Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne (French pronunciation: [sɛ̃ʒɑ̃ d(ə) mɔʁjɛn]; Arpetan: Sent-Jian-de-Môrièna Italian: San Giovanni di Moriana) is a commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.


A view of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in the direction of Modane

Coat of arms
Location of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne
Coordinates: 45°16′22″N 6°20′54″E
IntercommunalityCœur de Maurienne
  Mayor (20142020) Pierre-Marie Charvoz
11.51 km2 (4.44 sq mi)
  Density710/km2 (1,800/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
73248 /73300
Elevation489–1,200 m (1,604–3,937 ft)
(avg. 566 m or 1,857 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

It lies in the Maurienne, the valley of the River Arc. It was also an Episcopal See of Savoy during the Ancien Régime and again from 1825 to 1966. Its original name was simply Maurienne, or Moriana in Italian and Latin.



Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne is located at the confluence of the Arc, a river which has shaped the Maurienne Valley, and the Arvan which descends the Arves Valley (Col de la Croix de Fer).

The neighbouring communes of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne are Saint-Julien-Mont-Denis, Jarrier, Hermillon, Villargondran, Albiez-le-Jeune, Albiez-Montrond, Saint-Pancrace and Pontamafrey-Montpascal.


The climate is the alpine type because of the presence of the Alpine Massif.

Paris1797 hrs/yr642 mm (25.3 in)/yr15 days/yr19 days/yr13 days/yr
Nice2694 hrs/yr767 mm (30.2 in)/yr1 day/yr31 days/yr1 day/yr
Strasbourg1637 hrs/yr610 mm (24 in)/yr30 days/yr29 days/yr65 days/yr
Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne1970 hrs/yr960 mm (38 in)/yr... days/yr... days/yr... days/yr
National average1973 hrs/yr770 mm (30 in)/yr14 days/yr22 days/yr40 days/yr

Lines of communication and transport



Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne is located on the route of the future new Lyon-Turin rail link. Homes, businesses, the SNCF railway station and the rescue centre are fully affected by this project. Responsible for the phase "studies", the Lyon Turin Railway company (LTF) foresees the installation of a new station in the Sous-le-Bourg quarter, serving the historic line and the Lyon-Turin line. Geological and topographical investigations are underway. This project promises to be even more complex than that of the Channel Tunnel.

Public transport

The town of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne is equipped with a network of public transport run by the Communauté de communes Cœur de Maurienne.[2]


A heliport is available for the helicopter of the gendarmerie whose base is located in Modane.


Urban morphology

La Bastille, les Chaudannes and les Clapeys are the three main quarters.


The total number of dwellings in the commune is 4,240.[3] Among such housing, 87.9% are principal residences, 5.4% are secondary homes and 6.7% are vacant dwellings. These accommodations have a share of 17.5% as individual houses, 79.3% as apartments and finally only 3.2% as dwellings of another type. The number of residents who own their homes is 37.9%.[3] This is lower than the national average which adds up to nearly 55.3%. The number of tenants is 56.7% throughout the housing which is higher than the national average of 39.8%.[3] It may be noted also that 5.4% of the inhabitants of the commune are people who are housed for free while at the level of the whole of the France the percentage is 4.9%. Still on all of the municipality housing, 3.5% are studios, 11.5% are two-room housing, 28.4% have three, 34.5% of dwellings have four rooms, and 22.1% of dwellings have five rooms or more.[3]

Development projects


Locality named after John the Baptist, the precursor, son of Zechariah and Saint Elizabeth, cousin of Jesus, beheaded in 31 AD at the request of the Princess Salome.

Latin name: Mauriana


Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne has been the capital of the Maurienne Valley since the 6th century. After Saint Thècle reported from Alexandria (Egypt) the relics of St. John the Baptist which are the three fingers represented on the arms of the city, as well as on the Opinel knife blades, the town was raised to the rank of diocese by Guntram, grandson of Clovis I.

In 753, Grifo went to Italy to join the King of the Lombards, Aistulf, the most powerful opponent of his half-brother, the King of the Franks, Pepin the Short, but he was killed at Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne by the men of Pepin.

The oldest possessions of the Counts of Savoy were the counties of Maurienne, Savoy proper (the district between Arc, Isère, and the middle course of the Rhone), and Belley, with Bugey as its chief town.

