Châlons-en-Champagne is more than 2 000 years of history. The city was born at the crossroad of a romane road, via Francigena and a river, la Marne…
A commercial city
During the Middle age, it is thanks to the wool sheets business, that the city will know a huge developement, including the Hanse of the 17 cities that create sheets from Flandres and North of France. Châlons will double its population and the city becomes the center of importants commercials trades.
The city, at its highest point, gets a new belt (arena / wall) of 5 kilometers long.
A royal city
The economic activity declines by the end of the middle age due to wars and the plague that hit the territory. The population doesn’t grow and functions nearly in self-sufficiency.
Châlons remains faithfull to the King despite the religious troubles of the 16th century and for that the city enjoys the presence of many royals administrations.
During the 18th century, the intendant position becomes crucal. Under the power of Rouillé d’Orfeuil, the city changes : the arena (the belt/ wall) dissapears and it is replaced by a boulevards full of trees. Prestigious buildings come out of the ground such as the City hall, « l’intendance » and La Porte Ste Croix. The gardens and the d’Ormesson courtyard transform the surrendings of the defensive walls. During the Revolution, Châlons remains the Capital of the Marne Department, but loses its name a reminder of its history with the former regime, and so becomes Châlons-sur-Marne.
A military city
During the 19th century, once again, Châlons has massive urbanism change : the canals are covered, new streets, city entries and new buildings appear. Barracks settle in the suburbs and many industries are created mostly in the left side of the city. After war, the demographic expansion is huge, and so it brings the creation of neighbourhood around the historical center.
In 1997, the city takes back it old historic name : Châlons-en-Champagne by the end of a 10 years procedure.
A city turned toward the futur
Today, the city has to handle the army departure, which represents about a 1 000 soldiers. It’s position as administrative capital of the Region is more than threatned by the new regional split. It is now the occasion for Châlons to invent and develop another economic model leaned toward the futur, with new technologies and consumption evolution and of the society in general and of course, we can’t forgot Tourisme and preserving the cultural wealth and it’s heritage.