Photographer's Note

Mornant is a town and commune with population of around 5000 inhabitants, situated in the Rhône département 24 kilometres south west of the city of Lyon. It has an area of 1576 hectares. Located at the foot of the eastern edge of the Massif Central in the the Monts du Lyonnais, Mornant developed on a plateau with an average altitude of 370 metres, overlooking the Rhone Valley.

Remains found locally suggest that the area was inhabited during the Gallic period. The Romans during the period of Hadrian in the early part of the second century AD constructed major water works in the area to carry water into the town of Lyon, then known as Lugdunum. The Gier aqueduct crosses the commune from north to south over a distance of 6.4 kilometres, although it is mainly underground.

After the Barbarian invasions, the area was settled by the Burgundians. An abbey was constructed at Montclare, but was later destroyed about 855 during wars involving the successors of Charlemagne. It is believed that stones from the ruined abbey were used to build a wall around the town that had developed nearby. The wall was lined with ditches whose memory has been maintained in the names of several streets - Rue des Petits-Soils and Rue des Fosses.

During the middle of the nineteenth century the town experienced a highpoint in its fortunes. The local hat making industry employed approximately half the population, then 2500. Work included silk weaving and embroidery. Agriculture was also thriving with some 400 hectares being devoted to the cultivation of grape vines. The current Town Hall was constructed at this time just on the outer edge of the old town.

In 1880, the vineyards were lost to the phylloxera virus; at the same time the local hat making industry succumbed to the onslaught of modern industrial processes. The Great War also had a major impact on the town's population, which by 1920 had fallen sharply to 1614. Fortunately, matters have improved somewhat since the Second World War and Mornant is now a lively thriving town.

The above was extracted and freely translated from an article on the French Wikipedea web site.

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10627 W: 63 N: 29874] (130967)
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