Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region: History

From ancient times, it retains that Auvergne was rich and powerful, protected from incursions by its mountainous terrain: decades of public policies for land use have not erased what is known today as isolation.


The pilgrims' way of Saint Jacques de Compostela around it except a stage in Puy-en-Velay. Rhône-Alpes, in contrast, had already crossed by Roman roads up to Cologne or Aosta bypassing Lake Geneva, and the importance of the port of Vienna equaled that of Ostia, south of Rome.


The mountains in Auvergne and Rhône-Alpes, Massif Central, Alps and Jura, have kept through the centuries this role of protection for men: and Protestants after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 in the Vivarais and the Dauphiné or resistance during the Second World War in the Vercors and Glières plateau in Rhône-Alpes, Margeride and Mont Mouchet in Auvergne, for example.


Today their sites and natural environments are recognized, protected and valued in parks and nature reserves. The two regions are, with different assets, both landscape and heritage, very attractive for tourism.


While the Auvergne is solidly planted in the heart of the hexagon, Rhône-Alpes is located on the eastern fringes, which evolved until the incorporation in 1860 of what became Savoy and Haute-Savoie.


A border which was thus agitated, the matrimonial alliances of the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries not having mitigated the dukes of Savoy! These traces of the vicissitudes of history and its conflicts can be read in the institutional geography, such as the enclave of the popes in Drôme.


They also permeate the languages ​​between oc, oïl and Franco-Provençal, the cultures: the boatmen of the Rhône designate its left bank by "the Empire" and the right bank by "the Kingdom", the Dauphiné not being attached to the France in the fifteenth century.