Although Marville really blossomed in the Renaissance, its history begins in the Middle Ages. A powerful lord, Count Thiébaut I of Bar, seized Marville at that time to build a fortress there. He freed the inhabitants, invoking the "Loi de Beaumont", which was very favourable towards the inhabitants, and married the Countess Ermesinde of Luxembourg.
The descendants of Ermesinde gave the city up to the Counts of Bar and Luxembourg, which led to joint possession by the two Counties for four centuries. This period was called the "Terres Communes" (Common Lands). It is characterised by a profitable neutrality for the inhabitants of Marville during the tumultuous period of the feudal wars.
Marville became rich through this favourable position and was as its peak during the Renaissance in the 16th and 17th centuries. Marville was part of the Spanish Netherlands during this period: some very interesting Spanish Renaissance-style houses still remain. This provides very rare architectural proof of the Spanish domination in the Gaume region.
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Arts et Renaissance Festival
Capital of the "Terres Communes" (Common Lands) of the Duchies of Bar and Luxembourg (from 13th to 17th centuries), mediaeval Marville, with its ramparts and its postern gate which are the remains of a fortified town enriched with dwellings with Renaissance façades and mysterious, vaulted cellars. Exhibitions displaying remains from this period, in the peace and quiet of the majestic church of Saint Nicholas, will delight you.