Chalons-Sur-Marne (anc. Catalauni), a walled town of Champagne, France, capital of the department of Marne, 90 m. E. of Paris; pop. in 1866, 17,692. It is situated on the right bank of the Marne, on the canal uniting that river with the Rhine. The streets are narrow, but well built, and the promenade du Jard is planted with 2,000 elm trees. The cathedral has been often restored, before and after the fire of 1668. The finest church, that of Notre Dame, suffered greatly during the revolution. The former palace of the count of Artois, containing valuable archives, is used as the prefecture. There are a fine town hall, a public library of 30,000 volumes, a departmental college, a school for art and industry, a cabinet of natural history, a botanical garden, and agricultural, scientific, and artistic societies. Leather, woollen, and cotton goods, hosiery, and other articles are manufactured, and there is an active trade in grain, flour, hemp, wool, and other commodities; but the chief trade consists in champagne wine, of which the average annual export is about 1,000,000 bottles. The Jacqueson cellars; in the suburb of that name, can hold over 3,000,-000 bottles; the galleries, excavated in the chalk rock, being 6 m. long.
The beautiful Gothic miniature cathedral of Notre Dame de l'Epine, on the Vesle, 6 m. from Chalons, has been restored since 1860. - The city belonged to the territory of the Catalauni, in Gallia Bel-gica. Tetricus was defeated here by Aurelian in A. D. 274; the Alemanni by Jovinus in 366; and .the great battle between the combined armies of Aetius and Theodoric and the Huns under Attila was fought in 451 near this city, on the Campi Catalaunici, which lie on the branch railway from Chalons to Rheims. (See Aetius.) Attila, who was defeated, is said to have been induced by the eloquent pleading of the bishop St. Alpinus to spare the city. The bishops of Chalons formerly wielded great power. The city was captured by Count Herbert of Vermandois in the 7th, and by Rudolph of Burgundy and Robert of Vermandois in the 10th century. An ecclesiastical council was held here in 1129, when the bishop of Verdun was deposed by St. Bernard, who afterward preached a crusade here. Henry IV. removed the parliament from Paris to Chalons in 1589, and in 1591-'2 citizens burnt the bulls by which Gregory XIV. and Clement VIII. excommunicated that king.
Chalons was occupied by the Prussians in 1814, and taken by the Russians in July, 1815. In 1856 Napoleon III. established the military camp of Chalons, about 11 m. N. E. of the town, on the railway to Rheims and Verdun. Periodical exercises were held here from 1857 to 1870; and on the outbreak of the Franco-German war, Canrobert was stationed here as commander of the 6th army corps. The imperial headquarters, comprising 25 buildings, were about half a mile from the camp. After the first defeats of the French and the transfer of Canrobert's troops to Metz, the debris of the armies of MacMahon and De Failly were reorganized here by the former, and reenforced. They evacuated the camp and partly destroyed it in the night of Aug. 21-22; and on the following day the city of Chalons was occupied by the Germans, who used the place as a rallying point between their army before Paris and their forces in the interior of France.
The Church of Notre Dame.