This bustling town of currently 40,000 people sits at the northern limit of the Forêt de Compiègne (Compiègne Forest). The former royal hunting lodge here enjoyed its heyday in the mid-19th century under upstart emperor Napoléon III. But the town's history stretches further back—to Joan of Arc, who was captured in battle and held prisoner here, and to its 15th-century Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall), and further forward—to the World War I armistice, signed in Compiègne Forest on November 11, 1918. The forest and hunting preserve of Compiègne, a comfortable walk from the center of town, is the third largest in France and has 600 miles of trails and roads that wind through oak, birch and beech trees.
Compiégne became a Sister City with Raleigh in 1989. For questions and inquiries, please contact Compiégne Ambassador, Cara Nina Gentile.