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

Ah here is a nice one to update again having fun, hope you are enjoying the ride with me. Thanks again for reading me since Nov 2010 in my blog!!! This one was an invitation to come to this town which by the way have passed by it several times and never the idea of going in. I have other posts with pictures so this one again will be on my black and white series, no pictures. However, once invited the time there was fun and the bubbly Champagne even nicer. Let me tell you a bit more on Château Thierry!!!

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.   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. 

Château Thierry is 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 of Hauts de France 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 there goes several descendant and exchanges of territory until I catch up the history at Eudes III who 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 to Eudes III. And again several passing of descendant and territory.

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 one 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). 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.

The Protestant Temple 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 touristic 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 (see post) 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.

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

American Memorial of Chateau Thierry: https://www.abmc.gov/Chateau-Thierry#.WtEALy5ubIU

The city of Château Thierry on its heritage in French: https://www.chateau-thierry.fr/culture-et-loisirs/laissez-vous-conter-chateau-thierry

The portes de la Champagne local tourist office on Château Thierry: https://www.lesportesdelachampagne.com/recherche#!/?q=chateau%20thierry

The Aisne dept 02 celebration July 2021 the 400 anniversary of Jean de la Fontaine in French: https://www.jaimelaisne.com/400_ans_de_La_Fontaine.oB.htm

The Aisne dept 02 tourist office on its heritage: https://www.lesportesdelachampagne.com/decouvrir-0/envie-de-culture

There you go folks, you all set to visit Château Thierry a nice town and a great bubbly. A bit of the east of my belle France.  And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

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