Épernay (French pronunciation: [epɛʁnɛ]) is a commune in the Marne department of northern France,[3] 130 km north-east of Paris on the mainline railway to Strasbourg. The town sits on the left bank of the Marne at the extremity of the Cubry valley which crosses it.[4]

Vineyards near Épernay
Vineyards near Épernay
Coat of arms of Épernay
Location of Épernay
Épernay is located in France
Épernay is located in Grand Est
Coordinates: 49°02′25″N 3°57′36″E / 49.0403°N 3.96°E / 49.0403; 3.96
RegionGrand Est
CantonÉpernay-1 and 2
IntercommunalityCA Épernay, Coteaux et Plaine de Champagne
 • Mayor (2023–2026) Christine Mazy[1]
22.69 km2 (8.76 sq mi)
 • Density970/km2 (2,500/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
51230 /51200
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Épernay is a sub-prefecture of the department and seat of an arrondissement.[3]

History edit

Épernay (Sparnacum) belonged to the archbishops of Reims from the 5th until the 10th century, when it came into the possession of the counts of Champagne. It was badly damaged during the Hundred Years' War, and was burned by Francis I in 1544. It resisted Henry of Navarre in 1592, and Marshal Biron fell in the attack which preceded its eventual capture. In 1642 it was, along with Château-Thierry, named as a duchy and assigned to the duc de Bouillon.[4]

Population edit

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 3,736—    
1800 4,480+2.63%
1806 4,544+0.24%
1821 4,977+0.61%
1831 5,318+0.66%
1836 5,457+0.52%
1841 5,978+1.84%
1846 6,095+0.39%
1851 7,386+3.92%
1856 9,346+4.82%
1861 10,598+2.55%
1866 11,704+2.01%
1872 12,927+1.67%
1876 15,506+4.65%
1881 16,388+1.11%
1886 17,907+1.79%
1891 18,361+0.50%
1896 19,377+1.08%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901 20,478+1.11%
1906 21,637+1.11%
1911 21,811+0.16%
1921 21,806−0.00%
1926 20,589−1.14%
1931 20,381−0.20%
1936 20,406+0.02%
1946 19,703−0.35%
1954 21,222+0.93%
1962 21,882+0.38%
1968 26,583+3.30%
1975 29,677+1.59%
1982 27,668−1.00%
1990 26,682−0.45%
1999 25,844−0.35%
2007 24,591−0.62%
2012 23,529−0.88%
2017 22,671−0.74%
Source: EHESS[5] and INSEE (1968-2017)[6]

Main sights edit

In the central and oldest quarter of the town, the streets are narrow and irregular; the surrounding suburbs, however, are modern and more spacious, with La Folie to the East, for example, containing many villas belonging to rich wine merchants. The town has also spread to the right bank of the Marne.[4]

One of its churches retains a portal and stained-glass windows from the sixteenth century, but the other public buildings are of modern construction.[4] The most famous street in Épernay is the Avenue de Champagne which features the leading Champagne manufacturers.

Other sights outside the town include:

Economy edit

Épernay is best known as the principal "entrepôt" for champagne wines, which are bottled and kept in large cellars built into the chalk rock on which the town is built. The major grape varieties used in champagne are the pinot noir, the pinot meunier and the chardonnay.[7] The production of the equipment and raw materials used in the champagne industry is a major source of local employment. Champagne Pannier, among others, was established in Épernay before moving to Château-Thierry in 1937. Brewing and sugar refinery and the production of hats and caps, are also major industries.[4]

Épernay station has rail connections to Paris, Strasbourg, Reims, Metz, Nancy and several regional destinations.

Mercier Champagne vineyards in Épernay

Notable people edit

Épernay was the birthplace of:

Épernay was the final resting place of:

Twin towns — sister cities edit

Épernay is twinned with:[9]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires" (in French). data.gouv.fr, Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises. 6 June 2023.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2021". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2023.
  3. ^ a b INSEE commune file
  4. ^ a b c d e Chisholm 1911.
  5. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Épernay, EHESS (in French).
  6. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
  7. ^ Simpson, James (16 October 2011). Creating Wine: The Emergence of a World Industry, 1840-1914. Princeton: Princeton University Press. p. 134. ISBN 978-0-691-13603-5. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  8. ^ "'Great lady of the French Resistance' dies at 103". 3 November 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  9. ^ "Villes jumelées". epernay.fr (in French). Épernay. Retrieved 21 November 2019.

External links edit