Picardy (/ˈpɪkərdi/; French: Picardie, French pronunciation: [pikaʁdi]) is a historical territory and a former administrative region of France. Since 1 January 2016, it has been part of the new region of Hauts-de-France. It is located in the northern part of France.
|• President||Claude Gewerc (PS)|
|• Total||19,399 km2 (7,490 sq mi)|
|• Density||97/km2 (250/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||FR-S|
|GDP (2012)||Ranked 14th|
|Total||€49.7 billion (US$64 bn)|
|Per capita||€27,611 (US$35,556)|
The historical province of Picardy stretched from north of Noyon to Calais, via the whole of the Somme department and the north of the Aisne department. The province of Artois (Arras area) separated Picardy from French Flanders.
From the 5th century the area formed part of the Frankish Empire, and in the feudal period it encompassed the six countships of Boulogne, Montreuil, Ponthieu, Amiénois, Vermandois, and Laonnois. In accordance with the provisions of the 843 Treaty of Verdun the region became part of West Francia, the later Kingdom of France.
The name "Picardy" (which refers to a digger or picard in Parisian French) was not used until the 12th or 13th century. During this time, the name applied to all lands where the Picard language was spoken, which included all the territories from Paris to the Netherlands. In the Latin Quarter of Paris, people identified a "Picard Nation" (Nation Picarde) of students at Sorbonne University, most of whom actually came from Flanders. During the Hundred Years' War, Picardy was the centre of the Jacquerie peasant revolt in 1358.
From 1419 onwards the Picardy counties (Boulogne, Ponthieu, Amiens, Vermandois) were gradually acquired by the Burgundian duke Philip the Good, acquisitions confirmed by King Charles VII of France at the 1435 Congress of Arras. In 1477 King Louis XI of France led an army and occupied key towns in Picardy. By the end of 1477, Louis would control all of Picardy and most of Artois.
In the 16th century, the government (military region) of Picardy was created. This became a new administrative region of France, separate from what was historically defined as Picardy. The new Picardy included the Somme département, the northern half of the Aisne département, and a small fringe in the north of the Oise département.
In 1557, Picardy was invaded by Habsburg forces under the command of Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy. After a seventeen-day siege, St. Quentin would be ransacked, while Noyon would be burned by the Habsburg army.
Sugar beet was introduced by Napoleon I during the Napoleonic Wars in the 19th century, in order to counter the United Kingdom, which had seized the sugar islands possessed by France in the Caribbean. The sugar industry has continued to play a prominent role in the economy of the region.
One of the most significant historical events to occur in Picardy was the series of battles fought along the Somme during World War I. From September 1914 to August 1918, four major battles, including the Battle of the Somme, were fought by British, French, and German forces in the fields of Northern Picardy.
In 2009, the Regional Committee for local government reform proposed to reduce the number of French regions and cancel additions of new regions in the near future. Picardy would have disappeared, and each department would have joined a nearby region. The Oise would have been incorporated in the Île-de-France, the Somme would have been incorporated in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Aisne would have been incorporated in the Champagne-Ardenne. The vast majority of Picards were opposed to this proposal, and it was scrapped in 2010 (see newspaper: "Courrier Picard").
Today, the modern region of Picardy no longer includes the coastline from Berck to Calais, via Boulogne (Boulonais), that is now in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, but does incorporate the pays of Beauvaisis, Valois, Noyonnais, Laonnois, Soissonnais, Omois, among other departments of France. The older definition of Picardy survives in the name of the Picard language, which applies not only to the dialects of Picardy proper, but also to the Romance dialects spoken in the Nord-Pas de Calais région, north of Picardy proper, and parts of the Belgian province of Hainaut.
Between the 1990 and 1999 censuses, the population of Oise increased 0.61% per year (almost twice as fast as France as a whole), while the Aisne department lost inhabitants, and the Somme barely grew with a 0.16% growth per year. Today, 41.3% of the population of Picardy live inside the Oise department.
Picardy stretches from the long sand beaches of the Somme estuary in the west to the vast forests and pastures of the Thiérache in the east and down to the châteaux of Chantilly or Pierrefonds near the Paris Area and vineyards of the border with Champagne (Champagne picarde) to the south.
Historically, the region of Picardy has a strong and proud cultural identity. The Picard (local inhabitants and traditionally speakers of the Picard language) cultural heritage includes some of the most extraordinary Gothic churches (Amiens and Beauvais cathedrals or Saint-Quentin basilica), distinctive local cuisine (including ficelle picarde, flamiche aux poireaux, tarte au maroilles), beer (including from Péronne's de Clercq brewery) and traditional games and sports, such as the longue paume (ancestor of tennis), as well as danses picardes and its own bagpipes, called the pipasso.
The villages of Picardy have a distinct character, with their houses made of red bricks, often accented with a "lace" of white bricks. A minority of people still speak the Picard language, one of the languages of France, which is also spoken in Artois (Nord-Pas de Calais région). "P'tit quinquin", a Picard song, is a symbol of the local culture (and of that of Artois).
