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Picardy (pĭkˈərdē), Fr. Picardie, region and former province, N France, on the English Channel, part of the French administrative region of Hauts-de-France. It includes the Somme, Oise, and Aisne depts. and has three main geographical regions: the plateau north of Paris, which is an important wheat and beet area; the Somme River valley, with manufacturing cities like Amiens, Abbeville, and Saint-Quentin; and the coast, with fishing and commercial seaports like Boulogne-sur-Mer and Calais and beach resorts such as Le Touquet and Le Crotoy. The name Picardy appeared about the 13th cent., designating the many small feudal holdings added to the crown by Philip II. During the Hundred Years War the area was contested by France and England. Louis XI occupied it in 1477, securing it for France. The word Picard, always vaguely used, also applies to the people of neighboring Artois.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a historical region in northern France, near the English Channel. It forms the department of Somme and portions of the departments of Aisne and Oise. Area, 19,600 sq km; population, 1.65 million (1970). The principal city is Amiens.

In 1968 approximately 35 percent of Picardy’s economically active population were employed in industry, and 16 percent were engaged in agriculture. The region has diverse industries: machine building and metalworking (Amiens, St. Quentin, Creil), chemical and rubber production (Amiens, Chauny, Ribé-court), textile manufacture (St. Quentin, Amiens, Beauvais), and food processing, particularly sugar refining (Laon, Amiens, Beauvais). There is intensive agriculture. Typical farms range in size from 20 to 50 hectares, and tenant farming is widespread. There is large-scale production of wheat and sugar beets. Green vegetables, such as peas, are grown in the Somme River valley. Sheep and dairy cattle are raised. Important transportation routes run through Picardy, connecting Paris with the northern industrial region and Belgium.


The name “Picardy” was first used in the 13th century to refer to the region in the Somme River basin where the Vermandois, Ponthieu, Boulonnais, and other countships were situated. During the Middle Ages, the important artisan centers of Picardy included Amiens, Noyon, St. Quentin, and Abbeville. Between the late 12th and 14th centuries, Picardy was gradually ceded to the French crown. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the region was one of the principal sites of popular uprisings, including the Pastoureaux (1251) and the Jacquerie (1358).

During the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) Picardy became part of the duchy of Burgundy, in accordance with the 1435 Treaty of Arras between the French king Charles VII and the duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good. After the death of Charles the Bold in 1477, the region was occupied by the French king Louis XI, and its annexation by France was confirmed in 1482 by the Treaty of Arras between Louis XI and Maximilian Haps-burg. In the 16th century, Picardy became a French province. During the 16th and 17th centuries, Spanish troops from Flanders invaded Picardy several times (for example, in 1557, 1595, and 1636).

With the division of France into departments in 1790 Picardy ceased to exist as a province.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a region of N France: mostly low-lying; scene of heavy fighting in World War I
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Contrary to Arlette Jouanna and Kristen Neuschel, who he believes exaggerate the independence and self-sufficiency of the French nobility, Potter found that nobles in Picardy accepted the crown's authority and viewed it as an avenue to personal wealth and power.
We have encouraged a partnership by three universities, in Picardy, Thuringia and Wallonia.
According to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: "His most famous song, Roses of Picardy, was first set by Herbert Brewer and rejected by the publishing firm, Boosey.
Picardy also has six of the country's most incredible cathedrals, including the majestic Notre Dame Cathedral of Amiens which was added to Unesco's World Heritage List in 1981.
Over the next 16 months 1,800,000 men died orwere wounded, and the poppy fields of Picardy were drenched in their blood.
The pounds 15m-turnover Welsh company, which has offices in Caernarfon and Cardiff, has acquired Picardy for a six-figure sum, taking its number of divisions outside of Wales to six, and 11 in total.
This new collection of organ pieces contains six works appropriate for the church service and includes settings of the well-known and much-used tunes "Picardy," "Amazing Grace," "Sine Nomine" and "Ode to Joy," as well as a work inspired by "An Iona Boat Song." The volume ends with a free composition, "The Jubilant Trumpet," which provides a rollicking postlude to the entire collection.
My family learned of this region of Picardy from an early age.
FRENCH traders have invaded Coventry city centre to offer shoppers olives from Provence, apple-honey from Normandy, beer from Picardy and at least 15 varieties of sausage.
Roses Of Picardy, runner-up to Deejaydee at Fairyhouse last time, may prove the pick in the two-and-three-quarter-mile novice hurdle, while Iona Flyer, despite an ordinary effort last time, has possibilities against recent Clonmel scorer Roscrea Travel in the three-mile handicap hurdle.
His Picardy was the most war-torn province of sixteenth-century France.
He was probably from Nesle, in Picardy; but the name Blondel may be a nickname, and it is uncertain how many of the 25 songs attributed to him are actually his.