Commercy (French pronunciation: ​[kɔ.mɛʁ.si]) is a commune in the Meuse department[1] in Grand Est in north-eastern France. The 18th-century Lorraine historian Nicolas Luton Durival (1713–1795) was born in Commercy.

The castle
The castle
Coat of arms of Commercy

Coat of arms
Location of Commercy
Commercy is located in France
Commercy is located in Grand Est
Coordinates: 48°45′43″N 5°35′33″E / 48.7619°N 5.5926°ECoordinates: 48°45′43″N 5°35′33″E / 48.7619°N 5.5926°E
RegionGrand Est
IntercommunalityPays de Commercy
 • MayorFrançois Dosé
35.37 km2 (13.66 sq mi)
 • Density180/km2 (460/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
55122 /55200
Elevation227–280 m (745–919 ft)
(avg. 232 m or 761 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.


Commercy dates back to the 9th century, and at that time its lords were dependent on the bishop of Metz.[1] In 1544 it was besieged by Charles V in person. For some time the lordship was in the hands of Jean François Paul de Gondi, cardinal de Retz, who lived in the town for a number of years, and there composed his memoirs.[1] From him it was purchased by Charles IV, Duke of Lorraine.[1] In 1744 it became the residence of Stanisław Leszczyński, king of Poland, who spent a great deal of care on the embellishment of the town, castle and neighbourhood.[1]

Commercy is the home of the Madeleines referred to by Marcel Proust in A la Recherche du Temps Perdu.[2]

People from Commercy

In fiction

Commercy is the key location for action in the 1964 film The Train although this did not use the town for filming purposes.

Twin towns

It is twinned with the German town of Hockenheim.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Commercy" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 773–774.
  2. ^ Proust, Marcel (1922). Du côté de chez Swann. À la recherche du temps perdu. Grasset and Gallimard.
  3. ^ Journal d'un prêtre lorrain pendant la Révolution (1791-1799). Hachette. 1912..

External links

Arrondissement of Commercy

The arrondissement of Commercy is an arrondissement of France in the Meuse department in the Grand Est region. It has 135 communes.

Charles, Prince of Commercy

Charles de Lorraine, Prince de Commercy (11 July 1661 – 15 August 1702), was a French field marshal of the Holy Roman Empire and a military adivisor to Prince Eugene of Savoy. He acquired military prominence after leading imperial troops in the Great Turkish War, in the Nine Years' War, and the War of Spanish Succession.

Charles Henri, Prince of Commercy

Charles Henri of Lorraine (French: Charles Henri, Prince de Commercy, Prince de Vaudémont, pronounced [ʃaʁl ɑ̃ʁi pʁɛ̃s də kɔmɛʁsi pʁɛ̃s də vodemɔ̃]; 17 April 1649 – 14 January 1723) was the legitimated son of Charles IV, Duke of Lorraine, and Béatrix de Cusance. He was given the Principality of Commercy in 1708 by his cousin Leopold, Duke of Lorraine. He was also the Count of Falkenstein.

Charles Thomas, Prince of Vaudémont

Charles Thomas de Lorraine (7 March 1670 – 12 May 1704), prince de Vaudémont, was a field marshal in the Austrian army.


Chonville-Malaumont is a commune in the Meuse department in Grand Est in north-eastern France.

Château de Commercy

The Château de Commercy is a castle in the town of Commercy, in the Meuse department of France. It was the principal residence of the reigning Prince of Commercy and was built by Charles Henri de Lorraine. The site, château and grounds, was classified Monument historique in 1960, with the roofs and façades of the wings being classified in 1972.


Dagonville is a commune in the Meuse department in Grand Est in north-eastern France.


Geville is a commune in the Meuse department in Grand Est in north-eastern France.

Henri Braconnot

Henri Braconnot (May 29, 1780, Commercy, Meuse – January 15, 1855, Nancy, Meurthe-et-Moselle) was a French chemist and pharmacist.

He was born in Commercy, his father being a counsel at the local parliament. At the death of his father, in 1787, Henri began his instruction in an elementary school in Commercy and then with private teachers.

At 13, he was placed as apprentice in a pharmacy in Nancy where he learned and practiced pharmacy, chemistry, and botany. At 15, he left Nancy for a military service in an hospital in Strasbourg.

In 1801-1802, he lived in Paris where he learnt in various schools, Museum, school of medicine among others, and followed the lectures of Antoine François, comte de Fourcroy, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. He carried out some chemical investigations on the composition of a fossil horn which were published later (J Chim Phys 1806).

From 1802 to his death, he lived in Nancy where he was named in 1807 as director of the botanical garden and member of the scientific academy of the town. He worked as a chemist until his death mainly on plant chemistry. He made several research on plant assimilation, organic acids, plant composition and fats. He made also minor contributions to mineralogy and hydrology.

He was elected in 1823 correspondent member of the Académie des Sciences in Paris. Until his death in 1855, he published 112 works.