Picardy is arguably the birthplace of Gothic architecture, housing six of the world's greatest examples of Gothic cathedrals, which span the history of Gothic architecture in its entirety. Amiens Cathedral, standing as the largest cathedral in Europe, which according to John Ruskin is the "Pantheon of Gothic architecture", could house Notre-Dame de Paris twice over. It was built in as little as 50 years. Picardy also holds the tallest transept in the history of the Gothic period; this transept is located in Saint-Pierre cathedral in Beauvais, Oise.
The Museum of Picardy in Amiens, built between 1855 and 1867, houses a vast array of great works, spanning the centuries and ranging from archaeology from ancient Greece and Egypt to modern works of Pablo Picasso. The museum is closed until the end of 2019 for building work.
Although Picardy is one of the least-known regions in France, its influence from art and most certainly architecture is vivid throughout the world.
The A1 Autoroute, also known as l'autoroute du Nord (the Northern Motorway), is the busiest of France's autoroutes. With a length of 211 km (131 mi), it connects Paris with the northern city of Lille. It is managed by the Société des Autoroutes du Nord et de l'Est de la France (SANEF). The autoroute serves the northern suburbs of Paris, including the Stade de France, Le Bourget, Paris' Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport, and Parc Astérix. From there it crosses Picardy, without directly passing through any of the major cities of the région. Throughout Picardy, the A1 runs parallel to the LGV Nord.
Around 120 km (75 mi) from Paris, between the towns of Amiens and Saint-Quentin and near the Aire de service d'Assevillers (the largest motorway plaza in Europe), the A1 crosses over the A29. A few dozen kilometers further north it forms the southern terminus of the A2, which branches off towards Brussels. The A1 is also crossed by the A26 and the A21, and it makes up part of European routes E15, E17, and E19. At its northern terminus, the A1 turns into the A25.Albert, Somme
Albert is a commune in the Somme department in Hauts-de-France in northern France.
It is located about halfway between Amiens and Bapaume.
The French operatic bass Xavier Depraz was born in Albert on 22 April 1926.Allonville
Allonville is a commune in the Somme department in Hauts-de-France in northern France.Balle à la main
Balle à la main is a traditional Picard sport. It is a team sport with two teams of seven players on a called field " ballodrome ". It is a game of gain-ground as Longue paume, which takes place in Picardy.
Balle à la main is played on a rectangular field of 65 meters by 12 meters. As all the ballodromes of the games of gain-ground, we find on the field a line of fire and a rope.Battle of Amiens (1918)
The Battle of Amiens, also known as the Third Battle of Picardy (French: 3ème Bataille de Picardie), was the opening phase of the Allied offensive which began on 8 August 1918, later known as the Hundred Days Offensive, that ultimately led to the end of the First World War. Allied forces advanced over 11 kilometres (7 mi) on the first day, one of the greatest advances of the war, with Gen Henry Rawlinson's British Fourth Army (with 9 of its 19 divisions supplied by the fast moving Australian Corps of Lt Gen John Monash and Canadian Corps of Lt Gen Arthur Currie) playing the decisive role. The battle is also notable for its effects on both sides' morale and the large number of surrendering German forces. This led Erich Ludendorff to describe the first day of the battle as "the black day of the German Army". Amiens was one of the first major battles involving armoured warfare.Berger Picard
The Berger Picard ( /bɛrˈʒeɪ pɪˈkar/) or Picardy Shepherd is a French herding originating in Picardy. These dogs nearly became extinct after both World War I and World War II and remain a rare breed.Blue Picardy Spaniel
The Blue Picardy Spaniel (or Épagneul Bleu de Picardie) is a breed of Spaniel originating in France, from the area around the mouth of the River Somme, around the start of the 20th century. It is descended from Picardy Spaniels and English Setters, and is described as a quiet breed that requires much exercise due to its stamina. It is especially good with children. Similar to the Picardy Spaniel, it has a distinctive coloured coat. Recognised by only a handful of kennel associations, the breed is predominantly known in France and Canada.Château-Thierry
Château-Thierry (French: [ʃato tjeʁi]) is a French commune situated in the department of the Aisne, in the administrative region of Hauts-de-France and in the historic Province of Champagne.
The origin of the name of the town is unknown. The local tradition attributes it to Theuderic IV, the penultimate Merovingian king, who was imprisoned by Charles Martel, without a reliable source. Château-Thierry is the birthplace of Jean de La Fontaine and was the location of the First Battle of the Marne and Second Battle of the Marne. The region of Château-Thierry (the arrondissement, to be exact) is called the country of Omois. Château-Thierry is one of 64 French towns to have received the Legion of Honour.Coincy, Aisne
Coincy is a commune in the Aisne department in Hauts-de-France in northern France.Goussancourt
Goussancourt is a commune in the Aisne department in Hauts-de-France in northern France.Guise
Guise is a commune in the Aisne department in Hauts-de-France in northern France.Hauts-de-France
Hauts-de-France (French pronunciation: [o d(ə) fʁɑ̃s], meaning "Upper France"), is a region of France created by the territorial reform of French Regions in 2014, from a merger of Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy. Its capital is Lille. The new region came into existence on 1 January 2016, after the regional elections in December 2015. France's Conseil d'État approved Hauts-de-France as the name of the region on 28 September 2016, effective 30 September 2016.With 6,009,976 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2015), and a population of 189 inhabitants/km2, it represents the 3rd most populous region in France and the 2nd most densely populated in metropolitan France after Île-de-France.
