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La Roche-sur-Yon

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La Roche-sur-Yon is a commune in the Vendée department in the Pays de la Loire region in western France. It is the capital of the department. Its inhabitants are called Yonnais.HistoryThe town expanded significantly after Napoleon I had chosen the site as the new préfecture of the Vendée on 25 May 1804, replacing Fontenay-le-Comte (then under its revolutionary name of Fontenay-le-Peuple). At the time, most of La Roche had been eradicated in the Vendée Revolt (1793–96); the renamed Napoléonville was laid out and a fresh population of soldiers and civil servants was brought in. Napoléonville was designed to accommodate 15,000 people.The town was called successively: La Roche-sur-Yon (during the Ancien Régime and the French First Republic)Napoléon-sur-Yon (during the First French Empire)Bourbon-Vendée (during the French Restoration)Napoléon-Vendée (during the French Second Empire)GeographyThe river Yon flows southward through the commune and crosses the town.
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