Escorted Rail Tours to Amiens
Discover a medieval town with a turbulent past in northern France’s Somme Valley
Amiens, the capital of the Picardy region of northern France, is an historic and picturesque city on the banks of the River Somme. Originally a walled Roman settlement, often ransacked and looted as a result of its prosperity, Amiens was eventually recognised as a city by the King of France in 1113.
Subsequently Amiens benefited from a lucrative textile industry, becoming renowned by the nineteenth century for its fine velour. During this century Amiens was remodelled, its enclosing walls removed and its avenues widened to accommodate the expansion of the city as new neighbourhoods emerged.
At the onset of the First World War in 1914 Amiens became a base for the British Expeditionary Force due to its proximity to the Western Front and its usefulness as a transport hub. Gaining control of Amiens was vital to the German war effort but sustained bombing, which destroyed much of the city in 1918, failed to achieve this goal.
Amiens suffered further significant damage during World War II, but extensive and sympathetic post-war restoration work and urban regeneration in recent decades has re-established the city as an exciting and rewarding destination for visitors, offering many historic buildings, beautiful green spaces and cultural attractions to enjoy and an ideal base from which to explore the battlefields and memorials of the Somme.