Champagne is a former province of France, located in the northeast part of the country on the west bank of the River Meuse. Its main city is Troyes, and it is one of France's celebrated wine regions. In ancient times, the area was ruled by the Counts of Champagne.
The Romans overran Champagne and most other areas of France in the 1st century BC. In the 5th century, it was conquered again, this time by the Franks.
In the 10th century Gueringfroi, who became the first Lord of Aumale, built the Castle of Aumale. His family later became the Counts of Champagne. In 1053, this royal house intermarried with that of the Counts of Pictou. The child of this marriage, Adelaide, married the then Count of Champagne. Around 1055, the count also held the titles of Sire de Aumale and Lord of Aumale. In 1066, he pledged his allegiance to William, Duke of Normandy as part of the epochal conquest of England. Eudes, Count of Champagne, attended the Duke of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings.
Champagne comprised the regions of Aube, La Marne, Haute Marne, the Ardennes, and the Yonne. It was given in the 10th century to the House of Vernandois. Champagne was then re-united with the French Crown in 1191 by Philippe Auguste.
Modern Champagne is one of the most vital economic and cultural regions of France, as well as the birthplace of the drink that carries its name.
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