|• Mayor (2001–2008)||Philippe Weyne|
|• Land1||16.33 km2 (6.31 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||1,300/km2 (3,400/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||42147 / 42600|
|Elevation||370–552 m (1,214–1,811 ft)
(avg. 399 m or 1,309 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.
The town of Montbrison was founded in the area around the lords' castles in the Forez region, of which Montbrison would later become the capital. The earliest recorded reference to the town dates back to 870.
The town was fortified following the attacks by the English army at the start of the Hundred Years War. During the Religious Wars Montbrison was captured and pillaged by the Protestant forces of François de Beaumont in 1562, with the town's garrison thrown from the ramparts onto spikes placed by the attackers.
The Convent of the Visitation was founded in 1643 during a period of heavy famine, with the town again undergoing a series of poor harvests combined with an attack of the plague between the years 1648-1653. The Augustinian Convent was founded in 1654, followed by the Hospital to house the poor in 1659. The Ursuline Convent closed in 1851.
- 1892 - execution of Ravachol
- 1909 - electrical power reaches the town
- 1940 - (June) the Forez region is occupied by German troops with Montbrison falling into the 'free' zone. The forces withdrew at the start of July
- 1944 - (August) Montbrison liberated
- 1954 - Water treatment plant built
- 1968 - Jacquou le Croquant broadcast on television
- 1972 - local cheese Fourme de Montbrison receives Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée status
- Marie-Anne Pierette Paulze (1758 – 1836), wife of Antoine Lavoisier
- Pierre Boulez (1925 - ), contemporary composer
- Philippe Delaye (1975-), footballer
- Victor de Laprade (1812-1882), Christian romantic poet
- Charles Martin, journalist.
- Mickey 3D, pop group
- Ravachol, anarchist, executed in Montbrison in 1892.
- Muriel Robin (1955), actress
- Yves Triantafyllos (1948-), footballer
- Christophe Agou (1969-), Photographer
- Reine Mazoyer (1944-), painter, film maker, writer
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