The Duchy of Savoy, which had been a French-speaking province under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont, was invaded by Revolutionary France, but restored to Piedmont in 1815. It became part of France in 1859, after the Second Italian War of Independence.

The Aix-les-Bains—Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne railway line opened in 1857.[4]

In the early 1900s, the technological advances of Swiss hydroelectric power were originally the subject of intense stock market speculation on hydroelectric companies, which benefitted the Maurienne Valley with industrial facilities, while tourism took off.

Politics and administration

The city of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne is a sub-prefecture of the Savoy. The Arrondissement of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne is divided into six cantons:

The city of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne is part of the 3rd constituency of Savoie.

It is also the most important city of the Communauté de communes Cœur de Maurienne.

Traditionally, Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne has been a stronghold of the Socialist left, from the 1930s, due to the importance of its worker labor pool. Thus, Roland Merloz was the Socialist mayor from 1977 to 2008. But since the 1990s and sociological changes in the Maurienne (departure of factories, multiplication of tourist resorts, decrease of the population with an increase in representation of the elderly), the right-wing vote has increased. A UMP Councillor General, Pierre-Marie Charvoz, was elected in 2001, Nicolas Sarkozy was in the lead in the two rounds of the presidential elections of 2007, with respectively 33.5% and 56.62%, and in 2008, Pierre-Marie Charvoz won the communal elections.

Municipal government

The municipal Council of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne has 29 members. It is composed of a mayor, seven assistants, four delegate councillors and seventeen councillors.

Roland Merloz, mayor of the city since 1977, announced his desire not to stand in 2008.

The following is the share of seats in the municipal council of Saint Jean de Maurienne:

PartyMain candidateSeatsStatus
UMPPierre-Marie Charvoz23Majority
Union of the LeftHervé Bottino6Opposition

In the municipal elections of March 2008, turnout of the first round was 65.46% with a total of 5,310 people registered to vote in the commune. The number of voters amounted to 3,476 voters which 3,393 expressed themselves. In the first round, the presidential majority list of Ensemble pour Saint Jean [Together for Sain Jean] with its head, Pierre-Marie Charvoz collected 46.95% of the vote or 1,593 votes. Followed by the list of "Saint Jean 10,000" led by Hervé Bottino, having received 34.39% of the vote or 1,169 votes. In third position, Saint Jean à venir [Saint Jean to come] list, headed by Christine Merlin got 13.26% of the votes or 450 votes. Finally the list Vivons Saint Jean [Live Saint Jean], led by Florence Arnoux Le Bras got 5.39% or 183 votes.

In the second round, the turnout was 68.57%. The number of voters amounted to 3,642 voters with 3,509 expressing themselves. In the second round, the presidential majority list of Ensemble pour Saint Jean with its head, Pierre-Marie Charvoz collected 55.40% of the vote or 1,944 votes and won 23 seats. The list of "Saint Jean 10 000" conducted by Hervé Bottino, received 44.60% of the vote or 1,565 votes and was therefore awarded 6 seats. The other lists were not present in the second round.

List of mayors

List of mayors of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne
Start End Name Party Other details
1860 1862 Cyrille Richard ... Mayor
1862 1865 Antoine Mottard ... Mayor
1865 1870 Cyrille Richard ... Mayor
1870 1870 Alexis Magnin ... Provisional mayor
1870 1874 Maurice Petit ... Mayor
1874 1876 Cyrille Richard ... Mayor
1876 1881 Ignace Deleglise ... Mayor
1881 1904 Florimond Truchet ... Mayor
1904 1911 Joseph Vuillermet ... Mayor
1911 1912 Charles Bonnivard ... Mayor
1912 1935 Henri Falcoz ... Mayor, député
1935 1938 Alphonse Thibieroz ... Mayor
1938 1943 Jean-Pierre Bouttaz ... Mayor
1943 1944 Guido Fodéré ... Mayor
1944 1945 Georges Beaufils ... Mayor
1945 1953 Florimond Girard UNR Conseiller général, député
1953 1971 Samuel Pasquier UNR Mayor
1971 1977 Charles Gubian UNR Mayor
1977 2008 Roland Merloz PS Conseiller général
March 2008 In progress Pierre-Marie Charvoz UMP then UDI Mayor/Conseiller général

