The Aisne is a river in northeastern France, left tributary of the river Oise. It gave its name to the French département Aisne. It was known in the Roman period as Axona. It rises in the forest of Argonne, at Rembercourt-Sommaisne, near Sainte-Menehould. It flows north and then west before joining the Oise River near Compiègne. The Aisne is about 290 kilometres (180 mi) long. Three bitter battles of World War I were fought into the valleys of the Aisne.
Places along the River
Départements and towns along the river include:
Small boats can travel much of the length of the river. Canals join the Aisne to the Seine and Meuse rivers. In the small-capacity network of waterways, the Aisne and the Canal latéral à l'Aisne (Aisne lateral canal) give access to the agricultural towns of Soissons and Vailly-sur-Aisne, both large exporters of cereals. The waterway also links Northwestern Europe to the small inland harbour of Reims
, where metallurgical industries are depending on inland waterways transport. The Aisne is connected to the rest of the network by the Oise river, the Canal de l'Oise à l'Aisne the Canal des Ardennes
and the Canal de l'Aisne à la Marne.
A 57.1 km (35.5 mi) portion of the river, with 7 locks, has been canalized, from Vailly-sur-Aisne to Compiègne. It is the westernmost segment of the Aisne River. On the western end, it terminates into the Canal latéral à l'Oise. On the eastern end, it continues into the Canal latéral à l'Aisne.