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Compiègne (kôNpyĕˈnyə) [key], city (1990 pop. 44,703), Oise dept., N France, in Île-de-France, on the Oise River. It is an industrial center with varied manufactures; a large glassworks is located in the suburbs. As far back as the Merovingian period (7th cent.), Compiègne had been the site of royal gatherings; from the 17th to 19th cent. French monarchs used it as a summer residence. The forest of Compiègne was a royal hunting ground. Joan of Arc was captured (1430) by the Burgundians at Compiègne. In a railroad car in the forest the armistice ending World War I was signed; in 1940, Hitler forced the French to surrender in the same car (which was later taken to Germany and destroyed). The large 15th-century palace, other old structures, and the place's historic connotations attract many tourists.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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