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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 Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Department Ain
Arrondissement Belley
Canton Hauteville-Lompnes
Intercommunality Bugey Sud
 • Mayor (2001–2020) Mireille Charmont-Munet
Area1 3.75 km2 (1.45 sq mi)
Population (2010)2 1,126
 • Density 300/km2 (780/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
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 commune in the Ain department in the Auvergne-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 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.


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 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).


List of Mayors of Artemare[4]

From To Name Party Position
1995 2001 André Gonguet
2001 2020 Mireille Charmont-Munet

(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]

Population change (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]

The Waterfall in Autumn
Cerveyrieu Waterfall
Cerveyrieu Waterfall in 1929
  • The Clos Lambert (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
  • The Cascade of Cerveyrieu is very spectacular during floods on the Seran river
  • The Cuve à Balthazar (Pit 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 is a 16th-century house under renovation for several years in the internal courtyard and the hexagonal tower, the rest being in poor condition and abandoned. The polygonal tower still bears the date 1572;
  • A restored Oven and Lavoir (Public laundry).
  • The Vierge of Fierloz (pronounced "Fiarle") is a beautiful karst formation on which there are traces of saracen camps.[5]

Notable people linked to the commune[edit]

  • Adolphe Appian (1818-1898), a 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]

External links[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] Archived 2016-03-06 at the Wayback Machine., 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 on 1 January 2009 and was based on the census of 2006.


  1. ^ Inhabitants of Ain (in 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 France (in French)
  5. ^ Monograph on the History of Artemare, by Louis Berthelon. (in French)