[am-ee-uhnz; Fr. a-myan]
Amiens, city (1991 pop. 136,234), capital of Somme dept., N France, in Picardy, on the Somme River. It is a rail hub and a large market for the truck farming carried on in the surrounding Somme marshlands. Also an important textile center (since the 16th cent.), it has been particularly famous for its velvet. Other products are chemicals, soap, tires, and electrical equipment. Originally a Gallo-Roman town, it was an episcopal see from the 4th cent. The historic capital of Picardy, it was overrun and occupied by many invaders. It was conquered by Henry IV in 1597. There, in 1802, the Treaty of Amiens was signed. It was severely devastated in both World Wars and has been rebuilt since 1945, largely in the medieval style. Of interest is the Cathedral of Notre Dame (begun c.1220), the largest Gothic cathedral in France. It is 470 ft (143 m) long and has a nave 140 ft (43 m) high; the transept dates from the 14th cent.; the spire (370 ft/113 m high) and the large rose window were added in the 16th cent.
Amiens, Treaty of, 1802, peace treaty signed by France, Spain, and the Batavian Republic on the one hand and Great Britain on the other. It is generally regarded as marking the end of the French Revolutionary Wars and setting the stage for the Napoleonic Wars (see Napoleon I). By its terms England was to give up most conquests made in the wars and France was to evacuate Naples and restore Egypt to the Ottoman Empire. England retained Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Trinidad but abandoned its claim to the French throne. The peace, though much acclaimed, lasted barely a year; in 1803, England refused to restore Malta to the Knights Hospitalers, thereby causing a resumption of hostilities.

Amiens (amjɛ̃) is a city and commune in northern France, 120 km north of Paris. It is the capital of the Somme department in Picardie.


The Paleolithic culture named Acheulean was named for its first identified site, in Saint-Acheul, a suburb of Amiens. Amiens, the Roman Samarobriva, was the central settlement of the Ambiani, one of the principal tribes of Gaul, who were issuing coinage, probably from Amiens, in the first century BC. By tradition, it was at the gates of Amiens that Saint Martin of Tours, at the time still a Roman soldier, shared his cloak with a naked beggar. Saint Honorius (Honoré) (d. 600 AD) was the seventh bishop of the city.

Amiens was later the capital of Picardy.

During World War II, on 18 February 1944, Nazi-occupied Amiens was the site of Operation Jericho, a British operation which freed 258 people by bombing Amiens prison.

Sister cities


Amiens Cathedral (a World Heritage Site) is the tallest of the large 'classic' Gothic churches of the 13th century and is the largest in France of its kind. After a fire destroyed the former cathedral, the new nave 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, and other inlays of its floor. It is described as the "Parthenon of Gothic architecture," and by John Ruskin as "Gothic, clear of Roman tradition and of Arabian taint, Gothic pure, authoritative, unsurpassable, and unaccusable."

Amiens is also known for the hortillonnages, gardens on small islands in the marshland along the Somme River, surrounded by a grid network of man-made canals.


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