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Saint-Kintin (Picard)
Town hall
Town hall
Coat of arms of Saint-Quentin
Location of Saint-Quentin
Saint-Quentin is located in France
Saint-Quentin is located in Hauts-de-France
Coordinates: 49°50′55″N 3°17′11″E / 49.8486°N 3.2864°E / 49.8486; 3.2864
CantonSaint-Quentin-1, 2 and 3
IntercommunalityCA Saint-Quentinois
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Frédérique Macarez[1]
22.56 km2 (8.71 sq mi)
 • Density2,300/km2 (6,100/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
02691 /02100
Elevation68–125 m (223–410 ft)
(avg. 74 m or 243 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Saint-Quentin (French: [sɛ̃ kɑ̃tɛ̃] ; Picard: Saint-Kintin; older Dutch: Sint-Kwintens [sɪnt ˈkʋɪntəns]) is a city in the Aisne department, Hauts-de-France, northern France. It has been identified as the Augusta Veromanduorum of antiquity. It is named after Saint Quentin of Amiens, who is said to have been martyred there in the 3rd century.


Saint-Quentin is a sub-prefecture of Aisne. Although Saint-Quentin is by far the largest city in Aisne, the capital is the third-largest city, Laon.


The mayor of Saint-Quentin is Frédérique Macarez,[1] a member of the centre-right LR Party.

List of mayors
From To Name Party
2016 present Frédérique Macarez LR
2010 2016 Xavier Bertrand UMP
1995 2010 Pierre André UMP
1989 1995 Daniel Le Meur PCF
1983 1989 Jacques Braconnier RPR
1977 1983 Daniel Le Meur PCF
1966 1977 Jacques Braconnier UDR


The city was founded by the Romans, in the Augustean period, to replace the oppidum of Vermand (11 km away) as the capital of Viromandui (Celtic Belgian people who occupied the region). It received the name "Augusta Viromanduorum", Augusta of the Viromandui, in honor of the emperor Augustus. The site is that of a ford across the River Somme. During the late Roman period, it is possible that the civitas capital was transferred back to Vermand (whose name comes from Veromandis); almost nothing relating to the fourth century has been found in Saint-Quentin.[citation needed]

During the early Middle Ages, a major monastery, now the Basilica of Saint-Quentin, developed, based on pilgrimage to the tomb of Quentin, a Roman Christian who came to evangelize the region and was martyred in Augusta, giving rise to a new town which was named after him.

From the 9th century, Saint-Quentin was the capital of Vermandois County. From the 10th century, the counts of Vermandois (descendants of the Carolingian, then Capetian families) were very powerful. The city grew rapidly: the "bourgeois" organized themselves and obtained, in the second half of the 12th century (a very early date), a municipal charter, which guaranteed their commune a large degree of autonomy.

At the beginning of the 13th century, Saint-Quentin entered the royal domain. At that time, it was a thriving city, based on its wool textile industry (city "drapante"). It was also a centre of commerce boosted by its position on the border of the kingdom of France, between the Champagne fairs and the cities of Flanders (wine exportation, etc.): it had an important annual fair. It also benefited from its location in the heart of a rich agricultural region (trade of grain and "guède" (woad), a high-value blue dye).

From the 14th century, Saint-Quentin suffered from this strategic position: it endured the French-English wars (Hundred Years' War). In the 15th century, the city was disputed between the king of France and the dukes of Burgundy (it is one of the "cities of the Somme"). Ravaged by the plague on several occasions, its population decreased, while its economy was in crisis: its fair was increasingly irrelevant, and agricultural production diminished. The declining textile industry turned to the production of linen canvas. Meanwhile, the city faced major expenses to maintain its fortifications and armed troops.

Between the end of the 15th century and the mid-17th century, this strategic position was the cause of frequent misfortune. In 1557, a siege by the Spanish army (as part of the battle of Saint-Quentin) ended with the looting of the city and its desertion for two years. Given back to France in 1559, it underwent intense fortification work: the medieval wall, redesigned several times, was protected by many new advanced fortifications. Two districts were razed to make way for them. In the mid-17th century, the city escaped the sieges, but suffered the horrors of wars ravaging the Picardy region, accompanied by the plague (in 1636, 3,000 people died, out of perhaps 10,000 inhabitants) and famine.

In the second half of the 17th century, the conquests of Louis XIV moved the border away from Saint- Quentin, and it lost much of its strategic role. At the end of the 16th century, its textile production specialized in fine flax canvas (batiste and lawn). This brought prosperity, particularly in the 18th century, when these textiles were exported across Europe and the Americas.

The Market

During the First French Empire, difficulties in the export market brought economic decline. At the request of the municipality, Napoleon ordered the razing of the fortifications, to allow the city to grow beyond its old boundaries. In 1814-1815, Saint-Quentin was occupied by the Russian army, but without any damage.

In the 19th century, Saint-Quentin developed into a thriving industrial city, thanks to entrepreneurs constantly on the lookout for new technologies. Textiles and mechanical devices were foremost among a wide variety of products.

