Bar-le-Duc (French pronunciation: ​[baʁ lə dyk]), formerly known as Bar, is a commune in the Meuse département, of which it is the capital. The department is in Grand Est in northeastern France.

The lower, more modern and busier part of the town extends along a narrow valley, shut in by wooded or vine-clad hills, and is traversed throughout its length by the Ornain, which is crossed by several bridges. It is limited towards the north-east by the Marne-Rhine Canal, on the south-west by a small arm of the Ornain, called the Canal des Usines, on the left bank of which the upper town (Ville Haute) is situated.[1]

The highly rarefied Bar-le-duc jelly, also known as Lorraine Jelly, is a spreadable preparation of white currant or red currant fruit preserves, hailing from this town. First referenced in the historical record in 1344, it is also colloquially referred to as Bar Caviar.

Clock tower
Clock tower
Coat of arms of Bar-le-Duc

Coat of arms
Location of Bar-le-Duc
Bar-le-Duc is located in France
Bar-le-Duc is located in Grand Est
Coordinates: 48°46′19″N 5°09′37″E / 48.7719°N 05.1603°ECoordinates: 48°46′19″N 5°09′37″E / 48.7719°N 05.1603°E
RegionGrand Est
CantonBar-le-Duc-1 and 2
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Bertrand Pancher (UMP)
23.62 km2 (9.12 sq mi)
 • Density670/km2 (1,700/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
55029 /55000
Elevation175–327 m (574–1,073 ft)
(avg. 240 m or 790 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.


Bar-le-Duc was at one time the seat of the county, from 1354 the Duchy of Bar. Though probably of ancient origin, the town was unimportant until the 10th century when it was fortified by Frederick I of Upper Lorraine.[1] Bar was the independent duchy from 1354 to 1480, when it was acquired by Duchy of Lorraine.

The Ville Haute, which is reached by staircases and steep narrow thoroughfares, is intersected by a long, quiet street, bordered by houses of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. In this quarter are the remains (16th-century) of the château of the dukes of Bar, dismantled in 1670, the old clock-tower, and the college, built in the latter half of the 16th century. Its church of Saint-Étienne (constructed during the 14th and 15th centuries) contains the Cadaver Tomb of René of Chalon, a skillfully carved effigy in white stone of a half-decayed corpse. It was erected to the memory of René of Châlon (died 1544), and is the work of 16th-century artist Ligier Richier, a pupil of Michelangelo.[1]

The lower town contains the official buildings and the churches of Notre-Dame, the most ancient in the town, and St. Antony, with 14th-century frescoes. Among the statues of distinguished natives of the town is one to Nicolas Oudinot, whose house serves as the hôtel-de-ville.[1] Other sights include the Notre-Dame Bridge, with five arches surmounted by a chapel in the middle.

Bar-le-Du served as the assembly point for essential supplies going to the besieged city of Verdun during the Battle of Verdun in 1916. Thousands of trucks, carrying men, equipment and food, traveled north, around the clock, on the road linking Bar-le-Duc to Verdun. The route was given the name Voie Sacrée, which translates to Sacred Way, by the writer and politician Maurice Barres in April 1916, a reference to the ancient Roman Sacra Via, leading to triumph.

Historical population

Notable residents

Bar-le-Duc was the birthplace of:

Other notable residents were:


Bar-le-Duc Place Saint-Pierre

Saint-Étienne Church and the court house (right) on the Saint-Pierre Square in Bar-le-Duc

Pont Notre-Dame, Bar-le-Duc 01 09

Notre-Dame Bridge over the Ornain

Statue d'Ernest Bradfer

Statue of Ernest Bradfer (1833–1882)

Twin cities

Bar-le-Duc is twinned with:

See also


  1. ^ a b c d  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bar-le-Duc" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 404.

External links

Anaïs Delva

Anaïs Delva (French: [anai dɛlva]; born May 15, 1986 in Bar-le-Duc, France) is a French singer and actress. She is mainly known for portraying the role of Lucy Westenra in the French stage musical Dracula, l'amour plus fort que la mort and for providing Disney's character Elsa, from the animated movie Frozen, in the French version for the singing and spoken parts as well as in the Canadian French version for the singing parts only.

Antoine, Duke of Lorraine

Antoine (4 June 1489 – 14 June 1544), known as the Good, was Duke of Lorraine from 1508 until his death in 1544.

Arrondissement of Bar-le-Duc

The arrondissement of Bar-le-Duc is an arrondissement of France in the Meuse department in the Grand Est region. It has 110 communes.

Bar-le-duc jelly

Bar-le-duc jelly (French pronunciation: ​[baʁ lə dyk]) is a highly regarded preparation of jelly originally composed of select whole seeded currants, typically white currants or alternatively red currants. The name Bar-le-duc refers to the geographical origin of the preparation in the French town of Bar-le-duc. Since the jelly's first documented reference in 1344, the culinary name "Lorraine Jelly" is occasionally used, as the city of Bar-le-duc lies within the boundaries of the former province of Lorraine.

