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Saint-Étienne is a city in eastern central France.

It lies 60 km (40 miles) southwest of Lyonmarker in the Rhône-Alpes region and is the capital of the Loire département. It is situated in the Massif Centralmarker.


The town is situated on the trunk road that connects Toulousemarker with Lyonmarker through the Massif Central.


Musée d'art et d'industrie.
The city was named after Saint Stephen. From the sixteenth century, Saint-Étienne developed an arms manufacturing industry. It was this which accounted for the town's importance, although it also became a centre for the manufacture of ribbons and passementerie starting in the 17th century. During the French revolution, Saint-Étienne was briefly renamed Armeville - 'arms town' - because of this activity.

Later, it became a coal mining centre, and more recently, has been known for its bicycle industry.

In the first half of the 19th century, it was only a chief town of an arrondissement in the of the Loire, with a population of 33,064 in 1832. The concentration of industry prompted these numbers to rise rapidly to 110,000 by about 1880. It was this growing importance of Saint-Étienne that led to its being made seat of the prefecture and the departmental administration on 25 July 1855, when it became the chief town in the and seat of the prefect, usurping the position hitherto belonging to Montbrisonmarker. The latter was reduced to the status of chief town of an arrondissement. Saint-Étienne absorbed the commune of Valbenoîte and several other neighbouring localities on 31 March 1855.

In 1990, Saint-Étienne set up the design biennale which is the largest of its kind in France. The next convention is in 2010. It also launched the Massenet Festivals, (the place of birth of the composer) devoted mainly to perform his operas.


The city is home to three museums, of which the Musée d'Art Moderne has one of the largest collections of modern and contemporary art in France. The other two main museums in Saint-Etienne are Musée de la Mine and Musée des Ponts et Chaussées.


Population of the city at the 1999 census was 180,210 (177,300 as of February 2004 estimates). Population of the whole metropolitan area at the 1999 census was 321,703.

Inhabitants of Saint-Étienne are called stéphanois in French. They are named so because "Étienne" derives from the Greek Stephanos.


The city's football club AS Saint-Étienne has won the Ligue 1 title a record ten times.

St. Étienne was the capital of the French bicycle industry. The bicycle wheel manufacturer Mavic is based in the city and frame manufacturers Motobécane and Vitus are also based here. The city often hosts a stage of the Tour de France.

St. Étienne resident Thierry Gueorgiou is a world champion in orienteering.


Saint-Étienne is also notable for its Tramway de Saint Etienne tram system (which uniquely with Lille, it kept throughout the 20th century).

Bus and tram transport is regulated and provided by the STAS, a public transport executive organisationss.

Colleges and universities

Notable people

Street tram in the city
Châteaucreux Business Centre
Rochetaillée castle
View of Saint-Étienne

Saint-Étienne was the birthplace of:

It was also the place where Andrei Kivilev died.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Saint-Étienne is twinned with:

See also


External links

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