Before the Roman invasion, the territory now occupied by the Department of Haute-Loire, was a country lost in Gaul, and barely accessible, in the middle of the cold mountains. The Velauni, who gave their name to the Velay, then inhabited it under the protection of the Arverni, which they were clients; ICID-Mago, origin of Yssingeaux, Brivas which became Brioude, Ruessium, destroyed by the Normans in the 9th century, and found the ruins to paulien, etc., formed their main cities.
After the conquest of Gaul, the Velauni were freed of their links to the Arverni and their country spent in the first Aquitaine. Roman civilization touched them somewhat, and channels of communication were opened for the first time through their wild countered.
Following the tradition, one of the seventy-two disciples of Jesus Christ would come to preach Christianity from the first century of the Church, but what is historically certain, it is that the Church of le Velay was powerful in the 9th century, although this land had been delivered to terrible events, during the invasions of the Burgundians who sacked Brioude, Visigoths who supported Arianism by violent persecutions against CatholicsDuring those Franks and Saracens that there appeared at the beginning of the 8th century, and finally at the time of the Normans who drove the country's population.
At the time of the Crusades, the Velay took a prominent part in the religious movement which led the faithful to the conquest of the Holy Land; Aymar, Bishop of le Puy, was one of the leaders of the company; He represented the Pope in councils, and worked with the bravest children of le Velay to defeat Turks under the walls of Antioch.
The feudal era was disastrous for the inhabitants of le Velay; their Lords, the Polignac and others, founded their power on the looting and the oppression of the people, and it took armed intervention by King Louis VII to reduce these road heads who began by brigandage. At the end of the 14th century, Duguesclin came to turn hunt large companies that gloating campaigns of le Velay, and died at the Puy where his tomb.
During the struggle the Burgundians and the Armagnacs, in the 15th century, populations in this province remained loyal to the party of the King, and the Burgundians even failed before the walls of le Puy, thanks to the courage and the wisdom of its counties. Their courage does not, belies the following century, during the terrible wars of religion, and the protestants could not seize the city, valiantly defended by the nobility of the country; the parish priest of Yssingeaux drove himself from its territory these devastating bands.
Since that time, apart from incursions by the famous Chuck which ravaged the country, ransoming ruthless campaigns and cities, for some time the Velay enjoys a perfect tranquility. Until devolution, it took advantage of the Languedoc, and administered by individual States, under the chairmanship of the Bishop of le Puy.
Territorial realignment of 1790, the Haute-Loire department formed the former Velay, and some portions of the Auvergne, Forez and Gévaudan.
Source: Geography illustrated the France and its colonies by Jules Verne, Théophile Lavallée, Charles Ernest Chiang, Edouard Riou
latest Department notices
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