Château-Thierry © Ted Drake
Château-Thierry is an industrial town 55 miles (89km) east of Paris on the River Marne. The surrounding countryside was the site of many great battles during both World Wars and a number of monuments and cemeteries mark the bravery of thousands of Allied soldiers who fought to liberate France and who now lie interred under her soil. One of the most popular and rewarding memorial sites for tourists is the WW1 Marine Memorial at Belleau Wood, which is located by the WW1 Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and the Belleau Wood battlefield. The Chateau-Thierry Monument is a good place to start when investigating the military history of the area because it lists the units that fought in the region as well as providing a battle map and orientation table.
The town is also known as the home of the famous poet and fable writer Jean de la Fontaine (1621-95); the Musée Jean-de-la-Fontaine is one of the most popular literary museums in the world and contains a collection of his personal effects, memorabilia and a number of editions of his works. There is also a Walt Disney Studio in Chateau-Thierry where you can explore the behind-the-scenes production world of movies and television. Unfortunately, the chateau that gave the place its name has long been destroyed and very little remains of the old part of the town.