Coordinates: 48°57′27″N 4°21′54″E / 48.9575°N 4.365°E / 48.9575; 4.365
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City Hall of Châlons-en-Champagne
City Hall of Châlons-en-Champagne
Coat of arms of Châlons-en-Champagne
Location of Châlons-en-Champagne
Châlons-en-Champagne is located in France
Châlons-en-Champagne is located in Grand Est
Coordinates: 48°57′27″N 4°21′54″E / 48.9575°N 4.365°E / 48.9575; 4.365
RegionGrand Est
CantonChâlons-en-Champagne-1, 2 and 3
IntercommunalityCA Châlons-en-Champagne
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Benoist Apparu[1]
26.05 km2 (10.06 sq mi)
 • Density1,700/km2 (4,400/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
51108 /51000
Elevation82–84 m (269–276 ft)
(avg. 83 m or 272 ft)
WebsiteOfficial website
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Châlons-en-Champagne (French pronunciation: [ʃɑlɔ̃ ɑ̃ ʃɑ̃paɲ]) is a city in the Grand Est region of France. It is the capital of the department of Marne, despite being only a quarter the size of the city of Reims.

Formerly called Châlons-sur-Marne, the city was officially renamed in 1998. It should not be confused with the Burgundian town of Chalon-sur-Saône.


The city was a Gallic and later a Gallo-Roman settlement known in Latin as Catalaunum, taking its name from the Catalauni, a Belgic tribe dwelling in the region of modern Champagne.[3]

Châlons is conjectured to be the site of several battles including the Battle of Châlons fought in 274 between Roman Emperor Aurelian and Emperor Tetricus I of the Gallic Empire. The Catalaunian Fields was the site of the battle of Châlons in 451 which turned back the westward advance of Attila.

It is the setting of the last operetta of Johann Strauss II, Die Göttin der Vernunft (The Goddess of Reason), (1897) and is mentioned in, "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,"[4][circular reference] as Snoopy's crash site after doing battle with the Red Baron.


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 12,139—    
1800 11,120−1.24%
1806 11,089−0.05%
1821 11,629+0.32%
1831 12,413+0.65%
1836 12,952+0.85%
1841 14,100+1.71%
1846 13,733−0.53%
1851 15,879+2.95%
1856 14,016−2.47%
1861 14,786+1.08%
1866 14,901+0.16%
1872 15,198+0.33%
1876 20,236+7.42%
1881 23,199+2.77%
1886 23,648+0.38%
1891 25,863+1.81%
1896 26,630+0.59%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901 26,737+0.08%
1906 27,808+0.79%
1911 31,367+2.44%
1921 31,194−0.06%
1926 31,382+0.12%
1931 32,307+0.58%
1936 35,530+1.92%
1946 31,120−1.32%
1954 36,834+2.13%
1962 41,705+1.56%
1968 50,764+3.33%
1975 52,275+0.42%
1982 51,137−0.31%
1990 48,423−0.68%
1999 47,339−0.25%
2007 45,829−0.40%
2012 45,225−0.26%
2017 44,753−0.21%
Source: EHESS[5] and INSEE (1968-2017)[6]

Main sights[edit]

Cloister Notre-Dame-en-Vaux
  • Saint Etienne's cathedral, including parts of the first Romanesque cathedral built in the 12th century. Nevertheless, it was mainly rebuilt in Gothic style. The west façade (in Baroque style) and two close spans were added in the 17th century.
  • Notre-Dame-en-Vaux church, part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Built between 1157 and 1217, the collegiate church had a cloister and was a place of pilgrimage in the 12th century, and Museum du Cloitre de Notre-Dame-en-Vaux 12th century.
  • Saint-Alpin, perhaps the oldest church of the city. It was rebuilt around 1170 in Gothic style, but still marked by the Romanesque style.
  • Hôtel de Ville (city hall). It has a façade representative of the neo-classic period of the end of the 18th century. The steps of the building are protected by four stone lions.
  • Porte Sainte-Croix (Sainte-Croix Gate). Previously called Porte Dauphine, this gate was one of the entries into the city. It was dedicated to Marie-Antoinette when she came via Châlons on her way to Paris to marry the future king Louis XVI of France.
  • La Dernière Relève ("The Last Relief"): war memorial next to the cathedral, with group of bronzes by French sculptor Gaston Broquet.
  • Ancien Hotel des Intendants de Champagne (eighteenth century). Today home to the Prefecture of the Champagne-Ardenne region and Prefecture of the Marne.
  • Le Cirque. The old town circus, completed in 1899, is sheltering the Centre National des Arts du Cirque (CNAC).


