Statue of Élie Decazes
|Canton||Lot et Dourdou|
|o Mayor (2008–2014)||Jean Reuilles|
|13.88 km2 (5.36 sq mi)|
|o Density||390/km2 (1,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||163-454 m (535-1,490 ft) |
(avg. 225 m or 738 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
The town is built on coal. La Salle (the former name) produced coal since the 16th century. It was exported in small quantities to Bordeaux.
Louis XIV and his successors gave mines to their mistresses. The Duke of Decazes inherited such mines. In 1826 he created, with the help of a technician named Cabrol, the "Houillères et Fonderies de l'Aveyron" (Mines and Foundries of Aveyron) which developed to make this small village a center of ironworking and industry.
Under Napoléon III, the city took the name of Decazeville. A statue of Decazes dressed in a Roman toga was erected.
The high point of iron production was reached early in the 20th century, when some 9000 employees produced 1 million tons of steel. Production decreased after changes in the industry that shifted many jobs offshore. A noted strike of mine workers occurred from 1961 to 1962. Some 1500 miners spent 66 days in the mines from 23 December 1961 to 26 February 1962. The last mines closed in June 2001.
Although Decazeville felt the full brunt of the decline in the mining industry, the town has diversified its economy. It now has metallurgy, woodworking, metal fabrication, and production of steel tubing.
The town has a geological museum named after Pierre Vetter, its founder. It is dedicated to coal strata. The open-pit mine La Découverte is open to the public.
The modern church of Notre-Dame has a celebrated painting of the Way of the Cross by Gustave Moreau.
Decazeville is twinned with: