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Montdidier, Somme

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Montdidier, Somme

Coat of arms of Montdidier
Coat of arms
Montdidier is located in France
Country France
Region Picardy
Department Somme
Arrondissement Montdidier
Canton Montdidier
Intercommunality Canton of Montdidier
 • Mayor (2001–2008) Catherine Le Tyrant
Area1 12.58 km2 (4.86 sq mi)
Population (2006)2 6,174
 • Density 490/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 80561 / 80500
Elevation 55–113 m (180–371 ft)
(avg. 97 m or 318 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Montdidier is a commune in the Somme department in Picardy in northern France.


Montdidier is on the D935 road, some 30 km southeast of Amiens, in the region known as the 'Santerre'.


Population history
1926 1931 1936 1946 1954 1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006
4706 4305 4278 4399 4557 5430 5828 6204 6194 6262 6328 6029
Starting in 1962: Population without duplicates
The Town hall with its 48 m-high belfry.


Baptismal fonts.

The commune has existed since before Roman times, possibly corresponding to the site of Bratuspance.[1]

Under Charlemagne, a donjon was built in the north-west of the town, on a chalk promontory, (nowadays the site of the Prieuré). It was here, in 774, that Desiderius, king of the Lombards, was held prisoner by Charlemagne, giving the town its name (in French, Didier).

The first church was built near the castle by Heldwide, around 948, the wife of Hilduin 1st of the house of the Counts of Montdidier][2]

Empty tomb of Raoul de Crépy.

In 1184, King Philip II of France had the outlying buildings of the town burnt down,[3] during the war for the possession of the Amiénois and the Vermandois. In 1195, the town was granted its communal charter.

In 1472, Montdidier was set alight by the Burgundians. Charles the Bold is reported to have said "Such are the fruits of war".[4]

Under the Ancien Régime, Montdidier was in the province of the Santerre (one of eight provinces of Picardy) and the seat of a bailiwick (established in 1516)[5][6]
By edict of 1575, Henry III of France created the élection of Montdidier, granting tax-raising powers to elected representatives.

The year 1590 saw the commune threatened and eventually invaded by the troops of Henry IV of France.

As with many towns of the region, Montdidier bore the brunt of the fighting of World War I. Many of the town's more ancient and valuable monuments were destroyed in that occasion.

Main sights

  • Church of Saint-Sépulcre in flamboyant gothic, with six 17th century Reydams tapestries on show in the nave
  • Church of St Peter (flamboyant gothic)
  • Ruins of Saint-Martin's church
  • Statue of Antoine-Augustin Parmentier on Parmentier Place
  • The town hall, in the Flemish style and decorated in Art Deco style
  • The priory (once known as the Salle du Roy). Rebuilt in 1930, after being damaged during World War I. It has functioned as the Palais de Justice and became the Centre des Impôts in 1965.[7]
  • The war memorial
  • Monument to the 212 French pilots who lost their lives in Picardy in May and June 1940


See also


  1. ^ Pages 68 et 118 : La Somme, éd. du Bastion, 160 p
  2. ^ Histoire des Cathédrales, Abbayes, Châteaux-forts et Villes de la Picardie et de l'Artois, Paul Roger, éd. Duval et Herment, Amiens, 1842, p. 337, ISBN|2-84265-206-1
  3. ^ Victor de Beauvillé, Histoire de Montdidier, 1857.
  4. ^ page 199 : P. Lami, Résumé de l'histoire de la Picardie.
  5. ^ page 280 : P. Lami, Résumé de l'histoire de la Picardie
  6. ^ pages 282-283 : P. Lami, Résumé de l'histoire de la Picardie
  7. ^ Page 9 : « Terres de Parmentier » - Guide d'accueil et de tourisme, éd. "Office de Tourisme de Montdidier, ses environs" - 28 pages (diffusé gracieusement en janvier 2008)


  • (French) Paul Roger, pages 259 à 266 in Tome II de « Histoire des Cathédrales, Abbayes, Châteaux-forts et Villes de la Picardie et de l'Artois », éd. Duval et Herment, Amiens, 1842 (Réimpression Editions La Découvrance, 2003), 352 p. - ISBN|2-84265-206-1

External links

  • Municipal website (French)
  • A history of Montdidier (French)
  • Website of Hervé Grosjean (French)
  • Old postcards of Montdidier (French)
  • Tourist Office website (French)
  • Montdidier on the Quid website (French)
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