MONTBRISON, a town of oast-central France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Loire, France, 21 m. N.W. of St Etienne, on the railway from Clermont to St Etienne. Pop. (1906), 6564. It is situated on a volcanic hill overlooking the Vizezy, a right-hand affluent of the Lignon du Nord. The principal buildings are the once collegiate church of NotreDame d'Esperance, founded about 1220 but not finished till the 15th century, and the 14th-century edifice known as the Salle de la Diana (Decana), which was restored by Viollet- leDuc. There is a statue of the poet Victor de Laprade (d. 1883), a native of the town. Montbrison is the seat of a sub-prefect, of a court of assize and of a tribunal of first instance. There are liqueur-distilleries and flour-mills, and silk ribbons are manufactured; there is considerable commerce in grain.
Montbrison belonged to the counts of Forez during the middle ages. In 1801 it became the capital of its department in place of Feurs, but in 1856 the more important town of St. Etienne was substituted for it.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)