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200605 - Artemare 2.JPG
Artemare is located in France
Coordinates: 45°52′31″N 5°41′37″E / 45.8753°N 5.6936°E / 45.8753; 5.6936Coordinates: 45°52′31″N 5°41′37″E / 45.8753°N 5.6936°E / 45.8753; 5.6936
Country France
Region Rhône-Alpes
Department Ain
Arrondissement Belley
Canton Champagne-en-Valromey
Intercommunality Bugey Sud
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Mireille Charmont-Munet
 • Land1 3.75 km2 (1.45 sq mi)
Population (2010)
 • Population2 1,126
 • Population2 density 300/km2 (780/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 01022 / 01510
Elevation 242–360 m (794–1,181 ft)
(avg. 258 m or 846 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.

Artemare is a French commune in the Ain department in the Rhône-Alpes region of eastern France.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Artemariens or Artemariennes[1]


A train passing through Artemare to Lyon

Artemare is a commune in Valromey 16 km north of from Belley and 8 km north-west of Culoz and the Rhône. Artemare is exposed to the south between two chains of the Jura Mountains: the Planachat in the west and the Colombier culminating in Grand-Colombier (1538 m) to the east.

This village is between Lower-Bugey and Upper-Bugey not far from Savoie and Isère.

The commune can be accessed from several roads: the D69D from Champdossin-Massignieu in the west, the D31L from Pont in the north, and the D904 from Ameyzieu in the east which continues south from the village to Virieu-le-Grand. The main railway line from Modane to Lyon passes through the south of the commune from west to east. Apart from the village, which has quite a large urban area, and the hamlet of Cerveyrieu, the rest of the commune is mixed farmland and forest.[2]

Artemare is watered by a network of four rivers:

  • the River Yon, enclosed in a canal through the village and used to work sawmills and to feed trout ponds. It flows into the Séran which is a tributary of the Rhone which it joins near Culoz
  • the Séran traverses the hamlet of Cerveyrieu which gives its name to a beautiful waterfall about fifty metres high
  • the Arvière (locally called the Groin) forms a confluence with the Seran.
  • the Ruisseau de l'Eau Morte (Dead Water)

The Groin and the Séran cut deeply into the limestone terrain. The Groin rises in the commune of Vieu from a spectacular intermittent source before forming a deep canyon visible from Devil's Bridge in Vieu. The Séran rises upstream of the Cerveyrieu waterfall from beautiful Giant's kettles where water swirls around - but only when the Seran is not dry.

Neighbouring communes and villages[edit]


According to Louis Berthelon,[3] Artemare was first "a small group of dwellings located above a hill called Molard" and it was this "wonderful location overlooking the vast marshes extending from Bourget to Cerveyrieu earning it its name of Altemare meaning "Upper Sea" ", later becoming Artemare. Local tradition has it that Saint Martin evangelized the region which had until then indulged in pagan cults. The church of Artemare is dedicated to him and he also gave his name to a neighbouring village - Saint-Martin-de-Bavel.

The Gallic and Roman periods were the origin of many current placenames, especially those ending in -ieu which comes from the suffix -acum of Gallic origin. For example, Talissieu comes from the anthroponym Talussus and the word for son Donnus gives Don etc. Invading armies, particularly by the saracens, who occupied the plateau of Fierloz are not only the origin of the name of the locality "under the Carraz" but, according to Louis Berthelon, became part of the population. Struck by the plagues of the Middle Ages and after having been a direct domain of the Counts and Dukes of Savoy, Valromey was occupied from 1536 to 1559 by François I then Henry II and, from 1595 to 1601, by Henry IV. It became permanently French by the Treaty of Lyon on 17 January 1601 along with Bresse, Bugey and the Gex country well before neighbouring Savoy which was linked to France by Napoleon III in 1860.

In 1612 the writer Honoré d'Urfé inherited from his mother (who was born Renée de Savoie) the first title of Marquis of Valromey (Verromey in local dialect). This name appears in the text under the names:

  • Verrumensi (1110)
  • Veromensi (1142)
  • Verrometum (1169)

The name probably derives from Venetonimagus or the older Vernemetonimagos meaning "Market of the Grand Shrine"(?). The etymology of Vallis Romana meaning "Roman valley" was the invention of Latin scholars.

Cerveyrieu, Yon, Artemare, and Ameyzieu parish included Artemare until the French Revolution. They were still small villages until the dissolution of the commune of Ameyzieu in 1862 (now the commune of Talissieu) and the formation of the of Yon-Artemare. From 1 January 1886 the commune took the name of Artemare only.

