Savoy: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Flag of Savoy, was also the flag of the Holy Roman Empire from 1200 to 1350.
For the two French départements of the region of Savoy, see Savoie and Haute-Savoie

Savoy (Arpitan: Savouè; French: Savoie, pronounced: [savwa]; Italian: Savoia) is a region of Europe on the western flank of the Alps that emerged following the collapse of the Frankish Kingdom of Burgundy. The historical land of Savoy is shared between the modern republics of France and Italy.



Installed by Rudolph III, King of Burgundy, officially in 1003, the House of Savoy became the longest surviving royal house in Europe. It ruled the County of Savoy to 1416 and then the Duchy of Savoy from 1416 to 1714. The County and Duchy of Savoy incorporated Turin and other territories in Piedmont, a region in northwestern Italy that borders Savoy, which were also possessions of the House of Savoy. The capital of the Duchy remained at the traditional Savoyard capital of Chambéry until 1563, when it was moved to Turin. In the 18th century, the Duchy of Savoy was linked with the Kingdom of Sardinia. While the heads of the House of Savoy were known as the Kings of Sardinia, Turin remained their capital. The original territory of Savoy was absorbed into France in 1860, as part of the political agreement with Napoleon III that brought about the unification of Italy, but the House of Savoy retained its Italian lands and its heads became the Kings of Italy.

In modern France, Savoy is part of the Rhône-Alpes region. Following its annexation to France in 1860, the territory of Savoy was divided administratively into two separate départements, Savoie and Haute-Savoie. The modern separatist / regionalist movements are discussed in the "Annexation and Opposition" section in this article.

The traditional capital remains Chambéry (Chiamberì), on the rivers Leysse and Albane, hosting the castle of the House of Savoy and the Savoyard senate. The state included six districts:


Map of Savoy in the 16th century, white lines are modern borders

The region was once part of the Roman Empire, having previously been occupied by the Celtic Allobroges people[1] The name Savoy stems from the Late Latin Sapaudia, referring to a fir forest.[2] It is first recorded in Ammianus Marcellinus (354), to describe the southern part of Maxima Sequanorum[3] According to the Gallic Chronicle of 452, it was separated from the rest of Burgundian territories in 443, after the Burgundian defeat by Flavius Aetius.[4]

Later it became part of the Kingdom of the Franks. The first embodiment of Savoy in the modern sense was created out of a fragment of Middle Francia, the central of the three kingdoms into which the Frankish Empire was divided by the Treaty of Verdun (843).[5] Savoy was part of Lotharingia, then part of the Kingdom of Burgundy (also known as the Kingdom of Arles). The County of Savoy was detached from the Kingdom of Arles by emperor Charles IV in 1361. In 1388, the County of Nice was acquired, and in 1401 was added the County of Genevois, the area of Geneva except for the city proper, which was ruled by its prince-bishop, nominally under the duke's rule: the bishops of Geneva, by unspoken agreement, came from the house of Savoy; this agreement came to an end in 1533.[6]

On February 19, 1416, Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, made the County of Savoy an independent duchy, with Amédée VIII as the first duke. Straddling the Alps, Savoy lay within two competing spheres of influence, a French sphere and a North Italian one. At the time of the Renaissance, Savoy showed only modest development.[7] Its towns were few and small.[8] Savoy derived its subsistence from agriculture.[9] A The economy of The geographic location of Savoy was also of military importance.[10] During the interminable wars between France and Spain over the control of northern Italy, Savoy was important to France because provided access to Italy.[11] Savoy was important to Spain because it served as a buffer between France and the Spanish held lands in Italy.[12] In 1563 Emmanuel Philibert moved capital from Chambéry to Turin, which was less vulnerable to French interference.[13]

In 1714, as a consequence of the War of the Spanish Succession, Savoy was technically subsumed into the Kingdom of Sicily, then (after that island was traded to Austria for Sardinia) the Kingdom of Sardinia from 1720.

French occupation

Savoy was occupied by French revolutionary forces between 1792 and 1815. The region was first added to the département of Mont-Blanc, then in 1798 was divided between the départements of Mont-Blanc and Léman (French name of Lake Geneva.)

On September 13, 1793 the combined forces of Savoy, Piedmont and Valdot fought against and lost to the occupying French forces at the Battle of Méribel (Sallanches).

Savoy, along with Piedmont and Nice were restored to the Kingdom of Sardinia at the Congress of Vienna in 1814-1815.

Annexation and opposition

The Château de Chambéry, seat of government, was given a grand new façade following annexation

From 1815 until 1860 Savoy was again part of the Italian Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont, but during the wars of independence of Italy Camillo Cavour obtained the needed French help thanks to the "gift" (with referendum) of the areas of Savoy and Nice to Napoleon III.

