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Villers-Cotterêts is a sub-prefecture of the department. It is located in the northern part of Aisne, on the N2 road from Laon to Soissons and Paris. The town has a population of about 11,000 inhabitants (2014), and lies at an altitude between 140 m (460 ft) and 150 m (490 ft). History [ edit ] The name Villers comes from Medieval Latin villa curtis ("manor farm"), meaning "estate associated with a court", while Cotterêts derives from coterii or cotarii, which was used by some Roman authors to refer to Celtic tribes living in Gaul. The city's coat of arms features two crossed arrows symbolizing its allegiance to Louis IX who granted it municipal rights. In 1539 Henry II signed here his ordonnance sur la langue française making French alone official language within France.