There is a nice place in the Aisne, Château Thierry!!!

On a quiet weekend, and rainy, humid and rather hot with temps up to 17C or about 65F ,I continue my travels with you of my belle France. I have come many times to this area, close to family and they worked in the Champagne fields here when young.  I have, also company business here to visit. Yes this is Château Thierry ; and yes it is in Champagne country still produce there.

Château-Thierry is in the department 02 of the Aisne in the region of Hauts de France .The town belong to Champagne until the French revolution. I have written before about the city in my blog, here it is: My blog post on Chateau Thierry

Located in the Marne valley in the middle of a great highway of regions and big cities like the railroad line Paris-Strasbourg and only 85 km from Paris. The autoroute A4 passes by the city exit Château Thierry/Soissons allowing connection between the city and Reims and east west routes. The D1 passes by the city north to south and connects the city with the north via Soissons and between the city and Troyes and Provins. My toll free favorite N3 (route d’Allemagne or road of Germany) crosses the city east to west and connects with La Ferté-sous-Jouarre and Meaux to the west and Epernay and Chalon en Champagne on the east; my hangouts. The traffic in the city is bothered by the problems of crossing the Marne river where there are only two bridges, one in city center and the other over the expressway. There is a train station or Gare de Château Thierry terminus of the line P Transilien Paris Est and also the regional lines Lorraine, Picardie, and Champagne on the TER trains.

A bit of history I like:

From excavation, they have found that there was an antique town here abandoned in the 3C or 4C, monies mentioning odomo fit discovered in the city attest to the fact there was important occupation in the period of the Merovingian’s. By the Carolingians period the area of the current Château Thierry was link to the powerful family of the Herbertiens. Herbert  Ier was a descendant of Charlemagne by Pepin of Italy and his mother inherits the powerful family of Thierry. The Herbertiens family was at the origin of the county of Champagne; by 910, Herbert II de Vermandois inherit from his grandfather and by 918 received from the marriage of Adéle, the county of Meaux.; it is from this time the dates the proofs of a fortified town with the name of Château-Thierry . At the death of Herbert II his son Herbert III aka the Old Count of Troyes and Meaux inherits the fortress of Château-Thierry with the county of Ornois and the abbey of Saint Médard de Soissons. Herbert III died around 980/984 without heirs and the king Lothaire shares the domaine amongst his nephews Eudes Herbert the young and Albert; Eudes I received the county of Ornois and the abbey of Saint Médard. At the death of Eudes I by 996, his son Eudes II follows and by 1004 inherits the county of Blois with Tours and Chartres and in addition Provins, Château Thierry, Reims , and the Tardenois. By 1021, he is the count of Troyes and Meaux by Robert the pious. Etienne youngest son succeeded him at his death in 1037. Etienne died in by 1044-1048 leaving to his youngest son Eudes III the possessions. Thibaud III his brother and count of Blois managed the affairs. Eudes III married in 1060, the sister of William the Conqueror, Adelaide. He participates of the conquest of England in 1066, his brother Thibaud III takes the possessions of the county of Champagne. William the Conqueror for compensate this lost, gives him the County of Aumales in Normandy and Holderness in England. Hugues I inherits the county of Champagne from his father Thibaud III in 1089 and becomes the first to carry the title of Count of Champagne. In 1025 he is made a templier and it is his nephew Thibaud II that received the Champagne. Between 1064 and 1124 Château-Thierry was held by a dynasty of knights name Hugues but from the arrival of Thibaud II the Champagne, Castle and the surrounding town belongs to the counts.

Château-Thierry is the site of an important battle in 1814, the Russian and Prussians armies were set back by the troops of Napoléon at Montmirail, the foreigners were trying to stop the French for passing the Marne river bridge, heavy combats are held even on the streets but the foreigners were set back to Soissons. The city was of the key points during the battles of the WWI in 1918 between the Americans and German troops. By June 1918, during the 3rd battle of the Aisne, the 10th colonial infantery division and the 2nd division of American infantery stopped the German offensive here . The city is ,also, the theatre of heavy battles during the Battle of France in 1940, the bridge in Chateau Thierry was defended by the Red Aspirant troops for which the new bridge carries their name.

