Oyonnax [ ojɔn ˌ na ] is a city and municipality in the French department of Ain ​​, in the Rhône -Alpes. It is the capital of the two cantons Oyonnax -Sud and Oyonnax - Nord Arrondissement Nantua and seat of the Municipal Association of skin -Bugey.

As the largest located in the French Jura town, Oyonnax has developed since the industrialization of the comb -maker town to a center of the plastics industry.


Oyonnax is on 540 m above sea level. Level, about 85 kilometers northeast of the city of Lyon and 40 kilometers in a straight line west of Geneva. The industrial town extends in the Haut- Bugey, Ain east of the valley in the Jura Mountains, in a wide valley basin at the Ange, at the western foot of the forest heights of the high Jura.

The area of ​​35.98 km ² municipal area includes a portion of the southern French Jura. The central part is occupied by the basin of Ange, which has here a width of about 2 km and forms a syncline the Jura folds. In Oyonnax In the east occurs forth into the basin and drained it south to Oignin. In the city of Oyonnax is a Talwasserscheide; The northern section is drained by the Merdanson to Bienne.

The eastern part of the municipality is in the strong range in relief of the High Jura chains, which consist of a series of geological anticlines and synclines that are disturbed by several fault lines. Main feature east of the town are two deeply incised erosion valleys, namely the Quelltal of Ange and that of their short side stream Sarsouille. Between them is the height of the anti-cross forest Mont (. M. to 1020 m above sea level ) (925 m above sea level. M. ), south of the In the skin Cret (up to 960 m above sea level. M. ) and in the far north of the Bois de Belmont. Further east, the municipality of soil over the crest of the Forêt d' Oyonnax ( 1065 m above sea level. M. ) reaches to the Cret Marquet, on with 1082 meters above sea level. M. the highest elevation of Oyonnax is achieved. The area is mostly forested. Between the terrain ridges run partly above ground endorheic valleys and moorland. In the extreme south-east has Oyonnax share of the bog lake Lac Genin.

To the west of the basin of Oyonnax endorses the broad ridge of Veyziat (up to 660 m above sea level. M. ). This is separated from the trough of Bouvent which opens north to the valley basin of the Ain way. On the west lies the wooded crest of the anticline Massiat ( in the Bois de Diesse 750 m above sea level. M. ), which drops steeply to the valley of the Ain.

To Oyonnax addition to the actual city and various outdoor quarters also include a number of villages and hamlets, namely:

  • Geilles (590 m above sea level. M. ) in a valley on the skin In between Cret and anti-cross Mont
  • Veyziat (610 m above sea level. M. ) on the ridge west of the valley basin of Oyonnax
  • Mons (620 m above sea level. M. ) on a high plateau of Massiat anticline
  • Bouvent ( 545 m above sea level. M. ) on a Verebnungsfläche on the northern slope of the ridge of Veyziat
  • Massiat (500 m above sea level. M. ) at the edge of the moorland below Bouvent
  • Chatonnax (550 m above sea level. M. ) on the eastern slope of the ridge of the Bois de Diesse

Neighboring communities of Oyonnax are Dortan and Arbent in the north, Échallon in the east, Charix, Apremont, Bellignat and Géovreisset in the south and Samognat in the West.


For a long time it was assumed that Oyonnax a Greek establishment of the time had around 500 BC, which was called Oyo Naxos ( island of sheep). This " island " would probably refers to the peninsula at the confluence of Long and Sarsouille. Apart from the similarity of names but nothing further pointed to the presence of the Greeks towards, and also from the Celtic period exist in the field of Oyonnax not issue certificates.

Recent historical research suggests that Oyonnax is a relatively recent creation. In the 11th century the region was one of the mighty men of Thoire -Villars. This was under the monastery of Saint- Oyen in neighboring Arbent, which had been founded by the monks of Saint -Claude. The possessions of this monastery in the valley basin of the present Oyonnax were oyenna ( Saint- Oyen belonging ) called. Over time, the spelling changed over Oyennax to Oyonnax.

In the Middle Ages Oyonnax was initially under the Lords of Thoire -Villars, before it fell in 1402 under the suzerainty of the Counts of Savoy. The Treaty of Lyon Oyonnax arrived in 1601 to France.

The harsh climate and poor soil of the region prompted the residents of Oyonnax in the Middle Ages, exerting only agriculture but also other activities in order to generate income. So the craft and especially the crafts developed already during the Middle Ages. Of significance was the first woodworking. In the 17th century, first published in the comb -maker, which initially wooden combs, later those were made of horn. The comb production dominated the economic life of Oyonnax in the 19th century, in addition, there were also mechanical workshops and silk processing. In the beginning, the work was mainly done as homework or in small workshops. In the second half of the 19th century, production was moved to factories.

