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Pérouges
Commune
Cité médiévale de Pérouges
A general view of Pérouges

Coat of arms
Country France
Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Department Ain
Arrondissement Belley
Canton Meximieux
Area1 18.97 km2 (7.32 sq mi)
Population (2016-01-01) Lua error in Module:Wd at line 1,575: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
Time zone CET (UTC+01:00)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+02:00)
INSEE/Postal code 01290 /01800
Elevation 205–303 m (673–994 ft)
(avg. 270 m or 890 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Pérouges is a commune in the Ain department in eastern France. It is a medieval walled town 30 km (19 mi) northeast of Lyon. It is perched on a small hill that overlooks the plain of the Ain River.

History

Pérouges was inhabited by craftsmen; mainly farmers and linen weavers. It was probably founded by a Gallic colony returning from Perugia in Italy. In 1167, the Seigneur d'Anthon famously shut the commune's walls against the troops of the Archbishop of Lyon, and as early as 1236 the inhabitants earned communal freedom. In 1601 the town officially became French. Until the end of the 18th century, the textile industry in Pérouges boomed. In the 19th century, however, roads and railroads were re-routed and the population dropped from 1,500 to 90. But, starting in 1911, the town was restored and houses were saved. Today, Pérouges is a popular tourist attraction.

Origin

According to the archaeological findings, humans have been present at Pérouges since the Chalcolithic (about –2500 to –1800) age. There is no date for the construction of the fortress itself, but its first written mention appears in 12th century, therefore it is assumed to be built in that period. Although the town has been attacked by French soldiers on multiple occasions, it still prospered, due to its location and proximity to the trade routes. The town is located between Lyon and Geneva, which was one of the active local trade routs, therefore, craftsmanship and trade in the region flourished. The area officially became part of France under the rule of Henri IV in 1601.

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