Savoy was annexed by France on March 24, 1860 according to the provisions of the Treaty of Turin. The treaty was followed on April 22/23 by a plebiscite in which voters were offered the option of approving the treaty and joining France or rejecting the treaty under certain conditions; the disallowed options of either joining Switzerland (with which the region had close ties), remaining with Italy, or regaining its independence, were the source of some opposition. With a 99.8% vote in favour of joining France, there were allegations of vote-rigging[14][15][16][17][18].

Some opposition to French rule was manifest when, in 1919, France officially (but contrary to the annexation treaty) ended the military neutrality of the parts of the country of Savoy that had originally been agreed to at the Congress of Vienna, and also eliminated the free trade zone - both treaty articles having been broken unofficially in World War I. France was condemned in 1932 by the international court for noncompliance with the measures of the treaty of Turin, regarding the countries of Savoy and Nice.

There is currently a peaceful separatist movement in the départements, as well as a faction in favour of greater regional powers. The Mouvement Région Savoie (Savoy Regional Movement) was founded in December 1971 as a 'movement' (rather than a traditional political party) in favour of regional autonomy. In the 1996 local elections, the Savoie Regional Movement received 19,434 votes. In the March 1998 regional elections, 1 seat (out of 23) was won by Patrice Abeille, leader of the Ligue Savoisienne (Savoie League, founded 1994), which had set up a 'provisional Savoie government' two years earlier. This group base its actions on the decline of the annexation treaty. The League gathered a total of 17,865 votes across the two départements. In the same elections, a further 4,849 voted in favour of the Savoie Movement.

As a result of the regional debate sparked by the political advances, the non-party organisation, La Région Savoie, j’y crois ! (I believe in the Savoy Region!), was founded in 1998. The organisation campaigns for the replacement of the Savoie and Haute-Savoie départements with a regional government, separate from the Rhône-Alpes region, with greater devolved powers. According to surveys conducted in 2000, between 41% and 55% of the population were in favour of the proposal, while 19% to 23% were in favour of separation from France.

In 2004, Waiting for freedom in Savoy [1] was founded to promote the peaceful separatist cause to young people.

Towards the end of 2005, Hervé Gaymard called for Savoie to be given special status, similar to a French region, under his proposed 'Conseil des Pays de Savoie'.[19]


  1. ^  "Savoy". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 
  2. ^ Modern French sapin; sapinière signifies "fir forest".
  3. ^ The territory, which has no modern counterpart, was perhaps bounded by the rivers Ain and Rhône, Lac Léman, the Jura and the Aar, though historians differ, and there seems to be insufficient evidence: see Norman H. Baynes, reviewing A. Coville, Recherches sur l'Histoire de Lyon du Ve au IXe Siècle (450-800) in The English Historical Review 45 No. 179 (July 1930:470-474) p 471.
  4. ^ Sapaudia Burgundionum reliquiis datur cum indigenis dividenda. (in T. Mommsen, Chronica Minora II:660, 128.
  5. ^ The long drawn out collapse of Middle Francia, and the disputation of its former territories by more powerful neighbours such as France (originally West Francia), is one of the main dynamics of Western European history.
  6. ^ See the career of the last prince-bishop Pierre de La Baume.
  7. ^ Henry S. Lucas, The Renaissance and the Reformation (Harper & Bros. Publishers: New York, 1960) p. 42.
  8. ^ Ibid.
  9. ^ Ibid.
  10. ^ Henry S. Lucas, The Renaissance and the Reformation (Harper & Bros. Publishers: New York, 1960) p. 42.
  11. ^ Henry S. Lucas, The Renaissance and the Reformation, p. 42.
  12. ^ Ibid.
  13. ^ Robert Katz, The Fall of the House of Savoy (The MacMillan Company: New York, 1971) p. 18.
  14. ^ The Times, April 28 1860, Universal Suffrage In Savoy
  15. ^ "Traité de Turin, Signé à Turin le 24 mars 1860 entre la France et la Sardaigne.". Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  16. ^ "Convention entre la France et la Sardaigne destinée à régler diverses questions auxquelles a donné lieu la réunion de la Savoie et de l'arrondissement de Nice à la France; signée a Paris le 23 août 1860. Martens, Nouveau Recueil Général de Traités et autre actes relatifs aux rapports de droit international, t. XVII, p.460 (pdf)". Oxford University. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  17. ^ "Convention de délimitation entre la France et la Sardaigne, conclue a Turin le 7 mars 1861. Martens, Nouveau Recueil Général de Traités et autre actes relatifs aux rapports de droit international, t. XVII, p.406 (pdf)". Oxford University. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  18. ^ "La vérité sur la zone franche de la Haute-Savoie, F.Murullaz. Bulletin de l'académie chablaisienne 1915-1916 Séance du 8 Novembre 1915.". Oxford University. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  19. ^ Région Savoie.

See also

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

There is more than one place called Savoy:

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Proper noun

Wikipedia has an article on:





  1. A historical region of western Europe.





Savoy (plural Savoys) (sometimes savoy)

  1. A hardy cabbage with dense, crinkled leaves.




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