Amiens is a city and commune in northern France, 120 km north of Paris and 100 km south-west of Lille. It is the capital of the Somme department in Hauts-de-France. The city has a population of 136,105 according to the 2006 census, and has one of the biggest university hospitals in France with a capacity of 1,200 beds. Amiens Cathedral is the largest church in France in terms of volume, estimated to be 200,000 cubic metres. It is also a World Heritage Site. The author Jules Verne lived in Amiens from 1871 until his death in 1905, and served on the city council for 15 years. Incumbent French president, Emmanuel Macron was born in the city.
The town was fought over during both World Wars, suffering significant damage, and was repeatedly occupied by both sides. The 1918 Battle of Amiens was the opening phase of the Hundred Days Offensive which directly led to the Armistice with Germany. The Royal Air Force heavily bombed the town during the Second World War. In the aftermath, the city was rebuilt according to Pierre Dufau's plans with wider streets to ease traffic congestion. These newer structures were primarily built of brick, concrete and white stone with slate roofs.