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Coat of arms of Saint-Étienne
Saint-Étienne (France)
region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Department Loire
Arrondissement Saint-Etienne
Canton Capital of the cantons:
Community association Saint-Étienne Métropole
Coordinates 45 ° 26 '  N , 4 ° 23'  E Coordinates: 45 ° 26 '  N , 4 ° 23'  E
height 422-1,117 m
surface 79.97 km 2
Residents 172,565 (January 1, 2017)
Population density 2,158 inhabitants / km 2
Post Code 42000
INSEE code

View of Saint-Etienne

Saint-Etienne [ sɛt‿etjɛn ] is the capital of the Eastern French department Loire in the region Auvergne Rhône-Alpes and is located about 50 kilometers southwest of Lyon in the Massif Central . The 172,565 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2017) of the city call themselves Stéphanois . Saint-Étienne is located on the Furan River , a small tributary of the Upper Loire , at the foot of Mont Pilat ( 1432  m ). The city lies on the edge of the Pilat Regional Nature Park and is associated with it as an access point.


The place was first mentioned in 1258 as Sancti Stephani de Furanum , a long time tranquil country town on the outskirts of the county of Forez . Since the 14th century it became a center of metalworking, which was particularly known for its arms manufacture; but also the trimmings and tool making were practiced here. This provided the basis for the rapid upswing in the context of industrialization in the 19th century. From 1823 to 1827 the first railway line (initially  operated as a horse-drawn tram ) was built on the European continent between Saint-Étienne and Andrézieux-Bouthéon (15 km west of the Loire) . The coal mined near Saint-Étienne was transported away with this railway. The line from Saint-Étienne to Lyon built in 1832 was then used for the first time for passenger transport. In 1830, the sewing machine was invented in the city by Barthélemy Thimonnier . The city grew so quickly that it was declared the capital of the department in 1855, while the neighboring towns of Beaubrun, Montaud, Outre-Furens and Valbenoîte were incorporated. In 1881 the city got a tram. For the wars of 1870/1871 , 1914–1918, and 1939–1945, Saint-Étienne was one of the nation's most important armories. On May 26, 1944, USAAF bombers launched an air raid on Saint-Etienne (912 dead) and other cities.

The crisis in the coal and steel industry ( steel crisis , coal crisis ) in the 1970s also hit Saint-Étienne. A reorientation towards the service sector began. In 1969 Saint-Victor-sur-Loire was incorporated, Terrenoire in 1970 and Rochetaillée in 1973, since then the population, which has now exceeded 200,000, has decreased somewhat. Saint-Etienne is currently the fourteenth largest city in France and the second largest municipality in the Rhône-Alpes region after Lyon.

Development of the population:

  • 1962 - 203,600
  • 1968 - 222,500
  • 1975 - 221,800
  • 1982 - 206,688 (March 4)
  • 1990 - 199,396 (March 5)
  • 1999 - 180.210 (March 8)
  • 2006 - 177,480
  • 2013 - 172,023


Mayor of the city has been Gaël Perdriau ( Les Républicains ) since 2014 . The city is divided into nine cantons .

coat of arms

Description : In blue, three silver apple crosses placed 2: 1 accompany two crossed golden palm leaves over which a golden lily crown with an imperial apple hovers.


Saint-Étienne was the center of coal mining in the Loire coal basin and the seat of a mining academy , the Grande école École des Mines , a cadre forge for generalist engineers. Important branches of industry were the coal and steel industry (the French Dortmund), the electrical , textile and arms industries , even if this can be found more in the Gier valley near St. Chamond. Until the mid-1980s, Saint-Étienne was also the most important location for French bicycle production. The Vitus company built one of the first series-produced aluminum bicycle frames. The brake manufacturer CLB was also based in the city. Chocolate production - the "WEISS" brand - is also located here, as is the optical industry and the design trade. The local hospital is also an important employer. The optical industry, especially Angénieux , gained worldwide fame through its use in the first American space missions and the moon landing. The large French retailer Groupe Casino also has its headquarters in the city.


