Valenciennes (Under The Merovingians Valentiance), a town of France, in the department of Le Nord, at the confluence of the Scheldt and Ronelle, 27 m. S. E. of Lille; pop. in 1872, 24,662. Its fortress, built by Vauban, is on an island in the Scheldt. It has a college, a school of chemistry, an academy for painting and sculpture, and a public library. The chief manufactures are linen, muslins, beet sugar, gold and silver tissues, toys, earthenware, and leather. The production of Valenciennes lace has much declined. The mines in the vicinity yield one fourth of the total French product of coal. - Valenciennes was a residence of the Merovingian kings, became one of the chief towns of Hainaut, and was unsuccessfully besieged by Louis XI. in 1477 and Turenne in 1656; but it was captured by Louis XIV. in 1677, and its possession was confirmed to France by the treaty of Nimeguen. It was taken by the allies in 1793 after a siege of six weeks, but recaptured in 1794. The Prussians occupied it from August, 1815, to November, 1818.