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Town hall in September 2013
Town hall in September 2013
Coat of arms of Abrest
Coat of arms
Abrest is located in France
Coordinates: 46°05′58″N 3°26′43″E / 46.0994°N 3.4453°E / 46.0994; 3.4453Coordinates: 46°05′58″N 3°26′43″E / 46.0994°N 3.4453°E / 46.0994; 3.4453
Country France
Region Auvergne
Department Allier
Arrondissement Vichy
Canton Cusset-Sud
Intercommunality Vichy Val d'Allier
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Patrick Montagner
Area1 10.46 km2 (4.04 sq mi)
Population (2011)2 2,758
 • Density 260/km2 (680/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 03001 / 03200
Elevation 251–434 m (823–1,424 ft)
(avg. 260 m or 850 ft)

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.

Abrest (in occitan Abrèt) is a French commune in the Allier department in the Auvergne region of central France.

The commune is one of the 34 communes in the urban area of Vichy and is also part of Vichy Auvergne countryside.

Its inhabitants are called Abrestrois or Abrestoises.[1]



Abrest is located about 1.5km south of Vichy and 1 km north of Saint-Yorre. The commune straddles the Allier River with the river forming the western boundary of the commune in the southern portion. Highway D131 traverses the commune on the west bank of the Allier while Highway D906 (Ave. de Vichy) is on the east bank and passes through the centre of the town from Vichy to Saint-Yorre. The commune also contains Mount Bourbon and Bourbon Lamagne.

Localities and Hamlets[edit]

Neighbouring Communes and Villages[2][edit]



The Town Hall and Highway D906
The Abrest Town Hall with its bus stop for Line D at the left and towards Sainte-Yorre to the right in September 2013.
Road D906 towards Thiers in June 2009

The town is traversed by the D906 road which links Le Puy-en-Velay, Thiers, Puy-Guillaume, and Saint-Yorre to Vichy which is the main axis of movement. Historically this road was National Highway 106 from Nimes to Saint-Gérand-le-Puy. This route is heavily used by trucks, so could be described as a problematic area.

Old sign for Road N106

The town is far from any motorway: the A719 motorway (which enables access to the A71) is 20 km to the west and the A89 motorway (junction Thiers-West) is 30 km away.

The Southwest Bypass, which aims to divert the flow of heavy vehicles, is under construction, but work was stopped, and work began again in early 2012[3] for commissioning in 2016.[4]

Departmental roads (CD) traversing the territory of the commune are
  • D426 from Vichy to Abrest via ZA de la Croix Saint-Martin and the camp ground
  • D126 from Cusset to Abrest via Côte Saint-Amand
  • D131 from Vichy to Hauterive (along the left bank) serving the business area Le Tour
  • D175 from Cusset to the D43 (63) via Le Vernet and Busset along the commune border with Le Vernet, accessible from the Quinssat road.

Transport in the Commune[edit]

Abrest is served by two of the nine lines of the transit network MobiVie, which has its headquarters in Cusset.

  • Route D serves the right bank (camp ground, Stadium of Graviers, the Castle, Town Hall, and the Biernets district) and runs from Monday to Saturday with four outbound and five return trips per day.
  • Route G serves the left bank (district and industrial area of La Tour and Les Sables) and runs from Monday to Saturday with five runs per day.
  • Custom MobiVie is a transport service on demand which is available to connect with routes B and D on the right bank, and routes B and C on the left bank.

Only the Dollots district in the south is served by the TER between Vichy and Pont-de-Dore, Thiers, and Arlanc (6 daily round trips). This service also runs on Sundays and holidays (3 return trips).

Route 55 (Vichy-Châteldon-Puy-Guillaume) of the Transdôme network serves Abrest (one round trip per day and two during the school year) serves the town centre and Dollots.[5]


There are no cycle routes in right bank of Allier and no bicycle parkings.


Tunnel entrance
Tunnel entrance passing under the town

The commune has no railway station but it is traversed by two railway lines:

Urban Planning[edit]

Between 2008 and 2010, the development of Highway D906 was conducted in two phases under a communal contract for construction of the town:[6]

Firstly, in 2008 with the creation of a 30 km/h zone[Note 1] and road humps with a pedestrian crossing and secondly in 2009-2010, the development of the D906 road to the right of the town hall.[Note 2] The development has not altered the quality of the road: in some places the road has deteriorated due to the passage of heavy trucks, which can not take any other route.


The city is listed as a zone of low seismicity as are the majority of communes in the department.[7] Its neighbouring communes, with the exception of Brugheas, are listed at the same level.


The name of the commune in the form of ABRET (Latin arbor meaning "tree") was mentioned for the first time in 1301 in the Dictionary of Mr. Chazaud.[8]

Abrest was formerly a parish in the diocese of Clermont. It was fortified at the end of the 16th century and the current commune lies on both banks of the Allier. This is quite unusual because in general important rivers tend to serve as communal boundaries.

