Montreuil is located at 15 kilometers from the coast, but in the time of the Romans the sea reached the place where Montreuil is today.
Due to its strategic location at the mouth of the Canche, the town was already walled in the 9th century by Helgaud, the Count of Ponthieu. In the tenth century Montreuil became the most important port of the Capetingers, the dynasty of kings who ruled France from 987 to 1328.
The city experienced an important booming period thanks to its cloth industry and a few tanneries. She also had an important attraction on the pilgrims through some relics.
Due to the silting up of the mouth of the Canche and the conquest of other harbors by the French king, the period of prosperity came to an end. At the end of the 100-year war (1337 - 1457) the city was occupied and looted by the English. It went from bad to worse. At the beginning of the 16th century the city was pillaged by the soldiers of the Charles V and in 1596 they were severely affected by a plague epidemic.
It was not until the beginning of the 18th century that the city recovered somehow. Under Napoleon it became part of the defensive belt around Boulogne (which itself was seen as a base for the conquest of England).
The most important “ historical ” fact is perhaps the visit to the city of Victor Hugo in 1837. Montreuil became the city where Jean Valjean, the (fictional) protagonist from his novel “ Les Misérables ” was a mayor for a while.
During the First World War, the headquarters of the Allied Forces was established in Montreuil. From there, control was exercised over the front of the Yzer to the Marne for 4 years.
In the neighborhood of Montreuil there are several places of interest, which are worth a visit.
The Carthusian Abbey of Neuville (Nôtre-Dame des Prés) is certainly number 1. It is an impressive abbey, of which we have already seen similar copies in Pavia (near Milan) and Padula (Cilento)
Furthermore, the church of Saint-Vaast (15th century - gothique flamboyant) in Ecuires and the Castle of Beaurepaire (19th century), which served as the headquarters of the Marshal Douglas Haig from 1915 to 1919, are worth a visit.