Vienne : Circuit of Heritage Trails
A brief history of VienneThe Vienne region has been inhabited since ancient times. In the 3rd century B.C., the Allobroges Gauls had a small village there which was elevated to the rank of capital. Its loyalty to Rome, during the Gallic war, earned Vienne the title of Latin colony before it was awarded the envied title of Roman colony in 40 A.D. The town grew up on both sides of the Rhône and became one of the largest towns in Gaul. The city enjoyed another heyday from the 4th century onwards when it became the county town in the Vienne province. During the 9th century, Vienne became the capital of the kingdom of Provence. In the 11th century, it became part of the German Holy Roman Empire. Thewealth and power of the archbishops continued to grow; one of them, Guy of Burgundy, was electedPope under the name of Calixte II in 1119. He gave the title of primacy to Saint-Maurice Cathedral,confirming the primacy of the Vienne archdiocese over the provinces.In 1311-1312, Saint-Maurice Cathedral housed the ecumenical council which, under pressure from King Philippe the Fair, pronounced the dissolution of the Order of the Templars. In 1450, Vienne was attached to the kingdom of France; it was then gradually overshadowed by neighbouring Lyon. The 18th century saw a period of economic revival, thanks to the establishment of cloth manufacturers and metallurgical industries, whose increased development in the 19th century boosted the population. Today, the city of Vienne is mainly centred on tourism and the service sector, although it does have a few high-tech industries.
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