Crèvecoeur le Grand is located in the heart of the region of Picardy, between Paris and the North of France. Crèvecoeur is situated between the cities of Beauvais and Amiens, in the area known as Picardie Verte et les Sept Vallées.
Although small, the town of Crèvecoeur is generally buzzing with activity as there are many events throughout the year.
Every year on ascension day Crèvecoeur is host to a huge flea market; France’s third largest. The entire town is transformed as occasional and professional sellers set up stands throughout the streets.
In 1520, French king François Premier stayed in the castle of Crèvecoeur on his way to meet Henry VIII of England at the Field of the Cloth of Gold, near Calais. The Association François 1er was created in order to celebrate this and other notable events in the town’s history, and combines dances, traditional fights and theatre for a medieval banquet (Ripailles à la cour du Roy) and a « son et lumière » (l’Eveil de la Salamandre). These shows take place on alternate years and are complemented by the Fêtes François Premier, which take place over a weekend in September and transform the town centre into a stage for medieval musicians, artisans, historical players and parades.
The traditional public holidays are celebrated in Crèvecoeur : the spring carnival, July 14th, and the Pentecostal holidays are marked with parades, The Foire Saint Martin is an autumnal livestock market and the season leading up to Christmas sees the annual Marché de Noel in the Town Square.
Every year the cyclists race through Crèvecoeur during the Routes de l’Oise, and the Tour de France has been through the town twice. The Route du Poisson is a horse and cart race which also comes regularly through Crèvecoeur and is celebrated by a Mussels and Chips evening, with live music.
In between all these events Crèvecoeur is a lovely place to spend some time in the green valleys of Picardy. The Coulée Verte is a disused railway offering beautiful walks in all seasons and the surrounding countryside is wonderful for drivers, walkers and cyclists. The villages of Gerberoy and Songeons are traditional villages well worth a visit, and of course Beauvais and Amiens are not to be missed with their markets, cathedrals and picard architecture.
Closer to home, you can stock up on local fayre at the grocer Coeur de Picardie, and buy fresh garlic, cheese and snails at the farmer’s market every Sunday mroning. Then pull up a chair on the terrace of a café, sit back and watch the world go by!