Charleville-Mézières is a commune in northern France, capital of the Ardennes department in the Grand Est region. Charleville-Mézières is located on the banks of the river Meuse.
Charleville and Mézières were originally separate communities on opposite banks of the Meuse, about 1.2 km (0.75 mi) from one another.
Charleville was founded by Charles Gonzaga, the 8th duke of Mantua, in 1606. Its inhabitants were known as Carolopolitans (Carolopolitains or Carolopolitaines). It was prosperous from the 17th century, although its fortifications were dismantled under Louis XIV in 1687 and it passed into French hands in 1708. It was plundered by the Prussians in 1815. France's royal armaments factory was formerly located there and gave its name to the Charleville musket, before being relocated and divided between Tulle and Châtellerault. In the 19th century, the city continued to produce arms through private firms, as well as nails, hardware, wine, spirits, coal, iron, and slate. It boasted a spacious port, a theatre, a large public library, and a museum of natural history.
The inhabitants of Mézières were known as Macerians (Macériens or Macériennes).
By the mid-19th century, the two towns were linked by a suspension bridge. The present commune was established in 1966. Another commune, Le Theux, had already been merged into Mézières in 1965. It has a population of about 51,000.