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Bray-sur-Somme is a commune in the Sommemarker department in Picardiemarker in northern Francemarker.

Twin towns

It is twinned with Inkberrowmarker.


The communes is situated on the D1 and D329 road junction, some east-northeast of Amiensmarker.

The commune is surrounded by hills to the east and to the west. To the south, the marshes are crossed by the Sommemarker. The town has been a strategic location over the centuries thanks to the four fords crossing the river here, the old boundary between Artoismarker and Picardy.


Population history
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006
1185 1226 1242 1220 1320 1316 1316
Starting in 1962: Population without duplicates


Bray is a place name of Celtic origin meaning "marshy land”.The name Braium has been documented since about 630.


Early times

Archeological searches have established that the area had Gallic and Roman occupation, confirmed by the weapons and various domestic objects found in and around Bray.In 630, Braium was under the domain of the abbey of St-Riquier.In 868, under the reign of Charles the Bald, a fortress controlled this part of the Somme upstream to Corbiemarker and Amiensmarker.Hugh Capet placed the town under the control of the neighbouring town of Péronne.In 1210, King Philip II Augustus granted the commune a "community charter".

Middle Ages

The city was strengthened to the west and north by walls and deep ditches. To the east, an earthen embankment and palisade, surrounded by marsh and small watercourses, provided the protection. Four gates, each with a portcullis, guarded entry to the town,

As with many fortified towns in this part of France, Bray suffered fire, bombardment and destruction over the centuries, as French kings fought to expand their lands against the Norman English and the Spanish-led Holy Roman Empire.

World War I

Memorial to the 329th Infantry Regiment

Bray was occupied in 1914 by the German Army. Apart from requisitioning some wagons, the town was not too badly disturbed. The place later became a rest and recuperation centre.The 329th Infantry Regiment, from Le Havre, were reservists based at Bray for a year. They lost 2,086 soldiers during action in the area.

Bray was liberated on the 12th Aug 1918 by the Australians. The town was awarded the Croix de guerre in 1920. Reconstruction took place over many years.

Second World War

Bray was occupied by the Germansmarker throughout the years of 1940-1944. On the 1st of September, 1944, Bray-sur-Somme was liberated by units of the United statesmarker army.

Places of interest

The Museum

Exhibition of memories of the ‘Great War’, including cannons.Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron and his squadron, the ‘Flying Circus’ are commorated in a display.

Saint-Nicolas church

The church
The altar

The church was built over the ruins of a monastery, from local limestone. The 35m bell-tower was added in 1745.

Public wash houses

12 steps lead to the ‘lavoir’
Bray has two 18th century wash houses, still accessible to the public.


The region abounds with lakes and is a paradise for anglers. Pike, sander, bream, carp, roach and eels are among the different species found in the waters.


Peat is still cut, dried and used in the region.

See also


External links

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