08/29 > 09/20/2020

5 previous stages

Prefecture of Ain (01)

Population : 40,300 (Burgiens, Burgiennes), 132,000 in the agglomeration.

Specialties : AOP Bresse poultry, AOP Bresse cream and butter, Giraudet quenelles, Bleu de Bresse cheese, AOC Comté, Gaudrioles (biscuits), wines of Bugey AOC.

Celebrities: Margaret of Austria, Edgar Quinet (writer), Daniel Morelon (track cyclist), Gilles Bouvard (cyclist), Julien Benneteau (tennis), Laurent Gerra (stand-up comedian), Luc Jacquet (film maker), Lionel Nallet (rugby union), Georges Blanc (chef), Geoffrey Soupe (cyclist), Antoine Diot (basketball).

Sport: JL Bourg Basket, US Bressane (rugby union), FC Bourg-Péronnas (football), TC Bourg (tennis), VC Bressan (cycling).

Events: International showjumping, semi-marathon, Tour de l’Ain cycling.

Economy: food industry (poultry), trucks, university (3,400 students), tourism. 

Festivals: A la folie…pas du tout (Royal monastery of Brou, summer), Ambronay Festival (September), Estivales de Brou (July), Les Ain’pertinentes (biennal of popular arts)

Labels: children-friendly city (UNICEF) ; ville fleurie *** ; Qualiville

Websites / FB / Twitterwww.bourgenbresse.fr / www.bourgenbresse-agglomeration.fr / www.bourgenbressetourisme.fr / www.ain.fr / www.ain-tourisme.com / www.facebook.com/ville-de-bourg-en-bresse-officiel / www.facebook.com/bbagglomeration / www.twitter.com/bbagglo / www.la-belle-rencontre.fr

Station of Bourg-en-Bresse - France, Rhone-Alpes © Getty/Leonid Andronov
© Sébastien Tournier
© Marc Chatelain
© Sébastien Tournier
© Sébastien Tournier
© Ville de Bourg-en-Bresse/S. Buathier


Colours of Love, artistic highlighting of the heritage
Initiated by the City of Bourg-en-Bresse in 2015, Couleurs d'Amour, the artistic highlighting of the local heritage created by Gilbert Coudène (winner of the City of Lyon's trophy of lights), brings together tens of thousands of spectators every summer. The light show now lights up three major facades in the heart of the city in July and August: the Royal Monastery of Brou, the Theatre and the Town Hall. Couleurs d'Amour is gradually becoming a major event, a city project and more broadly a territory landmark, earning every year the renewed support of the population and the many visitors.

La Belle Rencontre, a regional approach
With 74 municipalities and a population of 132,000 , the Bourg-en-Bresse basin is an attractive area for investors and tourists alike and where the art of living is not just a concept. In order to better promote it and to strengthen the feeling and pride of belonging and improve its attractiveness, the community of communes has created a shared brand, Bourg-en-Bresse, la Belle Rencontre (the beautiful meeting). This brand is deployed with various tools, including a website, various promotional films, a book ... A network of public and private partners are committed to relaying the brand in their respective communications. A community of citizen “ambassadors” is also developing. Among its members, many celebrated personalities such as Lionel Nallet, Georges Blanc, Antoine Diot ...

© Ville de Bourg/Serge Buathier
Lionel Nallet à Bourg-en-Bresse © Presse Sports/Sébastien Boué


Thor Hushovd in 2002, Tom Boonen in 2007: Bourg-en-Bresse often suited sprinters in the Tour de France. In 2014, for the start of a stage to Saint-Etienne, Alexander  Kristoff confirmed the trend. It is only natural for the birthplace of Daniel Morelon, who was for a long time the most crowned athlete in French sport before being overtaken by judo wrestler Teddy Riner. Olympic sprint champion in 1968 and 1972, the former member of VC Bressan swept 7 world crowns between 1966 and 1975, making him the second sprinter with the most world titles behind Japan’s Koichi Nakano. After the end of his sporting career in 1980, Daniel Morelon kept collecting laurels by coaching Felicia Ballanger or Laurent Gané. Since then he looked after the Chinese sprint team before retiring. In 2016, for the last visit by the TOUR to the prefecture of Ain, Colombian Jarlinson Pantano broke the sprinting tradition by winning on bis own in Culoz in a stage which started from Bourg.

Le norvégien Thor Hushovd en 2002 © Presse Sports/Pierre Lablatinière
Tom Boonen lors de l'étape 6 Semur en Auxois-Bourg en Bresse du Tour de France 2007 © Presse Sports/Bernard Papon


Royal Monastery of Brou
This masterpiece of the Flamboyant Gothic was built shortly before the Renaissance, between 1513 and 1532, by Margaret of Austria to celebrate her love for her defunct husband, Phillibert the Handsome, Duke of Savoy. It was elected as France’s favourite monument in 2014.  

Local heritage
In Bourg-en-Bresse can be found one of the very few apothecary stores to retain a laboratory in a perfect state of preservation. In Courtes, the museum-farm of the Forest, symbolic of the architecture of Bresse, has been listed as a historical monument since 1930. In the heart of the village of Cuisiat, the museum of Revermont displays the cultural riches of the small region between Bresse and the Ain river.  

The old town
From the half-timber houses to the elegant façades of the town centre, from the Gothic porch of the old Dominican convent to the Notre-Dame cathedral and the Black Virgin legend, a stroll around Bourg-en-Bresse is also a time travel. Parks, gardens and fountains bring a bit of freshness to the visit.  

Leisure bases
Bouvent in Bourg-en-Bresse: beach, angling, nautical base, playgrounds, footpaths, golf.
Plaine Tonique in Montrevel-en-bresse: lake, beaches, playgrounds, mini-golf, nautical activities, camping and snacks.
La Grande du Pin in Treffort-Cuisiat: pond (angling, games, sports grounds...), camping and restaurant.

Royal Monastery of Brou in Bourg en Bresse, France © Getty/Leonid Andronov
© Franck Paubel
Maison médiévale à colombages © Getty/Ludovic Debono
© Sébastien Tournier
© Creative Commons 3.0/Piero d'Houin
© Marc Chatelain
Parc de loisirs Bouvent © Serge Buathier


The poultry of Bresse: a long history
The history of Poultry of Bresse started in the Roman era, 400 years BC. The invaders took their cattle with them and the local varieties such as Noire de Louhans, Grise de Bourg-en-Bresse or Blanche de Bény perfectly mixed with the newcomers. But the first mention of poultry in the region dates back to 1591 when the town’s inhabitants offered two dozens of fat poultries to the marquis of Treffort, who had defeated and expelled the troops of Savoy. Bresse poultry was already seen as an offering and a fine gift. In 1825, illustrious chef Brillat-Savarin listed the poultry of Bresse as the best in the kingdom and called it “the queen of poultry and the poultry of kings”. In 1957, the National Assembly voted to make the poultry of Bresse a protected appellation (AOC).

© Creative Commons 4.0/Chabe01

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