Épernay (IPA: [epɛʁnɛ]) is a commune in the Marne department in northern France. Épernay is located some 130 km north-east of Paris on the main line of the Eastern railway to Strasbourg. The town sits on the left bank of the Marne at the extremity of the Cubry valley which crosses it.
Vineyards near Épernay
|Canton||Épernay-1 and 2|
|Intercommunality||Épernay-Pays de Champagne|
|• Mayor||Franck Leroy|
|22.69 km2 (8.76 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,000/km2 (2,700/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
Épernay (Sparnacum) belonged to the archbishops of Reims from the 5th until the 10th century, when it came into the possession of the counts of Champagne. It was badly damaged during the Hundred Years' War, and was burned by Francis I in 1544. It resisted Henry of Navarre in 1592, and Marshal Biron fell in the attack which preceded its eventual capture. In 1642 it was, along with Château-Thierry, named as a duchy and assigned to the duc de Bouillon.
In the central and oldest quarter of the town, the streets are narrow and irregular; the surrounding suburbs, however, are modern and more spacious, with La Folie to the East, for example, containing many villas belonging to rich wine merchants. The town has also spread to the right bank of the Marne.
One of its churches retains a portal and stained-glass windows from the sixteenth century, but the other public buildings are of modern construction. The most famous street in Épernay is the Avenue de Champagne which features the leading Champagne manufacturers.
Other sights outside the town include:
Épernay is best known as the principal "entrepôt" for champagne wines, which are bottled and kept in large cellars built into the chalk rock on which the town is built. The production of the equipment and raw materials used in the champagne industry is a major source of local employment.
Épernay was the birthplace of:
- Flodoard (894-966), chronicler
- Maakan Tounkara, handball player
- Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière, Québécois politician
- Gabrielle Dorziat, comedian
- Yohann Diniz, athlete
- John Gadret, cyclist
- Léon Homo (1872–1957), historian
- Jean-Baptiste-Maximien Parchappe de Vinay (1800 – 1866), psychiatrist
- Alex Vanopslagh, Danish politician
Épernay was the final resting place of:
- Léon Azéma (1888–1978), French architect, died in Épernay and is buried in the cemetery there
Twin towns — sister citiesEdit
Épernay is twinned with: