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Bourg-lès-Valence (Municipality, Drôme, France)

Last modified: 2021-07-11 by ivan sache
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Flag of Bourg-lès-Valence - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 18 December 2020

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Presentation of Bourg-lès-Valence

The municipality of Bourg-lès-Valence (19,889 inhabitants in 2018; 2,030 ha; municipal website) is adjacent (north) to Valence.

Bourg-lès-Valence was in the Roman times the site of the river port of the town of Valentia. In the Middle Ages, it formed a distinct entity ("bourg") enclosed in its own walls. Nominally part of the Holy Roman Empire, the town was ruled by the bishops of Valence, the canons of the St. Peter church, founded by the bishops as their necropolis, and the lords of Crussol. The port was a main place of trade between the Empire and the Kingdom of France; silted up, it was subsequently moved southwards.

Valentinois was incorporated to France in the 15th century; the first manufactures were established in Bourg in the 16th century, powered by water supplied by several canals. The wealthy Genas family, based in Valence, owned a rural estate in Bourg. The Wars of Religion ended Valence's Gilded Age; the St. Peter church was destroyed in 1567, to be rebuilt only in the 19th century.
In the 17th century, bishop of Valence Daniel de Cosnac, one of the most fervent pushes of the revocation of the Edict of Tolerance, let built a leisure estate in Saint-Barthélemy, subsequently known as Valentin domain.
In the 19th century, Louis Dériard, from Givors, established glassworks on the bank of the Rhône. The factory, which employed 200 workers producing every day 8,000 bottles and 1,500 glass sheets, was closed in 1880. Noël Sanial founded in 1855 on a 12-ha domain a huge seal and cotton mill, which soon bankrupted. Taken over by the French state, it was transformed in 1874 into a state-owned cartridge factory that was operated until 1864.
Bourg-lès-Valence lost a significant part of its territory in 1850, when the municipality of Saint-Marcel-lès-Valence was established.

Ivan Sache, 26 April 2021

Flag of Bourg-lès-Valence

The flag of Bourg-lès-Valence (photo, photo) is white with the municipal coat of arms, "Per pale, 1. Azure an anchor or, 2. Or a cogwheel azure, in base three barrulets wavy counterchanged, a chief Gules a dolphin or fesswise contourned and regardant to dexter surmounting a ribband argent".
The arms represent river Rhône in base and the two traditional sources of income for the town, the river port (anchor) and industry (cog-wheel). The chief features the dolphin representing the traditional province of Dauphiné.

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 26 April 2021