Péronne is a town in the Somme department in the Hauts-de-France region, 50 km east of Amiens and 30 km north-west of Saint-Quentin.
Located at the confluence of the Somme and Cologne, the heart of the city has developed on a small hill overlooking the river and a landscape formed of marshes and ponds.
Its geographical situation in fact from the first millennium a strong place and a strategic stake. The king of France Charles III died there in 923 and at the beginning of the thirteenth century, Philippe Auguste decides the construction of a castle and grants the inhabitants a communal charter.
In 1468, Louis XI was trapped there by the Duke of Burgundy.
Fortified but regularly besieged over the centuries, Péronne was again taken and abandoned by the Germans during the First World War and was destroyed 90% of the conflict.
With a population of about 8,000, the city has become a major milestone in memory tourism linked to the Great War. We will also appreciate during a visit or even a stay its rich historical and environmental heritage.
Discover and visit Péronne according to its heritage elements is synonymous with diving into more than a thousand years of turbulent history.
This is the case of the castle, built in the 13th century by order of Philippe Auguste. Despite the many conflicts and especially the destruction caused during the First World War, five original towers (including four on the façade, the latter being integrated into the ramparts) have been preserved. A time residence seigneuriale and property of Burgundy under Charles the Bold, then royal residence, it was from the 17th to 1914 assigned to various military uses. Restored in the 1970s, the castle has now recovered its medieval appearance. Visit and information on +33 3 22 84 42 38.
Thanks to a bold architectural design by Henri Édouard Ciriani, is integrated since 1992 the castle the Historial of the Great War, Péronne having been at the heart of the front line of the Battle of the Somme. Thanks to a collection of more than 65,000 objects and archives, the Historial evokes the conflict and the evolution of mentalities of combatants as civilians in France, Germany and England. Admission: 4.50 and 9 euros (possibility of price coupled with the museum of Thiepval). Open daily from April to September, closed on Wednesdays from October to March and closed completely from mid-December to mid-January. Information on +33 3 22 83 14 18.
The Town Hall with a campanile that rings La Madelon every day at 12 and 18h is also to see. Rebuilt by Francis I, it now includes the old reorganized building (Louis XVI facade) and the former bailiwick (Renaissance facade).
The Hôtel de Ville is home to the Alfred-Danicourt Museum, archeologist and collector of the 19th century. Four rooms are dedicated to Fine Arts, Prehistory, Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Free admission from Tuesday to Saturday. Information on +33 3 22 73 31 10.
Flamboyant Gothic style, the Church of St. John the Baptist is the only church prior to the Revolution, despite severe degradation in wars. The building has been patiently restored thanks to the original elements found in the rubble. Chests with relics of unidentified saints are fixed on both sides of the altar. They were found on the remains of churches in the region and gathered by a German chaplain. Information on +33 3 22 84 42 38.
To see again, the remains of Fort Caraby, former element of fortifications strengthened in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and especially the gate of Britain, built in the seventeenth, under Henri IV, including two pavilions, and which had a drawbridge. Restored and classified, the gate was the high point of the fortifications prior to the Revolution.
More recently, Centennial Gates have been built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War, located in the center and at the gates of the city, as well as a circuit called "Words of War" containing testimonies of Australian soldiers who liberated Péronne in 1918. The Australian war memorial of Mont-Saint-Quentin, built in 1971, is also to be seen.
Another symbol of resistance, the statue of Marie Fouré who faced Charles V. The work of the sculptor Michel Bonnand dates from 1996 and is placed in front of the church. The first two statues were stolen and melted by the Germans during the two world wars.
For guided tours of the city and its main heritage sites, inquire at +33 3 22 84 42 38.
In terms of the natural heritage of the city, and its typical environment of the banks of the Somme, we will discover with interest the Cam walk around a pond at the foot of the castle, which leads to a theater of greenery.
To see again, the pond of Robécourt, where Cologne joins the Somme. A site with preserved ecosystem very popular with fishermen.
Just as symbolic of this environment, the Marais de Halles: a meadow full of water in winter and dried up in summer. A typical site obviously protected.
For hikes including the historical or natural sites of the city and its territory, without forgetting its marina, documentation and information on +33 3 22 84 42 38. Cycling tours are also available.
For fishing enthusiasts, advice on landscaped sites and regulations at +33 3 22 70 28 10.
For sports, the outdoor pool offers a swimming pool and relaxation areas. Open in summer only. A new aquatic center is also proposed.
For a game of tennis, join the local club on +33 3 22 84 34 30.
In January, book fair at the media library.
In May, Printemps des Arts brings together works by professional and amateur artists.
The first weekend of September, over two days, the festival of the Blue Ball program concerts of funk, jazz and rock music.
During the last week of September, the fair of Saint-Michel offers fairground attractions, musical podium on Friday, trade fair and fireworks in the evening on Saturday.
Finally, to discover the products of the Picardy terroir and in particular the wealth of the market gardening farms established for centuries after the "wet" zones surrounding the city, go every Saturday morning.