Epernay, a town of Champagne, France, in the department of Marne, on the left bank of the river Marne and on the line of the Eastern railway 20 m. W. N. W. of Chalons and 74 m. E. N. E. of Paris; pop. in 1866,11,704. It is well built, and stands in the midst of a fertile and picturesque valley. In its suburbs are many villas and large estates of much beauty, and the Marne, which is here crossed by a stone bridge of seven arches, is bordered by fine buildings and their grounds. Epernay is the leading entrepot of the trade in Champagne wine, and immense vaults in which this is stored in great quantities are quarried in the chalk which underlies the neighborhood. The place has also a considerable trade in other products, and manufactures of hosiery, fine pottery, woollen thread, etc. It is the seat of a court of first resort, and has a communal college, a public library of 18,000 volumes, a parish church built in the Italian style and finished in 1832, a theatre, and a city hall of excellent architecture.- The town is very old, and during the reigns of the early Carlovingian monarchs was the property of the church of Rheims. It was burned by Francis I. in 1544 to prevent its falling into the hands of Charles V., but the king afterward caused it to be rebuilt.
It was a part of the dowry assigned to Mary Stuart, queen of Scots, and it was sold to pay her ransom in 1569. Henry of Navarre captured it in 1592, during the wars of the league ; Marshal Biron fell in the attack. In 1642 it became subject to the duke de Bouillon, who gave in exchange for it the county of Sedan.