The station

The Gare de Châlons-en-Champagne railway station is served by the TGV network with service to and from Paris Gare de l'Est. Other destinations are Reims, Saint-Dizier, Nancy, Bar-le-Duc and Verdun. Additionally, Châlons is connected with the Champagne-TGV station, near Reims, with high speed trains going to Lille, Nantes, Rennes and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Châlons is located at the intersection of two major axes:

Châlons is also served by an international airport devoted to shipping (Châlons Vatry Airport [1]), with an average of 16,0000 tons of freight passing through each year.

Local transportation is provided by SITAC BUS buses.


University level[edit]

The Arts et Métiers ParisTech (1806).
  • Arts et Métiers ParisTech (ENSAM), a national engineering graduate school. This teaching and research center was established in 1806. Students can attend courses focused on mechanical and industrial engineering.
  • Centre national des arts du cirque (CNAC), which is a Circus Arts Learning Centre created in 1985. Each year about twenty students learn all the disciplines of modern circus arts.
  • Institut Universitaire Technologique (IUT) of Reims, Châlons, Charleville, a branch of the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne (URCA)
  • Institut Universitaire de Formation des Maîtres (IUFM), a branch of the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne (URCA)


ESPE Basket Châlons-en-Champagne is a Châlons' basketball team. A temporary firing range was used for some shooting events at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris.[7]

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Châlons-en-Champagne is twinned with:[8]

Camp de Mourmelon[edit]

The Camp de Mourmelon (formerly known as Camp de Châlons) is a military camp of circa 10,000 hectares located near Mourmelon-le-Grand 22 kilometres (14 miles) north. It was created at the behest of Napoleon III and opened 30 August 1857 during the Second French Empire.

The initial purpose was simply for practising military manoeuvres, but it quickly turned into a showcase of the French Imperial Army, a theatrical propaganda display, where French citizens could meet the army and watch parades. Each year the camp was transformed into a town of tents and wooden chalets.[9]

The camp survived the fall of the Second Empire in 1870, but changed into a training camp and a departure point for troops engaging in overseas operations.

The camp is used for military manoeuvres, and cavalry training, along with the neighbouring, 2,500 hectare, Camp de Moronvillers. Firing of live ordnance (rockets, missiles) is prohibited.


Châlons-en-Champagne was the birthplace of:


Châlons-en-Champagne was the death place of:


Panoramic view of Hôtel de ville place in Châlons-en-Champagne.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires"., Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises (in French). 2 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2021". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2023.
  3. ^ Schön, Franz (Regensburg) (1 October 2006), "Catalauni", Brill’s New Pauly, Brill, doi:10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e228980, retrieved 31 January 2024
  4. ^ "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown - Wikipedia". Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  5. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Châlons-en-Champagne, EHESS (in French).
  6. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
  7. ^ 1924 Olympics official report. pp. 565–6.
  8. ^ "Jumelages Châlons-en-Champagne". (in French). Châlons-en-Champagne. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  9. ^ The Bonapartes in Châlons en Champagne, by Jean-Paul Barbier and Michel Bursaux, Marnaises Studies, SACSAM, 2009.

Further reading[edit]

  • Mark W. Konnert, Civic Agendas and Religious Passion: Châlons-sur-Marne during the French wars of religion, 1560–1594 (Kirksville, MO, Sixteenth Century Journal Publishers, 1997) (Sixteenth Century Essays & Studies, 35).
  • Jean-Paul Barbier and Michel Bursaux, The Bonapartes in Châlons en Champagne (Les Bonaparte à Châlons en Champagne), Marnaise Studies (Etudes Marnaises), SACSAM, 2009.

External links[edit]