Soissons is historically known to have been the first capital of France .

It is nicknamed “the city of the Vase  ” .

Local Culture and Heritage 

Places and monuments 

Religious buildings 

Soissons still houses some remains of ancient religious monuments that have disappeared:

  • of the old Notre-Dame abbey , rue Vieille Gagnerie, founded in the Merovingian period and razed to the ground during the Revolution, two Romanesque bays remain in the north arm of the transept (Saint-Pierre square). 
  • the west portal of the former collegiate church St-Pierre-au-Parvis , Place Fernand Marquigny, dated xii th  century (St. Peter’s Square). 
  • archaeological excavations carried out in 1983-1984 brought to light the foundations of the former church of the Feuillants convent in Soissons that Marshal of France François-Annibal , Duke of Estrées , and his wife Marie de Béthune had built around 1627-1629. 
  • former Saint-Paul de Soissons abbey .

Civil buildings 

  • The City Hall. Former Intendance hotel, built by architect Jean-François Advyné, between 1772 and 1775, at the request of the intendant Le Pelletier de Mortefontaine on the site of the former castle of the counts of Soissons. The town hall moved there in 1833.
  • The Arsenal: site of the Soissons museum , place of contemporary art exhibitions.
  • The English footbridge. The deck is a concrete caisson built in corbelled form from a counterweight abutment with a central isostatic beam 20.50  m long. The road has a width of 3.50  m between guardrails.
    The original bridge was destroyed in 1914. It was rebuilt by British soldiers, and logically took the name of Pont des Anglais. Once again destroyed in World War II , the bridge was rebuilt in 1950 as a pedestrian bridge.
  • The covered market, built in 1908 by the architect Albert-Désiré Guilbert (1866-1949).
  • The Barral hotel .
  • The cynodrome , where greyhound races take place .

Commemorative monuments 

  • Monument to the fallen of the War of 1870-1871 .
  • War Memorial 1914-1918 .
  • British Memorial 1914-1918 .
  • Monument to the work of cooperative societies for the reconstruction of liberated regions and to the memory of Guy de Lubersac .

Culinary specialties 

  • The culinary specialty of Soissons is the Soissons bean , white bean grown in the Aisne since the xvii th  century.
  • There are also bean-shaped treats known as the “Soissons bean”. This bean is also used in the manufacture of cosmetics (eyeshadows).


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