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Bar-le-Duc: Wikis


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Coordinates: 48°46′19″N 5°09′37″E / 48.771944°N 05.160278°E / 48.771944; 05.160278

Commune of Bar-le-Duc

Clock tower
Bar-le-Duc is located in France
Country France
Region Lorraine
Department Meuse
Arrondissement Bar-le-Duc
Intercommunality Bar-le-Duc
Mayor Nelly Jaquet (PS)
Elevation 175–327 m (570–1,070 ft)
(avg. 240 m/790 ft)
Land area1 23.62 km2 (9.12 sq mi)
Population2 16,944  (1999)
 - Density 717 /km2 (1,860 /sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 55029/ 55000
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Bar-le-Duc is a commune in the Meuse département, of which it is the préfecture (capital). The department is in Lorraine in north-eastern France



Le Transi de René de Chalon.

Bar-le-Duc was at one time the seat of the countship, later duchy, of Bar. Though probably of ancient origin, the town was unimportant till the 10th century when it became the residence of the counts.

Originally part of the early medieval duchy of Upper Lorraine. At some stage in the early modern period it was acquired by the neighbouring dukes of Lorraine.

See also: Counts and Dukes of Bar


The lower, more modern and busier part of the town extends along a narrow valley, shut in by wooded or vine-clad hills, and is traversed throughout its length by the Ornain, which is crossed by several bridges. It is limited towards the north-east by the Marne-Rhine Canal, on the south-west by a small arm of the Ornain, called the Canal des Usines, on the left bank of which the upper town (Ville Haute) is situated.


Saint-Étienne Church and the court house (right) on the Saint-Pierre Square in Bar-le-Duc
Notre-DameBridge over the Ornain

The Ville Haute, which is reached by staircases and steep narrow thoroughfares, is intersected by a long, quiet street, bordered by houses of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. In this quarter are the remains (16th century) of the chateau of the dukes of Bar, dismantled in 1670, the old clock-tower, and the college, built in the latter half of the 16th century. Its church of Saint-Étienne (constructed during the 14th and 15th centuries) contains a skillfully-carved effigy in white stone of a half-decayed corpse, the work of Ligier Richier (1500-1572), a pupil of Michelangelo erected to the memory of René of Châlon (d. 1544).

The lower town contains the official buildings and two or three churches, but these are of little interest. Among the statues of distinguished natives of the town is one to Nicolas Oudinot, whose house serves as the hotel-de-ville.

Culinary History

The highly rarefied Bar-le-duc jelly, also known as Lorraine Jelly, is a spreadable preparation of white currant or red currant fruit preserves, hailing from this town. First referenced in the historical record in 1344, it is also colloquially referred to as Bar Caviar.

Notable people

Bar-le-Duc was the birthplace of:

A great silk factory was established here by Jean-François Jacqueminot.

Twin towns

Bar-le-Duc is twinned with:


External links



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