Senlis, Oise

Senlis, Oise

French commune
nomcommune=Senlis | région=Picardie
("sous-préfecture")| arrondissement=Senlis
canton= Senlis
insee= 60612
cp= 60300
maire= Jean-Christophe Canter
intercomm= Communauté
de communes
du Pays de Senlis

alt moy= 76
alt mini= 47
alt maxi= 140
hectares= 2,405
km²= 24.05
sans= 17,192
dens= 715

Senlis is a town and commune located about 50 km north of central Paris, France in the Picardie "région", in the Oise "département".


The town is situated on the Nonette River, which is a tributary of the Oise River.


Senlis was known in early Roman imperial times as "Augustomagus" and later as "Civitas Silvanectium" ("City of the Silvanectes").cite web |url= |title=The Roman Wall of Senlis |accessdate=2007-11-16 |work=Athena Review ] Citation | last = Everett-Heath | first = John | author-link = John Everett-Heath | contribution = Senlis | title = Concise Dictionary of World Place-Names | publisher = Oxford University Press | place = Oxford | year = 2005 | contribution-url = ] During the 3rd century, a seven-meter high defensive wall, about half of which is still extant, was erected around the settlement in response to Frankish incursions. The wall remained in use into the 13th century. The town also featured a Roman amphitheatre, the remains of which are still visible, about 500 m west of the walled town. The amphitheatre seated as many as 10,000 people and was used for public meetings, theatre, gladiatorial combats, and animal hunts.cite journal |last=Klee |first=Bruce B. |authorlink= |year=1975 |month=December |title=Three Gallo-Roman Multi-Purpose Theatres |journal=Educational Theatre Journal |volume=27 |issue=4 |pages=516–520 |accessdate= 2007-11-16 |doi=10.2307/3206386 ]

The monarchs of the early French dynasties lived here, attracted by the proximity of the forest (Forêt de Chantilly) and its venison, and built a castle on the foundations of the Roman settlement.Fact|date=November 2007 In 987 the archbishop of Reims, Adalberon, called together an assembly, and asked them to choose Hugh Capet as king of France. However, the monarchs of France soon abandoned the city, preferring Compiègne and Fontainebleau. New life was given to the city in the twelfth century, and ramparts were built. The popularity of the city later fell, and it slipped into decline. Today it remains a draw for tourists for its long history and its ties to the monarchy.


The walled central area of the town is a picturesque medieval village, with a large Gothic cathedral, Notre-Dame de Senlis, dating from the twelfth century. The cathedral was built 1153-1191; its 256-foot tall south tower dates from the thirteenth century. Its transepts were rebuilt 1530-1556 after a fire, and the side portals and shallow east chapels date from about the same period.

An excellent museum can be found next to the cathedral, showing Celtic (pre-Roman) and Roman artefacts, as well as paintings by Thomas Couture and Séraphine de Senlis.

The Hôtel Saint-Simon (18th century, No. 12 Rue Bellon) belonged to the famous memoirist's family; Saint-Simon himself was a governor of the town.

The "promenade" on the walls around Senlis and alongside the Nonette river are very nice. The main draw of Senlis for tourists is its very well preserved medieval ambience and its architectural coherence.



Senlis was the birthplace of:

* Thomas Couture (1815-1879), history painter and teacher.
* Jérôme Thion (born 2 December, 1977), international rugby unionman playing for the Biarritz Olympique.

Twin towns

Senlis is twinned with:

* Langenfeld (Germany)
* New-Richmond (Quebec)
* Petchersk (Ukraine)
* Montale (Italy)

External links

* [ Website of the town of Senlis]
* [ History and Archeology Society of Senlis]


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