The capital of L'Ondaine bears witness to a mining and steelmaking past. With a population of about 20,000, this workers' city experienced the closure of the coal mines and many factories. Today, the industrial activity continues thanks to local know-how. Like the Saint-Etienne basin, the city is a land of SMEs. Three must-see monuments and an amazing gastronomic address favour tourism. The first industry was the manufacture of nails. In the 19th century, the nail makers wore a skin apron called the basane or "pelou"; those who wore it were the appelous, the origin of the nickname of the inhabitants. Coal from the coal mines gave birth to the forge and with the industrial revolution the town became a metallurgical stronghold. Even today, the landscape retains traces of this glorious past. The district of Chazeau, once an independent town, remains the green lung of the city: in the past, workers used to come and relax. Rich in working-class traditions, Firminy is proud of its dense and varied associative life. In the autumn, the "Vogue des Noix" continues the tradition of the annual funfair and the Corso attracts tens of thousands of spectators.

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