Château de Dortan
|• Mayor (2014–2020)||Marianne Dubare|
|18.11 km2 (6.99 sq mi)|
|• Density||100/km2 (260/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|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.|
Dortan is a commune in the Ain department in eastern France. Besides the village of Dortan itself, the commune includes the hamlets of Uffel, Vouais, Bonaz, Emondeau, Sénissiat and Maissiat. The population was 1,845 in 2014.
This area was settled in the first century AD by the Sequani, a Gallic people. It was on a route used by the Romans and by the seventh century, the Abbaye de Saint-Claude had been established nearby and the area was evangelized. During the feudal period in the ninth century, the counts were Lambert and Geoffroy de Dortenc, and twenty generations of these seignieres followed. The Château de Dortan was built in the fifteenth century as a replacement for the original twelfth century building. It was attacked on many occasions, including by Cardinal Richelieu in 1637. The last of the de Dortenc lineage was Jean-François de Dortenc, who died in 1708. He had committed various misdeeds and his successor sold the château to Pierre Gaulthier, adviser and secretary of Louis XIV. Today the château is in private ownership and is included in the list of Monument historiques.
In July 1944, during World War II, the Germans looted and burned the village in reprisal for activities by the French Maquis. Seven people were shot on July 12, including the village priest and a woman. The following day, three villagers were killed and women were raped. On 20 and 21 July, 15 men were arrested and tortured at the château, which was occupied by the German troops. The next day, the remaining inhabitants were rounded up and gathered in the château while the houses in the village were burnt down. Altogether, 35 civilians were killed and only the château was left standing.
Dortan is in the extreme north of the department of Ain in central eastern France, in the district of Nantua close to the Swiss border. Bienne is 7 km (4 mi) away and the Jura Mountains lie to the east. The commune includes the hamlets of Uffel, Vouais, Bonaz, Emondeau, Sénissiat and Maissiat, and scattered farms. The D436 road connects the village to Saint-Claude.
- "D'hier à aujourd'hui". Dortan, commune de l'Ain (in French). 7 February 2017. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
- Armand Jean du Plessis duc de Richelieu (1823). Mémoires du cardinal de Richelieu, sur le règne de Louis XIII. Foucault. p. 422.
- Kedward, H.R. (1993). In Search of the Maquis: Rural Resistance in Southern France 1942-1944: Rural Resistance in Southern France 1942-1944. Clarendon Press. p. 280. ISBN 978-0-19-159178-5.
- Farmer, Sarah (2000). Martyred Village: Commemorating the 1944 Massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane. Univ of California Press. p. 52. ISBN 978-0-520-22483-4.
- "Geographie". Dortan, commune de l'Ain (in French). 22 April 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
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