Rethel is a commune with 7718 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2011 ) in the Ardennes department in north- eastern France.


Rethel is on the river Aisne, and on parallel Canal des Ardennes. The city also has a TGV trains stop on the route Paris - Sedan, LGV Est européenne a branch of.


Rethel was the capital of a county, which was raised to the peerage in 1405 and 1581 to the Duchy of Rethel, whose title in 1633 Jules Mazarin was in the 11th century.

Victor Hugo wrote in 1836 in his book The Rhine over the place: " Rethel se répand gracieusement du haut d'une colline sur la rivière d' jusque Aisne ... " - ( Rethel spreads gracefully from the top of a hill down to the Aisne off). This river and its passage were in the years 1411, 1543, 1650, 1814, 1870, 1914 and 1940 prompted a series of battles.


Typical of Rethel are the imposing Town Hall, a great hospital and the relatively large, Catholic Church, nestled on the the Collège Sorbon (French high school). The school yard is adjacent to the walls of the church.


Rethel is the birthplace of:

  • Jacques Boucher de Perthes Crèvecœur de (1788-1868), geologist and antiquary
  • Louis Christophe François Hachette (1800-1864), publisher.
  • Marcel de Kienné Mongeot (1897-1977), an entrepreneur and journalist.
  • Thomas Le Seurat (1703-1770), mathematician
  • Maurice Maillot, movie actor.
  • Charles Constant Noblet

In Rethel lived:

The Palatine Prince Philipp of the Palatinate (1627-1650) died in Rethel. The German freedom fighters Friedrich Friesen (1784-1814) was killed in 1814, now part of the district of La Rethel Lobbe. In 1814 died in Rethel, the French general and politician Edmond Dubois - Crance ( 1746-1814 ). Hans Erlwein (1872-1914), German architect, died during the First World War in a car accident near Rethel. The German socialist and trade unionist Frederick West Meyer (1873-1917) died in a military hospital in the city.


Since a new student exchange with the German school Nordhorn takes place.