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Soissons(swäsôN`), city (1990 pop. 32,144), Aisne dept., N France, on the Aisne River. It is an agricultural and industrial center. Soissons was an old Roman town and early episcopal see. Its strategic location has made it the scene of many battles throughout history. Clovis I defeated the Roman legions at Soissons in 486, and the city was the capital of several MerovingianMerovingians,
dynasty of Frankish kings, descended, according to tradition, from Merovech, chief of the Salian Franks, whose son was Childeric I and whose grandson was Clovis I, the founder of the Frankish monarchy.
..... Click the link for more information. kings (5th–7th cent.). Pepin the Short dethroned Childeric III there in 751; and Robert I, grandfather of Hugh Capet (see CapetiansCapetians
, royal house of France that ruled continuously from 987 to 1328; it takes its name from Hugh Capet. Related branches of the family (see Valois; Bourbon) ruled France until the final deposition of the monarchy in the 19th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. ), was killed in battle at Soissons in 923. Throughout the 19th and 20th cent. the city was the scene of warfare, culminating in the German invasion of 1940. Part of the Abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes (where Thomas à Becket lived for several years) survives, as does the nearby Abbey of St. Médard, a burial place of Merovingian kings. The Gothic Cathedral of Saint-Gervais and Saint-Protais (12th–13th cent.) has stained-glass windows by Rubens.
a city in northern France, in the department of Aisne; situated on the Aisne River. Population, 28,000 (1968). Soissons has machine-building, metalworking, chemical, and rubber industries.
a city in N France, on the Aisne River: has Roman remains and an 11th-century abbey. Pop.: 29 453 (1999)