Commonly served as an accompaniment to game, spread on bread, or with foie gras, it is considered a culinary luxury, sharing an elite status akin to Beluga caviar and is colloquially referred to as Bar Caviar. The typical product is a jam, with the berries remaining intact in a thin syrup. About 200 currants go into one 85 gram jar (approximately 3 ounces), which costs approximately €15 a jar in Bar-le-Duc and $40 in the US (as of 2008). The spread has been enjoyed by notables such as Alfred Hitchcock, Ernest Hemingway, Victor Hugo, and Mary, Queen of Scots.

Benjamin Compaoré

Benjamin Compaoré (born 5 August 1987) is a French athlete specialising in the triple jump. He won the gold medal at the 2014 European Championships and the bronze at the 2016 World Indoor Championships.

His personal bests in the event are 17.48 metres outdoors (-0.1 m/s, Marrakech 2014) and 17.14 metres indoors (Liévin 2012).

Canton of Bar-le-Duc-2

The canton of Bar-le-Duc-2 is an administrative division of the Meuse department, northeastern France. It was created at the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015. Its seat is in Bar-le-Duc.It consists of the following communes:

Bar-le-Duc (partly)





Claire Jacquet

Claire Jacquet (born 17 May 1988) is a French slalom canoeist who has competed at the international level since 2006.She won a bronze medal in the C1 team event at the 2018 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in Rio de Janeiro. She also won a silver medal in the same event at the 2018 European Championships in Prague.

Edmond Laguerre

Edmond Nicolas Laguerre (9 April 1834, Bar-le-Duc – 14 August 1886, Bar-le-Duc) was a French mathematician and a member of the Académie française (1885). His main works were in the areas of geometry and complex analysis. He also investigated orthogonal polynomials (see Laguerre polynomials). Laguerre's method is a root-finding algorithm tailored to polynomials. He laid the foundations of a geometry of oriented spheres (Laguerre geometry and Laguerre plane), including the Laguerre transformation or transformation by reciprocal directions.

Jean-Henri d'Anglebert

Jean-Henri d'Anglebert (baptized 1 April 1629 – 23 April 1691) was a French composer, harpsichordist and organist. He was one of the foremost keyboard composers of his day.

Jules Develle

Jules Develle (12 April 1845 – 30 October 1919) was a French politician.


Ligny-en-Barrois is a commune in the Meuse department in Grand Est in north-eastern France.

The town is in the arrondissement of Bar-le-Duc, beside the canal that links the Rivers Rhine and Marne, fifteen kilometres to the south east of Bar le Duc: it is the administrative seat of the canton Ligny-en-Barrois. The population comprises 5,035 inhabitants (1999) and the area of Ligny is 32.26 km². The inhabitants are called in French Linéens.

A principal employer is the French Evobus motor bus assembly plant. Ligny is also the home town of the Essilor company which specialises in ophthalmic lens production.

Meuse's 1st constituency

The 1st constituency of Meuse is a French legislative constituency in the Meuse département.

Meuse (department)

Meuse (French pronunciation: ​[møz]) is a department in northeast France, named after the River Meuse. Meuse is part of the current region of Grand Est and is surrounded by the French departments of Ardennes, Marne, Haute-Marne, Vosges, Meurthe-et-Moselle, and has a short border with Belgium on the north. Parts of Meuse belong to Parc naturel régional de Lorraine. Front lines in trench warfare during World War I ran varying courses through the department and it hosted an important battle/offensive in 1916 in and around Verdun.


Nantois is a commune in the Meuse department in Grand Est in north-eastern France. It is 21 km from Bar-le-Duc, the department capital.

Nicolas Oudinot

Nicolas Charles Oudinot, 1st Comte Oudinot, 1st Duc de Reggio (25 April 1767 in Bar-le-Duc – 13 September 1847 in Paris), was a Marshal of France. He is known to have been wounded 34 times in battle (by artillery shells, bullets [at least 12], saber slashes and thrusts). Oudinot is one of the Names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, Eastern pillar Columns 13, 14.

Pierre Michaux

Pierre Michaux (June 25, 1813 – 1883) was a blacksmith who furnished parts for the carriage trade in Paris during the 1850s and 1860s. He may have become the inventor of the bicycle when he added pedals to a draisine to form a velocipede, the forerunner of the modern bicycle. However historic sources reveal other possible claimants such as his son Ernest Michaux and Pierre Lallement.

Émile Bréhier

Émile Bréhier (French: [bʁeje]; 12 April 1876, Bar-le-Duc – 3 February 1952, Paris) was a French philosopher. His interest was in classical philosophy, and the history of philosophy. He wrote a Histoire de la Philosophie, translated into English in seven volumes.

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