Picardy ( _fr. Picardie) is an historical
province of France, in the north of France. The historical capital and largest city is Amiens.
"Whimsical enough is the origin of the name of Picards, and from thence of
Picardie, which does not date earlier than AD 1200. It was an academical joke, an epithet first applied to the quarrelsome humour of those students, in the University of Paris, who came from the frontier of France and Flanders. (Chapter LVIII - Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire)"
Middle Ages, Picardy referred to that part of France north of Paris, and it even included the Dutch speaking Flanders. Thus, the name applied to an area much larger than what we now think of as Picardy. This area corresponds to all the territories from Paris to the Netherlands. In the Latin Quarterof Paris, people identified a "Picardy Nation" ("Nation Picarde") of students, most of whom actually came from Flanders, who studied in the prestigious Sorbonne University.
In a narrower sense, Picardy refers to the area covered by the "
gouvernement" (military region) of Picardy as created in the 16th century. This area is the Somme" département", the northern half of the Aisne"département", and a small fringe in the north of the Oise"département". This is what most people think of as Picardy today. The older definition survives in the name of the Picard language, which applies not only to the dialects of Picardy proper, but also to the Romance dialects spoken in the Nord-Pas de Calais" région", north of Picardy proper.
Picardy proper now lies inside the
Picardie"région", making up half of this "région". Before the French Revolution, the coastal areas of Boulogne-sur-Merand Calaiswere considered part of Picardy, but are now part of the Nord-Pas de Calais "région". However, anciently these areas belonged to the province of Artois, and had been detached from Artois in the 15th century.
Most of Picardy is a vast plain with open fields, famed for the gruesome
Battle of the Somme. The main crops of Picardy are wheat, sugar beets, and fodder. Sugar beet was introduced by Napoleon Iduring the Napoleonic Warsin order to counter the United Kingdomwhich had seized the sugar islands possessed by France in the Caribbean. The sugar industry made the fortune of Picardy in the 19th century and contributed to the ruin of the sugar economy in the Caribbean.
Villages of Picardy have a distinct character, with their houses made of dark red bricks, in contrast with the neighbouring provinces.
A minority of people still speak the
Picard language, one of the languages of France, which is also spoken in Artois( Nord-Pas de Calais"région"). " P'tit quinquin", a song in the Picard dialect, is a symbol of the local culture (and of that of Artois).
In popular culture
* The song "Roses are blooming in Picardy' is a ballad written in 1916 during
World War I
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Picardy — (Сен Дизье,Франция) Категория отеля: 2 звездочный отель Адрес: 15 avenue de verdun, 52100 Сен Дизье, Ф … Каталог отелей
Picardy — Picardy is a former province of France, with its capital at Amiens. It comprises Vermandois, Amiénois, Valois, Santerre, Ponthieu, Boulannais, and Thiér ache. occupied by King Philippe Auguste in 1185, the region was definitively united to the … France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present
Picardy — [pik′ər dē] 1. historical region of N France 2. metropolitan region of modern N France: 7,490 sq mi (19,399 sq km); pop. 1,811,000; chief city, Amiens: Fr. name Picardie [pē kȧr dē′] … English World dictionary
Picardy — /pik euhr dee/, n. a region in N France: formerly a province. * * * French Picardie Région (pop., 1999: 1,857,834), encompassing the northern French départements of Oise, Somme, and Aisne and roughly coextensive with the historical region of… … Universalium
Picardy — or French Picardie geographical name region & former province N France bordering on English Channel N of Normandy; chief town Amiens • Picard adjective or noun … New Collegiate Dictionary
Picardy — noun A région of France … Wiktionary
PICARDY — a province in the N. of France, the capital of which was Amiens; it now forms the department of Somme, and part of Aisne and Pas de Calais … The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
Picardy — reg. and former prov., N France … Webster's Gazetteer
Picardy — n. region in northern France that lies on the boundary of the English Channel … English contemporary dictionary
picardy — pic·ar·dy … English syllables