A general view of Villefranche-sur-Saône
|• Mayor||Bernard Perrut (UMP)|
|9.48 km2 (3.66 sq mi)|
|• Density||4,000/km2 (10,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
From 1892 to 1897, later Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin attended school in the city. The popular French singers Coralie Clément and Benjamin Biolay, as well as football player hopeful Grégory Bettiol and actor and cellist Maurice Baquet were born in the town.
Villefranche-sur-Saône was founded in 1212 by Guichard IV, count of Beaujeu (Arpitan: Bôjor/Biôjœr), and became in the 14th century the capital of the Beaujolais (Arpitan: Biôjolês) province. It endured three sieges in the 15th and 16th centuries. The town walls were taken down early in the 19th century.
Industries include wine-trading, metallurgy, textiles, and chemicals.
The church of Notre-Dame des Marais, begun at the end of the 14th and finished in the 16th century, has a tower and spire (rebuilt in 1862), standing to the right of the 15th century façade, in which are carved wooden doors.
FC Villefranche is based in the town.
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