I live in Orléans, France.
The city was founded by the Carnutes (a gallic tribe) in 70-60 BC
and was quickly setteled by the romans. Its roman name was Cenabum.
On February 13th, 52 BC
, the Carnutes revolted against Caesar's rule and massacred the romans. Caesar's retaliation was terrible: he destroyed the city.
Cenabum was re-built and later named "Aurelianis" (dedicated to emperor Aurelien).
When the western Roman Empire collapsed in 477, Orléans quickly became on of the most important cities of the "Kingdom of the Franks".
During the 9th century, Charlemagne, ordered the construction of the cathedral (Cathedral Sainte Croix), where his grandson, king Charles the bald (son of Louis the first) was crowned in 848.
During the Hundred years war, Orléans was occupied by the british in 1428 and then liberated by Joan of Arc on may 7th, 1429.
After the war, the city became an important economic and political center, and its population reached 30,000 under Louis XI's reign.
In 1870, important battles took place inside and around the city.
On October 10th, an army of 15,000 prussians backed by a powerful artillery and led by general Von der Tann, surrounded the city.
After heavy street fights and heavy casualties (most of the french defenders were killed), the city fell to the prussians on october 12th.
On november 5th, Von der Tann was forced to retreat and the city was liberated from the prussians by the "Army of the Loire" led by general d'Aurelle de Paladines.
In december, after a failed attempt to push the prussians further north, the french forces were forced to retreat and finally defeated on december 5th.
During WWII, Orléans was heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe in june 1940. The French army, in full retreat, was totally unable to defend the city and headed south, like most of the city’s inhabitants.
[Edited 2003-07-15 01:28:11]