Things to see in Château Thierry:

First, you have to come to the castle dominating the Marne valley, built from the 9C and heavily renovated over the years. Today, the old castle is a point of promenades/walks and holds a falcon spectacle that is very nice. The Church Saint-Crépin is the only Church in the city (many were destroyed during the French revolution). The Church was in the 15C located outside the walls of the ramparts but now it is near the city center. The clock tower is 36 meters high and can be seen from the banks of the Marne river. The tower or tour Balhan is a remained of the old mansion called the Hôtel du Mouton d’Or (built for a Balhan in 1480); the tower has a stairs ,and old Chapel and a prison room. What is left was restored from the Fort Saint Jacques residence of the Counts of Champagne that preferred it over the castle as when they came from Provins for a few days. The square tower is 33 meters high on top there is an octagonal arrow with tiles; to the east they are two smaller round towers with hexagonal roofs and to the west two small triangular pyramids fix on the tower. The interior stair leads you to the gothic Chapel and later the old prison room. From 1874, two cadrans completes the work as a town’s clock.

There is the Hôtel-Dieu former hospial of the city and today a museum ; the hospital was founded by Jeanne of Navarra in 1304. See the Mémorial Américain Aisne-Marne built in 1933 on the hill 204 about 3 km west of Château-Thierry, a monument that dominates the city and the valley with a great view. The native house of Jean de la Fontaine or Maison Jean de La Fontaine is the museum of Jean-de-La-Fontaine the story teller was born here in 1621, the author of the La Cigale et la Fourmi.(cicada and ant) See also, the city hall or Hôtel de Ville built in 1893 and open later by Raymond Poincaré, the public instruction minister at the time (later President of France). The house has a renaissance style architecture that was share by the judicial and public authorities. It is located in the place de l’Hôtel de Ville, where you will find the cinema theatre (art deco style), covered market, Protestant temple and imposing stairs to go up to the old castle. Here the Grand Rue, joins the square to go the native house of Jean de la Fontaine, and the rue du Château, that takes you past the gate or porte Saint-Pierre.

Temple protestant was during WWI was an American Methodist Church created to offered help to the American soldiers done with donations that allowed to built the temple in 1924. One of the stained glass on the Temple represent La Fayette, Foch, Joffre, Pétain ,and Nivelle. Château-Thierry is crossed by the tourist route of the Champagne called Vallée de la Marne connecting Château Thierry to Epernay , a distance of 90 km.

However, what brought me here was as initially stated the family is not far and as young even my wife worked here on the grapes of the valley of the Marne west Champagne appellation . At  Château-Thierry, you must visit the cellars of Champagne Pannier with instructive tours on the making of the bubbly inside medieval galleries carved out in the 12C and decorated walls with old engravings such as an archer from the 14C, that has become the symbol of the house. An impressive view here in English: Champagne Pannier 

 

Chateau Thierry

Champagne Pannier entrance in Chateau Thierry

Some webpages that will help you plan your trip here to follow as well as my favorite sites other than the bubbly !

At Château Thierry the house of the Franco American friendship in French : http://www.chateau-thierry.fr/menu-tourisme/lamitie-france-amerique

American Memorial of Chateau Thierry: https://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries-memorials/europe/chateau-thierry-monument#.WtEALy5ubIU

Tourist and heritage page on the city of Chateau Thierry: http://www.chateau-thierry.fr/culture-et-loisirs/laissez-vous-conter-chateau-thierry

Tourist page on Chateau Thierry in English: http://www.lesportesdelachampagne.com/recherche#!/?q=chateau%20thierry

The Aisne department 02 tourism on Chateau Thierry: https://www.jaimelaisne.com/Les-escapades/A-moto-dans-le-Valois-et-sur-la-route-touristique-du-Champagne#etape-anchor-3

The region of Hauts de France tourism info in French (old Picardie is Chateau Thierry) : http://www.hautsdefrance.fr/patrimoine/

Museum Jean de la Fontaine; http://www.musee-jean-de-la-fontaine.fr/accueil.php?lang=uk

There you go, you all set to visit this nice town and a great bubbly. A bit of the east of my belle France. Happy travels, good health, and many cheers!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments to “There is a nice place in the Aisne, Château Thierry!!!”

  1. We spent our wedding anniversary in Champagne a couple of years ago and bought a bottle to celebrate. Nice!

    Liked by 1 person

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