Twin towns

Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne is twinned with:

Population and society


In 2012, the commune had 8,067 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known through the population censuses carried out in the town since 1793. From the 21st century, communes with a population of less than 10,000 have real censuses held every five years, unlike other municipalities which have a sample survey each year.[note 1][note 2]

Historical population
From 1962 to 1999: Population without double counting; for the years following: municipal population.
Source: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1999[5] then INSEE from 2004[6]

The evolution of the population structure of the commune of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, comparison between the years 1999 and 1982:[7]

Population by age of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, 1999

Total: 8907

Source: INSEE
Population by age of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, 1982

Total: 9643

Source: INSEE

The total number of households in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne is 3,729. These households are not all equal in numbers of individuals. Some of these households contain one, others two, three, four, five or even more than six people. Here, below, is the data as a percentage of the distribution of these households, compared to the total number of households.


Households of: 1 person 2 people 3 people 4 people 5 people 6+ people
Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne 32.9% 31.8% 16.8% 13.4% 3.5% 1.6%
National average 31% 31.1% 16.2% 13.8% 5.5% 2.4%
Data sources: INSEE[8]



  • Aristide-Briand kindergarten (public)
  • Des Clapeys kindergarten (public)
  • Des Chaudannes kindergarten(public)
  • Saint-Joseph kindergarten(private)

Primary schools:

  • Aristide-Briand primary school (public)
  • Des Clapeys primary school (public)
  • Des Chaudannes primary school (public)
  • Saint-Joseph Primary school (private)


  • Public college: Maurienne collège
  • Private college: Saint-Joseph collège

High schools:

  • Paul Héroult general and technology lycée
  • Paul Héroult professional lycée

Cultural events and festivities

  • In 2006, starting the stage of cycling's Tour de France to Morzine. The stage winner was Floyd Landis, after a 200.5 kilometres (124.6 mi) stage.
  • Festival of music, Saturday, 20 June 2009
  • Festival of Saint Jean, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 June 2009
  • An outdoor cinema every Tuesday and entertainment every Thursday in July and August
  • Passage of multiple cycle races throughout the summer (Classique des Alpes junior, Tour des Pays de Savoie, Critérium du Dauphiné, Tour de France)
  • Festival of bread, Thursday, 6 August 2009
  • 10km de Saint-Jean in October
  • Various entertainments throughout the year (theatre, concerts, etc.)
  • Salon des vins et saveurs, during the 3rd weekend in November, organized by the association verres et verines du cœur



Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne is located close to some of the major Alpine passes, and of the Les Sybelles ski area and the Vanoise National Park. Activities are available for nature and sports enthusiasts, both hikers and cyclists, as well as skiers. Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne provides access to the Croix-de-Fer, the Télégraphe, the Lautaret, the Grand Cucheron, the Madeleine, the Glandon, the Iseran, Mont Cenis and the Galibier mountain passes. The city regularly hosts major cycling races such as the Tour de France or the Critérium du Dauphiné. The Tour de France came to the commune during the 2006, 2010, and 2012 races. The 2015 Tour de France is due to have a stage finish in the commune on 23 July, at the end of stage 18. The following day, it will also be the departure point for stage 19.


Local television:

Local radio:

  • Radio Montagne FM


Income of the population and taxation


The unemployment rate for the commune, in 1999, amounted to 8.8%,[11] with a total number of 359 unemployed. The workforce between 20 and 59 years stood at 84%, which is higher than the national average at 82.2%. There were 46% of people employed versus 19.1% of retirees, whose number is slightly higher than the average national (18.2%). There were 21.9% of people of school age and 13% of people without activity.[11]

Distribution of employment by industry

  Agriculture Artisans, merchants, business leaders Executives, intellectual professions Associate professionals Employees Manual workers
Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne 0% 6.9% 7.5% 20.2% 28.7% 36.8%
National average 2.4% 6.4% 12.1% 22.1% 29.9% 27.1%
Data sources: INSEE[12]

Businesses in the agglomeration

Alcan (ex-Pechiney): Currently, an important activity of production of aluminium by electrolysis of alumina still exists thanks to a Trimet France factory. The factory celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2007.


