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The chateau and other buildings in Saint-Gérand-le-Puy
The chateau and other buildings in Saint-Gérand-le-Puy
Saint-Gérand-le-Puy is located in France
Location within Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region
Saint-Gérand-le-Puy is located in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Coordinates: 46°15′31″N 3°30′46″E / 46.2586°N 3.5128°E / 46.2586; 3.5128Coordinates: 46°15′31″N 3°30′46″E / 46.2586°N 3.5128°E / 46.2586; 3.5128
Country France
Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Department Allier
Arrondissement Vichy
Canton Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Xavier Cadoret[1]
Area1 19.55 km2 (7.55 sq mi)
Population (2013)2 1,023
 • Density 52/km2 (140/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 03235 /03150
Elevation 268–359 m (879–1,178 ft)
(avg. 325 m or 1,066 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.

Saint-Gérand-le-Puy is a commune in the Allier department in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in central France.


Much of the local rock is limestone common in the Auvergne, known as indusial, because of the cases, or indusiae, of the larvæ of Phryganea (resembling caddis-flies), which have been encrusted, as they lay, by hard travertine (a white or light-coloured concretionary limestone, usually hard and semi-crystalline, deposited from water holding lime in solution).

The area is rich in fossils, notably birds from the Miocene era. See, for example, Cheneval J (1984), Les oiseaux aquatiques (Gaviiformes à Ansériformes) du gisement aquitanien de Saint-Gérand-le-Puy (Allier} (The aquatic birds (Galliformes to Anseriformes) of the aquitanian deposits of Saint-Gérand-le-Puy (Allier}.


A Roman road runs by the town. It was a fortified village in the Middle Ages, deriving strategic importance from its location on the route from Moulins to Lyon.

The town was a stop on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela - a local cross marking the way is shown at [1].

It belonged to the seigneurie of Montluçon at the beginning of the 13th century but when the le Bourbonnais (part of the Massif Central essentially co-terminous with the modern Allier) became a Duchy in 1327 it passed into of the hands of the Bourbons.

During the French Revolution it was known as Puy-Redan. In 1832, Saint-Etienne-de-Ciernat and Saint-Etienne-du-Bas were joined to the commune and, in 1833, Saint-Allyre-de-Valence followed.


List of successive mayors

  • 1991–current: Xavier Cadoret (ex Karim KADDOURI) (mayor since 1991, re-elected in 1995 (77%) and in 2001 (84%).


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1962 1,100 —    
1968 1,143 +3.9%
1975 1,121 −1.9%
1982 1,018 −9.2%
1990 1,064 +4.5%
1999 1,029 −3.3%
2009 993 −3.5%
2013 1,023 +3.0%
Source: INSEE (1968–2013)

Its inhabitants are known as Gérandais.


  • The 11th-century Romanesque church of St Julien was the original chapel of the chateau.
    • Its tower is shown at:[2];
  • Château of Saint-Gérand: The manor is 15th-century;
  • Manor of Gondailly is 15th-century with 19th-century reconstruction;
  • A dodecahedral washouse is under restoration;
  • The James Joyce Museum is located in a room adjoining the town library.

The Joyce connection[edit]

In December 1939 James Joyce, his wife, Nora, and son, Giorgio, made an extended visit to the town to see Giorgio’s son, Stephen, a pupil at the bilingual school there.

In February 1940 they were visited by Samuel Beckett.

After Easter, they moved for a few months to Vichy, some 20 km (12 mi) away, to see their friend Valéry Larbaud. Personal problems, and the imminent German occupation, persuaded them to move to their final port of call, neutral Switzerland, where they arrived on 14 December 1940. A year later, Joyce died in Zurich. His obituary published in Time can be read online[3].

The memory of Joyce has been celebrated for many years in Saint-Gerand, in particular with "le Jour d'Ulysse[4]."


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Liste nominative des communes de l'Allier" [Nominative list of communes of Allier] (PDF) (in French). Association of Mayors and Presidents of Communities of Allier. 23 November 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 April 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2016. 

External links[edit]

(All sites in French, unless otherwise indicated)

Map Links[edit]