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History [ edit ] The area was first settled by Europeans in 1634. It is the oldest city in Montérégie and has been nicknamed la ville des fleurs ("the city of flowers"). The town's coat of arms contains a Fleur-de-lis, reflecting its French heritage. In 1635, Jacques Viger built Fort Saint-Jean on the island that now bears his name. A fort was built here again in 1720 by Philippe de Rigaud Vaudreuil (1644–1725), Governor General of New France from 1703 to 1725; it served as a strategic point for controlling access to Montreal via Lake Champlain and the Richelieu River during Father Rale's War (1722–1725) against the English colonies to its south. The current fort dates back only to 1841; it replaced an earlier one that had been destroyed following British capture of Fort St. Jean during their raid on Sorel on February 8, 1814.