Givors

The land of strong men

Givors is known as "the land of strong men" and the reputation has been confirmed by history. While the motto's origins are unclear, local historians recall the existence of a man called Jean-Marie Jou and noted in the early 19th century for his extraordinary strength. While he was not too good at Givors jousting for lack of balance, he could easily lift a 40 kilos bludgeon, which he used as a walking stick.

Jou is also known to have caught in his arms a worker who had fallen from scaffoldings, saving the man's life. Nearer to our time, the tradition was respected with Djamel Bouras, who became judo Olympic champion in 1996 in Atlanta.

He was dubbed "five hearts" or "ten lungs" because of his power. As for the local rugby union club, it produced two solid French internationals in former prop Sylvain Marconnet and current French captain, lock Pascal Pape.

Known for his fighting spirit and his love for rough play, "the President" is known as a leader of strong men.

Web sites

Judo olympic champion Djamel Bouras.
No previous stage
Population: 20,000
Chef-lieu de canton of Rhone (69)
Specialities: rigottes (goat cheese), muscat du Ventoux (black grapes), givordin. wine.
Economy: Total ACS, carbon, industry, metallurgy, dairy.
Sport: Stade Olympique de Givors (judo), SOG Givors (rugby), Club Pongiste Givordin (table tennis).
Celebrities: Jean-François Bony (painter), Jean Thevenot (journalist), Stephane Bullion (ballet dancer), Djamel Bouras (judo Olympic champion), Sylvain Marconnet, Pascal Pape, Cedric Desbrosse (rugby union)  
Festivals: Nuits Mozaiques (July) Foire nationale de la paperasse (Novembrer), Festival of lights (December)
Labels: ville fleurie, station handisports

Timeline

  • Roman period

    Occupied by the Gauls, the site on the banks of the Gier river is spotted by the Romans for its strategic value.
  • 1032

    The province passes under the domination of emperor Conrad II and becomes German until 1157, when Frederick I Barbarossa officially handed it to France.
  • 12th century

    Givors becomes a property of the archbishop of Lyon.
  • 1208

    The archbishop of Lyon builds the St Gerald castle.
  • 1591

    The Protestant troops of Lesdiguieres destroy the castle.
  • 1646

    Construction of the church dedicated to St Nicolas, patron saint of boatmen, who become a leading corporation in Givors in the 17th century. 18th century – Beginning of coalmining.
  • 1749

    Installation in Givors of a royal glass factory.
  • 1760-1780

    Construction of the canal of Givors intensifying the town's industrialisation.
  • 1830

    A railway opens between Givors and Rive-de-Gier. In 1832 it is prolonged towards Lyon and Saint-Etienne.
  • 1870

    Big strike over salaries.
  • 1980

    Operation dead city in Givors. The industrial golden age of the town is over.
Frederick Barbarossa dressed as a cusader, miniature of 1188. Vatican library.Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet church.
No previous stage
Population: 20,000
Chef-lieu de canton of Rhone (69)
Specialities: rigottes (goat cheese), muscat du Ventoux (black grapes), givordin. wine.
Economy: Total ACS, carbon, industry, metallurgy, dairy.
Sport: Stade Olympique de Givors (judo), SOG Givors (rugby), Club Pongiste Givordin (table tennis).
Celebrities: Jean-François Bony (painter), Jean Thevenot (journalist), Stephane Bullion (ballet dancer), Djamel Bouras (judo Olympic champion), Sylvain Marconnet, Pascal Pape, Cedric Desbrosse (rugby union)  
Festivals: Nuits Mozaiques (July) Foire nationale de la paperasse (Novembrer), Festival of lights (December)
Labels: ville fleurie, station handisports

Web sites

Givors and cycling

Inc cycling and particularly on the Dauphine Libere, Givors has always favoured Norwegian riders. Thor Hushovd won a stage in town in 2005. In June 2012, a stage starting from Givors and heading for La Clayette had been won by another Norwegian, Edvald Boasson Hagen.

Raymond Poulidor, stage Montpellier/Mont Ventoux, Tour de France 1965 - ©Presse SportsTour de France 2009, stage Montélimar/Mont Ventoux - ©Presse SportsTour de France 2013, stage Montélimar/Carpentras - ©Presse SportsTom Simpson memorial on Mont Ventoux, Montélimar/Mont Ventoux, 2009 - ©Presse Sports
No previous stage
Population: 20,000
Chef-lieu de canton of Rhone (69)
Specialities: rigottes (goat cheese), muscat du Ventoux (black grapes), givordin. wine.
Economy: Total ACS, carbon, industry, metallurgy, dairy.
Sport: Stade Olympique de Givors (judo), SOG Givors (rugby), Club Pongiste Givordin (table tennis).
Celebrities: Jean-François Bony (painter), Jean Thevenot (journalist), Stephane Bullion (ballet dancer), Djamel Bouras (judo Olympic champion), Sylvain Marconnet, Pascal Pape, Cedric Desbrosse (rugby union)  
Festivals: Nuits Mozaiques (July) Foire nationale de la paperasse (Novembrer), Festival of lights (December)
Labels: ville fleurie, station handisports

Web sites

Places to see

Cité des étoiles (City of stars)

Cité des étoiles (City of stars), listed as a 20th century heritage site, belongs to a series of exceptional construction operations undertaken in France in the 1970s. The work of architect Jean Renaudie – a national architecture Grand Prix winner in 1979 – the project aimed at reproducing the complexity of ancient towns with their variety of functions and directions favouring relationships between its inhabitants. The complex is similar to another one built at a later date by the architect in St Martin d'Heres around the same principle. Because of its walls all forming 45 degrees angles, the housing estate became known as Cité des étoiles (City of stars). The estate includes 207 homes, all different from each other. Each apartment is sunny and equipped with terraces and gardens while collective equipment includes a library, a theatre, a nursery, a police station and shops.

