The History of Biot

Biot is characteristic of a community with a high density, constructed on a hilltop and difficult to capture. Despite this position there exist many traces testifying to prehistoric times. The ligurians populated the area for a long period of time. This caused conflict with the inhabitants of the town of Antipolis (Antibes), who finally demanded help frm Rome. The Romans who had fought the Ligurians in 154 BC established themselves in the village little by little and occupied it for five centuries.

In 1207, the rights of the territory where given to Knights of the Temple, with the responsibility to supervise and survey the coast from this strategic point.After the suppression of the Knights of the Temple the territory was entrusted to the Hospitaliers de St Jean in 1312. At the end of the 14th Century, the area had been decimated by the devastations of the war and the plague and was abandoned. In 1470 it was repopulated by an intiative of King René : 50 families from Oneille near Imperia were given the privilege by the king. They quickly rebuilt the destroyed area and made it thrive in a very short time.

In and around the 16th and 17th Century the harvest and the rise of pottery enriched the villagers. In 1707 and 1746 two wars destroyed part of the village and it’s culture. At the start of the 18th century the pottery began to re develop . Until the start of the 20th century this industry was of considerable importance. Besides this the agriculture and horticulture were developing aswell.

However the activities of a completely different nature have also changes this area more recently. In 1970 the industrial park of Sophia Antipolis, the first Technopolis in Europe.

The crafts industry is very well developed. One can find gold and silversmiths, pottery, glassware, wooden sculpture, weaving and screen printing.

The town of Biot is associated with a number of well known artists. The works of the great humanist and painter Fernand Léger can be seen at the National Museum Of Fernand Léger ( Chemin du Val du Pome, Biot) . The village church of Biot posseses a precious retable painted by the leader of the school of painters “ Primitifs Nicois”, Louis Bréa near the end of the 15th century.

To conclude, the town of Biot presents three characteristics: It’s historic role in the area, the creativity and craftsmanship of its inhabitants aswell as a modern establishment with regards to innovating technology.

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