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Our celebrities

If you wish to shine amongst your peers, swot up on our celebrities!

Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)

Hector Berlioz was the biggest romantic music composer of the 19th century. Nothing less! Visionary, passionate and loving… His life is celebrated every year with the Berlioz Festival. This event attracts around 20,000 classical music enthusiasts to his birth place of La Cote St André. Make sure you also pay a visit to the Hector Berlioz museum.


Johan Barthold Jongkind (1819-1891)

Born in The Netherlands, Jongkind was a pioneer of the impressionist movement. He settled in La Cote St André in the last fifteen years of his life where he painted his best water coloursYou can find out more about him along the ‘In the Footsteps of the Painter Jongkind’ discovery route.


Louis Mandrin (1725-1891)

This young highwayman (a French Robin Hood) famous for his struggle for local poor people, was born in St Etienne de St Geoirs. His life is celebrated there every five years with a huge local fair called ‘Les Mandrinades’, where you can hear the famous line of a song from his group of thieves, ‘there were 20 or 30 of us in this gang…’

Louis mandrin

Louis Michel-Villaz (1843-1911)

In 1883 Louis Michel Villaz, a mechanical genius, put together in his workshop a strange machine, combining a steam harvester and an electric dynamo allowing him to light up a few streets with arc lamps… Then on 14th July 1886 the official ceremony took place of one of the first public lighting systems in France with Edison lights.
Therefore in 1883 Beaurepaire was proud to be one of the very first towns in France to be lit by electricity!


Rose Valland (1898-1980)

A truly strong minded town, St Etienne de St Geoirs was also the birth place of Rose Valland. An art historian, a member of The Resistance and a captain in the French army in charge of recovering masterpieces stolen by the Nazis during and after WW2. You will find in the town a large mural paying homage to her.

Rose Valland