The discovery of celluloid led from about 1880 to a major change in the industry of Oyonnax. In place of the once important industries now entered the production and processing of plastic components for a variety of uses, such as bag ties, jewelery, cigarette cases, buttons and glasses. Over time, production was increasingly mechanized and automated.

During the Second World War Oyonnax was a center of Maquisarden ( resistance fighters ) in the French Jura. On November 11, 1943, a parade of Maquisarden took place in the city despite the stationed near the German occupation forces to mark their presence in the region.

Since the Second World War, Oyonnax has developed into a leading center of the plastics industry and is always adapted to the latest technology, which is why the valley today (the " Plastic Valley " ) bears the name La Plastics Vallée. This led to a strong growth of the city. Since the 1950s, the formerly swampy sections of the valley were drained, which Oyonnax could also extend towards the west over the valley floor. To a field change occurred on 1 January 1973, when the two previously independent municipalities Bouvent and Veyziat were incorporated to Oyonnax.


The present city of Saint- Léger church was built in 1840. The modern architecture reflects the church of Notre -Dame de la Plaine. One of the oldest preserved buildings from Oyonnax include the Maison Brunet with a square tower, which served as the Mairie in the 19th century. Otherwise, of the old buildings only little to see. In the town center houses the Art Nouveau period are obtained. Numerous buildings, in particular the representational of the local companies and the public buildings (town house, cultural center ) show the style of postmodernism with glass architecture. Furthermore Oyonnax has several city parks. The Musée du Peigne et de la Plasturgie the industrial development of the city Oyonnax of the Kammmacherei is shown to the modern plastics industry.

The village church of Veyziat shows Gothic style elements, but has been greatly changed in the 17th and 19th centuries. Also gothic is the chapel of Bouvent. Among the natural attractions include the Lac Genin, which forms a popular recreation area with its surroundings.


With 22,459 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2011) Oyonnax is one of the largest municipalities in the department of Ain. The growth of the population of Oyonnax occurred in two strong spurts. The first significant increase took place in the period from 1880 to 1920 and fell in the time of the industrial conversion of the Kammmacherei for plastics production. In 1920, the population of the first time exceeded the limit of 10,000. A second massive population increase was recorded Oyonnax 1954-1968, in which the population doubled again. From the mid- 1970s, only small fluctuations were recorded over prolonged periods.

Oyonnax is the center of an agglomeration which has around 36,000 inhabitants. The settlement area of Oyonnax whose core was originally in the field of long streams and Sarsouille, has now extended over the whole basin and pulls himself up also on the surrounding slopes. Today, the settlement area is almost completely conjoined with that of Bellignat in the south and by Marchon respectively Arbent in the north.


Oyonnax is today a thriving industrial town in the Jura and is ( together with the suburbs Bellignat and Arbent ) around 660 companies, which are spread over 14 different industrial parks. By far the most important industrial sector of the city is the plastics industry. The production range of household items, camping accessories, stationery goods, packaging materials, industrial Prefabricated parts, eyewear goes beyond toys and garden furniture to luxury items such as jewelry, artificial flowers and decorative materials. Among the major companies include Gilac, Grosfillex, Bollé and Smoby. There are also companies of mechanical engineering, the building industry, precision engineering and the textile industry.

Culture and Education

In the urban district of La Plaine is the modern building of the Centre Culturel Aragon. It houses, among other things, the municipal theater, two cinemas, the Conservatoire National de Musique de Danse et d'Art dramatique, the city library and the Musée du Peigne et de la Plasturgie, soon to be moved to the built 1905 building Grande Vapeur. Furthermore it is Oyonnax location of the Valexpo, a center for exhibitions and trade fairs. The Lycée Arbez Carme, a college for plastics industry with a scientific and technological center for plastics and accessories, is located in the neighboring Bellignat.


The most famous sports club in the city is the U.S. Oyonnax who plays Rugby Union and is represented in the top French league Top 14. The home games are played at the Stade Charles- Mathon with 8,500 seats.


The city is a very good transport developed. It lies on the main road that leads from Montréal- la- Cluse to Saint -Claude. Other regional road links exist with Thoirette, Arbent and Saint- Germain -de- Joux. Since November 1997, Oyonnax is connected with the 20 km long motorway A 404 directly to the French motorway network. With the opening of this highway Oyonnax received at the same time a bypass for transit traffic in the direction of Saint -Claude. The nearest port is located at a distance of around two kilometers from the city center.

Oyonnax has a station on the railway line from Bourg -en- Bresse to Saint -Claude, but which is operated by two pairs of trains. Bourg -en- Bresse is also accessible by express bus. In the basin north of the city lies the airfield Oyonnax - Arbent, which already is, however, on the ground of community Arbent.


Oyonnax has since December 2001 a partnership with the German community Eislingen / Fils in the east of Baden-Württemberg, near the state capital Stuttgart. It goes back to one already carried out since the early 1990s, student exchange between the two cities.