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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 48°44′14″N 1°21′59″E / 48.737222°N 01.366389°E / 48.737222; 01.366389

Commune of Dreux

Dreux village St Pierre.jpg
Saint-Pierre Church in Dreux
Dreux is located in France
Country France
Region Centre
Department Eure-et-Loir
Arrondissement Dreux
Intercommunality Drouais
Mayor Gérard Hamel
Elevation 75–139 m (250–460 ft)
Land area1 24.27 km2 (9.37 sq mi)
Population2 31,849  (1999)
 - Density 1,312 /km2 (3,400 /sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 28134/ 28100
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.

Dreux is a town and commune in northwest France, in the Eure-et-Loir département.



Dreux came to national attention, in 1983, when the National Front (Front National) party made its first electoral breakthrough, winning control of the city council and deputy mayorship. This came at a time of rising unemployment and popular resentment directed at the visible and impoverished community of immigrants, many of whom were Muslims. Françoise Gaspard, the former Socialist mayor who had lost the election to the National Front, later wrote a book, Une petite ville en France(A Small Town in France)

[1], about her experience and the times.


In the Middle Ages, Dreux was the centre of the Comté de Dreux. The first comte de Dreux was Robert, the son of King Louis the Fat. The first large battle of the French Wars of Religion occurred at Dreux, on December 19, 1562, resulting in a hard-fought victory for the Catholic forces of the duc de Montmorency.


Chapelle royale de Dreux

The House of Bourbon-Penthièvre was one of the greatest land owning families in France before the French Revolution. In 1775, the lands of the comté de Dreux had been given to the duc de Penthièvre by his cousin Louis XVI. In 1783, the duke sold his domain of Rambouillet to Louis XVI. On November 25 of that year, in a long religious procession, Penthièvre transferred the nine caskets containing the remains of his parents, the comte and comtesse de Toulouse, his wife, Marie Thérèse Félicité d'Este, princesse de Modène, and six of their seven children, from the small medieval village church next to the castle in Rambouillet, to the chapel of the Collégiale Saint-Étienne de Dreux[2]. The duc de Penthièvre died in March 1793 and his body was laid to rest in the crypt beside his parents. On November 21 of that same year, in the midst of the French Revolution, a mob desecrated the crypt and threw the ten bodies in a mass grave in the Chanoines cemetery of the Collégiale Saint-Étienne. In 1816, the duc de Penthièvre's daughter, the duchesse d'Orléans, had a new chapel built on the site of the mass grave of the Chanoines cemetery, as the final resting place for her family. In 1830, Louis-Philippe I, King of the French, son of the duchesse d'Orléans, embellished the chapel which was renamed Chapelle royale de Dreux, now the necropolis of the Orléans royal family.


Arms of Dreux

The arms of Dreux are blazoned :
Chequey Or and azure.


Dreux was the birthplace of:

Twin towns

Dreux is twinned with:

External links


  1. ^ Françoise Gaspard, Une petite ville en France, Gallimard, collection "Au vif du sujet", Paris, 1990, ISBN 2070721574
  2. ^ G. Lenotre, Le Château de Rambouillet, six siècles d'histoire, Calmann-Lévy, Paris, 1930, reprint: Denoël, Paris, 1984, (215 pages), chapter 5: Le prince des pauvres, pp. 78-79

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

DREUX, a town of north-western France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Eure-et-Loir, 27 m. N.N.W. of Chartres by rail. Pop. (1906) 8209. It is situated on the Blaise, which at this point divides into several arms. It is overlooked from the north by an eminence on which stands a ruined medieval castle; within the enclosure of this building is a gorgeous chapel, begun in 1816 by the dowager duchess of Orleans, and completed and adorned at great cost by Louis Philippe. It contains the tombs of the Orleans family, chief among them that of Louis Philippe, whose remains were removed from England to Dreux in 1876. The sculptures on the tombs and the stained glass of the chapel windows are masterpieces of modern art. The older of the two hotels-de-ville of Dreux was built in the early 16th century, chiefly by Clement Metezau, the founder of a famous family of architects, natives of the town. It is notable both for the graceful carvings of the façade and for the fine staircase and architectural details of the interior. The church of St Pierre, which is Gothic in style, contains good stained glass and other works of art. The town has a statue of the poet Jean de Rotrou, born there in 1609. Dreux is the seat of a subprefect. Among the public institutions are tribunals of first instance and of commerce, and a communal college. The manufacture of boots and shoes, metal-founding and tanning, are carried on, and there is trade in wheat and other agricultural products and poultry.

Dreux was the capital of the Gallic tribe of the Durocasses. In 1188 it was taken and burnt by the English; and in 1562 Gaspard de Coligny, and Louis I., prince of Conde, were defeated in its vicinity by Anne de Montmorency and Francis, duke of Guise. In 1593 Henry IV. captured the town after a fortnight's siege. It was occupied by the Germans on the 9th of October 1870, was subsequently evacuated, and was again taken, on the 17th of November, by General Von Tresckow. In the 10th century Dreux was the chief town of a countship, which Odo, count of Chartres, ceded to king Robert, and Louis VI. gave to his son Robert, whose grandson Peter of Dreux, younger brother of Count Robert III., became duke of Brittany by his marriage with Alix, daughter of Constance of Brittany by her second husband Guy of Thouars. By the marriage of the countess Jeanne II. with Louis, viscount of Thouars (d. 1370), the Capetian countship of Dreux passed into the Thouars family. In 1377 and 1378, however, two of the three co-heiresses of Jeanne, Perronelle and Marguerite, sold their shares of the countship to King Charles V. Charles VI. gave it to Arnaud Amanien d'Albret, but took it back in order to give it to his brother Louis of Orleans (1407); later he gave it back to the lords of Albret. Francis of Cleves laid claim to it in the 16th century as heir of the d'Albrets of Orval, but the parlement of Paris declared the countship to be crown property. It was given to Catherine de' Medici (1539), then to Francis, duke of Alen90n (1569); it was pledged to Charles de Bourbon, count of Soissons, and through him passed to the houses of Orleans, Vendome and Conde.

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