Capital of the canton of Ain
Stage town for the second time
Population: 22,517 (Oyonnaxiens, Oyonnaxiennes), 64,000 in the Haut Bugey Agglomération (42 communes) and 656,955 in the Ain department.
Specialities: Cerdon wine, Bugey and Jura wines, michon, pike quenelles with Nantua sauce, wine sausage, sugar pie, gum pie and praline pie from Pérouges, cheeses (comté, morbier, bleu de Gex, Ramequin du Bugey or la Tracle)
Personalities: Simon Desthieux (biathlon), Eric Barone (extreme mountain biking), Robert Tvorogla (gymnastics), Steed Malbranque (football), Jacky Platier, Maurice Barone, Papadacci, Louis Collomb, Armand Picco, Jonathan Prada Prada, René Briffouillère (weightlifting)
Sport: Oyonnax Rugby (Pro D2)
Economy: Plastic industry, eyewear, tourism.
Culture and Festivals: Spring and Winter Festival, Extreme Festival (mountain film), O' Bugey Festival, ....
Websites and social networks: www.oyonnax.fr / www.hautbugey-agglomeration.fr / www.hautbugey-tourisme.com / www.ain.fr / www.ain-tourisme.com / Twitter : @hautbugey_agglo
OYONNAX, A STORY
Oyonnax awarded a Resistance medal
On 11 November 1943, despite a ban by the Vichy government and the Nazi occupiers, the maquis of the Ain and Haut-Jura regions marched with their leader Henri Romans-Petit through the main street of the town. A tribute from the eventual victors to those of 14-18, this filmed evidence of the existence of a resisting France reached De Gaulle in London. As a result, he convinced Churchill to parachute arms to the interior French forces. Oyonnax was awarded a medal for the Resistance, just like Brest, the starting town of this Tour.
The founding legend of Oyonnax tells that in the 7th century, Clovis II, son of King Dagobert I, fell in love with a princess. Dagobert sent a delegation led by Leodogarius to ask for her hand in marriage. When they arrived near Oyonnax, Leodogarius' litter was broken. The inhabitants, skilled in the art of woodworking, repaired the vehicle. It was in recognition of the good care he received in Oyonnax that Leodogarius granted the locals the privilege of making boxwood combs.
In the late 19th century, a few Oyonnax tradesmen returning from the Universal Exhibition brought back celluloid, one of the first plastic materials. It replaced boxwood and led to the the industrial development of Oyonnax. Today its valley has 600 plastics companies, the only technical centre dedicated to plastic and composite innovation and two competitive clusters. Soon, Oyonnax will be home to two economic clusters, one dedicated to the plastic of the future, the other to recycling.
A group of industrialists from Oyonnax is launching a project to recycle post-production waste from the bottle industry (manufacture of plastic bottles). Their objective is to convert this industrial waste into technical fibre for weaving clothing, particularly cycling shirts. This project could eventually be integrated into the recycling cluster.
The AEPV business club (economic actors of the Plastics Valley) wishes to launch a territory brand "Fiersd'Oyo" on the occasion of the Tour de France. Companies in the Valley will be able to market a product that meets strict specifications (eco-responsible, made in France, etc.) to enrich the range distributed under this brand.
OYONNAX AND CYCLING
On 16 July 2014, Tony Gallopin broke away from the pack to win his first stage victory in the Tour de France in Oyonnax, two days after holding the yellow jersey for only one day. The Frenchman, who was riding for Belgian team Lotto-Belisol at the time, obtained his best performance in nine participations in the Grande Boucle with a 21st place in 2017 as his best final overall finish.
Although the town has only hosted the Tour once so far, it was the finish of three stages of the Critérium du Dauphiné, the first one in 1965 with a victory of Jacques Anquetil and the last one in 2013, when Elia Viviani won. In 2000, David Moncoutié also won a stage in the Tour de l'Avenir.
In 1905, the Union Electrique company designed a building offering independent workers, "piéçards" (because they were paid by the piece), the rental of small cabins with the electrical energy necessary for their activity. The construction of this "model factory" called "La Grande Vapeur" (The Grand Steam), in reference to an old factory with a steam engine, was entrusted to Auguste Chanard (1878-1934), who invented a new architecture adapted to the work of the first plastic material: celluloid. The exterior façade and the roof terrace were listed as Historical Monuments in 1988.
Built in 1840, it bears the name of the patron saint of Oyonnax and recalls his legend, the founding story of the town's industrial specificity. Saint-Léger is said to have granted the Oyonnax people the exclusive right to make combs.
Aragon cultural centre
On average, it welcomes more than 3,000 arts lovers every week. It houses a cinema, a music, dance and drama conservatory, a media library, an exhibition hall, two theatres welcoming international artists and the Comb and Plastics Museum.
Comb and Plastics Museum
Located in the heart of the Plastic Valley, the Oyonnax museum, unique in Europe, traces the industrial history of a town and its valley, from the first boxwood combs to the futuristic plastics industry. The Comb and Plastics Museum, which has been awarded the "Musée de France" label, has an exceptional collection of over 16,000 objects, from the first boxwood combs to design objects introducing new bioplastic materials.
Museum of Resistance
The new tour presents the strategic issues of the Ain department in the Second World War, putting the realities in perspective on a regional, national and European scale.
Punctuated by life stories, the exhibition also offers a reflection on the commitment of women and men from the Ain. It retraces their fight against the German occupiers and the Vichy regime in order to restore the Republic and freedom. It also sheds new light on the repression and persecution of civilians, resistance fighters and Jews in the Ain.
Oyonnax people have access to quality local sports facilities: the Christophe Lemaitre athletics stadium, the Robert Sautin water sports centre, the Léon Emin omnisport centre, and the Charles Mathon stadium, the playing field of the USO Rugby. The stadium was completely redesigned, enlarged and modernised in the summer of 2013 in order to host the Top 14. Its maximum capacity is 11,400. It is often referred to as an English-style stadium with stands very close to the pitch and an atmosphere that is reflected in the fact that very few opponents have won there.
Listed as a natural site and located in a clearing surrounded by fir trees, Lake Genin is nicknamed "The Little Canada of Haut-Bugey". Indeed, it takes on the appearance of a Canadian landscape with the passing of the seasons.
- Altitude: 850 m
- Surface area: 8.15 ha
- Maximum length: 380 m
- Maximum width: 330 m
- Maximum depth: 24 m
The Sarsouille trail
Starting from the centre of Oyonnax and going up the Sarsouille river in the Brétouze forest, come and discover the beautiful history that links the river to the inhabitants of the region.