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Rhône (Department, France)

Last modified: 2021-06-15 by ivan sache
Keywords: rhône |
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Administrative data

Code: 69
Region: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (Rhône-Alpes until 2014)
Traditional province: Lyonnais
Bordering departments: Ain, Isère, Loire, Grand Lyon, Saône-et-Loire
Area: 2,725 km2
Population (2016): 447,409 inhabitants

Préfecture: Lyon (provisory)
Sous-préfecture: Villefranche-sur-Saône
Subdivisions: 1 arrondissement, 13 cantons, 219 municipalities.

The department is named after river Rhône.
The department was created in 1793, when the department of Rhône-et-Loire was divided into Rhône and Loire.
The urbanization of the surroundings of Lyon caused the transfer of several municipalities from the departments of Isère and Ain to the department of Rhône, causing a territorial increase of 458 km2 for Rhône.
Decree of 2 March 1852 transferred from Isère the municipalities of Bron, Vaulx-en-Velin, Vénissieux (from which the municipality of Saint-Fons seceded in 1888) and Villeurbanne.
Law of 29 December 1967, published in the French official gazette on 30 December 1967, with effect on 31 December 1967, transferred from Isère the municipalities of Chaponnay, Chassieu, Communay, Corbas, Décines-Charpieu, Feyzin, Genas, Jonage, Jons, Marennes, Meyzieu, Mions, Pusignan, Saint-Bonnet-de-Mure, Saint-Laurent-de-Mure, Saint-Pierre-de-Chandieu, Saint-Priest, Saint-Symphorien-d'Ozon, Sérézin-du-Rhône, Simandres, Solaize, Ternay and Toussieu, and, from Ain, the municipalities of Genay, Montanay, Rillieux, Crépieux-la-Pape (merged in 1972 with Rillieux to form Rillieux-la-Pape), Sathonay-Camp and Sathonay-Village.
Decree of 5 March 1971, published in the French official gazette on 14 March 1971, with effect on 1 April 1971, transferred from Isère the municipality Colombier-Saugnieu.

Métropole de Lyon, aka Grand Lyon, established on 1 January 2015, is a territorial collectivity with particular status, exerting the competencies of both a department and a metropolis. Grand Lyon is composed of 59 municipalities formerly part of the department of Rhône.

Ivan Sache & Olivier Touzeau, 22 January 2019

Banner of arms of Rhône


Banner of arms of Rhône - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 5 May 2019

The flags representing the departments of Region Rhône-Alpes were hoisted, together with the Region's flag, in front of the seat of the former Regional Council at Charbonnières-les-Bains, near Lyon (photo, 12 February 2006).
The department of Rhône was represented by a banner of its arms, "Per pale: 1. Gules a lion rampant argent a chief azure three fleurs-de-lis or, 2. Or a lion rampant sable armed and langued overall a label of five points dove-tailed gules."
The left part of the arms represents Lyonnais (indeed the arms are those of the town of Lyon) while the right parts of the arms represents Beaujolais.
The coat of arms of Rhône was assigned by Jacques Meurgey de Tupigny & Robert Louis in Marques symboliques des départements français.

Beaujolais, named for its capital Beaujeu, was a Baronage subsequently erected to a County. According to Eugène Méhu, the label was added to the original arms of the lords of Beaujeu by Guichard V in 1250 as a brisure, either because his elder son had taken the coat or because he wanted to highlight his origins, from the Counts of Lyon and Forez (?). The label was sometimes represented with only three points.
[Salles-Arbuissonnas municipal website]

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 5 May 2019