10 Facts About Picardy


Picardy is a historical territory and a former administrative region of France.

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Name "Picardy" derives from the Old French pic, meaning "pike", the characteristic weapon used by people from this region in ancient times.

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The term "Picardy" was first used in the early 13th century, during which time the name applied to all lands where the Picard language was spoken including territories from Paris to the Netherlands.

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The new Picardy included the Somme departement, the northern half of the Aisne departement and a small fringe in the north of the Oise departement.

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In 1557, Picardy was invaded by Habsburg forces under the command of Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy.

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One of the most significant historical events to occur in Picardy was the series of battles fought along the Somme during World War I From September 1914 to August 1918, four major battles, including the Battle of the Somme, were fought by British, Commonwealth, French and German forces in the fields of Northern Picardy.

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Picardy would have disappeared and each department would have joined a nearby region.

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Villages of Picardy have a distinct character, with their houses made of red bricks, often accented with a "lace" of white bricks.

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Picardy is arguably the birthplace of Gothic architecture, housing six of the world's greatest examples of Gothic cathedrals, which span the history of Gothic architecture in its entirety.

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Picardy holds the tallest transept in the history of the Gothic period; this transept is located in Saint-Pierre cathedral in Beauvais, Oise.

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