Saint-Etienne is located in the French department of Loire, in the Rhône-Alpes region in the East of France.
Saint-Etienne is situated in a major industrial and coal-mining region. Armaments, now an important modern industry, and silk ribbons, for which Saint-Etienne is famous, have been manufactured in the city since the 16th century. Other products include steel, bicycles, and machinery. The University of Saint-Etienne and the Museum of Art and Industry are located in the city. Saint-Etienne developed into an important economic centre in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The City of Saint-Etienne is situated in the department of Loire, in the region of Rhône-Alpes in the East of France. The city is the third largest in the region, after Lyon and Grenoble and has a population of 205 000, this figures rises to 440 000 when the population of the surrounding communes are included. Rhône-Alpes is the second most highly populated region of France after Paris and the Île de France.
The city of Saint-Etienne dates from the 12th Century; it was fortified during the 15th Century, increased considerably in wealth during the 16th Century, and industrialised during the 19th Century. Previously the prosperity of the city depended on the local coal mining and metal working industries. The first railway in France was constructed in Saint-Etienne. The last mine closed approximately 25 years ago and traditional industries have had to adapt, a major economic transformation has been achieved. Today Saint-Etienne is a regional centre for manufacturing and has become a renowned location for high-tech industries.