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Amiens ( ) is a city and commune in northern Francemarker, north of Parismarker and south-west of Lillemarker . It is the capital of the Sommemarker department in Picardy. The city had a population of 136,105 according to the 2006 census.

Geography

Site

Amiens lies on the basin of the Sommemarker more or less where the rivers Sellemarker, Avre and the Sommemarker meet. The old town is situated in swampy area at the buttom of the valley. The river Sommemarker is usually calm but some exceptionnal flood can occur such as in 2001.

Climate

The town as a typical oceanic climate of northern Francemarker. It is characterised by regular rainfalls rather fresh winters and mild summers.However sporadic cold waves can happen, usually in January of February, as well as heat waves in summer.

Situation

Amiensmarker is a hub between: However the major European traffic ways that represent the A1 motorway and the Paris-Lille TGV line do not serve the town directly.

Quartiers&Villages

Amiens comprises a certain number of neighbourhood("quartiers" in French) with their own characteristics, among which St-Leu, St-Maurice, Henrivillemarker or St-Acheul.

Saint Leu

St-Leu remains the most famous area. It lies at the north of the town-centre at the feet of the cathedral. Numerous canals run through its typical wooden and bricken houses. It used to be a poor part of the town which has been renovated during the 1990's. It is nowadays one of the most touristic areas of Amiens gathering various cafés restaurants and discotheques. It is also the place for the local culture, with Chés Cabotans theatre(puppet shows in Picard language) and La Lune des Pirate, a famous concert room. It has also become home for lots of students bringing night life to the town.This is also where the Faculty of Sciences as well as the Faculty of Law & Economics are.

Saint Maurice

Situated in between the east of the citadelle and the Madeleine cimetary, St-Maurice is one of the industrial parts of Amiens. It is a working-class area which is being currently renovated and rearranged. The walls of the town's former dying manufacture are now those of the École Supérieure d'Art et de Design as well as those of the Faculty of Arts. The École supérieure d'ingénieurs en électronique et électrotechniquemarker is in the same neighbourhood.

Henriville

The Henriville neighbourhood was mostly built during the 19th century after the demolition of the city wall. It lies at the south of the town-centre and gathers numerous bourgeois houses and a certain number of town houses such as Jules Verne's house. Several examples of the architectural styles of the times like néoclassique, troubadour and néogothique, can be found there.

Saint Acheul

This is where archeologic excavations have enabled to discover prehistorical rests, which have given the name of the area to a prehistorical era "Acheulean" (also spelled Acheulian, pronounced /əˈʃuːliən/). In St-Acheul also lies a famous 1914-1918 military cimetary. It comprises the so called "English neighbourhood" with typical English style houses.At the feet of this area lies the hortillonnages.

Other Neighbourhoods

There are also other famous working-class areas in Amiens, such as the Pigeonnier famous for its weekend market in the north, Etouvie in the east, and Victorine Autier in the south-east. These areas know lots of social troubles and have regularly been the place for riots.

Transportation

Motorways

Amiens is served by several motorways

Railways

Amiens has two stations: the Gare du Nordmarker and the Gare St-Roch The station TGV Haute-Picardie has also been built on the TGV line Lille-Paris which is reachable bus from Amiens

Airports

In addition to the aerodrome of Glisymarker in the east of the town, Amiensmarker is located nearby several airports

Waterways

The Somme canal runs through the town to the English Channelmarker. This canal is linked to the Canal du Nordmarker (Paris to Lille metropolitan area)

Urban transportation

The town's public transport network is managed by Ametis. It links most of Amiens Metropole's communes.The project of building a tramway network is currently in debate.In 2008 the municipality has set the Vélam, a system of public bikes similar to those of other European cities.

Etymology

Originally called Samarobrivamarker ("Somme bridge"), the name of the local celtic tribe "Ambiani" has given its name to the city "Amiens" during the 4th century.

Heraldry

Motto « Liliis tenaci vimine jungor » in other words « A strong link unites me to the lily » the lily being the symbol of the Crown of France.

History

Prehistory

The Paleolithic culture named Acheulean was named for its first identified site, in Saint-Acheulmarker, a neighbourhood of Amiens.

Antiquity

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.The prosperity of the city made it a target for barbarian tribes such as the Alans, the Burgundians or the Vandals. They take over the city several times.

Middle Ages

During the 5th century, the Franks headed by Clodio. Merovech is elected in Amiens by his comrades in arms.Saint Honorius (d. 600 AD) was the seventh bishop of the city.

In 859 the city is sacked by the Normans. In 882 they attack again, take over the city and burn the cathedral

In 1095 Amiens benefits of the rough-shape of a municipal organisation. In 1113 the city is recognised by the King of France.

Joined to the Crown of France in 1185

In 1264, Amiens was the seat of arbitrations by King Louis IX of France in the conflict between King Henry III of England and his rebellious barons, led by Simon de Montfort. The arbitrations led to Louis deciding on the Mise of Amiens – a one-sided settlement in favour of Henry. This decision almost immediately led to the outbreak of the Barons' War.

