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St Leger Sur Dheune

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Saint-Leger-sur-Dheune is situated in the Saone-et-Loire department and Burgundy region (now part of the Burgundy-Franche-Comté region), in the eastern-center of France at 62 kilometres from Macon, the department capital (general information: Saint-Leger-sur-Dheune is 281 kilometres from Paris).


Leodegarius, Bishop of Autun around 663, gave his name to the village, Sanctus Leodegarius and its inhabitants, the Leodegarians. 
The history of St Léger is known only from the second half of the 13th century. At that time, the village lives in a closed economy. A castle, today largely destroyed, serves as a retreat to the surrounding population, during external attacks.

In the year 1713, a bridge is built on the Dheune and the road linking Chalon to Mercurey is extended to Couches. Convoys of goods and diligences cross the village. 

It was the construction of the Charolais Canal, later called the Canal du Center, in 1791, which changed the physiognomy of the village, until then essentially agricultural, and intensified its industrial and commercial activities. All kinds of materials and manufactured products leave the port or transit through: the coal extracted from the mines of St Léger, St Bérain and Monceau, the plaster cooked in the kilns léodégariens, the tiles and ceramics manufactured in St Léger, the wood of the Morvan , the cobblestones, the wine of surrounding hillsides etc ...  

The village then stretches along new roads. 
In 1890, St Léger experienced a new boom with the arrival of the railway. The tileries benefit from this new means of transport. The iron ore mined in Mazenay and Créot, neighboring villages, is sent to Le Creusot to supply the Schneider factories. These last ones need manpower and this one, abundant, borrows each day the working train which serves all the valley of the Dheune. Around 1890, the population of St Léger is at its peak with nearly 2400 inhabitants. This flourishing situation will last until the middle of the 20th century. 

In the 1950s, industrial activity slowed and the population shrank.  
However, the village does not lose its power of attraction with its many craftsmen and its various businesses. Health professionals are always present. Boiler workshops, a road transport operator and small factories - shirts, eyewear, herbalism, manufacturer of industrial automation, ... - take over the tile and mining. 

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The marina at St Leger sur Dheune Town Square, St Leger sur Dheune
Street life at St Leger sur Dheune A view of St Leger sur Dheune
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This travel guide is available free of charge due to the travel agents commission taken on boat hire services on the river. Feel free to browse the site at your leisure - all we ask is that if you are taking a boating holiday in Burgundy, France, you book it through the Burgundy Boating Holidays web site.