Noyon, town (1990 pop. 14,628), Oise dept., N France. It has foundries, metalworks, and machine, clothing, and food-processing industries. In 768 at Noyon, Charlemagne was crowned king of the Franks. France and Spain signed a treaty there in 1516 (see Italian Wars). The town was devastated in both World Wars, but the Cathedral of Notre Dame (12th-13th cent.) has survived. The house where John Calvin was born is now a museum.
For another meaning, see Noyan
Noyon (Latin: Noviomagus Veromanduorum) is a small (14471 inhabitants in 1990) but historic French town in the Oise département, Picardie, on the Oise Canal, approximately 60 miles north of Paris.


The Romans founded the town as Noviomagus. Sometimes, it is said Veromanduorum to distinguish it from numerous other places of the same name, but it has never been found in roman sources. The town is mentioned in the Antonine Itinerary as being 27 M. P. from Soissons, and 34 M. P. from Amiens. But their distances, as D'Anville says, are not exact, for Noyon is further from Amiens and nearer to Soissons than the Itinerary fixes it. The alteration of the name Noviomagus to Noyon is made clearer when we know that in a middle age document, the name is Noviomum, from which to Noyon the change is easy.

Noyon was strongly fortified in Late Antiquity. It is a possible explanation that around 531, bishop Medardus moved his see from Vermand, in the Vermandois, to Noyon. Other explanations are that Medardus was borned near the town, at Salency, or that place is nearer from Soissons, which was one of the royal capitals of Merovingian dynasty.

The cathedral at Noyon was the site where Emperor Charlemagne was crowned in 768 as was the first Capetian king, Hugh Capet in 987. The town received a communal charter in 1108, that was confirmed by Philip Augustus in 1223. In the twelfth century, the bishop of Noyon was raised to an original duché-pairie in the peerage of France. The Romanesque cathedral burned in 1131. The present cathedral, a monument of the Early Gothic style in France, was erected between 1145 and 1235. The bishop's library is a historic example of half-timbered construction.

By the Treaty of Noyon, signed 13 August 1516 between Francois I of France and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, France abandoned its claims to the Kingdom of Naples and received the Duchy of Milan in recompense; the treaty brought the War of the League of Cambrai— one stage of the Italian Wars— to a close. Having been ravaged by Habsburg troops in 1552, Noyons was sold to France in 1559, under the conditions of the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis. Near the end of the sixteenth century the city fell under Habsburg control, but Henry IV of France recaptured it. The Concordat of 1801 suppressed its bishopric. The city was occupied by the Germans during World War I and World War II and on both occasions suffered heavy damage.

Noyon Cathedral:

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