At the highest point is an old castle called Hurlevants with a view across the Allier valley and the mountains of Auvergne. The Chaussins Castle dates from the 15th century. The construction of the church dates from 1793, and as for the Town Hall, it was built in 1886.[9]

Activities in the commune[edit]

Wine: The commune was one of the main localities of the former wine coast along with Le Vernet, Creuzier-le-Vieux and to a lesser extent, Saint-Yorre and Cusset.

Jacques François Chomel in his Treatise of mineral water and baths of Vichy, appeared at Clermont in 1734 and wrote: "The wine in Vichy is good, the slopes of Abret [Abrest], of Crotte [extinct village located at the site of the Ailes district], Longevigne, the vintage of Celestins, of Ris, of Châteldon on the other side of the river Grave-la-rama [a place where Bellerive is currently], all these wines are good and are available in Paris."

The vineyards lasted until the early 20th century.

The small village of Biernets (which was written "Biernay" in the 18th century) was the most important wine village of the commune. There was a high proportion of vintners in the population (up to 70% of the population in 1750, as well as related activities such as cooperage).

The peak of the grape harvests was in the middle of the 19th century. Much of the slopes of Saint-Amand and Dollots hill were covered with vines.

The rue de vignes (Vines Street) and the rue du baril (Barrel street) are remnants of this activity.

Today, the vineyards have not completely disappeared, grapes are still cultivated a little in some places (2-3 family vineyards).

Port: Abrest was a small port on the right bank of the Allier. The impasse du Vieux-Port (Cul-de-sac of the Old Port) still bears witness. This port probably lived on a heavy traffic of wine.[10]


Arms of Abrest
Created in 1999 by Messrs. Baujard and Deplat, holder of a Master of Plastic Art, the arms of Abrest is the symbol of the commune.

The blue line represents the Allier river which splits the commune into two parts with one side the watchtower and the other the castle.[11]

Argent, a letter 8 azure stretched from dexter chief to sinister base between two towers of Or port and window of Sable with letters ABREST in Gules fess point curved, bordure in purpure.

Politics and Administration[edit]

List of Successive Mayors of Abrest[12]

From To Name Party Position
1995 2009 René Boisset PS
2009 2014 Christian Boch DVG Deputy Premier
2014 2020 Patrick Montagner[13]

(Not all data is known)

Commune budget[edit]

Budget was in 2011:[14] €1,526,546 in investment and €1,827,154 in fonctionnement.

Population and Society[edit]

Demographic change[edit]

Evolution of the population of the municipality[edit]

In 2010, the commune had 2,732 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known through the population censuses conducted in the town since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of municipalities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger towns that have a sample survey every year.[Note 3] [Note 4]

Evolution of the Population (See database)
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
751 957 822 828 820 845 906 903 876
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
866 860 919 913 887 868 875 834 803
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
829 806 875 896 1,036 1,300 1,210 1,311 1,479
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2010 -
1,874 2,026 2,248 2,309 2,544 2,428 2,530 2,732 -

Sources : Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 (population without double counting and municipal population from 2006)

Population of Abrest

Distribution of Age Groups[edit]

Percentage Distribution of Age Groups in Abrest

Abrest Abrest
Age Range Men Women
0 to 14 Years 18.4 18.4
15 to 29 Years 12.6 13.5
30 to 44 Years 20.5 19.5
45 to 59 Years 22.9 21.5
60 to 74 Years 17 15.8
75 to 89 Years 8.2 10.8
90 Years+ 0.4 0.6



There were 1643 people aged between 15 and 64 years in 2008 in the commune which represented 74% of active people.

66.6% of active people were employed, 7.4% were unemployed.[15]

Distribution of the labor force and employment by socio-professional category in 2008 (INSEE[15])
Agricultural Workers Artisans, Shopkeepers, Business owners Executives and Intellectuals Middle Managers Employees Workers
Active Population 4 78 58 288 366 370
Employed Active People 4 74 54 265 315 319
No. of Jobs 8 76 87 324 241 554

122 people unemployed in 2008; Unemployment rate is 10%.[15]

There are 1344 jobs in the area (1210 employees), 1103 of the people who have a job reside in the area.[15]

The rate of female employment (employees) in the agriculture sector is 100%.[15]

Businesses in the town[edit]

The commune of Abrest has a dozen companies in the business zone, ZA de la Tour, on the left bank of the Allier.

Businesses in the commune are:[16]

  • Industrial: Ligier Automobiles, SAEB - Old established Barber, Brooks Instrument;
  • Construction: Paving Auvergne, SOPROMECO, Guelpa, Great Central Dredging, CMV ROSSIGNOL, Industrial Constructions - Cosinus
  • Trade: Gedimat, Ulimed
  • Services: NSE Services, RLD 1 - Vichy.

