Chiroubles owes almost everything to granite, hard rock that has been altered by time.
The stones that come from the subsoil breaking down were piled together over generations by the inhabitants of the village.
The name for these tumbles of sharp-edged stones in the local dialect is « piarris ». In old French, they are called « chirats ».
From chirat to Chiroubles, it only takes a step to explain the origin of this Beaujolais commune’s name.
The village of Chiroubles was also made famous by this acclaimed figure and native of the commune. His statue is to be found on the church square.
Victor Pulliat (1827-1896), was a famous ampelographer (vine specialist) who stamped out phylloxera thanks to a procedure of grafting vines onto American rootstock, thus saving the European vineyard.
Victor Pulliat was also the founder of the ‘Société Régionale de Viticulture de Lyon’.
An outbreak of the plague in the 13th century prompted the construction of a church that was paid for by a wealthy and resolved inhabitant of the village called Antoine Blondel. This church is no longer standing. It was replaced by the present-day Byzantine style building in 1838, designed by an architect called Duret.
There was another plague outbreak in 1626. The village priest was forced to leave his presbytery. With single-minded intent, he got permission to build a chapel at the named place of Javernand. The inhabitants of Javernand, Le Fêtre and Les Saignes got to work. Legend has it that plague disappeared from Chiroubles on celebration of the first mass at Chapelle Saint-Roch, which continues to watch over the village slopes today.
Other key events include construction of a Chappe telegraph tower on the hights of the commune in 1793. You can see it if you go on the ‘Sentier des Crus’ trail at La Terrasse.