Châlons-en-Champagne, formerly Châlons-sur-Marne, city (1990 pop. 51,533), capital of Marne dept., NE France, in Champagne, on the Marne River. It is a commercial and industrial center. Among its manufactures are electrodes, paper, hosiery, foundry products, and musical and precision instruments. There, in 451, the Huns under Attila were defeated by Actius. Although badly damaged in both World Wars, it still retains its cathedral (13th-17th cent.) and many remarkable Gothic churches. An arts and crafts school is there.
Châlons-en-Champagne is a city and commune in France. It is the administrative centre (préfecture) of both the département of Marne and the région of Champagne-Ardenne, despite being only a quarter the size of the city of Reims.

Formerly called Châlons-sur-Marne, the city was officially renamed in 1998. It should not be confused with the Burgundian town of Chalon-sur-Saône.


Châlons is conjectured to be the site of the Catalaunian Fields in which the battle of Chalons, 451AD, turned back the westward advance of Attila.

Main sights

  • Saint Etienne's cathedral, including parts of the first Romanesque cathedral built in the 12th century. Nevertheless, it was mainly rebuilt in Gothic style. The west façade (in Baroque style) and two close spans were added in the 17th centuty.
  • Notre-Dame-en-Vaux church, part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Built between 1157 and 1217, the collegiate church had a cloister and was a place of pilgrimage in the 12th century.
  • Saint-Alpi, perhaps the oldest church of the city. It was rebuilt around 1170 in Gothic style, but still marked by the Romanesque style.
  • Hôtel de Ville (city hall). It has a façade representative of the neo-classic period of the end of the 18th century. The steps of the building are procteted by four stoned lions.
  • Porte Sainte-Croix (Ste-Croix Gate). Previously called Porte Dauphine, this gate was one of the entries into the city. It was dedicated to Marie-Antoinette when she came via Charlons on her way to Paris to marry king Louis XVI of France.
  • Ancien Hotel des Intendants of Champagne (18th century). Today home to the Prefecture of the Champagne-Ardenne region and Prefecture of the Marne.
  • Le Cirque. The old town circus, completed in 1899, is sheltering the Centre National des Arts du Cirque (CNAC).


Châlons is served by the TGV network with service to and from Paris Gare de l'Est. Additionally, Châlons is connected with the Champagne-TGV station, near Reims, with high speed trains going to Lille, Nantes and Paris Airport (Charles de Gaulle).

Châlons is located at the intersection of two major axes:

Châlons is also served by an international airport devoted to shipping (Chalons Vatry Airport ), ranking third in France with almost 60,000 tonnes of freight passing through each year.

Local transportation is provided by SITAC BUS buses.


University level

  • École Nationale Supérieure d'Arts et Métiers (ENSAM), a national engineering school in manufacturing.
  • Centre national des arts du cirque (CNAC), which is a Circus Arts Learning Centre created in 1985. Each year about twenty students learn all the disciplines of modern circus arts.




Châlons-en-Champagne was the birthplace of:

Châlons-en-Champagne was the death location of:

British comedian Eddie Izzard mentions Châlons-en-Champagne (at the time known as Châlons-sur-Marne) on his stand-up album Definite Article, as part of a routine in which he tells of his school exchange trip to Châlons-sur-Marne, one of the highlights of which was a visit to a glue factory.

See also


External links

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