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Coordinates: 46°12′20″N 5°13′44″E / 46.2056°N 5.2289°E / 46.2056; 5.2289
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Bôrg (Arpitan)
A view of the Church of Saint-Nicolas-de-Tolentin at the Royal Monastery of Brou
A view of the Church of Saint-Nicolas-de-Tolentin at the Royal Monastery of Brou
Flag of Bourg-en-Bresse
Coat of arms of Bourg-en-Bresse
Location of Bourg-en-Bresse
Bourg-en-Bresse is located in France
Bourg-en-Bresse is located in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Coordinates: 46°12′20″N 5°13′44″E / 46.2056°N 5.2289°E / 46.2056; 5.2289
CantonBourg-en-Bresse-1 and 2
IntercommunalityCA Bassin de Bourg-en-Bresse
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Jean-François Debat (PS)[1]
23.99 km2 (9.26 sq mi)
 • Density1,700/km2 (4,500/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
01053 /01000
Elevation220–273 m (722–896 ft)
(avg. 240 m or 790 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Bourg-en-Bresse (French pronunciation: [buʁk‿ɑ̃ bʁɛs] ; Arpitan: Bôrg) is the prefecture of the Ain department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in Eastern France.[3] Located 70 km (43 mi) northeast of Lyon, it is the capital of the ancient province of Bresse (Arpitan: Brêsse). In 2018, the commune had a population of 41,248.


Bourg-en-Bresse is located at the western base of the Jura Mountains, on the left bank of the Reyssouze, a tributary of the Saône. It lies 70 kilometres (43 mi) northeast of Lyon and 50 kilometres (31 mi) south-southwest of Lons-le-Saunier.


Roman remains have been discovered at Bourg, but little is known of its early history. It was probably pillaged by Goths in Late Antiquity. Raised to the rank of a free town in 1250, it was at the beginning of the 15th century the capital of the dukes of Savoy in the province of Bresse. In February 1535 it was conquered by France during a full-scale invasion of Savoy, but was restored to Duke Philibert Emmanuel in 1559, when he married Henri II's sister Marguerite. The duke later built a strong citadel, which afterwards withstood a six-months' siege by the soldiers of Henry IV during the Franco-Savoyard War of 1600–1601. The town was finally ceded to France in 1601. In 1814, the inhabitants, in spite of the defenseless condition of their town, offered resistance to the Austrians, who put the place to pillage.[4]


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 6,533—    
1800 6,984+0.96%
1806 7,417+1.01%
1821 8,132+0.62%
1831 8,996+1.01%
1836 9,528+1.16%
1841 10,219+1.41%
1846 10,308+0.17%
1851 12,068+3.20%
1856 11,676−0.66%
1861 14,052+3.77%
1866 13,733−0.46%
1872 14,280+0.65%
1876 15,692+2.39%
1881 18,233+3.05%
1886 18,113−0.13%
1891 18,968+0.93%
1896 18,501−0.50%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901 18,887+0.41%
1906 20,045+1.20%
1911 20,545+0.49%
1921 20,191−0.17%
1926 20,364+0.17%
1931 23,117+2.57%
1936 24,746+1.37%
1946 25,944+0.47%
1954 26,699+0.36%
1962 32,596+2.53%
1968 37,887+2.54%
1975 42,181+1.55%
1982 41,098−0.37%
1990 40,972−0.04%
1999 40,666−0.08%
2007 40,506−0.05%
2012 40,171−0.17%
2017 41,527+0.67%
Source: EHESS[5] and INSEE (1968-2017)[6]


Bourg-en-Bresse Town Hall

Since 2008, Jean-François Debat of the Socialist Party (PS) has been Mayor of Bourg-en-Bresse. He was reelected following the 2020 municipal election.[1]

In the four last presidential elections, Bourg-en-Bresse voted as following:

Election Winning candidate Party %
2017[7] Emmanuel Macron EM 72.37
2012 François Hollande PS 53.96
2007 Nicolas Sarkozy UMP 50.83
2002 Jacques Chirac RPR 84.46


Hôtel-Dieu de Bourg-en-Bresse
Théâtre de Bourg-en-Bresse

Bourg-en-Bresse Cathedral, also known as the church of Notre-Dame (Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-l'Annonciation de Bourg-en-Bresse), which dates back to the 16th century, has a façade built in the Renaissance; other parts of the church are Gothic. In the interior there are stalls of the 16th century.

