Stage town for the 6th time
Prefecture of Ain (01)
Population: 41,700, 133,000 in the agglomeration
Specialities: Bresse PDO poultry, Bresse PDO butter and cream, Giraudet quenelles, Bleu de Bresse cheese, Comté PDO, Gaudriolles, Bugey PDO wines.
Personalities: Margaret of Austria, Edgar Quinet (writer), Daniel Morelon (cyclist), Gilles Bouvard (cyclist), Julien Benneteau (tennis), Laurent Gerra (comedian), Luc Jacquet (film director), Lionel Nallet (rugby), Georges Blanc (chef), Geoffrey Soupe (cyclist), Antoine Diot (basketball).
Sport: JL Bourg Basket, US Bressane (rugby), FC Bourg-Péronnas (football), TC Bourg (tennis), VC Bressan (cycling).
Events: International swow-jumping, half-marathon, Tour de l'Ain cyclist.
Economy: food industry (poultry), truck industry, university (3,400 students), tourism.
Festivals: A la folie...pas du tout (Royal Monastery of Brou, summer), Ambronay Festival (September), Les Estivales in Brou (July), Les Ain'pertinentes (biennial of popular urban art)
Labels: child-friendly town (UNICEF) / town in bloom *** / Qualiville / Tour de France cycling town (3 bikes)
Websites: www.bourgenbresse.fr / www.grandbourg.fr / www.bourgenbressedestinations.fr / www.ain.fr / www.ain-tourisme.com / www.la-belle-rencontre.fr
BOURG-EN-BRESSE AND CYCLING
Sprinting in the spotlight
Thor Hushovd in 2002, Tom Boonen in 2007: Bourg-en-Bresse has often been successful for sprinters in the Tour de France. In 2014, Alexander Kristoff confirmed the trend with the start of a stage to Saint-Étienne. In 2020, it was Soren Kragh Andersen who won the last stage of the Tour de France starting from Bourg in Champagnole, where Primoz Roglic was still the leader before being dethroned by Tadej Pogacar. This predilection for sprinting seems normal for the birthplace of Daniel Morelon, who was for a long time the most successful French male sportsman in history before being joined and overtaken by the judoka Teddy Riner. Olympic sprint champion in 1968 and 1972, the former VC Bressan member won seven world titles between 1966 and 1975, which made him the most successful sprinter at individual world championships before the arrival of Japan's Koïchi Nakano (10 titles). After his retirement at the end of 1980, Daniel Morelon continued his collection of laurels, taking charge of the careers of Félicia Ballanger and Laurent Gané. Since then, he has brought his light to the Chinese track teams before stepping back, while remaining a reference. In 2016, for the last passage of the Tour in the prefecture of Ain, Colombian Jarlinson Pantano broke the tradition by winning solo in Culoz in a stage that started in Bourg.
Royal Monastery of Brou
Construction: 1513 to 1532.
Style: Flamboyant Gothic.
History: This masterpiece was built at the dawn of the Renaissance by Margaret of Austria to perpetuate the love she had for her late husband, Philibert the Handsome, Duke of Savoy. Returning to Belgium to assume the Regency while awaiting the coming of age of her nephew Charles V, Margaret of Austria herself chose the building site managers, as well as the painters and sculptors, notably architect Louis van Bodeghem, sculptor Conrad Meit and painter Jehan Perréal. The monastery, which was entrusted to the Augustinians, had three cloisters, the situation of which had not changed. Margaret of Austria had planned to complete her widowhood here but died too soon. Two years after her death, she was buried there with her husband and mother-in-law. Threatened with destruction during the Revolution, it was finally declared a "national monument" and preserved.
Current destination: its monastic buildings house the municipal museum of Bourg-en-Bresse.
Listed as: Historical Monument since 1862. Voted France's favourite monument in 2014.
The old town
From the half-timbered houses to the elegant facades of the town centre, from the Gothic porch of the former Dominican convent to the Notre-Dame co-cathedral and its legend of the Black Madonna, a walk through Bourg-en-Bresse is also a journey through time. Numerous parks, gardens and fountains provide a breath of fresh air to this historical and architectural discovery.
Bourg-en-Bresse has one of the only apothecaries in France with a perfectly preserved laboratory. In Courtes, the farm-museum of La Forêt, a model of Bresse architecture, has been listed as a historical monument since 1930. In the heart of the village of Cuisiat, the Revermont Museum presents the social and cultural characteristics of Revermont, between Bresse and the river Ain.
Bouvent in Bourg-en-Bresse: beach, fishing, water sports centre, playground, walking routes, golf... La Plaine Tonique in Montrevel-en-bresse: lake, beaches, playgrounds, mini-golf, water activities, camping and restaurants. La Grande du Pin in Treffort-Cuisiat: water park (fishing, games, sports grounds, adventure course...), campsite and restaurant.
Colours of Love
Initiated by the city of Bourg-en-Bresse in 2015, "Couleurs d'Amour", an artistic heritage lighting show created by Gilbert Coudène (winner of the City of Lyon's lighting trophy), brings together tens of thousands of spectators every summer. This light show dresses up three major facades in the heart of the city, in July and August: the Royal Monastery of Brou, the Theatre and the City Hall.
Bresse poultry, a whole history!
The history of Bresse poultry begins in Roman times, 400 years before Christ. The invaders had the good idea of moving with their flocks. The local breeds - the Noire de Louhans, the Grise de Bourg-en-Bresse, the Blanche de Bény - assimilated the best contributions. It was not until 1591 that Bresse poultry was first mentioned. In the register of Bourg-en-Bresse, the population offered two dozen fat poultry to the Marquis of Treffort, who had driven away the Savoy troops. Already, Bresse poultry was an offering, a refined gift. In 1825, Brillat-Savarin, in his book La physiologie du gout (The Physiology of Taste), ranked Bresse poultry in first place and gave it the nickname of "queen of poultry, poultry of kings". Anxious to protect their terroir, the producers delimited a territory and joined together within the Comité interprofessionnel de la volaille de Bresse (CIVB). On August 1, 1957, the French Parliament voted to grant the appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) for Bresse poultry and in 1976 for Bresse turkey.