"A bishop and a king, and family there too" Meaux by gwened

Meaux Travel Guide: 37 reviews and 174 photos

The home made knitting by the wife

This is an old town, the original people and how the locals are remember today is the melde or meldois, a celtic people.

It was the most important gallo-romains cities just behind Paris; A place of pelegrinage from the middle ages, has in its local heroine Céline ,that becomes the patron saint of the town. Also ,the Irish mont Saint Fiacre becomes the patron saint of the Brie region as well as gardeners.

Meaux becomes part of the royal kingdom of France after Jeanne de Navarre (Juana de Navarra) descendant of king Henri I le gros (the fat) ,;king of Navarre ,count of Champagne and Brie, marries Philippe le Bel on August 16, 1284. In the period of the Jacquerie (peasants revolts) with the nobles at the square of marché or market, hoping for a rally, the people instead aligned themselves with Etienne Marcel at Paris. The nobles get helps from Gaston de Foix, and push back the rebellion. The locals received destruction of goods, property and ville set on fire. In the following conflicts, the war between Burdundians and Armagnacs, Henri IV king of England attack on the side of the Burgundians and seize Meaux until 1439.

A spirtual period follows, where Guillaume Briçonnet bishop of Lodève in 1489, abbe of St Germain des Prés (Paris) and head of the Episcopal ensemble of Meaux in December 1515. It brings to Meaux the famous humanist Jacques Lefèvre d' Etaples with a group of theologians and philosophers they create at Meaux the group " Cénacle de Meaux" a heaven of evangelism in between the tranches of Catholicism and Protestanism. They prohibits the writings of Martn Luther in 1523. The first book of the thesis opposing these views is published in Meaux in 1544 by Jacques Lefèvre d'Etaples.

Here comes the brilliant entry of Jacques-Bénigne Boussuet born at Dijon in 1627 and named by king Louis XIV bishop of Meaux. He was called the brilliant eagle of Meaux by Voltaire. He heads this bishopheric for 22 years. He died in Paris at rue Sainte Anne,the 22 of April of 1704.

Louis XVI has dinner here in june 1789 at the bishop house. after the French revolution a tragic moment happened here on September 4, 1792; All the priests of the city were massacred by the sans culottes revolutionaries, all 7 of them heads spinning on the Streets.

The Canal de l'Ourcq began by Napoleon Ier is finally finished in 1825. The Emperor arrives at Meaux in the 15 February of 1814, met by the bishop and writes 21 letters while here!!! After the French retreat, the Prussian forces of Gen Blûcher arrive on the 28 march. In 1815 while the peace process is underway in Vienna it is Talleyrand or Metternich that says the famous words, on the local cheese, Brie de Meaux, king of cheeses, and prince of desserts.

THe first railroad line there opens in September 2, 1849 linking it to Paris by the prince-emperor Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte. The first world war is havoc all around the town and the great Battle of the Marne is proof of this; especially those around September 5-12 1914 with a mémorial to the Americans of 21 meters high overlooking today the proud wheat fields. Then in WWII, many résistants are captured and killed, and the war moves on, until in August 27 1944 a armored brigade of the American army led by Gen Wolner free the city.

See its wonderful Cathédrale de Saint Etienne, one of the jewels of Gothic art in France, The palais episcopal of the bishop's palace now housing the museum, the wonderful gardens of Bossuet (work of a Young gardener at the time named André le Nôtre), and of course the river Marne (passing thru the town, name after the department and birth of Champagne region).

Our families lies here at Meaux, Chambry, Chauconin-neufmontier, Villenoy,Nanteuil-les-Meaux, and Trilport(mémorial to Gustave de Ponton d'Amécourt, a friend of Jules Verne who invents a aerostat in 1862).

walk in old town near Cathedral

many picturesque quaint and medieval Streets around the Cathedral complex, just like going backin time and near Disneyland Paris!!!

my old wife neighborhood

many memories of coming here since 1990. The town is like my own as it is the birthplace of my wife right on that street we met for the first time, her aprt was the big white facade house you see.

My kids walked in France here first, even on strollers from 6 mos old. Memories on VT.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Full of history from Louis XIV to WWI
  • Cons:none
  • In a nutshell:The city of Bossuet and Disneyland, as well as Marne
  • Last visit to Meaux: Dec 2013
  • Intro Updated Mar 30, 2014
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