Aisne is one of the three departments composing the Picardy region, the other ones being Oise and Somme. It is located east of the region and shares borders with Nord, Somme, Oise, Seine et Marne, Ardennes and Belgium. The department gathers 535,000 inhabitants, called the Axonais, and its administrative centre is Laon (27,000 inhabitants).
Owing to its closeness to Paris, the area has always played an important role in the French history. It was also home of many renowned people such as La Fontaine, Alexandre Dumas or La Racine. The area was also one of the worst hit by world wars, both I and II. During WWI, the department suffered from the Bataille du chemin des Dames, one of the bloodiest battles along with Verdun. During WWII, the department was divided into two parts by Germans, the northern part called the ‘prohibited area’.
Nowadays, the department has recovered from its past injuries and thanks to its closeness to Paris, it keeps developing. The department used to be a very industrial area until the beginning of the19th century. Then, it had to switch to a new type of production, and it focused on agriculture. As a result today the department is the first one as regards the sugar beet production in France. Tourism is another source of income. The department is the fourth one as far as listed monuments are concerned; furthermore it has developed the relaxation tourism, with the creation of a ‘Center parc’.
|Property prices in Aisne in April 2009|
|Property types||Price € /sq m||Average price €||Average area|
|Domain estate||1,768||305,104||170sq m|
|Aisne Total Average||€1,670 /sq m|
A house is sold €3,200 /sq m in France in 2009. Since it is sold €1,670 /sq m in Aisne, we can say that the department is fairly affordable. Prices in the department are also lower than the region average (€2,200 /sq m). However it is worth mentioning that prices in the area have already stated increasing again. Indeed, in April 2009, prices in Aisne increased by 0.12%. Even though it does not represent a big increase, it nevertheless shows that the area has recovered from the real estate crisis and that the market is starting to develop again.
As a consequence, it is the safest moment to invest in a property in Aisne. Prices are still low, but prices are going un again. You will definitely find bargains to drive!
To get updated info about property prices in Aisne, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
Click here to have an overview of Picardie Property Prices.
Historical heritage: Aisne is the fourth department in France as regards the number of listed monuments. You will find there 2,000 years of history through vestiges, monuments and museums. By visiting castle and fortress you will see the influence of many Dukes and Counts, such as the Guise Dukes (castle located between Saint Quentin and Vervins), Condé fortress (in Chateau Thierry), Coucy castle (between Soissons and Saint Quentin), etc. History lovers will be delighted by the Art and History Town of Laon, a former medieval town surrounded by 7kms of ramparts which houses more than 80 historical monuments.
Good food: as Aisne is a rural and agricultural department, it offers many local delicious produces, such as the AOC Maroilles, a rather strong cheese, and some Champagnes produced in the Chateau Thierry area. There are also some very local dishes, such as the ficelle, which is a pancake filled in with melted cheese, cheese sauce, ham and mushrooms. As there are many bees in the area, the honey is another local produce. The best way to discover all the delicious produces the area has on offer is with no doubt by going at the local street markets. Moreover this is an excellent opportunity to meet with locals and discover the true French culture.
Culture and art heritage: in the Aisne department you will find many museums and cultural activities. Both kids and growing up persons have lots of fun discovering the history and the culture of the area. Amongst others museums, do not miss especially the Butterfly museum, the Textile museum, the Barbarian times museum, the bees workshop, the Jean de la Fontaine museum, etc.
Tranquillity and scenery: Aisne is also a very rural department where you can have a walk in forests or have a cruise in rivers. Indeed, many rivers run through the area, such as of course the Aisne River, but also the Oise River, the Somme River, the Ourcq River and the Marne River. Rivers enable many cruises, but also water activities, such as canoeing, canyoning, kayaking, or just cycling along the river, enjoying the beauty and tranquillity of the scenery. If you like hiking you will be delighted by the walkways the department has on offer in its forests. There are mainly four forests, located from north to south of the department: the Saint Michel forest, the Saint Gobain forest, the Vauclair forest, and the Retz forest.
Location – transport links: Picardie takes advantage of its privileged location at the border of the Parisian metropolis. Not to mention that the Aisne department shares border with Belgium and is situated very close to England. It moreover displays a international airport, with regular flights to Leeds, UK. It is also very well linked to Paris, with an excellent network of TER (regional trains).
Longères : they are actually farmhouses but their main characteristics is outbuildings are all laid out in a row, which gave the name ‘longere’. In Picardie, they are traditionally built with bricks and they have a flat tiles roof. They are good investment for a second home, as they can house many people, but they are also a good buy-to-let, especially if you want to create a gîte.
Half-timbered properties: typical from all over the country, this kind of properties in Picardie and in Aisne stands out for its excessive use of bricks. Nevertheless, half timbered houses are not as common as in other regions, and this is because they used to cover timber structure with white limestone.
Thiérache picarde farmhouses: this kind of farmhouses are to be found mainly in the north east of the department the area historically called the Thiérahce. Unlike the longère, outbuildings of the farm are located all around the habitable house, in order to leave a courtyard in the middle. To access the farmhouse you go under a pigeon-house porch. The habitable part is a long building, one storey high, composed of a kitchen, bathroom and 3 bedrooms in average. Stable, cowshed and barn are situated by the side of the dwelling, forming a square. The slate roof is usually sloping.
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|Take a closer look at the Aisne property market:|
|Laon Property Information||Soissons Property Information|