In the fat domain, Braconnot described in 1815 that fats are formed of a solid part ("absolute tallow") and an oily compound ("absolute oil"), their consistency resulting from the proportions of the two parts. This conclusion was obtained after pressing fats in the cold between filter papers (Ann Chimie 1815, 93, 225). Furthermore, after saponification and acidification Braconnot separated a solid fraction similar to "adipocire" described by Fourcroy (1806). Unfortunately, he did not observe its acid properties which led Chevreul to discover in 1820 stearic acid.

As these data were similar to the first data obtained by Chevreul as soon as 1813, the later sent a letter to the journal Annales de Chimie claiming his priority and contesting the originality of Braconnot's work (Ann Chim 1815, 94, 73).

As an application of his laboratory work, it occurred to Braconnot that the "absolute tallow" (similar to stearine) from beef or sheep could be used to make candles. He named that substance "céromimène" (wax-like). With Simonin F, a pharmacist in Nancy, he patented in 1818 a process of candle manufacture. An improved process using stearic acid was patented by Chevreul seven years later.

In the domain of plant chemistry, Braconnot contributed to the isolation and the description of several compounds, most of which were shown later to be mixtures of simpler products. Among others, Braconnot discovered gallic and ellagic acids (1818) and pyrogallic acid (pyrogallol) which later enabled the development of photography. He discovered also in 1811 chitin in mushrooms, the earliest known polysaccharide. In 1819, he published a memoir describing for the first time the conversion of wood, straw or cotton into a sugar by a sulfuric acid treatment. The name glucose was proposed 24 years later by Dumas for a sugar similarly obtained from starch, cellulose, or honey.

By the same acid process, Braconnot obtained a "gelatin sugar" (named later glycocolle, now glycine) from gelatin and leucine from muscle fibers. Furthermore, reacting concentrated nitric acid on wood or cotton, Braconnot obtained an inflammable product, xyloïdine (a precursor of collodion and nitrocellulose), which could be transformed into a vitreous varnish. This substance may be considered as the first polymer or plastic material created by a chemist.

In 1825, he discovered a structural heteropolysaccharide, pectin.


Hockenheim (pronunciation ) is a town in northwest Baden-Württemberg, Germany, about 20 km south of Mannheim and 10 km west of Walldorf. It is located in the Upper Rhine valley on the tourist theme routes Baden Asparagus Route ("Badische Spargelstraße") and Bertha Benz Memorial Route. The town is widely known for its Hockenheimring, a motor racing course, which has hosted over 30 Formula One German Grand Prix races since 1970.

Hockenheim is one of the six largest towns in the Rhein-Neckar-Kreis district; since 1999 the number of inhabitants exceeded the 20,000 threshold, thus the town received the status of a regional central town ("Große Kreisstadt") in 2001. It is twinned with the French town of Commercy, the German town of Hohenstein-Ernstthal in Saxony and the American town of Mooresville, North Carolina.

Madeleine (cake)

The madeleine (French pronunciation: ​[mad.lɛn], English: or ) or petite madeleine ([pə.tit mad.lɛn]) is a traditional small cake from Commercy and Liverdun, two communes of the Lorraine region in northeastern France.

Madeleines are very small sponge cakes with a distinctive shell-like shape acquired from being baked in pans with shell-shaped depressions. Aside from the traditional moulded pan, commonly found in stores specialising in kitchen equipment and even hardware stores, no special tools are required to make madeleines.

A génoise cake batter is used. The flavour is similar to, but somewhat lighter than, sponge cake. Traditional recipes include very finely ground nuts, usually almonds. A variation uses lemon zest for a pronounced lemony taste.

English madeleines also use a génoise sponge but they are baked in dariole moulds. After cooking, the cakes are coated in jam and desiccated coconut, and are usually topped with a glacé cherry.

Maurice Cloche

Maurice Cloche (17 June 1907, Commercy, Meuse – 20 March 1990) was a French film director, screenwriter and film producer. His movie Monsieur Vincent (1947) won a 1948 Special Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.


Mécrin is a commune in the Meuse department in Grand Est in north-eastern France.


Vadonville is a commune in the Meuse department in Grand Est in north-eastern France.


Void-Vacon is a commune in the Meuse department in Grand Est in north-eastern France.

Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans

Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans (13 September 1676 – 23 December 1744) was a petite-fille de France, and duchess of Lorraine and Bar by marriage to Leopold, Duke of Lorraine. She was regent of Lorraine and Bar during the minority (1729–1730) and absence of her son (1730–1737), and suo jure Princess of Commercy 1737–1744. Among her children was Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, a co-founder of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine.

Élisabeth Thérèse de Lorraine

Élisabeth of Lorraine (Élisabeth Thérèse; 5 April 1664 – 7 March 1748) was a French noblewoman and the Princess of Epinoy by marriage. She is often styled as the princesse de Lillebonne. She was the mother of Louis de Melun, Duke of Joyeuse who disappeared under mysterious circumstances in 1724 and of Anne Julie de Melun, princesse de Soubise.

Communes of the Meuse department

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