint-Ouen

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