Belley is of Roman origin, and in the 5th century became an episcopal see. It was the capital of the province of Bugey, which was a dependency of Savoy till 1601, when it was ceded to France. In 1385 the town was almost entirely destroyed by an act of incendiarism, but was subsequently rebuilt by the dukes of Savoy, who surrounded it with ramparts of which little is left.
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