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Coordinates: 46°12′20″N 5°13′44″E / 46.2056°N 5.2289°E / 46.2056; 5.2289

Commune of Bourg-en-Bresse

Prefecture building of the Ain department
Bourg-en-Bresse is located in France
Country France
Region Rhône-Alpes
Department Ain
Arrondissement Bourg-en-Bresse
Intercommunality Bourg-en-Bresse
Mayor Jean-François Debat
Elevation 220–273 m (720–900 ft)
(avg. 240 m/790 ft)
Land area1 23.86 km2 (9.21 sq mi)
Population2 40,666  (1999)
 - Density 1,704 /km2 (4,410 /sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 01053/ 01000
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Bourg-en-Bresse (French pronunciation: [buʁkɑ̃bʁɛs]; Bôrg in Arpitan language) is a commune in eastern France, capital of the Ain department, and was capital of the former province of Bresse (Brêsse). It is located 70 km (43 mi) north-northeast of Lyon. The population of the city and suburbs is 57,198, and the population of the metropolitan area is 101,016. The inhabitants of Bourg-en-Bresse are known as Burgiens or Burgiennes.



Bourg-en-Bresse is located at the western base of the Jura mountains, on the left bank of the Reyssouze, a tributary of the Saône. It's at 70 kilometres (43 mi) North-East of Lyon and at 50 kilometres (31 mi) of Lons-le-Saunier.


The coat of arms of Bourg-en-Bresse

Roman remains have been discovered at Bourg, but little is known of its early history. Raised to the rank of a free town in 1250, it was at the beginning of the 15th century chosen by the dukes of Savoy as the chief city of the province of Bresse. In February 1535—1536 new style—it passed to France, during a full-scale French invasion of Savoy, but was restored to Duke Philibert Emmanuel in 1559, when he married Henri II's sister Marguerite. The Duke later built a strong citadel, which afterwards withstood a six-months' siege by the soldiers of Henry IV. The town was finally ceded to France in 1601. In 1814 the inhabitants, in spite of the defenseless condition of their town, offered resistance to the Austrians, who put the place to pillage.


The chief of the older buildings is the church of Notre-Dame (Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-l'Annonciation de Bourg-en-Bresse) (16th century), of which the façade belongs to the Renaissance; other parts of the church are Gothic. In the interior there are stalls of the 16th century. The other public buildings, including a handsome préfecture, are modern. The hôtel de ville contains a library and the Lorin museum with a collection of pictures, while another museum has a collection of the old costumes and ornaments characteristic of Bresse. Among the statues in the town there is one of Edgar Quinet (1803-1875), a native of Bourg.

Stalls in the Brou Church, albumen print, ca. 1865-1886

The church of Brou, a suburb of Bourg-en-Bresse, is of great artistic interest. Marguerite of Bourbon, wife of Philip II of Savoy, had intended to found a monastery on the spot, but died before her intention could be carried into effect. The church was actually built early in the 16th century by her daughter-in-law Marguerite of Austria, wife of Philibert le Beau of Savoy, in memory of her husband. The exterior, especially the façade, is richly ornamented, but the chief interest lies in the works of art in the interior, which date from 1532. The most important are the three mausoleums with the marble effigies of Marguerite of Bourbon, Philibert le Beau, and Marguerite of Austria. All three are remarkable for perfection of sculpture and richness of ornamentation. The rood loft, the oak stalls, and the reredos in the chapel of the Virgin are masterpieces in a similar style.


Interior of the church of Brou

The manufactures consist of iron goods, mineral waters, tallow, soap and earthenware, and there are flour mills and breweries; and there is considerable trade in grain, cattle and poultry - Poulet de Bresse.


Bourg is the seat of a prefect and of a court of assizes, and has a tribunal of first instance, a tribunal and a chamber of commerce, and a branch of the Bank of France. Its educational establishments include lycées, and training collèges.

Bourg-en-Bresse was the finish of Stage 6 and the departure of Stage 7 in the 2007 Tour de France.

The Bourg Walk is a name of a bridge in Aylesbury, dedicated to the twin town. Former resident and past pupil of Aylesbury Grammar School, Alastair Harrison proposed the name to symbolically bridge the gap between the two towns, which has been received most favourably.



Bourg-en-Bresse was the birthplace of:

International relations

Twin towns — sister cities

Bourg-en-Bresse is twinned with: Bourg-en-Bresse is twinned with:

Additionally, it has established partnerships with:

See also


This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

External links

Simple English

Bourg-en-Bresse is a commune. It is found in the region Rhône-Alpes in the Ain department in the east of France.


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