The preceptory of Belleville-sur-Saône

Translation : Andrew Zolnai
No pictures available

France, Rhône Department

France, Rhône Department (69), around 30 km south of Mâcon.

The creation of the preceptory of Belleville remains unclear, but it appears due to a donation made by Humbert III de Beaujeu when he was admitted in the Templar Order upon is return from the second crusade. So it was likely founded after 1150.

La commanderie de Belleville sur la carte de Cassini
The preceptory of Belleville on Cassini's Map
Source : www.cartocassini.org

The chapel of this preceptory was dedicated to St. Catherine.

The lords of Beaujeu owned the castle of Thoissey, located on the mouth of the Chalaronne river and an important strategic point in the area. This castle guarded on the one hand the Saône River, and on the other hand the main road between Mâcon and Lyon. These Lords, who had an important influence in the development of this preceptory, gave the Templars the income from river tolls.
In february 1230, two brothers Landry and Etienne Le Beissens yielded to the Templars of Belleville the dues of part of the road toll from the road between Mâcon and Lyon.
Belleville had an outbuilding in Peyzieux.

We have very little information about the location of the preceptory of Belleville, but according to the map of Cassini, there is a place called "La Commanderie - Sainte Catherine" between Belleville and Taponas. Nowadays, a hamlet situated on the border of these two communes, along the Ardières river, bears the name "Impasse de la Commanderie". These two elements are undoubtedly a good indication of where that preceptory was established.

Notes :

(1)Humbert III de Beaujeu, nicknamed "the Old", Lord of Beaujeu from 1137 to 1192. He was probably born around 1115-1120. He was the son of Guichard III de Beaujeu and Lucienne de Rochefort. In 1140, he married Alix, daughter of Count Amedee III of Savoy. In 1142, he participated in a pilgrimage to the Holy Land (some even think that he participated in the Second Crusade), where he joined the Order of the Temple, no doubt as a "secular" knight (see Article 66 of the Rule of the Order), before returning to France and finding his family and his domain.


More references... Bibliography
  1. "Les Sites Templiers en France"
    Jean Luc Aubarbier et Michel Binet ; Éditions Ouest-France, 1997
  2. "L'Ain des Templiers"
    Alain Jantet ; Editions de Trévoux 1988
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Translation : Andrew Zolnai
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