Aisne (river)

The Aisne (/n/ AYN,[1] US also /ɛn/ EN,[2] French: [ɛːn] (listen)) is a river in northeastern France. It is a left tributary of the Oise. It gave its name to the French department of Aisne. It was known in the Roman period as Axona.

Aisne Panorama.JPG
The Aisne near the village of Soupir
Aisne (rivière).png
Physical characteristics
 • locationChampagne-Ardenne
 • coordinates48°56′44″N 05°10′46″E / 48.94556°N 5.17944°E / 48.94556; 5.17944
 • location
 • coordinates
49°26′1″N 2°50′49″E / 49.43361°N 2.84694°E / 49.43361; 2.84694Coordinates: 49°26′1″N 2°50′49″E / 49.43361°N 2.84694°E / 49.43361; 2.84694
Length356 km (221 mi)
Basin size7,752 km2 (2,993 sq mi)
 • average63 m3/s (2,200 cu ft/s)
Basin features
ProgressionOiseSeineEnglish Channel
 • leftRuisseau de l'Étang Neuf, Boue, Ante, Auve, Tourbe, Dormoise, Rémy Galère, Ruisseau des Sugnons, Ruisseau de l'Indre
 • rightOrne, Coubreuil, Sougniat, Biesme, Ruisseau du Fossé des Corbeaux, Aire, Ruisseau du Moulin, Ruisseau de Saint-Gourgon, Ruisseau des Ouvions, Ruisseau des Quatorze, Migny, Vaux, Ruisseau de Saint-Fergeux, Miette, Tordoir
German trenches along the Aisne during World War I
The Aisne running through Soissons

The river rises in the forest of Argonne, at Rembercourt-Sommaisne, near Sainte-Menehould. It flows north and then west before joining the Oise near Compiègne. The Aisne is 356 kilometres (221 mi) long.[3] Its main tributaries are the Vesle, the Aire and the Suippe. The Battle of the Axona was fought near there between the Romans and the Belgae in 57 BC. Three Battles of the Aisne were fought in the Aisne valley during the First World War.

Places along the riverEdit

Departments and towns along the river include:


The river Aisne was used for commercial navigation as early as the Celtic period, and rafts were floated from a long distance above the present limit of navigation at Vailly-sur-Aisne until the mid-19th century. Canalisation works were begun in 1836, at the same time as construction of the Canal lateral à l'Aisne. The canal was completed first, in 1841, then two years later the river navigation.[4] Commercial traffic in péniches carrying 220 tonnes is still active, while recreational traffic is mainly private boats. The waterway is 57 kilometres (35 mi) long, from the river Oise to the junction with the lateral canal, and has 7 locks. Through the lateral canal, it links with the Marne and the Canal de la Meuse.[5]

En routeEdit

The kilometre distances continue the numbering from Canal latéral à l'Aisne from east to west.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Aisne". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). HarperCollins. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Aisne". Collins English Dictionary. HarperCollins. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  3. ^ Sandre. "Fiche cours d'eau (H1--0200)".
  4. ^ a b Edwards-May, David (2010). Inland Waterways of France. St Ives, Cambs., UK: Imray. pp. 90–94. ISBN 978-1-846230-14-1.
  5. ^ Picardie, Waterways Guide No. 20. Castelnaudary, France: Editions du Breil. 2014.

External linksEdit