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Villars-les-Dombes

Things to do: zoos & aquariums
Villars-les-Dombes is a commune in the Ain department in eastern France. Its people are known as Villardois.GeographyThe town is in the part of Ain which is half-way between Lyon (33 km) and Bourg-en-Bresse (29 km), in the heart of the area known as the Dombes, notable for its hundreds of lakes which are suited to fish-rearing as well as to water fowls. Its ornithological park, with a wide variety of species from around the world, is the largest in France.The Chalaronne forms part of the commune's south-western border, flows northward through the western part of the commune, crosses the town, then forms part of its northern border.HistoryThe lordship of Villars became, by marriage, the lordship of Thoire-et-Vilars in 1188, and in about 1400 its caput was Trévoux . In 1565, Villars was promoted to a marquisate dependent on the house of Savoie, a benefice of the Honour of Savoy.In 1705, the maréchal de Villars obtained the collection of several lands, a small French enclave in the province of Franche-Comté, as the duchy of Villars. His line died out in 1788, on the death of his son, Honoré-Armand, 2nd Duke de Villars.
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