In 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War, the population repelled the Prussians on 8 October, but the city fell during the second offensive. The hopeless but heroic action had national repercussions: Saint-Quentin was decorated with the Legion of Honour. On 19 January 1871 the French army was defeated near the town.

Ruins in Saint-Quentin, France during the First World War.

The First World War hit Saint-Quentin very hard. In September 1914, the city was overrun; it endured a harsh occupation. From 1916, it lay at the heart of the war zone, because the Germans had integrated it into the Hindenburg Line. After the evacuation of the population in March, the town was systematically looted and industrial equipment removed or destroyed. The fighting destroyed it: 80% of buildings (including the Basilica of Saint-Quentin) were damaged.

Despite national support, the reconstruction process was long, and the city struggled to regain its pre-1914 dynamism. The 1911 population of 55,000 was achieved again only in the mid-1950s, in the context of general economic expansion. This prosperity continued until the mid-1970s, when the French textile industry began to suffer through competition from developing countries.


Climate data for Saint-Quentin, Aisne (1981–2010 averages)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14.9
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 5.5
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 0.6
Record low °C (°F) −19.3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 57.2
Average precipitation days 10.9 9.6 11.2 9.7 10.6 9.7 9.0 9.1 9.3 10.5 11.1 11.7 122.5
Average snowy days 4.9 4.1 3.4 1.2 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.6 3.3 18.6
Average relative humidity (%) 89 85 82 78 78 79 79 78 82 87 89 90 83
Mean monthly sunshine hours 68.0 75.0 128.3 174.8 198.7 203.5 208.2 206.6 162.1 116.9 66.7 51.1 1,659.9
Source 1: Meteo France[3][4]
Source 2: (humidity, snowy days 1961–1990)[5]


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 10,800—    
1800 10,477−0.43%
1806 10,535+0.09%
1821 12,351+1.07%
1831 17,686+3.66%
1836 20,570+3.07%
1841 21,400+0.79%
1846 23,852+2.19%
1851 24,953+0.91%
1856 26,887+1.50%
1861 30,790+2.75%
1866 32,690+1.20%
1872 34,811+1.05%
1876 38,924+2.83%
1881 45,838+3.32%
1886 47,353+0.65%
1891 47,551+0.08%
1896 48,868+0.55%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901 50,278+0.57%
1906 52,768+0.97%
1911 55,571+1.04%
1921 37,345−3.90%
1926 49,683+5.88%
1931 49,448−0.09%
1936 49,028−0.17%
1946 48,556−0.10%
1954 53,866+1.31%
1962 61,071+1.58%
1968 64,196+0.84%
1975 67,243+0.66%
1982 63,567−0.80%
1990 60,644−0.59%
1999 59,066−0.29%
2007 56,471−0.56%
2012 56,217−0.09%
2017 53,816−0.87%
Graphs are unavailable due to technical issues. There is more info on Phabricator and on
Source: EHESS[6] and INSEE (1968–2017)[7]





The Gare de Saint-Quentin is the railway station, offering connections to Paris, Reims, Amiens, Lille and several regional destinations. The A26 motorway connects Saint-Quentin with Reims and Calais, the A29 with Amiens.



French sartorial heritage

The city was a pivotal centre of mulquinerie.


On 30 March 2013 five children between the ages of two and ten, were killed in a house fire in the city.

Their parents had recently separated and their father was hosting the children at his new home for the first time for the weekend, as they had been spending most of their time with their mother. At 10:30pm local time on 30 March the fire started via an unknown cause. The children's father, alongside neighbours, made desperate attempts to save the children, but by the time the emergency services arrived, it was too late. The building was considered "too dangerous to enter" and the bodies of the five children were discovered once the fire was extinguished.

The children's father was seriously burned in a failed attempt to save his children's lives and jumped through a window to safety. He was hospitalised and wasn't informed until later on Sunday that his children had died. [1][2]

Twin towns - sister cities

Main article: List of twin towns and sister cities in France

Saint-Quentin is twinned with:[11]

See also



  1. ^ a b "Répertoire national des élus: les maires"., Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises (in French). 2 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2021". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2023.
  3. ^ "Données climatiques de la station de Saint-Quentin" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Climat Picardie" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Normes et records 1961-1990: Saint-Quentin - Roupy (02) - altitude 98m" (in French). Infoclimat. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  6. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Saint-Quentin, EHESS (in French).
  7. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
  8. ^ Base Mérimée: L'ancienne collégiale royale, puis église paroissiale, actuellement basilique Saint-Quentin, Ministère français de la Culture. (in French)
  9. ^ Base Mérimée: Hôtel de ville, Ministère français de la Culture. (in French)
  10. ^ Base Mérimée: Théâtre municipal, Ministère français de la Culture. (in French)
  11. ^ "Jumelages". (in French). Saint-Quentin. Retrieved 18 November 2019.