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Saint-Geoire-en-Valdaine

Saint-Geoire-en-Valdaine is a commune in the Isère department in southeastern France.The village is known for its charm and picturesque beauty. There are no less than seven castles (chateaux or maison fortes) in and around the village, set among typical Dauphinois style buildings and ancient roadways, testifying to its role in religious and political history over the centuries. Both the 12th century Saint Georges Church in the town center and Chateau de Longpra just outside are national monuments.The town hall near the center is itself a castle and was for a long time a Benedictine Abbey. The original coat of arms for the village included a Papal crown, making reference to the armed support of the local Count of Clermont-Tonnerre for a twelfth century Pope. The accompanying motto translates as "even if others abandon you, I will not", a reference to Saint Peter. The Chateau of Clermont is close by on high ground near Chirens, predating the castles in the village, although itself now a ruin. A battle took place in 1590 around the town hall, with the Counts of Saint Geoire en Valdaine and nearby Vireu and their retinues resisting a small army of Huguenot attackers. During the Revolution, priests were given sanctuary and mass was held in the Chateau of Longpra.
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