The Seine springs up about 80 km South of Bar sur Seine, in the Côte
d'Or department. It constitutes a link between the North and the Rhone
Valley and therefore it favoured commercial exchanges. The market of
Bar sur Seine, which still takes place every Friday dates back from a
remote period. In 1275, the existence of a market hall was mentioned.
The Counts of Bar were allied with the Tonnerre, Brienne and Du Puiset
families. After the last Count of Bar, Milon IV, who died at the
crusade in 1219, the County of Bar sur Seine was joined to the County
of Champagne, and then to the Crown Lands (with Jeanne de Navarre, who
was born in the castle of Bar sur Seine on the 14th of January 1273 and who was married with King Philippe IV le Bel)
Duke of Burgundy, Philippe III le Bon, appropriated the County in 1424.
After the death of Charles le Téméraire in 1477 the Dukedom of Burgundy
(with Bar sur Seine) was joined to the Crown of France (Louis XI).
As early as the 19th century, the town was fortified and had an imposing castle.
It was a strategic fortified place and very often coveted as in 1225,
1400, 1430, 1562, 1591. The tired inhabitants of Bar sur Seine were
allowed by Henri IV to demolish the castle in 1595.
Despite of the religious wars, the economic revival of the 16th
century saw the rebuilding of the church and of beautiful houses with
wooden frames. Famine plague in 1630-1631 and the thirty year war
(1618-1648) ravaged the town.
The revolution reorganised the administrative divisions. The
Barséquanais people chose to be attached to the department Aube
(country town Troyes, Bar sur Seine became a sub-prefecture). The town
was struck by the Empire wars and occupied.
The people of the Barséquanais region showed enthusiastic support for
the revolutions of 1830 and 1848 (a tree of liberty was planted) and
then for the Second Empire before the defeat suffered in 1870.
In the 19th century Bar sur Seine was a town devoted
to craft work and small-scale trade. There was a large glassworks
operating for more than 70 years (up to until 1936).
The First World War spared the town but the Second saw part of the town
centre burned down in June 1940, ending with executions by the 615
battalion who ''feared neither God nor man'' on the 4th of August 1944 and the blowing up of the Clock Tower.
It was not until the rural exodus and the end of the World War that Bar
sur Seine was transformed ; then the depression led to the closing of
small factories and shops. Even so, the Champagne vineyards still
prosper on the hillsides of the Barséquanais region. The result is
growth in service sector economic activity in Bar sur Seine (banks,
insurance companies, oenological laboratories, teaching)