|Intercommunality||CA Loire Forez|
|• Mayor (2020–2026)||Christophe Bazile|
|16.33 km2 (6.31 sq mi)|
|• Density||970/km2 (2,500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||370–552 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.
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.
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.
Montbrison is twinned with:
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