Compiègne kôNpyĕ´nyə [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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