A quick presentation of the commune:

Alligny is part of the canton of Montsauche, in the precinct of ChâteauChinon in the department of the Nièvre.
Covering 4885 ha, it has 655 inhabitants that are called Allignycois or Allignygois.

There are two hypotheses with regard for the origin of the name of the commune:

  • - using Celtic words " al " (high, elevated) and " ignis " (fire) therefore " elevated fire " (kept on the mountain of the Grand Habre?)
  • - referring to the Roman administrator Aliniacus or Elianus that possessed a villa here. Alligny was called " Aligneium ", Aelianacum "..


Alligny is of very old origin and existed existed long before the Roman conquest. Some Celtic roads crossed on it's territory, in particular the one joining Bibracte and Alésia. In earlier times Alligny was an important seat of nobility dating back to the origins of the feudalism. On the border of the Nivernais the larger part of Alligny depended on the province of Burgundy. The pronunciation of the local dialect is different from the one of the common nivernaises, emphasises this adherence.

It is the easternmost commune of the department of the Nièvre to which it was joined in 1791, this was in spite of a petition of the town council asking to be united with with for the Cote d'Or.

In the middle of the nineteenth century the population was very numerous; 2500 inhabitants, at this time the priest complained that his church was too small! With the advent of the farming exodus this number fell to 2065 in l901, and to 1003 in 1954. A large number of people "self expatriated " many to Paris. A complimentary family income was also made by the nurses who had foster children placed with them. These children were called "les petits Paris".

The economic activities were also important; there were a dozen of mills working grain in the valley of the Ternin, also pelts were prepared for the tanneries of Saulieu. An argentiferous lead mine was exploited at La Place until 1931. From 1903 to 1939 a local railway (Corbigny-Saulieu) transporting travelers and goods, helping to open communications within the region.

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