The Abrest commune has 123 establishments around half of which are individual enterprises. 57 institutions have employees[17]).[18]


The commune of Abrest has:

  • a pharmacy
  • a post office
  • a Banque Postale ATM
  • a convenience store
  • a hairdresser
  • a bakery
  • a tobacconnist
  • three restaurants (La Colombiere, La Campagne, and Piccolino)

Culture and heritage[edit]

Civil heritage[edit]

Chateau of Chaussins
Abrest War memorial, Jean-Moulin Square

The commune has one building that is registered as a historical monument:

  • The Chateau des Chaussins (14th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[19]
Other sites of interest
  • 'Remains of a chateau in the town: the dovecote tower, partly rebuilt in the 19th century.
  • The Chateau de Quinssat from the 17th century
  • The Medieval tower of Maubet. Mentioned in the 13th century.

Religious heritage[edit]

Abrest Church
  • The Church of Abrest. Originally a Gothic church, it was almost entirely rebuilt in the 19th century.
  • The Old parish church of the Diocese of Clermont, fortified at the end of the 16th century.

Environmental heritage[edit]


Since early 2006, the town has had a community centre and a municipal library located on the Avenue des Graviers - on the sloping part of the D426 - with 28 parking spaces, two for people with disabilities and reduced mobility.

The multi-purpose hall located on the right bank was rebuilt and renovated in 2009 and named Camille Claude.


The city has one public primary school located on the rue de Treuil and rue de la Croix (the development was secured in 2006 on two streets with 30 km/h zone and 1 + 3 speed humps).

Cultural events and festivities[edit]

Since 2001, the town of Abrest has organised an organic fair in May or June.

Every year in November, the communal staff of Abrest organize a traditional toy market.


Abrest has a football stadium, the Stade des Graviers, and a club: the US Abrest which creates promotions for the departmental district.

Notable People linked to the commune[edit]

  • Louis Justin Marie, the last Marquis of Talaru Marquis and owner of the Chateau de Chaussins before the French Revolution
  • André de Soixon was an important figure in Abrest. He lived a part of his life there and helped to develop the village, including rebuilding houses and helping the villagers. André de Soixon was of provincial gentry.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ Since 2008, the speed was limited to 30 km/h without any special enactment.
  2. ^ This development was followed by:
    • a complete reconstruction of the roadway,
    • the implementation of road humps to slow the traffic at the pedestrian crossing (2009) followed by a flattened road hump beside the town hall about 70 metres long to assist pedestrians crossing the road (2009)
    • the change to the Veterans Affairs Square (transformation of the parking to 4 minute stops)
    • the replacement of traffic lights (2010)
    • the creation of a parking area with four spaces including one for disabled people in the adjoining the next building.
  3. ^ At the beginning of the 21st century, the methods of identification have been modified by law No. 2002-276 of 27 February 2002 [1], the so-called "law of local democracy" and in particular Title V "census operations" which allow, after a transitional period running from 2004 to 2008, the annual publication of the legal population of the different French administrative districts. For municipalities with a population greater than 10,000 inhabitants, a sample survey is conducted annually, the entire territory of these municipalities is taken into account at the end of the period of five years. The first "legal population" after 1999 under this new law came into force in 1 January 2009 and was based on the census of 2006.
  4. ^ In the census table and the graph, by convention in Wikipedia, and to allow a fair comparison between five yearly censuses, the principle has been retained for subsequent legal populations since 1999 displayed in the census table and the graph that shows populations for the years 2006, 2011, 2016, etc.. , as well as the latest legal population published by INSEE


  1. ^ Inhabitants of Allier (French)
  2. ^ Google Maps
  3. ^ "Works began 2012 for the South West Bypass". La Montagne (in French). Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Ducros, Jean-Pierre (2014-03-03). "Peut-être fini en 2016 « sauf aléas » [Perhaps finished in 2016 if nothing unexpected happens]". La Montagne (in French). 
  5. ^ Timetable of Line 55, Consul-General for Puy-de-Dôme (French)
  6. ^ "Town Planning: 1 million for VVA". VVA Magazine (15): 15. June 2010. 
  7. ^ Légifrance, JORF, DEVP0823374D, Decree No. 2010-1255 of 22 October 2010 for defining the level of seismicity in French territory (French)
  8. ^ Father Michel Peynot History of Saint-Yorre, Ed. Res Universalis (French)
  9. ^ Last two paragraphs from the commune official website (French)
  10. ^ Tixer, G. Abrest Yesterday and Today. 
  11. ^ Abrest Commune Official Site
  12. ^ List of Mayors of France (French)
  13. ^ List of Mayors of Allier on the Association of Mayors and Presidents of communities of Allier website, 8 April 2014 (consulted on 6 June 2014). (French)
  14. ^ "The rate of tax revenue increases". La Montagne: 11. 2011-05-16. 
  15. ^ a b c d e Results of the census for the commune of Abrest, INSEE (Employment)
  16. ^ Panorama of Entreprises, 2011 edition, supplement of the TV Magazine in the magazine La Montagne of 13 February 2011.
  17. ^ Directory of Businesses and Institutions SIREN
  18. ^ INSEE – Urban Data intra-communal by Quarter – Auvergne – Agglomeration (urban unit): Vichy
  19. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00092966 Chateau des Chaussins (French)