It has a long and rich heritage, having traversed centuries of history. This medieval town has welcomed some of the most renowned figures in French history, including Hugh Capet, Louis IX, the Marshal of France, Anne of Kiev and Séraphine de Senlis. The monarchs of the early French dynasties lived here, attracted by the proximity of the Chantilly forest. It is renowned for the gothic Senlis Cathedral and its vast historical monuments.Its habitants are called "Senlisiens" and "Senlisiennes".
Senlis was known in early Roman imperial times as Augustomagus and later as Civitas Silvanectium ("City of the Silvanectes"). During the 3rd century, a seven-meter high defensive wall, about half of which still exists, was erected around the settlement in response to Frankish incursions. The wall remained in use into the 13th century. The town also featured a Roman amphitheatre, the remains of which are still visible, about 500 m west of the walled town. The amphitheatre seated as many as 10,000 people and was used for public meetings, theatre, gladiatorial combats, and animal hunts. The monarchs of the early French dynasties lived here, attracted by the proximity of the Chantilly Forest and its venison, and built a castle on the foundations of the Roman settlement. In 987 the archbishop of Reims, Albéron called together an assembly, and asked them to choose Hugh Capet as king of France. However, the monarchs of France soon abandoned the city, preferring Compiègne and Fontainebleau. New life was given to the city in the 12th century, and ramparts were built. The popularity of the city later fell, and it slipped into decline. Today it remains an attraction for tourists for its long history and its links to the French monarchy.
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