Vervins is a town of nearly 2,800 inhabitants northeast of the department of Aisne, in the Hauts-de-France region.
Located 45 km north of Laon and about fifteen kilometers from the Belgian border, it is one of the capitals of Thiérache, a natural region made up of hedgerows and undulating land that also covers part of the neighboring departments of the North and The Ardennes but also Wallonia.
The history of Vervins began truly in the twelfth century when a charter was granted by Raoul de Coucy. A first enclosure is then built.
The city, however, paid a heavy price when burned by the Spanish army in 1552.
It was rebuilt during the second half of the 16th century, and a new castle was erected, just as new fortifications were erected.
There remains a large part of this heritage to be discovered today, while more recent dwellings, particularly of Art Deco style (19th and 20th century) testify to its economic dynamism until the 1970s.
Half way between Paris and Brussels, Vervins is a quaint town in the heart of a verdant territory suitable for hiking and which is also a stronghold of the emblematic cheese of Maroilles.
A stop at Vervins can begin with the visit of Notre-Dame church, built in the 11th century and rebuilt following the fire of the city in 1552, which was extensively redesigned and embellished in the 18th century in a Gothic style. One will linger on the stained glass windows and monumental paintings of the XIXe century.
Another monument was inscribed on the inventory of historical monuments, the ramparts. It remains despite the wars that have marked the history of the city ten towers out of the 22 that counted the medieval enclosure.
Also worth seeing is the chapel of Sainte-Anne, rebuilt at the beginning of the 19th century on the plans of a previous edifice dating from the 17th century which had been mishandled during the Revolution.
The "new castle" rebuilt in the 16th century by the lord of Vervins after the destruction of the Spanish army now houses the sub-prefecture, the city hall, also dating from the 16th century and which has undergone regular renovations, Are also remarkable testimonies of the rich local history.
Guided tours are available and brochures are available from +33 3 23 91 30 10.
Steps are also required at the Thiérache Museum, housed in an old mansion (16th and 17th century), which includes four rooms on the themes of palaeontology, archeology, art and architecture The history of Vervins and the Thiérache. Free admission, information on +33 3 23 98 94 51.
In a completely different field, a visit to the newspaper Le Démocrate de l'Aisne is inescapable: once daily, now weekly, publication is the latest in Europe to be "composed" with lead letters, typography and 'Printing presses us in an atmosphere worthy of the early twentieth century. It is prudent to reserve at +33 3 23 98 02 41.
Finally, in addition to the arboretum created in 2000, the result of the work of dozens of schoolchildren and pupils, on a surface of 3 hectares, where one discovers 3360 trees of which 24 trees remarkable (information +33 3 23 98 00 30) Hiking lovers (walking or mountain biking) have from Vervins a multitude of marked trails and paths at their disposal. Information at +33 3 23 91 30 10.
Two traditional meetings, whose origins are very ancient, animate the city center.
Formerly religious, the communal feast of Sainte-Anne, takes place for five days and begins at the end of July.
A former medieval fair known for its clothing trade, the Saint-André trade fair is held on the first Sunday of December.
More recent creation, a festival of Laughter, in October, program young talents and recognized stars. Information on +33 3 20 33 30 70.
To discover the richness of the local terroir, we can finally linger every Saturday morning on the market which is held Place De Gaulle and especially visit the market of Thiérache fermière, every first Friday of the month from 16h to 21h, multi-purpose hall of November In April, and in the open air, from May to October, Place de Gaulle and Hall of the City Hall.