History of Clerval (France)

Text and photographers by Gérard Blanc

Welcome
to Clerval
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......Populated since Neolithic times, the valley of Clerval keeps numerous remains of its past.

......After the Celts, the Romans cross-ruled the lands with roads and ways, built a bridge over the river Doubs, a luxurious"villa" on the right side of the river Doubs, and took up the mountain range of Monfort.

......The Burgundians settled in their turn, brought their customs, as certified by the remains of their burial-places.
And Montfort became an impregnable fortress on the creast of the cross-valley.

The hill of Montfort above Clerval

The castle of Clerval today.

.....Clerval, fortified town of the counts of Burgundy, was built in the nest of the valley at the beginning of the second millenary on lands belonging to the priory of Chaux. Clerval was then the center of a seigneury owning twenty villages.
In 1365 Clerval passed in the property of the counts of Montbéliard, vassals of the Burgundian County.
Its bridge over the river Doubs makes of Clerval the compulsory point of passage between Besançon and Montbéliard, favourishing trade ant handicrafts. The population doubled between 1450 and 1600, and two mills were turning in Clerval, one on the river at the foot of the castle, the other one one the streamlet Monnot, on the right side of the river Doubs.
.....The town suffered the destructive assaults of the Swiss in 1474, then those of the French during War of Ten Years. At the beginning of the eighteenth century Clerval passed beyond its fortifications, which were gradually razed an re-used for the new buildings.
......The right side of the Doubs was reached at its turn by the town, with the settlement of blast-furnaces, the foundry, then the railway in the nineteenth century.
......In the second part of the twentieth century, the industrial vocation of Clerval was confirmed, but the narrowness of the valley limited its demographic and economic expansion.

The foundry about 1930

French version
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Version française

A fews
photographs
of Clerval
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The origins
of the name
and the blazon
of Clerval
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The dolmen of Santoche

Maps and plans
of the district
of Clerval

Stories and histories of Clerval

Presentation of the town of Clerval

Visit the"Portail de Clerval", personal web site devoted to the village of Clerval (France)
and its neighbourhood (more than 500 pages, 1000 photos)
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