The region covers an area of more than 31,813 km2 (12,283 sq mi). It borders Normandy, Grand Est, Île-de-France, Belgium (Flemish Region and Wallonia) and the United Kingdom (England) via the English Channel.House of Balliol
The House of Balliol (de Bailleul) was a noble family originating from the village of Bailleul in Picardy. They held estates in England, granted during the reign of King William Rufus. Through marriage, they had claims to the Throne of Scotland. One member of the family, John Balliol, was named King of Scotland after the disputed succession following extinction of the Dunkeld line. John was deposed, leading to the First War of Scottish Independence. His son, Edward Balliol, also briefly controlled the Scottish throne during the Second War of Scottish Independence. Edward had no issue, and the direct line went extinct with him.Picard language
Picard is a langues d'oïl dialect of the Indo-European language family spoken in the northernmost part of France and southern Belgium. Administratively, this area is divided between the French Hauts-de-France region and the Belgian Wallonia along the border between both countries due to its traditional core being the districts of Tournai and Mons (Walloon Picardy).
Picard is referred to by different names as residents of Picardy simply call it Picard, but it is more commonly known as chti or chtimi in the more populated Nord-Pas-de-Calais. It is also named Rouchi around Valenciennes; Roubaignot around Roubaix or simply patois in general.
As of 2008, Picard native speakers amount to 700,000 individuals, vast majority of which are elderly people (aged 65 and over). Since its daily use had drastically declined, Picard was declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) a "seriously endangered language".Picardy Spaniel
The Picardy Spaniel is a breed of dog developed in France for use as a gundog. It is related to the Blue Picardy Spaniel, and still has many similarities, but the Picardy Spaniel is the older of the two breeds. It is thought to be one of the two oldest continental spaniel breeds and was favoured by the French nobility, remaining popular for hunting after the French Revolution due to its weather resistant coat that enabled it to hunt in a variety of conditions and terrain. However its popularity waned following the influx of English hunting breeds in the early 20th century. Slightly smaller than an English Setter but larger than most of its spaniel cousins, it has no major health issues although as with many breeds with pendulous ears, it can be prone to ear infections.Picardy third
A Picardy third, Picardy cadence () or, in French, tierce picarde, is a major chord of the tonic at the end of a musical section that is either modal or in a minor key. This is achieved by raising the third of the expected minor triad by a semitone to create a major triad, as a form of resolution.For example, instead of a cadence ending on an A minor chord containing the notes A, C, and E, a Picardy third ending would consist of an A major chord containing the notes A, C♯, and E. Note that the minor third between the A and C of the A minor chord has become a major third in the Picardy third chord.
Musicologist Peter Kivy writes:Even in instrumental music, the picardy third retains its expressive quality: it is the "happy third". ... Since at least the beginning of the seventeenth century, it is no longer enough to describe it as a resolution to the more consonant triad; it is a resolution to the happier triad as well. ... The picardy third is absolute music's happy ending. Furthermore, I hypothesize that in gaining this expressive property of happiness or contentment, the picardy third augmented its power as the perfect, most stable cadential chord, being both the most emotionally consonant chord, so to speak, as well as the most musically consonant.
According to Deryck Cooke, "Western composers, expressing the 'rightness' of happiness by means of a major third, expressed the 'wrongness' of grief by means of the minor third, and for centuries, pieces in a minor key had to have a 'happy ending' – a final major chord (the 'tierce de Picardie') or a bare fifth."The Picardy third does not necessarily occur at the end of a section: it can be found at any perfect cadence or plagal cadence where the prevailing key is minor. As a harmonic device, the Picardy third originated in Western music in the Renaissance era.Remaisnil
Remaisnil is a commune in the Somme department in Hauts-de-France in northern France. The village contains the Château de Remaisnil, which was owned by Jules Elby and Laura Ashley. In the field across from the mansion, remnants of a German V-1 Flying Bomb launch site are visible as well.Roses of Picardy (film)
Roses of Picardy is a 1927 British silent war film directed by Maurice Elvey and starring Lillian Hall-Davis, John Stuart and Humberston Wright. The title is a reference to the popular First World War song Roses of Picardy. It was based on the novels The Spanish Farm (1924) Sixty-Four, Ninety-Four (1925) by R.H. Mottram. It was made at the Cricklewood Studios in London.University of Picardie Jules Verne
The University of Picardie Jules Verne (French Université de Picardie Jules Verne) is a university located in Amiens, France, and is under the Academy of Amiens. It was founded in 1969 and is organized in 12 Faculties.