Pont-de-Veyle

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The House of the Watchman
Blason de la ville de Pont-de-Veyle (Ain).svg

Pont-de-Veyle is a commune. It is found in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in the Ain department in the east of France. It is 10 kilometers east of Mâcon, and about 400 km from Paris. In 1999, there were 1571 people living in the commune.[1] It is built on an island made where the River Veyle separates into two branches. The Veyle then flows into the River Saône, which was made the border between the Kingdom of France and the German Empire in 843 by the Treaty of Verdun.

History[change | change source]

Pont-de-Veyle was first started by the Lords of Bage, and legally made a city by the Counts of Savoy in 1275. It only became French in 1601 under King Henri IV of France as part of the Treaty of Lyon.

Because it was close to the border, this city had to build a castle to defend themselves against the Lords of Macon, the Sires of Beaujeu and the Princes of Dombes. The castle had 14 towers, but today only one remains, the Clock Tower and a doorway from the 14th century, joined by brick walls. Today there is very little left of these walls. The castle was surrounded by a moat filled with water. From 1750 to 1800, they pulled down the city walls and towers that had become dangerous and were about to fall down.

There are many old and historic buildings from the Renaissance and later centuries. The "Savoy" or "House of Lords", whose facade was restored, is one of the most beautiful in the region. There is a priory of Saint Benedict with its Gothic doors. There are many half-timbered houses, such as "The House of the Watchman", which was redeveloped with great care and taste. There are also many spiral staircases of stone, including one at City Hall which was part of the former College of the Jesuits. The Jesuit style church was built in 1755. The hospital which was started in 1322, still has 18th century buildings.

After the Reformation and the religious wars there was a large group of Protestants living in the city. When the Edict of Nantes, a law which gave them religious freedom, was overturned, they fled the city and went to live in Switzerland and Germany.

Jean-Louis Carra, a French journalist and revolutionary, was born in Pont-de-Veyle on 9 March 1742. He was executed by the guillotine in Paris on 31 October, 1793.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Pont-de-Veyle" (in French). 2001. Retrieved 2009-11-03.