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Sorbiers (Municipality, Loire, France)

Last modified: 2005-12-24 by ivan sache
Keywords: loire | sorbiers |
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[Flag of Sorbiers]

Municipal flag of Sorbiers - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 10 March 2005

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Presentation of Sorbiers

The small city of Sorbiers (7,500 inhabitants - Sorberans) is located some 10 km north-east of Saint-Etienne, in the pays of Forez. The city was named after the sorb, in French, sorbier.

Until the middle of the XIXth century, the name of the village was written Sorbier, without the final s. Around 1860, the two orthographies Sorbier and Sorbiers appeared on the same marriage certificate. The addition of the final 's was most probably a flourish. In 1908, the death certificate of Mayor Claudius Remilleux included three times Sorbiers in its modern orthography, and the certificate can be considered as the officialization of the current name of the city. The city is located on a small river named Onzon, from an ancient Gallic word meaning river.

In 984, a record of the possessions of the Church of Lyon included ecclesia de sorber, the church of Sorbiers. At the end of the XVIIIth century, Sorbier(s) was a village et paroisse en Forez, rattaché à l'archiprêtré de Saint-Etienne (a village and parish in Forez, depending on the Archipriestry of Saint-Etienne). Short before the French Revolution, the parish of Notre-Dame-de-Sorbier(s) belonged to Saint-Romain-en-Jarez, along with the other small parishes of Cellieu, Chagnon, Fontanes et Saint-Christo-en-Jarezo.
In 1789, the Constituant Assembly created the municipalities. The Napoleonic administrative reforms and later the development of industry and coal mining in the region caused population movements. In 1872, the new municipality of La Talaudière was created with territories taken from the municipalities of Sorbiers, Saint-Jean-Bonnefonds and La Tour-en-Jarez.

Sorbiers was initially a rural village. Lime (in French, chaux) was excavated and burned in a place named La Choltière. There were still several lime ovens on Sorbiers on the XVIIIth century. There were also family workshops for unwinding of silk and production of nails.
Metallurgy started in the area in the Middle Ages and thrived in the Renaissance. Later, the production of nails in Sorbiers was favoured by the proximity of coalmines, of the shipyards of Saint-Rambert-sur-Loire and the pre-industrial development of the city of Saint-Etienne. In 1789, there were 9 nail makers out of 61 workers in Sorbiers; their number increased to 23 in 1807. The industrial revolution suppressed the local nail production in the middle of the XIXth century.
The industrial development of Sorbiers started with the opening of a coalmine in the XIXth century. Five years later, the population increased by one quarter.
The industrial park of La Vaure was opened in 1961, which compensated for the closing of the coalmine in 1968.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 10 March 2005

Municipal flag of Sorbiers

The municipal flag of Sorbiers is white with the municipal logotype in the middle. The logotype of Sorbiers is the name of the city with the O filled in yellow and a red I.
The flag is flown in the municipal park, along with the flags of France and European Union, as shown on the municipal website.

Ivan Sache, 10 March 2005