- Sedan, France
alt moy=157 m
The historic centre is built on a peninsula formed by an arc of the
Sedan was founded in 1424. In the 16th century Sedan was an asylum for Protestant refugees from the
Wars of Religion.
Until 1651, the Principality of Sedan belonged to the
La Tour d'Auvergnefamily. It was at that time a sovereign principality. Their most illustrious representative, Marshal Turenne, was born at Sedan on September 11, 1611. With help from the Holy Roman Empire, it managed to defeat France at the Battle of La Marfée, though immediately afterwards it was besieged and its prince, Frédéric Maurice de La Tour d'Auvergne, duc de Bouillon, submitted to France. Only a year after that submission, it was annexed to France in return for sparing his life after he became involved in a conspiracy against France.
Franco-Prussian War, on September 2, 1870the French emperor Napoleon III was taken prisoner with 100,000 of his soldiers at the Battle of Sedan.
Due to this major victory, which also made the "Second Reich" of
Germanypossible, September 2was declared "Sedan Day" ("Sedantag") and a national German holiday in 1871. It remained a holiday until 1919.
World War IIthe German troops first invaded neutral Belgiumand crossed the Meuse Riverin Sedan. This allowed them to bypass the French fortification system, the Maginot Line.
Points of interest
Château de Sedan"Today Sedan is known for its castle, that is claimed to be the largest fortified medieval castle in Europe with a total surface of 30.000 m2 on 7 levels. Construction started in 1424 and the castle's defences were constantly improved over the ages. It is the only remaining part of the once enormous fortifications in and around the town.
Other points of interest
Jardin botanique de Sedan
A centre of cloth production, begun under the patronage of
Cardinal Mazarin, supported the town until the late 19th century.
Sedan was the birthplace of:
Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne(1611-1675), Marshal of France.
Étienne-Jacques-Joseph-Alexandre MacDonald(1765–1840), Marshal of France
Charles Baudin(1792-1854), admiral
Yves Marie Joseph Cardinal Congar(1904-1995) was a French Dominican priest and theologian.
René Guyon(1876-1963), jurist
Yannick Noah(born 1960), former professional tennisplayer
Benjamin Lemaire(born 1985), actor and film director
* Sedan is twinned with
Eisenach, Germanysince 1991
CS Sedan Ardennes, football club based in Sedan
Stade Louis Dugauguez, a multi-use stadium in Seda
* [http://www.sedan.fr Sedan city council website] (in French)
* [http://www.onwar.com/maps/wwii/blitz/1fsedan40.htm The German breakthrough in 1940]
* [http://www.fortified-places.com/sedan.html Webpage about the fortifications of Sedan]
* [http://battlefieldseurope.co.uk/sedan.aspx Article on the Battle of Sedan at 'Battlefields Europe']
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.