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Located in the Paris Basin, across the country the city benefits from a privileged geographical position (proximity to Paris, Lille, Rouen, London and Brussels).At the crossroads of major European routes of movement (A1, A16 and A29), the city is also at the heart of a major rail star.The hydrographic network has always been an important asset operated by the city.The river helped shape the identity of the landscape, urban and economic territory.Much of Picardy became the newly created department of Somme with Amiens as the departmental capital.During the industrial revolution, the city walls were demolished, opening up space for large boulevards around the town centre.
The town was given the name Ambianum by the Romans, meaning settlement of the Ambiani people. In 1597, Spanish soldiers held the city during the six-month Siege of Amiens, before Henry IV regained control.
As the crow flies, the city is 115 kilometres (71 mi) from Paris, 97 kilometres (60 mi) from Lille, 100 kilometres (62 mi) from Rouen, 162 kilometres (101 mi) from Le Havre and 144 kilometres (89 mi) from Reims.
At the regional level, Amiens is located 53 kilometres (33 mi) north of Beauvais, 71 kilometres (44 mi) west of Saint-Quentin, 66 kilometres (41 mi) from Compiègne and 102 kilometres (63 mi) from Laon.
Amiens Cathedral, the tallest of the large, classic, Gothic churches of the 13th century and the largest in France of its kind, is a World Heritage Site.
The author Jules Verne lived in Amiens from 1871 until his death in 1905, and served on the city council for 15 years.