faithful to the House of Savoy in the sixteenth century.
LA COMBE DE SAVOIE – Site 17
The citadel of Montmélian overlooked and protected the only site where it was possible to build a bridge on the Isère, a meandering and violent river. In the Middle‐Ages, Montmélian was often visited by the Court of Savoy on its travels. In the twelfth century, the count of Savoy, Amédée III (1103‐1148), made it the capital of Savoy, and a small town developed there. Due to succession issues, his father‐in‐law, Count Guigue IV of Albon (a Viennese), unsuccessfully besieged the fortress in 1142, and Guigue V did the same in 1153.
Parishes and convents appeared, such as the convent of the Dominicans (1318‐1336) and that of the Capuchins (1599). The economic and administrative development of Montmélian was associated with control over the bridge and with the town’s role, from the thirteenth to the seventeenth centuries, as the military capital of Savoy. This much‐coveted Alpine stronghold, which was repeatedly besieged, was permanently razed to the ground in 1706 on the orders of Louis XIV.
The limited development of the agricultural and economic potential resources of Montmélian can mainly be attributed to the presence of the Isère river. The embankment of the river in the Combe de Savoie from 1824 onwards enabled the development of a rural activity.
The church of Our Lady is, together with a section of the presbytery, the only building which provides evidence of the former Convent of the Dominicans founded in 1318. The renovations carried out in the 1990s enabled the clearing of the crypt, which is likely to come into being when the church was built after a fire occurred in 1331. The pulpit, made of polychromic marble, is unique in Savoy and Haute‐Savoie.