At the time Gallic, the area was covered by the immense drill of the Ardennes (arduenna sylva), one of the places of predilection of the druids. The tribes which lived it (Remes, Trevires) made alliance with the Romans and their grounds were incorporated in Gaulle Belgium. With 5th, it undergoes the franques invasions. Thereafter, it belonged to Austrasie and was partagee between Charles the Bald person and Lothaire with the draft of Verdun, into 843. From 9th, the large feudal seigniories are formerent: counts de Champagne, of Ardenne, Rethel and Porcien, principality of Sedan. In 1285, the Champagne count was attaches to France by the marriage of Philippe the Beautiful one with Jeanne de Navarre, heiress of the count. The count de Rethel had his personal lords, then, after 1290, followed the destiny of the count de Nevers. Transmitted to Flandres, in Burgundy, then in Cleves, it was sets up in duchy with the profit of Gonzague, then acquired by the Mazarin cardinal in favour of his family. The principality of Sedan, very important fortified town, was acquired by the dukes of Bubble (Marck, then Turn-in Auvergne). In 1642, following the intrigues of the duke of Bubble, it was cedee with king de France. In 1678, by the draft of Nimegue, part of Hainaut was rattachee in France (Givet, Fumay). Throughout the centuries, the area was the theatre of military operations: heroic resistance of Bayard has Mezieres have by the Imperial ones in 1521; fights of Marfee, during which, after having beaten the royal troops, the count de Soissons found death; victory of the Large Cop over the Spaniards has Rocroi in 1643; occupation by the Leopold archduke in 1650; wars of the Revolution and the Empire; disaster and capitulation of Sedan, on September 2, 1870; combat of the two world wars.


The department is in contact with a sedimentary basin, the Paris basin, and of an old solid mass, the Ardennes, whose southernmost fringe occupies the northern part of the department. It is a schistous plate of about uniform altitude, culminating with the Cross-Scaille (504 m). In the hollows stagnate of the peat bogs and the marshes (fagnes); over the slopes heaths are spread out (riezes), while the drill recovers the heights. The rivers (Meuse, Semoy) have inserts their meanders in valleys encaissees dominees by hard peaks of quarzite. The center of the department is an area of transition made up of various small countries to the argillaceous basement of Jurassic formation or infracretacee. The valley of Aisne, the country of Carignan and Thierache of the Ardennes are the most fertile areas of the department. Argonne is a solid mass timbers constitutes clay, clay hardened by sand. Porcien and Rethelois are wet areas with the relief of hills. The area of the of the Ardennes pre peaks, edge of the cretaceous plates, ensures the transition with the Champagne of the Ardennes which extends to the south from the valley from Aisne. That it belongs to Champagne cankered, the west, or wet Champagne, the east, or chalk Miss with the alluvia, it has the relief of a plain slightly corrugated. The climate, of continental type, is generally hard, with cold winters and prolong, of the pleasant autumns and the summers knowing a strong diurnal amplitude. The drill remains one of the main resources and was at the origin of industry. The valley of the Meuse concentrates the main part of the industrial activities (metallurgy, textile, industry of wood).

Arts, activities and economy

The department has a very rich archaeological inheritance: if the paleolithic residence slightly represents, many small Neolithic layers of surface and some vestiges of the Bronze Age are counted. Several tumulus, the cemeteries of the Trote mount has Manre and of the mount Fruleux has Menil-Lepinois testify to the Gallic time. The country of Carignan is rich in Gallo-Roman memories; one also discovered some has City-on-Lumes, Villers-Sower and Montcy-Saint-Pierre. Important cemeteries merovingiens, rich in furniture, were put at the day has Jandun, Aubigny-les-Pothees, Champigneul-on-Vence, Mazerny, Lumes, like at the hospital of Wall. The Ardennes have some Romance or partly Romance churches (Braux, Chemerysur-Bar, Cheveuges-Saint-Aignan, Laval-God have Montherme). The primitive Gothic (Renwez, Hannappes, Montherme, Rethel and especially Mouzon) or blazing (Wall, Mohon and Donchery) experienced a greater development. 16th go back the churches to Savigny-on-Aisne, Saint-Morel, Villers-Sower, Charbogne and the gate of Vouziers. The art of the Rebirth is especially manifest in furniture and the ornamentation. The political disturbances have justifies the fortification of a score of churches with 16th and 17th, especially in Thierache (Liart, Tournes, Aouste, Nouvion-on-Meuse); a place should be made has share with surprising the church of Asfeld which cannot be rattachee has any existing school. Lastly, the small rural churches have a charm and a personality which vary in each area of the department. The needs for military defense have mark deeply the whole of the area: construction of powerful fortresses (Sedan, Charlemont has Givet), of imposing strong castles (Montcornet, Hierges), of the strong houses (Doumely, Thugny, Wignacourt have Castle-Porcien). The castles of approval were built only rather late: the 18th middle-class men anoblis made build remarkable small palaces (Bazeilles, Guignicourt-on-Vence, Wasigny). The ducal place of Charleville constitutes a remarkable architectural unit intends has to emphasize the glory of Charles de Gonzague, founder of the city in 1608. Many monuments were victims of the wars; the Inhabitants of the Ardennes stick have to preserve their artistic inheritance and have to restore what can be safe.

latest Department notices