LONGWY Stage town for the seventh time Capital of the canton of Meurthe-et-Moselle (54)
Population: 15,000 (Longoviciens)
Specialities: potée lorraine, mirabelle plum, Longwy enamel and earthenware, étoile Vauban (pastry)
Personalities: Jean-Baptiste Fresez (Franco-Luxembourg painter), Oscar d'Adelsward (industrialist and politician, promoter of the steel industry), Paul Georges Klein (painter), Geneviève de Fontenay (former president of the Miss France committee), Jean-Marc Todeschini (Secretary of State for veterans 2014-2017); Vincent Vanoli (author and illustrator), David Vendetta (DJ and producer)
Sport: Basket Club Longwy-Rehon (Nationale 2), Pays-Haut Handball, USB Longwy (football), Judo Club du Bassin de Longwy, Karaté-Do Longwy, Pays Haut Athlétisme Réuni, Union cycliste du Bassin de Longwy, Entente Cycliste de la Région Européenne de Longwy 3 Frontières. Events : Sports festival, half-marathon.
Economy: 700 companies, Manufacture des émaux de Longwy, Pôle Europe (business park), IUT Henri Poincaré
Festivals: Venetian Carnival, Street Arts Festival, Musique en Liberté, Longwy by Night, Arts and Crafts Fair, Vauban en Lumière
Labels: fortified town in the National Network of major Vauban sites listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites; Network of fortified towns in the Greater Region (cross-border area grouping Germany, France and Luxembourg); Longwy enamels listed in the inventory of French intangible cultural heritage skills; City and Art Trades; Health City; Sports City; Land of Games 2024.
Websites / FB / Insta / Twitter: www.mairie-longwy.fr / www.longwy-tourisme.com / Ville de Longwy / @villedelongwy / @Villedelongwy
LONGWY, A STORY
The triptych of fire
Located at a European crossroads, Longwy is a town with a history spanning 2000 years. The name of Longwy can be commonly associated with a triptych around fire. The fire of the cannons evokes the military past and the fortifications of the town, the fire of the blast furnaces the industrial epic and finally the fire of the earthenware kilns to mark the know-how of the local craftsmen of Longwy Enamel and Chinaware. Louis XIV, aware of the strategic importance of the place, had a citadel built, which is reflected today in the fortified enclosure as well as the districts and squares of the upper town. Of the 160 or so fortifications that Vauban had built, Longwy is one of the few to have been created from scratch, which meant that in 2006 it was included in the Vauban National Network, which, since July 2008, has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But Longwy is also a crossroads of Europe, on the Belgian and Luxembourg borders and a stone's throw from Germany. It was here that the Lorraine steel industry developed to the point of giving this region the nickname of “French Texas”. Major steel units continued to exist here until the early 1980s. The town was therefore marked by the mixing of populations, with the arrival of foreign workers (large Italian, Polish, North African and Portuguese communities).
LONGWY AND CYCLING
The construction of the ramparts clearly preceded the first visit of the Tour to Longwy in 1911. Although most of Alsace-Lorraine was annexed by the German Empire at that time, this district was one of the few sectors that remained French when the Treaty of Frankfurt was signed in 1871. Four stage finishes took place in this context until 1914. This last stage, won by François Faber, ended bizarrely. Tenth overall, the Luxemburg rider was no threat to Philippe Thys and his rivals let him breakaway without reacting. The winner of the 1909 Tour reached Longwy more than six minutes ahead of the peloton but in a very advanced state of drunkenness. To motivate himself, he sipped cognac throughout his breakaway! In 2017, it was Peter Sagan who emerged in the final climb to win on the eve of his disqualification after a stormy sprint in Vittel, where the Slovak was accused of causing the crash of Mark Cavendish.
Style: Vauban fort
Characteristics: The fortress is built on a hexagonal plan, enveloped by six bastions, and equipped with all the amenities of a war zone (church, arsenal, wells, barracks) arranged on an orthogonal urban plan. Beyond these military characteristics, it also reflects Vauban's conception of the ideal city. A monumental gate and four bastions have been preserved. History: Longwy became French by the Treaty of Nijmegen in 1679, and Louis XIV decided to destroy the old medieval Longwy-Haut (Upper-Longwy) and build a new town, in order to constitute an important defensive link on the north-eastern border. Vauban's talent consisted in adapting the layout of this stronghold to the constraints of a sloping terrain, set on the edge of an escarpment, dominating the valley of the Chiers and the lower town.
Special features: two of the four bastions contain cross-shaped shops, which were exceptional for Vauban, and the other two contain modified powder magazines.