Today's city center, which was planned around the medieval core city at the end of the 18th century, has an orthogonal street grid that is only disturbed by the topography, and is characterized by a high level of structural density and uniformity. When they were built, the courtyards of the block development were used intensively for handicrafts and residential purposes and were often open to the public. The road network, which is extremely narrow by today's standards , has been supplemented by the traboules , a system of footpaths through the backyards that has now largely disappeared. In the city center there are practically no green spaces or parking spaces, you have to climb the hills on the outskirts of the city, but there you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of the dense urban network. The few urban squares are used intensively for culture or as a market. In addition, modernity has left its mark; the rest of the cityscape is shaped in many parts by row and prefabricated buildings; The city's heyday was over with the closure of the city's major mines (except for the Puits Couriot , today's mining museum, none of the mines, which are often almost built in the urban area, have survived. Only the alleys around the center exude a certain charm with a few cafes and nightclubs, but the city also suffers from its proximity to Lyon . The most important sights are the Tour de la Droguerie , the town hall, the prefecture and the old arms manufacture Manufacture d'armes de Saint-Étienne (on whose premises the Cité du Design is currently being built on the northern edge of the city center ). The Museum of Modern Art ( Musée d'art moderne de Saint-Étienne ) is internationally known .


Since 1998, takes place in Saint-Etienne Design - Biennale Biennale International Design Saint-Etienne instead. In November 2010, Saint-Étienne was recognized by UNESCO as a City of Design and has since been a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network .


VéliVert rental bikes and trams

The city's local transport is operated by the Société de Transports de l'Agglomération Stéphanoise , which also maintains a tram network in the city . This tram is the oldest in France as it has been in operation continuously since 1881. For long-distance traffic there are two motorways ( A72 to Clermont-Ferrand and A47 to Lyon) as well as rail connections to Lyon, Le-Puy, Clermont-Ferrand and Roanne. The nearest airport is Saint-Étienne – Bouthéon (IATA: EBU / ICAO: LFMH).


In 1963, the École supérieure de commerce de Saint-Étienne was founded. The idea of ​​founding a university in Saint-Étienne arose in the early 1960s, but it was not until March 27, 1969, before the university was able to open its doors to the first students. Today it is one of the multidisciplinary universities in France, where the enrolled students can study almost all subjects, including the German language and regional studies. In the early 1990s, a technical college for engineers and a second institute universitaire de technologie (IUT) were opened in Roanne , next to that in Saint-Étienne. In 1989 the university took the name of Jean Monnet , one of the founding fathers of European integration . In his spirit, the university introduced the LMD (License, Master, Doctorat) system in 2003/2004 as part of the Bologna Process , which is intended to make it easier for students to compare diplomas in Europe . Today, in addition to the university, the city also has several technical colleges (mining, engineering, architecture). The Grande école with the name École des Mines is one of the best engineering schools in the country and is part of the so-called elite education system in France. The city also has seven high schools.


Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium, home of the "VERTS"

Saint-Étienne is home to AS Saint-Étienne , to this day one of the most successful clubs in French professional football ; Stade Geoffroy-Guichard is the venue for the football team, which is usually called les Verts ("the Greens") because of their costume . The female soccer players of ASSE and its predecessor, the Racing Club , also represent the city in the highest league in France .

The city hosted the 2019 French Athletics Championships .


The reggae group Dub Incorporation was founded in Saint-Étienne.

Town twinning and cooperation

Saint-Étienne lists the following eleven twin cities and five city cooperations:

city country since Type
Annaba AlgeriaAlgeria Algeria 1982 cooperation
Ben Arous TunisiaTunisia Tunisia 1994 Twin town
Bobo Dioulasso Burkina FasoBurkina Faso Burkina Faso 2009
Coventry United KingdomUnited Kingdom England, UK 1955 Twin town
Des Moines United StatesUnited States Iowa, United States 1985 Twin town
Ferrara ItalyItaly Emilia-Romagna, Italy 1960 Twin town
Granby CanadaCanada Quebec, Canada 1960
Katowice PolandPoland Silesia, Poland 1994 cooperation
Luhansk UkraineUkraine Ukraine 1959 Twin town
Monastir TunisiaTunisia Tunisia 2012 cooperation
Nazareth Illite IsraelIsrael Israel 1974 Twin town
Oeiras PortugalPortugal Portugal 1996 Twin town
Patras GreeceGreece Greece 1990 Twin town
Toamasina MadagascarMadagascar Madagascar 1971 cooperation
Windsor CanadaCanada Ontario, Canada 1953 Twin town
Wuppertal GermanyGermany North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany 1960 Twin town
Xuzhou China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China Jiangsu, People's Republic of China 1984 cooperation

Web links

Commons : Saint-Étienne  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. For more information and evidence, see fr: Bombardement du 26 may 1944
  2. ^ Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques , INSEE, accessed on September 18, 2016
  3. [1] , Le Point, accessed September 18, 2016
  4. History of the Design Biennale in Saint-Étienne  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ,, accessed on February 21, 2016@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  5. ^ Saint-Étienne ville ouverte au monde ǀ Internet site de la ville de Saint-Etienne. Retrieved January 13, 2017 .