EPERNAY: (Marne département, Champagne région): 51200. Print

49°02'25" N 03°57'36" E. 1999 population was 25,844. Épernay is located 88 miles ENE of Paris on the main line of the Eastern railway to Strasbourg. The town is situated on the left bank of the Marne at the extremity of the pretty Cubryvalley which crosses it. 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 handsome villas belonging to rich wine merchants. The town has also spread to the right bank of the Marne. 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 burned by Francis I in 1544. It resisted Henry of Navarre in 1592 until 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. 1906 population was 1906: 20,291. One of its churches retains a portal and stained-glass windows from the 16th century, but the other public buildings are of modern construction. 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. Brewing and sugar refinery and the production of hats and caps, are also major industries. In the Middle Ages, the Jewish Community was important enough to occupy three streets: rue de la Juiverie, rue Haute, et rue de la Basse-Juiverie. On the eve of WWII, Epernay had a small Jews community was cruelly decimated by the Shoah. Synagogue at 2, rue Placet - 51200 EPERNAY. [January 2008]

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 January 2009 13:03