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Country  France
Department  Loiret
Population (2012)  14,519
Area  67.86 km²
Arrondissement  Montargis
Region  Centre-Val de Loire
Canton  Gien
Time zone  CET (UTC+1)
Local time  Monday 9:26 PM
Gien wwwloirevalleyfrancenetimagesgienjpg

Weather  10°C, Wind N at 11 km/h, 83% Humidity
Points of interest  Château de Gien, Musée International de la Cha, Mini Golf de Gien, Chateau de Gien, Maison Des Alix

Gien is a commune in the Loiret department in north-central France.


Map of 45500 Gien, France

Gien is on the Loire River, 80 km (50 mi) from Orléans. The town was bought for the royal property by Philip II of France. The town is twinned with Malmesbury in England.


Evidence of prehistoric occupation of Gien has been discovered. Gien was probably a centre of trade between farmers and blacksmiths.


In Roman times, there was a town located in the site of Gien. However, its name remains unknown.

Middle Ages

The town of Gien-le-Vieux (Old Gien) became a parish in the high Middle Ages when Saint Peregrine, bishop of Auxerre, founded the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. In 760, the army of Pepin the short stopped at Gien-le-Vieux before going to fight against Gascony and Aquitaine. In the eighth century, Charlemagne authorised the construction of a fortified mound around the site of the present castle.

In the ninth and tenth centuries the decline of the Carolingian empire and Viking Raids led to a gradual abandonment of Gien-le-Vieux. The population mostly moved to the site of the current town of Gien which was easier to defend. However, the church of St. Peter and St. Paul survived until the seventeenth century.

The French Wars of Religion

Gien had a large Protestant community and like its neighbours, Châtillon-Coligny, Châtillon-sur-Loire and Orleans, it was a Protestant stronghold during the French wars of religion. During this period, the churches were looted and clergy hunted.

Second World War

Much of Gien was destroyed during the Second World War. The town was bombed by the Luftwaffe, who aimed to destroy the town's bridge to prevent the French Army from retreating. The bombardment created a huge fire which completely destroyed over four hundred buildings, including the town's two main churches. The town was rebuilt after the war.


  • Château de Gien, historic, listed castle.
  • Faïencerie de Gien, founded in 1821.
  • References

    Gien Wikipedia