The Moselle and the Premonstratensian abbey in Pont-à-Mousson.
The Moselle and the Premonstratensian abbey in Pont-à-Mousson.
Coat of arms of Pont-à-Mousson
Coat of arms
Location of Pont-à-Mousson
Pont-à-Mousson is located in France
Pont-à-Mousson is located in Grand Est
Coordinates: 48°54′19″N 6°03′17″E / 48.9053°N 6.0547°E / 48.9053; 6.0547Coordinates: 48°54′19″N 6°03′17″E / 48.9053°N 6.0547°E / 48.9053; 6.0547
RegionGrand Est
IntercommunalityPays de Pont-à-Mousson
 • Mayor (2009–2014) Jacques Choquenet
21.6 km2 (8.3 sq mi)
 • Density660/km2 (1,700/sq mi)
 • Urban
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
54431 /54700
Elevation172–382 m (564–1,253 ft)
(avg. 183 m or 600 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Pont-à-Mousson (French pronunciation: ​[pɔ̃.ta.mu.sɔ̃]) is a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in north-eastern France.

Population (1999): 14,592 (Mussipontains). It is an industrial town (mainly steel industry), situated on the Moselle River. Pont-à-Mousson has several historical monuments, including the 18th century Premonstratensian abbey.


Date of Population
(Source: Ehess[2] et Insee[3])
1793 1800 1806 1820 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
6 428 6 738 7 000 - 7 005 7 039 7 261 7 131 7 140 7 079

1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
7 709 8 115 - 8 211 10 970 11 293 11 585 11 595 12 701

1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
12 847 13 543 14 009 8 891 11 726 12 646 11 343 10 239 11 416

1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2004 - -
12 802 13 406 14 830 14 942 14 645 14 592 - - -
For the census of 1962 to 1999 the official population corresponds with the population without duplicates according to the INSEE.


Early Modern[edit]

In 1572 Cardinal Charles of Lorraine established a Jesuit university at Pont-à-Mousson. With the Protestant revolution building in the German-speaking lands, still part of the Holy Roman Empire, directly to the east, and the Duchy of Lorraine vulnerable to pressure from an increasingly assertive French state directly to the west, the Duchy participated in the wars of religion on the side of the Counter-Reformation. The Tridentine strategy promulgated by the Holy See involved the creation of a "Roman Catholic backbone" (sometimes termed the Lotharingian axis from the territories, including Lorraine, between France and the Habsburg Empire).

During the seventeenth century the university grew rapidly until there were about 2,000 students. There were four faculties covering theology, the arts, law and medicine. Students were drawn from across western and central Europe. Over time a rivalry grew up between students in the St Martin district, located on the right-bank of the river and dominated by Jesuits, and the left-bank students based in the St Laurent quarter and considered the rowdier of the two student tribes. Rivalry peaked with the violent "printers' battles" when the rival factions were known respectively as the "Ponti Mussoni" and the "Mussiponti". The "Mussiponti" won, and in the region the inhabitants of the town became known thereafter as "Mussipontains/Mussipontines".

18th and 19th centuries[edit]

The region became French following the death in 1766 of Duke Stanisław Leszczyński of Lorraine, and in 1769 Louis XV had the Jesuit Academy transferred to Nancy. The only notable educational establishment remaining at Pont-à-Mousson was a military training school.

The town continued to flourish as a centre of the visual arts, however, rivalling Épinal to the south in this respect. A papier mâché factory also contributed to the cultural development of Pont-à-Mousson.

It was the regional capital between 1790 and 1795, but underwent extensive destruction in the ensuing wars, and was subject to foreign occupation in 1814 and 1815. During the Franco-Prussian War it experienced severe street fighting.

The Pont-à-Mousson company was created in 1856 by a group of Lorraine businessmen to operate the Marbache iron mine and to use the ore to manufacture cast iron. Xavier Rogé was the manager. In 1862 the enterprise was liquidated due to lack of sufficient capital to cover the high investment expenses. Rogé managed to raise capital in the Saarland and restart the business, selling most of its production to forges in the Ardennes and Champagne. In 1866 Rogé visited England and became aware of the new and promising market for cast-iron water pipes. He focused the company on pipe production, and found a ready market when cities began to make large investment in water supply after 1871.[4] He adopted the English method of casting pipes in vertical rather than horizontal moulds.[5] He was succeeded by Camille Cavallier, who transformed the moderately sized cast iron pipe manufacturer into a giant, always concentrating on making pipes. Annual cast iron production rose from 80,000 to 183,000 tons between 1900 and 1913.[4]

The company, later known as Saint-Gobain PAM is still producing ductile cast iron pipes and fittings for drinking water, irrigation and sewage applications. The plant of Pont-à-Mousson, having its 160th anniversary in 2016, is the largest employer in the city, with an average 1000 employees spread among two plants, a research center and the headquarters of the company.

20th century[edit]

Strategically positioned at an important river crossing, Pont-à-Mousson and the surrounding region saw terrible fighting during the twentieth century wars between France and Germany. In the First World War Bois-Le-Prêtre, Croix des Carmes, Xon and Grand-Couronné are names that recall savage fighting between French and German soldiers. The town suffered further destruction in 1944, before being liberated by the U.S. Third Army under the command of Lieutenant General George S. Patton, supported by an active local resistance movement.

In 1921 the President personally presented the town with the Croix de guerre, and shortly after this Désiré Ferry, the local deputy, was awarded the Légion d'honneur. After the Second World War Pont-à-Mousson was again honoured, this time with the Croix de guerre (silver star).


Pont-à-Mousson was the birthplace of:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Populations légales 2017". INSEE. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  2. ^ http://cassini.ehess.fr/ Population par commune avant 1962 (résultats publiés au journal officiel ou conservés aux archives départementales)
  3. ^ "Insee − Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - Insee".
  4. ^ a b Gaston-Breton 2005.
  5. ^ Vuillemin 2002.
  6. ^ *Charles E. Pratt, "Pierre Lallement and his Bicycle," in Outing and the Wheelman: An Illustrated Monthly Magazine of Recreation, vol. 3, October 1883 - March 1884 (Boston: The Wheelman Company, 1884), 4-13. Google Books: available online, accessed July 18, 2010


  • Gaston-Breton, Tristan (8 August 2005), "Camille Cavallier", Les Echos, Ces innovateurs ou ces aventuriers qui ont transforme l'economie, retrieved 2017-08-29
  • Vuillemin, Jean (October 2002), "Camille Cavallier", Arts et Métiers Magazine (in French), Fondation des Arts et Métiers, retrieved 2017-08-29

External links[edit]