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St. Etienne

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St. Etienne

This article is about the French city. For other uses, see Saint Etienne.
Saint-Étienne

Overview of Saint-Étienne

Coat of arms
Saint-Étienne
Saint-Étienne

Coordinates: 45°26′05″N 4°23′25″E / 45.4347°N 4.3903°E / 45.4347; 4.3903Coordinates: 45°26′05″N 4°23′25″E / 45.4347°N 4.3903°E / 45.4347; 4.3903

Country France
Region Rhône-Alpes
Department Loire
Canton Chief town of 9 cantons
Intercommunality Saint-Étienne Métropole
Government
 • Mayor (since March 2008) Maurice Vincent (PS)
Area
 • Land1 79.97 km2 (30.88 sq mi)
Population (2007 estimate)
 • Rank 16th in France
 • Population2 178,530
 • Population2 density 2,200/km2 (5,800/sq mi)
Time zone CET (GMT +1)
INSEE/Postal code 42218 / 42000, 42100
Elevation 422–1,117 m (1,385–3,665 ft)
(avg. 516 m or 1,693 ft)
Website http://www.saint-etienne.fr/

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Saint-Étienne (French pronunciation: ​[sɛ̃t‿etjɛn]; Arpitan: Sant-Etiève; Saint Stephen) is a city in eastern central France. It is located in the Massif Central, 50 km (31 mi) southwest of Lyon in the Rhône-Alpes region, along the trunk road that connects Toulouse with Lyon. Saint-Étienne is the capital of the Loire département and has a population of approximately 178,500 in the city itself expanding to over 317,000 in the metropolitan area (2007).

History

Named after Saint Stephen, the city first appears in the historical record in the Middle Ages as Saint-Étienne de Furan (after the River Furan, a tributary of the Loire). In the 13th century it was a small borough around the church dedicated to Saint Etienne. On the upper reaches of the Furan near the Way of St. James the Abbey of Valbenoîte had been founded by the cistercians in 1222. In the late 15th century it was a fortified village defended by walls built around the original nucleus.

From the 16th century, Saint-Étienne developed an arms manufacturing industry and became a market town. It was this which accounted for the town's importance, although it also became a centre for the manufacture of ribbons and passementerie starting in the 17th century. During the French revolution, Saint-Étienne was briefly renamed Armeville – 'arms town' – because of this activity.

Later, it became a coal mining centre, and more recently has become known for its bicycle industry.

In the first half of the 19th century it was only a chief town of an arrondissement in the département of the Loire, with a population of 33,064 in 1832. The concentration of industry prompted these numbers to rise rapidly to 110,000 by about 1880. It was this growing importance of Saint-Étienne that led to its being made seat of the prefecture and the departmental administration on 25 July 1855, when it became the chief town in the département and seat of the prefect, replacing Montbrison, which was reduced to the status of chief town of an arrondissement. Saint-Étienne absorbed the commune of Valbenoîte and several other neighbouring localities on 31 March 1855.

Demographics

Population of the city at the 1999 census was 180,210 (177,300 as of February 2004 estimates). Population of the whole metropolitan area at the 1999 census was 321,703.

Inhabitants of Saint-Étienne are called Stéphanois in French. They are named so because "Étienne" derives from the Greek Stephanos.

Culture

Saint-Étienne became a popular stop for automobile travelers in the early 20th century (sometimes referred to as The Golden Age of Travel[1]).

In 1990 Saint-Étienne set up a design biennale – the largest of its kind in France. It lasts around two weeks. The next convention is in March 2013.[2] A landmark in the history of the importance ascribed to design in Saint-Étienne was the inauguration of La Cité du design on the site of the former arms factory in 2009.

The city also launched the Massenet Festivals, (the composer Jules Massenet hailed from the area) devoted mainly to perform Massenet's operas. In 2000 the city was named one of the French Towns and Lands of Art and History. On 22 November 2010, it was nominated as "City of Design" as part of Unesco’s Creative Cities Network.[3]

Saint-Étienne has three museums:

  1. the Musée d'Art Moderne has one of the largest collections of modern and contemporary art in France
  2. Musée de la Mine
  3. Musée de l'Art et de l'Industrie

Sport

The city's football club AS Saint-Étienne has won the Ligue 1 title a record ten times, achieving most of their success in the 1970s. British indie-dance band Saint Etienne named themselves after the club.

St. Étienne was the capital of the French bicycle industry. The bicycle wheel manufacturer Mavic is based in the city and frame manufacturers Motobécane and Vitus are also based here. The city often hosts a stage of the Tour de France.

St. Étienne resident Thierry Gueorgiou is a world champion in orienteering. The local rugby union team is CA Saint-Étienne Loire Sud Rugby.

Transport




The nearest airport is Saint-Étienne - Bouthéon Airport which is located in Andrézieux-Bouthéon, 12 km (7.46 mi) north-northwest of Saint-Étienne. The main railway station is Gare de Saint-Étienne-Châteaucreux, which offers high speed services to Paris and Lyon (Saint-Étienne–Lyon railway) and several regional lines.

Saint-Étienne is also notable for its tramway (Saint-Étienne tramway) – which uniquely with Lille, it kept throughout the 20th century – and its trolleybus system (Saint-Étienne trolleybus system) – which is one of only three such systems currently operating in France.

Bus and tram transport is regulated and provided by the Société de Transports de l'Agglomération Stéphanoise (STAS), a public transport executive organisation.

The bicycle sharing system Vélivert with 280 short term renting bicycles is available since June 2010.

Colleges and universities

  • Jean Monnet University
  • École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Étienne (EMSE or ENSMSE)
  • École nationale d'ingénieurs de Saint-Étienne (ENISE)
  • Telecom Saint Etienne (TSE)
  • ESC Saint-Etienne
  • ENSASE (Ecole National Supérieure d'Architecture de Saint-Étienne)

Notable people

Saint-Étienne was the birthplace of

It was also the place where Andrei Kivilev died.

International relations

Saint-Étienne is twinned with:

See also

France portal

References

  • INSEE commune file
Notes

External links

  • City council website
  • Tourist board official website
  • Local events website


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