THE MEDIEVAL CITY

The first mention made of Coucy dates back to the sixth century. Earth Mège including the villa of Coucy was given by Clovis to Saint Remi, bishop of Reims, in the evening of the battle of Soissons.

A first castle of which no trace remains was built by the bishops of Reims in the tenth century. At the beginning of the following century the Lords of Coucy took possession of the castle. Marital policy allowed them to rapidly expand their territorial possessions and their political weight.

The castle and the current city walls are due to Enguerrand III of Coucy, who built this set in the first half of the thirteenth century, under the regency of Blanche of Castile, as he had said, the claim of stealing the throne of Saint Louis. Built in one go in less than thirty years, the castle and the entire fortress were among the largest fortified structures of France: covering 14 hectares, Coucy had 33 towers and over 2000 meters of ramparts.

Viollet Le Duc estimated that the site could be up to 1,500 workers at the same time. The castle was rebuilt in the fourteenth century by Enguerrand VII, the last of Coucy, grandson of the Emperor of Austria, cousin of the King of France and family to the English person who built a very great house. After his death in 1397, the Coucy estate was bought for his daughters by Louis d'Orléans. Coveted, i t was besieged many times by the powerful of the Kingdom and would eventually be permanently attached to the Crown in the late fifteenth century.

He received the visits of the kings of France, Francis I and Henry IV. The fort had significant changes in the middle of the sixteenth century to accommodate the development of artillery.

During the Fronde, Coucy refused to surrender to Mazarin’s troops, the town was taken over by Marshal Estrées. The Royalty fearing further unrest, took the decision to dismantle and make it uninhabitable in 1652. Demilitarized at the end of the seventeenth century, the walls of the city were gradually sold to the citizens of the city. The castle was sold to the revolution as a national asset, was used as a quarry.It was then bought by Louis Philippe and brought back into the domain of the State, it would be redeveloped during the Second Empire. Its restoration, limited to the essential will be entrusted to Viollet-le-Duc.

During the German retreat in 1917, the four corner towers and castle dungeon were dynamited and the city was completely destroyed while the Coucy Castle became the symbol of French pride in its majestic architecture and its immensity. Today, we must walk the walkway to enjoy the beautiful ruins and understand the richness and historical evidence left by the castle.
La cité médiévale