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|département: 02, Aisne|
Marchais is situated at an elevation of 76 m in the east of the département Aisne, about 15 km east of the département's préfecture, Laon. The municipality has a population of 430 (2016).
Marchais comes from the Latin word mercasius meaning 'marsh'; indeed, the village has long been surrounded by swamps before the drying of the basin in the 16th century. The basilica Notre-Dame in Liesse, about 3 km north of Marchais, has been a popular pilgrimage site since the late Middle Ages. Glass no. 0000 is labeled Notre Dame de Liesse and therefore seems to have been made as a souvenir for Liesse (today Liesse-Notre-Dame).
The château de Marchais goes back to a castle that dated from the first crusade.
That castle was a place of passage for the kings of France who went to the pilgrimage of Notre-Dame-de-Liesse, located
just 3 km to the north. Largely ruined, a new castle was built around 1540. It was then the property of the Cardinal
of Lorraine and Archbishop of Reims. Later, it was in possession of the Dukes of Guise and then the Condé family.
After the French Revolution, the ownership changed several times. It was bought in 1854 by Prince Charles III of
Monaco. Today, the château still belongs to the Grimaldi family of Monaco.