With tourism growing through the winter sport resorts and the proximity of the major passes of the Alps and of the Vanoise National Park, local commerce is a new dynamic.

Local culture and heritage

Places and monuments

Medieval period

  • Le Tabellion or Correrie: House of the judge Corrier, appointed jointly by the Count of Savoy and the Bishop. Built after the revolt of Arves in 1326.
  • The Rue du Collège: A medieval street, last example of shops from the 15th and 16th centuries.

Contemporary period

Religious monuments

  • The Cathedral of Saint-Jean-Baptiste: A singular mixture of styles and periods. Its origin dates back to the 11th century. Classified as an historical monument in 1906.
  • The crypt: Built in the early Romanesque period and rediscovered in 1958.
  • The choir stalls in the cathedral: Completed in 1498, this masterpiece of Gothic art in walnut is attributed to Pierre Mochet.
  • The cloister: located between the cathedral and the refectory of the canons, its origin dates back to 1450. Classified as an historical monument in 1933.
  • The bell tower: A former capitular keep having lost its Gothic spire and its four pinnacles in 1794.
  • Notre-Dame church: The old parish church, now closed to the public, its origin dates back to the 11th century. The bell tower, today separated from the church, was the entrance.
  • Palace of the Bishops of Maurienne or former bishop:[13] redesigned in the 18th century and classified municipal building since 1905. The grand salon is a beautiful example of Baroque art.
  • Chapel of Bonne Nouvelle: A pilgrimage place in Baroque style with ex-votos. Orientation table.
  • Chapel of St. Joseph's college (137, Rue du Collège). A Baroque chapel situated in St. Joseph's college (formerly college Lambertain, founded in 1534)

Green spaces

The Clos Carloz and the recreation area of the Combe are the main green spaces in the city. There is also the Garden of Europe and the Saint Ayrald Garden.


Cultural heritage

The commune has several museums:

  • Museum of costumes and folk traditions: Evidence of life in the Maurienne past
  • The Opinel Museum: The history of the famous small knife designed in 1890 by Joseph Opinel and used on all continents
  • Mont Corbier Museum: The history of the liqueur, the still to the invention of Mont Corbier by Abbot Guille in 1888

Notable cultural associations:

  • History and Archaeology Society of Maurienne

Green and floral spaces

In 2014, the commune of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne has the "Floral City" label with "three flowers" awarded by the National Council of floral cities and villages of France in the Concours des villes et villages fleuris.[14]

Personalities linked to the commune

Born in the commune:

  • Circa. 650-750, Saint Thomas of Farfa or Thomas of Maurienne, Abbot of Farfa Abbey.[15] Celebrated on 10 December.
  • Nicolas Martin, author of Noelz in Franco-Provençal printed in Lyon in 1555.
  • Antoine Rochaix (1762-1836), Bishop of Moutiers-Tarentaise (1828-1836).
  • François-Emmanuel Fodéré (1764-1835), creator of forensic medicine (a statue adorns Place Fodéré in the city centre).
  • Joseph Opinel (1872-1960), creator of the Opinel knife.
  • Henri Falcoz (1884-1936), politician.
  • Pierre Balmain (1914-1982), fashion designer.
  • Jean Baghe (1927-1992), militant worker, Christian and Socialist of the Maurienne Valley.
  • Pierre Fournier, (1937-1973), journalist and designer, French pamphleteer.
  • Catherine Sola (1941-2014), actress.
  • Jean-Noël Augert, born in 1949, alpine skier.
  • Kamel Belghazi, born in 1970, actor.
  • Damien Saez, born in 1977, singer, author, composer, performer.
  • Jean-Pierre Vidal, born in 1977, alpine skier.
  • Christophe Josse, sports journalist.
  • Gérald Nguyễn, actor.[16]
  • Jean-Baptiste Grange, born in 1984, alpine skier, specialist of the technical disciplines of skiing and especially slalom.

Other personalities:

  • Bishops of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne from the 6th century to 1966
  • Henry of Sévery (?-1396) born in Severy, died in Rodez, was prior of the Collégiale Saint-Barnard of Romans-sur-Isère, regent, Vice-Rector and Rector of the Comtat Venaissin, Bishop of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, then Bishop of Rodez.
  • Francesco Gallo (INIS), Calabrian painter and sculptor, living in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne


The arms of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne are blazoned:
Of azure a hand blessing of argent, dressed of same.

