Ferney-Voltaire fĕrnāˈ-vôltĕrˈ [key], town, Ain dept., E France, on the French-Swiss frontier near Geneva. The town grew after Voltaire bought the seigniory of Ferney in 1758 to escape harassment from both the Genevese and the French. Called the “patriarch of Ferney,” Voltaire lived there until 1778, during which time he built the local church and founded pottery and watchmaking industries that produced some of the finest artisans of modern France. Voltaire's handsome residence still stands.

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