The commune or, more precisely at the time, the parishes of Yon and Cerveyrieu was known for its manufacture of flat-bottomed boats which could reach the port of Culoz on the Rhône via the Séran particularly for the timber trade. A "Tramway of Bugey" (steam train) operated between Virieu-le-Grand and Ruffieu via the "Incline of Artemare" from 1898 to 1933. On 29 December 1923 there was an accident at La Faverge (Champagne-en-Valromey) causing the death of a mechanic and driver.

As recalled by the war memorials of the town, many residents of Artemare died during the two world wars. During the Second World War a Kommandantur was resident at the Hotel Berrard (now Michallet). The maquis of Upper Valromey was close and during the German occupation they attacked a Chantier de Jeunesse camp to procure equipment. A monument on the side of the road through the Lèbe mountain pass near Bioléaz with twenty headstones or plaques on places where Resistance fighters had been detained or killed testifies to the commitment of the people of Artemare and its surrounding area to the Resistance. After the Liberation, a German POW camp was installed above the village (currently a plastics factory).


Mayors of Artemare

From To Name Party Position
1995 2001 André Gonguet
2001 2014 Mireille Charmont-Munet[4]

(Not all data is known)


In 2010, the commune had 1,126 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 1] [Note 2]

Evolution of the Population (See database)
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
239 267 286 319 319 493 421 429 437
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
423 445 780 822 806 873 845 963 1,085
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
960 934 1,013 981 906 956 909 738 787
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2007 2008
743 838 810 914 961 970 1,074 1,081 1,097
2009 2010 - - - - - - -
1,112 1,126 - - - - - - -

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

Population of Artemare


The town has many shops and stores.

Sites and monuments[edit]

Cerveyrieu Waterfall in Autumn 2005.
The ascent to the Grand Colombier
The Cascade of Cerveyrieu in 1929
  • Lambert Enclosure, once a stronghold of the Knights of Seyssel, replaced by a renaissance house in the second half of the 16th century. Today it is an ESAT (Establishment and Aid services through Work). The roof, basement, a small house of the 16th century, and a beautiful mullioned window escaped the vicissitudes of history
  • Cascade of Cerveyrieu: very spectacular during floods on the Seran river
  • Tank at Balthazar, a beautiful abyss at Groin between Don and Artemare. The micro-power plant built just below the pit decreases the flow for part of the year because of the water intake upstream
  • The Castle of Mâchuraz in the commune of Vieu (16th century, restored in the 19th century), its round tower dominates the entrance to the village of Artemare when arriving from the west. The vineyard developed by the Abbey of Saint-Sulpice provided renowned wines of Bugey
  • At Cerveyrieu: a 16th-century house under renovation for several years for part of the internal courtyard and the hexagonal tower, the other part being in poor condition and abandoned. The polygonal tower still bears the date 1572; a restored oven and public laundry
  • Vierge of Fierloz (pronounced "Fiarle"): this is a beautiful karst formation on which there are traces of the saracen camps.[5]
  • Castle of Antioch, in the heart of Don in Vieu
  • Source of the Groin at Vieu, it is possible to see the water emerging from the resurgence on some days
  • Sugar Loaf (calcareous Concretion) at Champagne-en-Valromey
  • Rural Museum of Valromey at Lochieu
  • Ethnobotanical Garden of Arvières (plants from the Neolithic era to the 15th century) in the commune of Lochieu
  • Ruins of Châteauneuf between Songieu and Bassieu (a hamlet in Songieu)
  • Poisieu in the commune of Champagne-en-Valromey: an architectural ensemble of three buildings (fountain, calvary and oven) and a Gallo-Roman platform
  • Grand Colombier (1538m) A one day recreational walk. Magnificent view of the entire region with an orientation table on top
  • Châteaufroid (19th century) at Talissieu
  • The Lavours Marsh at Aignoz (8 km): 480 hectares classified as a nature reserve since 1984 with

A path on Pilotis (2400 metres long) and the presence of the Marsh House of marsh facilitate exploration.

Notable people linked to the commune[edit]

  • Adolphe Appian (1818-1898) - painter of the Lyon School who spent many summers at Artemare and painted many sites of Valromey. Some of his paintings are exhibited in the museum of the Monastery of Brou.


On 10 September 2009 President Nicolas Sarkozy visited the commune when he formalized the establishment from 1 January 2010 of the carbon tax advocated by the report of Michel Rocard.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ 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 Ain (French)
  2. ^ Google Maps
  3. ^ Monograph on the History of Artemare, by Louis Berthelon. Louis Berthelon was a pharmacist by profession but also a historian deeply committed to the village. He recounted in his 1948 book Artemare in ancient times, the religious, political and administrative history of the locality since prehistoric times.
  4. ^ List of mayors of Ain as at 16 April 2008 on the website of the prefecture of Ain (French)
  5. ^ Monograph on the History of Artemare, by Louis Berthelon. (French)