This coat of arms was firstly that of the chapter of the cathedral, before becoming that of the city. There originated the relics of Saint John the Baptist, made in the 6th century: Three fingers of the hand which baptised Christ, hence the hand blessing symbol. This coat of arms is now widespread in much of the world, on the Opinel knife blade: The "crowned hand". The hand blessing recalls the origin of the knife, near Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, and the ducal crown means that it is now produced in Chambéry, the capital of the Dukes of Savoy.

See also


  • Dompnier, Pierre (September 1981). "Saint-Jean, capitale de la Maurienne" [Saint-Jean, capital of Maurienne]. Memoirs and documents of the Société savoisienne d'histoire et d'archéologie (in French) (63). ISSN 0046-7510. coll. «L'Histoire en Savoie.
  • Dompnier, Pierre (2004). Alan Sutton (ed.). Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne et son canton [Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and its canton] (in French). Mémoire en images.
  • Porte, Roland (2009). Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne : une ville à l'œuvre [Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne: A city at work] (in French). Ediville.
  • Work of the society for the history and archaeology of Maurienne


  1. At the beginning of the 21st century, the terms of census have been amended by Act No. 2002-276 of 27 February 2002, called "grassroots democracy law" on the democracy of proximity and in particular Title V "of census operations", in order, after a power transition period from 2004 to 2008, the annual publication of the legal population of the different French administrative districts. For municipalities with populations greater than 10,000 inhabitants, a sample survey is carried out annually, the entire territory of these municipalities is included at the end of the same period of five years. The first post-legal population from 1999, and fitting in the new system which came into force on 1 January 2009, is the census of 2006.
  2. In the census table, by Wikipedia convention, the principle was retained for subsequent legal populations since 1999 not to display the census populations in the table corresponding to the year 2006, the first published legal population calculated according to the concepts defined in Decree No. 2003-485 of 5 June 2003, and the years corresponding to an exhaustive census survey for municipalities with less than 10,000 inhabitants, and the years 2006, 2011, 2016, etc. For municipalities with more than 10,000, the latest legal population is published by INSEE for all municipalities.


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "article name needed". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. & passim
  • Besson, Memoires pour l'histoire ecclésiastique des diocèses de Genève, Tantaise, Aoste et Maurienne, Nancy, 1739; new ed. Moutiers, 1871
  1. "Populations légales 2016". INSEE. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  2. Official site of the "communauté de communes".
  3. Données INSEE compulsées par le JDN - Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne
  4. Écomusée du pays de la Roudoule, La Route des Grandes Alpes, Édition de l’écomusée du pays de la Roudoule, Puget-Rostang ISSN 1246-1938, p 17
  5. "Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne" [Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne] (in French). Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  6. "73248-Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne 2006" [73248-Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne 2006] (in French). Retrieved 9 May 2015., "73248-Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne 2010" [73248-Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne 2010] (in French). Retrieved 9 May 2015. and "73248-Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne 2012" [73248-Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne 2012] (in French). Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  7. Recensement de l'INSEE en 1999 - "Population totale par sexe et âge".
  8. Demographic data cited by the "JDN".
  9. Local webtv site "La Fibre Mauriennaise". Archived from the original on 2014-12-20.
  10. "Maurienne TV".
  11. Données INSEE cités par le JDN - "Emploi".
  12. Données démographiques d'après l'INSEE citées par le "JDN".
  13. Chapier, Georges (2005). Châteaux Savoyards, Faucigny, Chablais, Tarentaise, Maurienne, Savoie propre, Genevois. La Découvrance. Collection L'amateur Averti. pp. 138–140. ISBN 978-2-8426-5326-2. 410. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  14. "Les villes et villages fleuris". The official site of the « Concours des villes et villages fleuris ». Archived from the original on 2015-06-26.
  15. Prieur, Jean; Vulliez, Hyacinthe (1999). Saints et saintes de Savoie. La Fontaine de Siloé. pp. 31–32. ISBN 978-2-8420-6465-5.
  16. "La Vie Nouvelle - Article "Vietnamien, Savoyard, Parisien, acteur de cinéma"". Archived from the original on 2012-06-04.
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