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Trip Planner Europe  /  France  /  Hauts-de-France  /  Nord  /  Valenciennes

Valenciennes

4.2
Art Museums · Room Escape Games · Gift & Specialty Shops
Valenciennes is a commune in the Nord department in northern France.It lies on the Scheldt river. Although the city and region experienced a steady population decline between 1975 and 1990, it has since rebounded. The 1999 census recorded that the population of the commune of Valenciennes was 41,278, and that of the metropolitan area was 399,677.HistoryBefore 1500Valenciennes is first mentioned in 693 in a legal document written by Clovis II (Valentiana). In the 843 Treaty of Verdun, it was made a neutral city between Neustria and the Austrasia. Later in the 9th century the region was overrun by the Normans, and in 881 the town passed to them. In 923 it passed to the Duchy of Lower Lotharingia dependent on the Holy Roman Empire. Once the Empire of the Franks was established, the city began to develop, though the archaeological record has still not revealed all it has to reveal about this period. Under the Ottonian emperors, Valenciennes became the centre of marches on the border of the Empire.In 1008, a terrible famine brought the Plague. According to the local tradition, the Virgin Mary held a cordon around the city which, miraculously, has since protected its people from the disease. Since then, every year at that time, the Valenciennois used to walk around the 14km road round the town, in what is called the tour of the Holy Cordon. Many Counts succeeded, first as Margraves of Valenciennes and from 1070 as counts of Hainaut.
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