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The origins

In 1957, Langeac celebrates the bicentenary of the birth of La Fayette and welcomes the famous general, played by the actor Georges Poujouly.

A spectacular parade with hundreds of costumed participants and thousands of visitors.

To celebrate the Revolution of 1789, I wished to remind you the day the Marquis came to take possession of his lands.

Called "La Belle Journée" in the poem of an author of the time, it is a festive and cultural manifestation in our lovely town of Auvergne.

In 1997, "La Belle Journée" becomes an annual celebration for Langeac. Since then, ceremonies and festivities about the historical moment of 1786 take place in the old town.

 Unforgettable honor for our town to have had the courageous Lafayette as our marquis. Hero of Liberty, of the fight against slavery, a strong advocate of human rights, his historical magnificence shines on each side of the Atlantic.

Can we forget or ignore this part of our history? Neighbors of Chavaniac-Lafayette, where the department has ambitious touristic and cultural projects with his former castle, Langeac has to honor this Great Citizen and celebrate his merits. La Fayette and his universal work have become a part of Langeac.

La Belle Journée association and its volunteers offer a unique occasion to go back to these old times. Let's celebrate in memory of the "Hero of the Two Worlds" through the festivities of our town.

Go on the stage of La Belle Journée.


 On April 18th 1786, the General Lafayette buys the lands of Langeac and becomes thair marquis.


The previous marchioness, Aglaé de Cusacque, Marchioness of Lespinasse-Langeac, was authoritarian and venal and gave painful memories to the people of Langeac.

The inhabitants of Langeac are proud and honored to have this young and famous "Hero of the Two Worlds" as their new master. 

Indeed, since his glorious return from America, La Fayette has been defending civic freedom of Protestants and the abolishment of slavery. Three years before the Revolution, people of Langeac already hope for more freedom.

On August 13th, 1786, La Fayette, coming from his family castle in Chavaniac, enters Langeac to get the keys of the town and officially become the new marquis.

A young lawyer at the parliament from Saint-Ilpize, Jean-Baptiste Belmont,  who was in Langeac at this time, tells the story of this particular day in a text he will call "La Belle Journée or faithful report of the festivities given to the Marquis by the people of Langeac on August, 13th 1786". In 1976, the Jacquemart association published it with other historical texts. This document is a reference for the organization of the festivities of La Belle Journée. 

Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette also called La Fayette, was born on September 6th, 1757 in the castle of Chavaniac (in Auvergne, Haute-Loire, known today as Chavaniac-Lafayette). He died on May 20th, 1834 in Paris in the former first district. He was a nobleman, an officer, and a French politician.

 La Fayette also was one of the main initiators of the July Monarchy in France. Known as the Hero of the Two Worlds, he is one of the eight honorary citizens of the United States of America.

Appointed general by George Washington, Lafayette had a decisive role in the American war of Independence against the colonial power of Great Britain, especially during the battle of Yorktown he won on October 19th, 1781. Back in France, Lafayette also supported the apparition of a modern royal power before becoming a figure of the French Revolution until he left the country and was arrested and put in jail for five years in 1792.

After the Revolution of 1789, La Fayette decided to sign all his letter by “Lafayette”, in one word, to express his opposition to the peerage system. His contemporaries also used this spelling until the general's death.

Gilbert du Motier de La Fayette

Lafayette et une de ses lettres
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