|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Eric Zanconato|
|• Land1||9.91 km2 (3.83 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||6.7/km2 (17/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||89299 / 89740|
|Elevation||183–277 m (600–909 ft)
(avg. 265 m or 869 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.
Pimelles is a small village nestled in the rolling hills of the French department of Yonne in north-central Burgundy. Part of the canton of Cruzy-le-Châtel, it covers 10 km². Its present mayor is Eric Zanconato, whose family are long-time residents of the village.
The history of Pimelles dates to at least 1035, when Raynaud, the Count of Tonnerre, gave "Pimella" to the abbey of Saint Michael. A Renaissance-era bridge can be found in the center of town. According to local tradition, workers undertaking 19th century repairs to the bridge found evidence of a Gallo-Roman battle on the site.
Pimelles is part of the diocese of Langres and the archdiocese of Tonnerre. Until the French Revolution, Pimelles was the estate of the Viart family. The former Viart manor house, which was constructed around 1788, now serves as the town hall. Count Louis-Alexandre-Charles Viart de Pimelles rebuilt the village church, Our Lady of the Assumption, in 1781, shortly before the Revolution. Its registered population at this time was 50 households focusing primarily on wood-felling, farming, and viniculture.
The Viart family fled France during the Revolution. They were unable to reclaim the estate after the Restoration. American troops from the 80th (the Blue Ridge) Division were garrisoned in Pimelles during World War I, and traces of their graffiti can still be found on the walls of some of the houses. Of note, General "Black Jack" Pershing, the commander of the American Expeditionary Force, inspected and reviewed the entire division near Pimelles on March 26, 1919.
During World War II, La Grange-Aux-Moines, a dependency of Pimelles, served as one of the headquarters of an element of the Yonne Resistance Movement. Its members were betrayed, and shot by German occupation forces.
Modern-day Pimelles maintains its traditional agricultural character, producing wheat and rapeseed. Nearby sites include the Renaissance chateaus of Tanlay and Ancy-le-Franc and the unique pentagon-shaped château de Maulnes.
Pimelles' current population is 66 people. Its unemployment rate in 2005 was 15.2 percent. Retirees represented 20.3 percent of the population.
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