Vernaison is a commune in the Rhône, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, 15 km south of Lyon.
Its relatively modest territory of 4 km² runs along the right bank of the Rhône, facing the islands of the Round Table and the Goat, which certainly do not belong to the locality but contribute to composing a bucolic landscape and rich biodiversity. On the west of the town, hills dedicated to agriculture dominate the valley and the village.
Already occupied during Prehistory and then in Antiquity (then a stage on the Roman roads linking Lyon to Narbonne or to the Dauphiné), the village developed thanks to the monks of the Ainay de Lyon abbey in the Middle Ages then, from the 15th century, citizens of Lyon settled there. The activity of the inhabitants diversifies over the centuries: farmers then wine growers at first, they are then employed in the industry of so-called "Indian" fabrics. In the 19th century, the economic boom was accompanied by that of river transport and until 1840, when the railroad was essential, Vernaison was a first-rate river port. Finally, in 1902, the village experienced an upheaval with the construction of a suspension bridge (then one of the most remarkable in Europe) spanning the Rhône and, on another level, became famous for its chocolate factory which would close its doors in the 1960s.
Its heritage, its environment linked to the river and its leisure offer make Vernaison, which now has nearly 5,000 inhabitants, a pleasant stopover near the Lyon metropolis.
In terms of heritage, it is its treasure discovered in 1856 consisting of axes, knives and objects dating from the Bronze Age which is the oldest element. It is now kept at the Fourvière museum in Lyon.
More recent, are to be seen in the town, its church built in 1869 which replaced a Romanesque building, nineteenth century pavilions and buildings with their parks and water bodies (Cornevent pavilion, Enchanted Lake park, domain of the Water Fairy, all listed in the Inventory) but also the remains of the ferry that made it possible to cross the river before 1902. That year was inaugurated the 3,900 m long suspension bridge, whose towers, at foundations cast by compressed air, were made of concrete, but it was destroyed in 1940 during the retreat of the French troops. The ferry returned to service for a while, then a second bridge was inaugurated in 1959, but it could no longer be described as revolutionary like its predecessor.
Finally, still on the river side, we notice a sculpture that evokes nautical jousting, a sporting hobby of which Vernaison was for a long time a stronghold…
As far as cultural leisure activities are concerned, activities (meetings, readings) are offered regularly at the media library (contact on +33 4 72 30 10 78).
For sports and "nature" recreation, it is possible to book a tennis court at the local club (call +33 9 73 69 26 07). However, it is the Charly-Vernaison course developed in connection with the neighboring locality which is the main asset of the municipality. It is made up of itineraries allowing you to discover and appreciate the landscapes of the villages and the banks of the Rhône. They are signposted, dotted with information panels and three in number. The first, the course of the pond, is 3.2 km long and is mainly dedicated to the work of arborists. 3.3 km long, the route of the plateau is centered on the landscape contrasts between hills and banks of the Rhône. Finally, a circuit is dedicated to the heights of the two villages, 5 km long.
Obviously remains the potential of the islands and the route traced along the river where you can reach the ViaRhôna, a route reserved for soft mobility linking Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean! A paradise for pedestrians or cyclists and the best way to appreciate the landscapes of the valley. Maps and information on +33 4 72 77 69 69 or +33 4 72 30 50 00.