—  Department  —


Coat of arms
Location of Aisne in France
Coordinates: 49°30′N 3°30′E / 49.5°N 3.5°E / 49.5; 3.5Coordinates: 49°30′N 3°30′E / 49.5°N 3.5°E / 49.5; 3.5
Country France
Region Picardie
Prefecture Laon
Subprefectures Château-Thierry
 – President of the General Council Yves Daudigny (PS)
 – Total 7,369 km2 (2,845.2 sq mi)
Population (1999)
 – Total 535,489
 – Rank 49th
 – Density 72.7/km2 (188.2/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 – Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 02
Arrondissements 5
Cantons 42
Communes 816
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Aisne (French pronunciation: [ɛːn]) is a department in the northern part of France named after the Aisne River.



Aisne is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was created from parts of the former provinces of Île-de-France, Picardie, and Champagne.

Most of the old growth forests in the area were destroyed during battles in World War I. The French offensive against the Chemin des Dames in spring 1917 is sometimes referred to as the Second Battle of the Aisne.


Aisne borders the Ardennes Forest and Belgium to the northeast. The Aisne River crosses the area from east to west, where it joins the Oise River. The Marne forms part of the southern boundary of the department with the department of Seine-et-Marne. The southern part of the department is the geographical region known as la Brie poilleuse, a drier plateau known for its dairy products and Brie cheese.

The landscape is dominated by masses of rock which often have steep flanks. These rocks appear all over the region, but the most impressive examples are at Laon and the Chemin des Dames ridge.

The principal cities in Aisne are :

See also: List of the communes of the Aisne department and Brie.


There is an average of 500 to 750 mm precipitation annually.


Agriculture dominates the economy, especially cereal crops. Beet sugar is one of the most important industrial crops of the area. Silk, cotton, and wool weaving flourish in Saint-Quentin and other towns. Saint-Gobain is known for its production of mirrors, which started in the 17th century. Guise is the agricultural centre of the northern area of Aisne.


During World War I a number of significant architectural monuments were destroyed. Of the buildings that survived, the medieval churches in Laon, Braine, and Urcel are the most significant. The ruined castle of La Ferté-Milon escaped further damage during the war. Of castles that survived, some were used as prison; as the Castle of Vadancourt, near Saint-Quentin ( 500 prisoners )[1]

It is thought that the Aisne River was the birthplace of the Trench Warfare seen throughout the First World War, as the BEF had initial early successes which drove the Germans back to the Aisne River. The German Troops dug in and managed to hold out against both British and French attacks. With this German success it was to mold the entire face of World War I as both sides began digging in and fortified their positions, thus beginning the Stalemate that was to become the significant feature of the First World War.


The President of the General Council is the Socialist Yves Daudigny.

Party seats
Socialist Party 17
Miscellaneous Left 7
Miscellaneous Right 8
Union for a Popular Movement 6
French Communist Party 4

Celebrity connections

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Aisne — Departamento de Francia …   Wikipedia Español

  • aisné — Aisné, [aisn]ée. adj. Le premier né des enfants d un mesme pere, ou d une mesme mere. Son fils aisné. sa fille aisnée. vostre frere aisné. vostre soeur aisnée. il est l aisné de tous. Il est aussi subst. Mon aisné. vostre aisné. l aisné vaut bien …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Aisne — [ɛn] bezeichnet: Aisne (Mayenne), Nebenfluss der Mayenne in Frankreich Aisne (Oise), Nebenfluss der Oise in Frankreich Aisne (Ourthe), Nebenfluss der Ourthe in Belgien Département Aisne, Département in Frankreich, nach dem Fluss Aisne (Oise)… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Aisne —   [ɛːn],    1) die, linker Nebenfluss der Oise, 280 km lang, auf 160 km schiffbar, entspringt in den südlichen Argonnen, mündet bei Compiègne; war früher mit ihren Kanälen, Aisne Marne Kanal und Aisne Seitenkanal, für den Holztransport aus den… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • aisné — Aisné, Primaeuus, Primogenitus, Primigenius, Le vocable entier est Ainsné, Comme si on disoit, ante natus. Ce que l Espagnol dit, Antenado, car il est composé de ains qui signifie devant, et de né. Il semble mieux d escrire Ainsné, comme qui… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Aisne — (spr. Ähn), 1) (sonst Axona), Nebenfluß der Oise in Frankreich, entspringt im Departement Marne, wird im Depart. Ardennen schiffbar, läuft 35 Ml., mündet bei Compiegne, mit der Maas durch einen Kanal verbunden. 2) Departement in Frankreich, Theil …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Aisne [1] — Aisne (spr. ǟn ), Fluß im nördlichen Frankreich, die alte Axona, entspringt im Argonnenwald bei Vaubecourt, strömt erst nordwestlich durch die Departements Marne und Ardennen, dann westlich durch das gleichnamige Departement und einen Teil des… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Aisne [2] — Aisne (spr. ǟn ), Departement im nördlichen Frankreich, umfaßt einen Teil der Ile de France und der Picardie, ist nach dem Fluß A. (s. oben) benannt, wird im N. von Belgien und dem Depart. Nord, im O. von den Departements Ardennen und Marne, im S …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Aisne — (spr. ähn), Fluß im Argonnenwald, mündet, 280 km lg., bei Compiègne l. in die Oise. – Das Dep. A., 7428 qkm, (1901) 535.583 E.; Hauptstadt Laon …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Aisne — (die alte Axona), Nebenfluß der Oise, entspr. im Depart. der Maas und fließt nach einem Laufe von 20 M, bei Compiegne in die Oise; sie ist schiffbar gemacht. Von ihr hat das 5te Departement Frankreichs den Namen; es ist 1361/2 QM. groß mit 560000 …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Aisne — riv. de France (270 km), affl. de l Oise (r. g.); naît dans l Argonne. Dép.: 7 378 km²; 537 259 hab.; ch. l. Laon (28 670 hab.) V. Picardie (Rég.) …   Encyclopédie Universelle