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The Meuse river, the American Bridge, the Quai des Remparts, the Saint-Hilaire quarter and the Charlemont fort
The Meuse river, the American Bridge, the Quai des Remparts, the Saint-Hilaire quarter and the Charlemont fort
Coat of arms of Givet
Coat of arms
Location of Givet
Givet is located in France
Givet is located in Grand Est
Coordinates: 50°08?20?N 4°49?30?E / 50.1389°N 4.825°E / 50.1389; 4.825Coordinates: 50°08?20?N 4°49?30?E / 50.1389°N 4.825°E / 50.1389; 4.825
RegionGrand Est
IntercommunalityArdennes Rives de Meuse
 o Mayor (2020–2026) Robert Itucci
18.41 km2 (7.11 sq mi)
 o Density370/km2 (950/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 o Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
08190 /08600
Elevation103-124 m (338-407 ft)
(avg. 124 m or 407 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Givet (French pronunciation: ​[?i.v?]) (German: Gibet) is a commune in the Ardennes department in northern France very close to the Belgian border. It lies on the river Meuse where Emperor Charles V built the fortress of Charlemont. It borders the French municipalities of Fromelennes to the east and Rancennes to the south and Foisches to the southeast.

Later on, another building was added to the fort, the Caserne Rougé, the longest barracks of France at that time, named after Pierre François, Marquis de Rougé, general of the French armies k.a. 1761.

The Pointe de Givet National Nature Reserve is partly located on the commune.


The town's history claims that Saint Hubert lived there in 720 and performed a miracle. The town has changed hands several times since the Roman era before becoming part of France in 1678, and was later invaded by Russians and Germans.

During the Napoleonic Wars, the French maintained a camp here for British naval prisoners of war from 1804 to 1814. One of the officer prisoners, Captain Jahleel Brenton, Royal Navy, who had been captured when his ship, H.M. frigate Minerve ran aground off Cherbourg, and Naval Chaplain the Reverend Robert B. Wolfe, also a prisoner, established a school of navigation for the imprisoned British sailors. This was a successful unofficial initiative for teaching navigation that also provided a center for the growth of religious piety in the Royal Navy.[2] An example of student work in the navigation school is preserved in the notebook by British seaman William Carter.[3] British seaman, John Wetherell, a survivor of the British 38-gun frigate HMS Hussar that had wrecked near Brest and was burnt by her crew to prevent her capture, was imprisoned at Givet from 1804 to 1814 and left an account of his experiences.[4]

In World War II, Givet was occupied by the Germans on May 12, 1940 and liberated by the allies on September 7, 1944. By December 1944, 11,000 American soldiers were billeted in the ancient Charlemont fortress. The German Ardennes Offensive targeted Givet and its crossing of the Meuse. The British, under General Montgomery, organized a last-ditch defense, and on 24 December, the German drive was stopped about 10 kilometres (6 mi) from Givet.

Givet is also the birthplace of writer Henry Bidou (1873 - 1943) and oboist Gilles Silvestrini (born 1961).


Notre-Dame church

See also


  1. ^ "Populations légales 2017". INSEE. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ Mark J. Gabrielson, "Enlightenment in the Darkness: The British Prisoner of War School of Navigation. Givet, France. 1805-1814," Northern Mariner, vol. 25 (2015), pp. 7-41.
  3. ^ William Carter Navigation Journal, MSC-364- File MSI 21, Naval Historical Collection, Naval War College, Newport, RI. The document is online at [1]
  4. ^ C.S. Forester, ed., The Adventures of John Wetherell (New York: Doubleday & Co., 1953), pp. 146-246.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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