Listing: Unesco World Heritage Site in 2008
The old castle
Foundation: 9th century
Characteristics: located between Longwy-Haut and Longwy-Bas (upper and lower Longwy), this place is now a green lung in the heart of the city. In addition to a beautiful walk through orchards and an arboretum, its soil carries the medieval heritage of Longwy.
History: dating from at least the 9th century and consisting of a village of mud houses, a keep and a market, the fortified site was demolished by Louis XIV, who had the upper town built. The keep, first replaced in the 18th century by a redoubt, is now covered by a system of 19th century casemates of the Serré de Rivières type.
Special features: every Saturday morning, volunteers from the Castevicus association allow you to get close to their working site for rediscovering and restoring the old walls and towers of Longwy.
Saint Dagobert Church
Characteristics: it has a classical style facade with arched or triangular pediments. Destroyed several times, it was rebuilt under Vauban and on 8 August 1926 the redone church was inaugurated. It was heavily damaged in 1941.
History: the church of Saint-Dagobert was built in the new town of Longwy (1683- 1690), financed from the personal coffers of the King of France. The originality of this church lay initially in the height of its bell tower, which lost its third and last floor during the war of 1870-1871.
Special features: today the church has a beautiful organ which was restored in 2004 and inaugurated by the organist of Notre Dame of Paris.
Listing: Historical Monument in 1921
The siege well
At the end of the 17th century, five wells were used to supply the Vauban citadel: the one in the Place d'Armes, the one for the cadets, the one for the infantry, the one for the cavalry and the last one which supplied the Governor's house. The large well in the Place d'Armes was the only one intended for civilians. With a depth of 60 m and a diameter of 12 m, it was operated by a large wheel with two men inside. The Siege Well was disused in 1909. It housed an EDF electrical transformer before being restored and since 1991 has been home to the Tourist Office.
Museum, enamel and earthenware works of Longwy
The earthenware industry began in Longwy in 1798. Boosted by imperial orders following the visit of Emperor Napoleon I to Longwy, the faience factory passed into the hands of the Baron of Huart in 1835. His sons, graduates of the École Centrale in Paris, developed the family business. In 1864, earthenware maker Eugène Collinot invented a process for the decorative production of enamels, cloisonné and relief modelling on earthenware, porcelain and other surfaces. The apple blossom decoration on a Bleu de Sèvres background became the emblematic symbol of the Longwy faience factories for a long time. In 1901, the Huart Frères company was transformed into the Société anonyme des faïenceries de Longwy, a name that accompanied the establishment until its closure in 1976, and then its rebirth in various branches that are still alive today.
Castle of Cons La Grandville
Foundation: 11th century
Characteristics: The present castle is built on the remains of a medieval castle commissioned by Dudon de Cons, a crusading companion of Godfrey of Bouillon, on a rocky promontory surrounded by the village and wooded hills. It retains the foundations and the lower, massive, fortified parts (to the north and east) from the medieval period. It was rebuilt in a Renaissance style from 1572. This new castle took its aesthetic from the art of the Lorraine Renaissance. History: before 1640, the castle was in the hands of the Marquis of Pidancet (of Breton origin). At that time, the sole heiress of Cons-la-Grandville, Marguerite de Custine married Jean de Lambertye, an officer from Limousin, whom Louis XIII appointed governor of Longwy (a French enclave in Lorraine). Although the names have changed, it can be said that the current owners are the direct descendants (through their wives) of the first lords of the place, since the 11th century.
Listing: Historic monument in 1947 and 1987
Romanesque church of Mont Saint-Martin
Foundation: 11th century
Characteristics: At the top of a hill overlooking the valleys of the Chiers and Messancy, the Romanesque church of Mont Saint Martin occupies the site of one of the first early Christian places of worship in Lorraine. Rebuilt in the 11th century, the building is in the form of a basilica with three bays without a transept, which is closed off to the east by two semi-circular apses.
History: first mentioned in 1096, the church was rebuilt in the middle of the 12th century and vaulted or re-vaulted around 1200. The Benedictine priory, dependent on the abbey of Saint-Vanne de Verdun, given in 1599 to the Jesuits of Verdun, was rebuilt in 1753 (date given) and re-drilled in the 19th century. A sacristy was added in the second half of the 19th century. Listing: Historical monument in 1889
The pastry chefs of Longwy joined forces to create Étoile Vauban, a pastry made from a base of pound cake, filled with apple and mirabelle plum compote and bound with honey. This little cake is made in a star-shaped mould, which pays tribute to the fortifications of Longwy, created more than 300 years ago by the military architect of Louis XIV.