Meaux (French pronunciation: ) is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in the metropolitan area of Paris, France. It is located 41.1 km (25.5 mi) east-northeast of the center of Paris.
Meaux is a subprefecture (sous-préfecture) of the Seine-et-Marne department. In France a subprefecture is the chef-lieu (the seat or administrative capital) of an arrondissement: Meaux is the subprefecture of the arrondissement of Meaux. It is also the chef-lieu of a smaller administrative division: the canton of Meaux. Finally, since its creation in 2003, Meaux has been the centre and the main town of an agglomeration community, the Communauté d'agglomération du Pays de Meaux.
With a population of 51,398 inhabitants (2012 census), Meaux is the second largest city in the Seine-et-Marne department after Chelles (53,090 inhabitants in 2012).
Inhabitants of Meaux are called Meldois. Both names Meaux and Meldois originated with the Meldi, the Latin name of the original Gaulish tribe who occupied this area of the valley of the Marne river. Although during the Roman period the city was called Iantinum by the Romans, the name of the Meldi persisted and was finally kept for naming both the city and its inhabitants.
Historical buildings and monuments in Meaux are mainly located in the old city, inside the old defensive walls, still nowadays partially kept thanks to an important segment of the original surrounding wall from the Gallo-Roman period. A meander of the Marne river divides the old city into the North Quarter (called among the Meldois as the Cathedral Quarter) and the South Quarter (known among the locals as the Market Quarter). In the North Quarter there is the Meaux Cathedral, the episcopal palace and its gardens (outlining the shape of a bishop's mitre), the old seat of the chapter (le vieux chapitre), part of the defensive walls (as mentioned), some keeps and towers, and the archaeological remains of the sanctuary of La Bauve, all-embracing the Gaulish period (4th, 3rd and 1st centuries BC), the era of the early Roman Empire (Gallo-Roman: 1st, 2nd and 3rd centuries AD) and the early Christian Era and subsequent centuries (from the 3rd to the 18th centuries, with the remains, among others, of the Saint-Faron Abbey, demolished during the French Revolution). The South Quarter of the old city mainly includes the historic covered market and the Canal Cornillon, built during the Middle Ages, in the year 1235. Centuries later, in 1806, during the Napoleonic era, was built the Canal de l'Ourcq, destined to the inland navigation when the Marne river is not navigable because of temporary sandbanks.