Montbrison, Loire

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Montbrison collegiale.JPG
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Location of Montbrison
Montbrison, Loire
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Coordinates: 45°36′30″N4°03′57″E / 45.6083°N 4.0658°E / 45.6083; 4.0658 Coordinates: 45°36′30″N4°03′57″E / 45.6083°N 4.0658°E / 45.6083; 4.0658
Country France
Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Department Loire
Arrondissement Montbrison
Canton Montbrison
Intercommunality CA Loire Forez
  Mayor (20202026) Christophe Bazile [1]
16.33 km2 (6.31 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2019) [2]
  Density970/km2 (2,500/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
42147 /42600
Elevation370–552 m (1,214–1,811 ft)
(avg. 399 m or 1,309 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Montbrison (French pronunciation:  [mɔ̃bʁizɔ̃] ; Arpitan : Montbréson) is a commune and a subprefecture of the Loire department in central France. [3]


Montbrison was the historical capital of the counts of Forez, and today it is the principal city in the Forez.

The commune gives its name to the popular blue cheese Fourme de Montbrison, which has been made in the region for centuries. It received Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée status in 1972.


The town of Montbrison was founded in the area around the lords' castles in the Forez region, of which Montbrison would later become the capital. The earliest recorded reference to the town dates to 870CE.

The town was fortified following the attacks by the English army at the start of the Hundred Years War. During the Religious Wars, Montbrison was captured and pillaged by the Protestant forces of François de Beaumont in 1562, with the town's garrison thrown from the ramparts onto spikes placed by the attackers. [4]

The Convent of the Visitation was founded in 1643 during a period of severe famine. The town suffered a series of poor harvests as well as an outbreak of the plague between the years 1648–1653. The Augustinian Convent was founded in 1654, followed by the Hospital to house the poor in 1659. The Ursuline Convent closed in 1851.

Key dates


Historical population

Twin towns

Montbrison is twinned with:


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  1. "Répertoire national des élus: les maires"., Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises (in French). 2 December 2020.
  2. "Populations légales 2019". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 29 December 2021.
  3. INSEE commune file
  4. Pierre Miquel (1980). Les Guerres de religion. Club France Loisirs. p. 232. ISBN   2-7242-0785-8.