This place, called “Orsoles” in the Roman period, crossed by the Agrippa way and following the Rhône river, has always been an obligatory point of passage, due to the narrowing of the valley.
The young city protected itself from invaders with ramparts and towers in the 6th century.
It was from 510, the date when Vallier bishop of Viviers died, that the city took the name of Saint-Vallier. He had come to seek refuge in Orsoles.
This name, which became “Saint-Vallier-sur-Rhône” in 1848, has never been changed since.
In the 18th century, under the pressure of industry, the city grew outside its protective ramparts.
From the 19th century, it became a capital of the canton and an important industrial center, silk, tile, pottery…
Many famous people stayed there throughout history: Richard Coeur de Lion, Louis IX named Saint-Louis, Henri III, Chancellor d’Aguesso, Bonaparte, the Duke of Orléans soon-to-be King Louis-Philippe, Gambetta and many others.
The city is crossed by the famous Nationale 7, the railway since 1855, when it was still only the P.L.M. (Paris, Lyon Méditerranée), and the Rhône, which has become an important waterway since its laid-out.