The other public buildings, including a handsome prefecture, are modern. The town hall contains a library and the Lorin Museum with a collection of pictures, while another museum has a collection of old costumes and ornaments characteristic of Bresse. Among the statues in the town there is one of historian Edgar Quinet, a native of Bourg-en-Bresse.[4]

Stalls in the Church of Brou, albumen print, c. 1865–1886
Interior of the Church of Brou

The Royal Monastery of Brou, named after the suburb settlement of Bourg-en-Bresse in which it lies, is of great artistic interest. Margaret of Bourbon, wife of Philip II of Savoy, had intended to found a monastery on the spot, but died before her intention could be carried into effect. The church was actually built early in the 16th century by her daughter-in-law Margaret of Austria, wife of Philibert le Beau of Savoy, in memory of her husband.

The exterior, especially the façade, is richly ornamented, but the chief interest lies in the works of art in the interior, which date from 1532. The most important are the three mausoleums with the marble effigies of Marguerite of Bourbon, Philibert le Beau and Margaret of Austria. All three are remarkable for perfection of sculpture and richness of ornamentation. The rood loft, the oak stalls and the reredos in the chapel of the Virgin are masterpieces in a similar style.[4] The monastery has three cloisters from the early 16th century. The church and the cloisters are listed monuments.[8]


In the early 20th century, the city manufactured iron goods, mineral waters, tallow, soap and earthenware. There were flour mills and breweries; there is considerable trade in grain, cattle and poultry.[4]


Bourg-en-Bresse station offers rail connections to Paris, Strasbourg, Lyon and Geneva by high-speed rail, as well as several regional destinations with TER Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes services. The A39 motorway connects Bourg with Dole and Dijon, the A40 with Mâcon and Geneva.


Football Bourg-en-Bresse Péronnas 01 is based in the town.

On 3 May 1953 a motorcycle racing meeting was held on a circuit going past the Residence Emile Pélicand and the Jardin d'Enfants Emile Pélicand.[9]


Bourg is the prefecture of the department and the location of a court of assizes; it has a tribunal of first instance, a tribunal and a chamber of commerce, as well as a local branch of the Bank of France.

Bourg-en-Bresse was the finish of Stage 6 and the departure of Stage 7 in the 2007 Tour de France.


Bourg-en-Bresse is the birthplace of:

Jérôme Lalande, c. 1769

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Twin town and partner cities

Bourg-en-Bresse is twinned with:[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Répertoire national des élus: les maires". data.gouv.fr, Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises (in French). 2 December 2020. Archived from the original on 28 June 2020. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2021" (in French). The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2023.
  3. ^ Commune de Bourg-en-Bresse (01053) Archived 5 July 2022 at the Wayback Machine, INSEE
  4. ^ a b c d  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bourg-en-Bresse". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 4 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 330.
  5. ^ Des villages de Cassini aux communes d'aujourd'hui: Commune data sheet Bourg-en-Bresse, EHESS (in French).
  6. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968 Archived 24 September 2022 at the Wayback Machine, INSEE
  7. ^ "Résultats élections: Bourg-en-Bresse". Le Monde. Archived from the original on 12 April 2022. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  8. ^ Base Mérimée: Ancienne abbaye de Brou, Ministère français de la Culture. (in French)
  9. ^ "BOURG-EN-BRESSE". racingmemo.free.fr. Archived from the original on 15 May 2021. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  10. ^ "Lalande, Joseph Jérôme Lefrançais de" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 16 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 95.
  11. ^ Saintsbury, George (1911). "Quinet, Edgar" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 22 (11th ed.). pp. 755–756.
  12. ^ "Relations internationales". ville-laigle.fr (in French). Bourg-en-Bresse. Archived from the original on 12 November 2019. Retrieved 12 November 2019.

External links[edit]