Clock tower

Coat of arms

Bar-le-Duc is located in France
Coordinates: 48°46′19″N 5°09′37″E / 48.771944, 05.160278Coordinates: 48°46′19″N 5°09′37″E / 48.771944, 05.160278
Country France
Region Grand Est
Department Meuse
Arrondissement Bar-le-Duc
Intercommunality Bar-le-Duc
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Nelly Jaquet (PS)
Area1 23.62 km2 (9.12 sq mi)
Population (2006)2 16,041
 • Density 680/km2 (1,800/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 55029 / 55000
Elevation 175–327 m (574–1,073 ft)
(avg. 240 m or 790 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Bar-le-Duc, formerly known as Bar, is a commune in the Meuse département, of which it is the préfecture (capital). The department is in Lorraine in north-eastern France


The lower, more modern and busier part of the town extends along a narrow valley, shut in by wooded or vine-clad hills, and is traversed throughout its length by the Ornain, which is crossed by several bridges. It is limited towards the north-east by the Marne-Rhine Canal, on the south-west by a small arm of the Ornain, called the Canal des Usines, on the left bank of which the upper town (Ville Haute) is situated.


Bar-le-Duc was at one time the seat of the countship, later duchy, of Bar. Though probably of ancient origin, the town was unimportant till the 10th century when it became the residence of the counts.

Originally part of the early medieval duchy of Upper Lorraine. At some stage in the early modern period it was acquired by the neighbouring dukes of Lorraine.

Main sights[]

Saint-Étienne Church and the court house (right) on the Saint-Pierre Square in Bar-le-Duc

Notre-DameBridge over the Ornain

The Ville Haute, which is reached by staircases and steep narrow thoroughfares, is intersected by a long, quiet street, bordered by houses of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. In this quarter are the remains (16th century) of the chateau of the dukes of Bar, dismantled in 1670, the old clock-tower, and the college, built in the latter half of the 16th century. Its church of Saint-Étienne (constructed during the 14th and 15th centuries) contains a skillfully-carved effigy in white stone of a half-decayed corpse, the work of 16th century artist Ligier Richier, a pupil of Michelangelo erected to the memory of René of Châlon (d. 1544).

The lower town contains the official buildings and the churches of Notre-Dame, the most ancient in the town, and St. Antony, with 14th century frescoes. Among the statues of distinguished natives of the town is one to Nicolas Oudinot, whose house serves as the hotel-de-ville. Other singhts include the Notre-Dame Bridge, with five arches surmounted by a chapel in the middle.


The highly rarefied Bar-le-duc jelly, also known as Lorraine Jelly, is a spreadable preparation of white currant or red currant fruit preserves, hailing from this town. First referenced in the historical record in 1344, it is also colloquially referred to as Bar Caviar.

Notable people[]

Bar-le-Duc was the birthplace of:

  • Francis, Duke of Guise (1519–1563), soldier and politician
  • Nicolas Oudinot (1767–1847), marshal of France
  • Rémi Exelmans (1775–1852), marshal of France
  • Pierre Michaux (1813–1883) inventor
  • Edmond Laguerre (1834–1886), mathematician
  • Raymond Poincaré (1860–1934), statesman

A great silk factory was established here by Jean-François Jacqueminot.

Twin towns[]

Bar-le-Duc is twinned with:


External links[]

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This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Bar-le-Duc. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.