In 1435 the city is given to Burgundy with the Congress of Arras

In 1477 Amiens was aquired by Louis XI

Modern Era

To the 20th century

In 1597 the Spaniards attack the city: the soldiers disguised in peasants come into the city. After six months of siege, Henry IV takes over the city and put an end to its autonomous gestion.

During the 18th and 19th century, Amiens and its textile tradition becomes famous with its velours. The Cosserat family becomes one of the richest family of the richest one in Amiens' great textile manifacturing families.

In 1789 the Provinces of France are demantles and the territory is organised into departments. Picardy is itself dismantled and Amiens becomes the head-city of the new-created department of Sommemarker.

On March 25th, 1802 the United Kingdommarker and Francemarker sign the Treaty of Amiens and put an end to the Second Coalition against France.

During the 19th century, Amiens benefits of the industrial revolution, develops and grows. Its walls are demolished leaving space for large boulevards around the town-centre. In its south is built the Henrivillemarker area.

In 1848 the first railway going through Amiens is built, linking the city to Boulogne-sur-Mermarker

The city no longer develops itself around the river, but to its higher parts.

In 1849 like in every other communes of France, the male citizens can vote for the first time with the universal suffrage

During the 1870 Franco-Prussian War, the department is invaded by the Prussians and Amiens is occupied.

From the 20th century

The First World War
Amiens was bombarded.The Battle of Amiens was the opening phase of the Hundred Days Offensive in World War I. This offensive led to the armistice which ended the war.

The Second World War
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. The city is bombarded, great parts of its centre and the main station are distroyed.

The After-War
The city is rebuilt according to Pierre Dufau's plans aiming at enlarging the streets to make the traffic easier. The buildings are mostly built with bricks, whites stones and slate roofs such as the Place Gambetta and concret. The Place de la Gare with it's Tour Perret is drawn by August Perret.

In May 1968 Amiens's students join their fellow Parisians' movement of contestation. The factory and the railway workers join them a few days later.Without knowing the violence of Parismarker Amiens quickly gets paralysed. Leftist and far-right fight.After the address of President De Gaulle on May 31st, its suppoters demonstrate on the street.Next Octber the Loi Dufaur is passed and the University of Amiens (Université d'Amiens) is founded, the Campus is built in the south-wester suburban area.

The decree of 2nd April 1969 gives the first shape of the administrative regions.

Since the 1970's
The Law of 4th July, 1972 is passed, creating the Conseils régionaux. The administrative Regions are created. The new Picardy gathers the departments of Aisnemarker, Oisemarker and Sommemarker

From the 1970's the municipality of Amiens starts to buy and renovate the degraded area of St-Leu.

During the late 1970's and particularly the 1980's, Amiens which was mostly an industrial city faces numerous job-cuts and manufacture closings. Its unemployment rate increases.

The 1990's are a great period of reconversion. The city which is historically left-wing lined up elects centre-right mayor. St-Leu is renovated, sectors of the University are moved to the town-centre. The Vallée des Vignes area is built in the south. (nowadays put into question for its isolation and car-centred organisation). Whole streets of the town-centre are transformed into pedestrian areas.

During the 2000's the Gare du Nordmarker is renovated and its place is covered with a glass-roof which triggered much controversy. The Tour Perret is renovated as well and the cinema complex is built. The area of the station starts its reorganisation.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Amiens is twinned with:

Sights

The Cathedral

The cathedral in Amiens
Amiens Cathedralmarker (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."

The belfry

The Circus

The Perret Tower

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

Culture

Cinemas



Museums

  • Museum of the Hôtel Berny (Arts, History)
  • Museum of Picardy (Arts, Archeology, Ethnology...)
  • Museum of Natural History


Theatres



Concert halls

The city counts a certain number of concert rooms, mostly small alternative ones but not only. Numerous concerts happen in pubs along the year.

Exhibition halls

  • Le Safran
  • Mégacité
  • Maison de la culture
  • Archives départementales
  • Centre Jacques Tati
  • Maison de l'architecture


Education

The city gathers a large range of schools and faculties
  • The University of Picardy which provides large options of studies
    • Faculty of Medicin and Pharmacy
    • Faculty of Law, Politics and Economics
    • Faculty of Sciences
    • IUP MIAGE (computing in companies)
    • Faculty of Human Sciences, Literature, Languages, Sport Sciences
    • IUT(Institut Universitaire Technique) of Management, Administration, Computing, Mechanical Engeneering, Biological Engeneering, Commercial Management.
    • Faculty of Arts
    • Free training courses
  • Preparatory courses for sciences, economics, biology schools...
  • ESIEEmarker(Engereering School of Electronics and Electrotechnics)
  • Commerce school
  • ISAM(Institute of Management and Administration)
  • ESAD(School of Art and Design)
  • BTS(advanced vocational diploma)of audio-visual methods
  • Nursing School
  • Midwifes School
  • Physiotherapy and Massage School
  • Teachers School
...

Medias

Newspapers



Radio



TV Channels

  • [France 3 Picardie] (part of [France 3 Nord-Picardie])


Gastonomy



See also



References



  • http://www.annuairemairie.com/consultation/intercommunalite/detail/80/343/263303/communaute_d_agglomeration_amiens_metropole


External links




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