St Geradl castle

The St Gerald castle or fortress was built in the 13th century for Lyon archbishop Renaud de Forez to protect a new toll for goods transported on the Rhone. The medieval town developed around the castle, which was destroyed during the Wars of religion in 1591 by the Protestant Duke of Lesdiguieres. Its ruins were discovered in 1974 during the demolition of the old Givors and the construction of Cité des Etoiles.
What was left from1591 was enough to figure out what the castle looked like. The main fortification protected the houses of farmers, fishermen and shopkeepers. Two other ramparts existed. Near the keep, a church stood next to a graveyard, which was still in use after the destruction of the castle.

Canal of Givors:

The Canal of Givors, of which very little remains, was the first part of a great canal between the Rhone and the Loire which came close to being built until WWII. At first, engineer Francois Zacharie was only allowed to build it between Givors and Rive-de-Gier (15 km and 26 locks). The company running it only looked for rapid profit and failed to extend a canal enjoying an important traffic. In 1843, threatened by the railway lone, the company extended the waterway by five kilometres. But it was too late and the company went bankrupt while France bought the canal back. Its equipment was obsolete and the canal was abandoned in the early 20th century.

House of the Rhone river

This old 19th century bourgeois house is a unique equipment valorising the river Rhone, its landscapes, trades and traditions.

Cité des Etoiles - ©mairie de Givors / Jacques Del PinoGivors, the city if stars - © mairie de Givors / Jacques Del PinoConfluence of Rhône and Gier in Givors (Rhône, France) - Camster
No previous stage
Population: 20,000
Chef-lieu de canton of Rhone (69)
Specialities: rigottes (goat cheese), muscat du Ventoux (black grapes), givordin. wine.
Economy: Total ACS, carbon, industry, metallurgy, dairy.
Sport: Stade Olympique de Givors (judo), SOG Givors (rugby), Club Pongiste Givordin (table tennis).
Celebrities: Jean-François Bony (painter), Jean Thevenot (journalist), Stephane Bullion (ballet dancer), Djamel Bouras (judo Olympic champion), Sylvain Marconnet, Pascal Pape, Cedric Desbrosse (rugby union)  
Festivals: Nuits Mozaiques (July) Foire nationale de la paperasse (Novembrer), Festival of lights (December)
Labels: ville fleurie, station handisports

Web sites

Givors jousting

Givors is known as the homeland of one the six official methods of water jousting in France. The rules of Givors jousting are practically identical to those of the neighbouring Lyon to one major exception – while boats face each other from the left in Lyon, they cross each other's path from the right in Givors. Nobody exactly knows the reasons for such a difference, which makes it difficult to change from one style to the other. The Lyon and Givors jousting competitions are held mostly in the Rhone Valley but also in Oise, Lot and the banks of the Loire.

Four senior categories are accepted (lightweight, middleweight, light-heavyweight and heavyweight)  while the youth are split between heavy and lightweight. Since 2003, women are also competing in their own categories – lean and elegant.

The spears are 4.6 metres to 6 metres long for the seniors and are the heaviest in any style of jousting. The jousters stand on a platform at the back of the boat called "tabagnon". They must hold the spear with both hand during the joust and cannot touch the tabagnon with another part of their body but the feet or be disqualified. The jousters must also aim at the central part of their opponent's shield. Jousters are allowed two positions. The first, known as bent legged, is the oldest but jousters tended to stretch legs more and more to be more difficult to outbalance hence the new "stretched legged" position. The most prestigious competition is the individual French championship, taking place under a cup system.

Francesco Petrarca, Arras portrait collection, sanguine by Jacques Le Boucq
No previous stage
Population: 20,000
Chef-lieu de canton of Rhone (69)
Specialities: rigottes (goat cheese), muscat du Ventoux (black grapes), givordin. wine.
Economy: Total ACS, carbon, industry, metallurgy, dairy.
Sport: Stade Olympique de Givors (judo), SOG Givors (rugby), Club Pongiste Givordin (table tennis).
Celebrities: Jean-François Bony (painter), Jean Thevenot (journalist), Stephane Bullion (ballet dancer), Djamel Bouras (judo Olympic champion), Sylvain Marconnet, Pascal Pape, Cedric Desbrosse (rugby union)  
Festivals: Nuits Mozaiques (July) Foire nationale de la paperasse (Novembrer), Festival of lights (December)
Labels: ville fleurie, station handisports

Web sites

Jersey wearers after the stage 14

Classifications after the stage 14

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