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The town hall in Balbigny
The town hall in Balbigny
Balbigny is located in France
Coordinates: 45°49′09″N 4°11′17″E / 45.8192°N 4.1881°E / 45.8192; 4.1881Coordinates: 45°49′09″N 4°11′17″E / 45.8192°N 4.1881°E / 45.8192; 4.1881
Country France
Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Department Loire
Arrondissement Roanne
Canton Le Coteau
Intercommunality Balbigny
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Jean-Marc Regny
Area1 16.98 km2 (6.56 sq mi)
Population (2009)2 2,809
 • Density 170/km2 (430/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 42011 /42510
Elevation 314–482 m (1,030–1,581 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.

Balbigny is a commune in the Loire department in central France.


Balbigny owes its name to a Roman general named Balbinius who based himself here in order to conduct a war. Nothing survives from this period. The earliest identified traces of Balbigny date from 1090.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, before the Loire was channelled, Balbigny was a village of boatmen, known for flat bottomed boats known as Rambertes which were used to transport the coal mined at Saint-Étienne. The loaded Rambertes arrived from Saint-Rambert and stopped off at Balbigny where the boat crews were changed, taking the boats to the next change-over point at Roanne. All this changed in August 1832 with the arrival of the third oldest railway line in France which connected Andrézieux-Bouthéon with Roanne, passing Balbigny en route. An extension of the rail network in 1913 saw Balbigny connected with Saint-Germain-Laval and Régny. The coal was therefore transported by rail, but the railway also gave farmers in the district access to a wider range of markets for their produce.

The road bridge crossing the Loire was destroyed in 1940 in order to hold back advancing German troops, and a ferry service was introduced to permit the river to be crossed. The bridge was rebuilt in 1950.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1962 1,840 —    
1968 2,023 +9.9%
1975 2,314 +14.4%
1982 2,469 +6.7%
1990 2,415 −2.2%
1999 2,616 +8.3%
2006 2,546 −2.7%
2009 2,809 +10.3%

Twin towns[edit]

Balbigny is twinned with:

See also[edit]