The past of Nevers: a city with a long and rich history

The city of Nevers is located in the French area of Burgundy and its origins date from the Roman époque. The actual name of the city has gone through different transformations. At its beginnings, the city was called Noviodunum. Later it started being known as Nebirnum, and only after such changes it started being known as it is to the date.

Arial view of the city of Nevers in Burgundy, France. the Loire in the foreground, the Loire bridge in stone and the city of Nevers dominated by its cathedral in the background.
The city of Nevers

The history

During its origins and until the 5th century, Nevers was named a military depot by the Romans. After that, this city was a bishopric and remained that way for some time. As it can be noticed, this city has gone through a variety of changes not only in its name but also in its purposes and structure.

Later, during the 9th century, the Dukes of Burgundy became possessors of Nevers, causing the city to go through an important change again. After that, the city was a possession of Henry le Grand, until the 10th century when he passed this role to Otto William, his stepson. After that, this city kept being passes to new family members and successors as a hereditary element.

Counts have also lived and made history in the territory. During the 12th century, Count Pierre de Courtenay and his wife, the Countess of Nevers, Agnes, started the first building which would be left in heritage from Counts and Countesses to the next ones in lineage. This was the époque in which lands and territory started being under the control of different owners instead of being under complete control of the monarchy.

Medieval street of Nevers in Burgundy, France.
Medieval street of Nevers

In 1248, the County of Nevers was given by Mahaut de Bourbon to her husband Odo along with the cities of Tonnerre and Auxerre. When their first daughter, called Yoland, got married in 1265, they gave Nevers to her husband as her dowry. Yoland became a widow a few years after the marriage, and in 1272 she married Robert de Dampierre. Their first daughter, Marguerite, would later become Countess of Nevers as well.

The history of Nevers is full of interesting data and many different changes. It has gone through many different stages, from being a military depot area, to a bishopric, to the city of several different Counts and Dukes. This way, visiting the city and its historic buildings is like going through its past and all its different main moments.

Map of Nevers in France

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