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CHATEAUDUN

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 963 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CHATEAUDUN, a town of north central France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Eure-et-Loir, 28 M. S.S.W. of Chartres by rail. Pop. (1906) 58o5. It stands on an eminence near the left bank of the Loire. The streets, which are straight and regular, radiate from a central square, a uniformity due to the reconstruction of the town after fires in 1723 and 187o. The chateau, the most remarkable building in the town, was built in great part by Jean, count of Dunois, and his descendants. Founded in the loth century, and rebuilt in the 12th and 15th centuries, it consists of a principal wing with a fine staircase of the 16th century, and, at right angles, a smaller wing adjoined by a chapel. To the left of the courtyard thus formed rises a lofty keep of the 12th century. The fine apartments and huge kitchens of the chateau are in keeping with its imposing exterior. The church of La Madeleine dates from the 12th century; the buildings of the abbey to which it be-longed are occupied by the subprefecture, the law court and the hospital. The medieval churches of St Valerien and St Jean and the ruined chapel of Notre-Dame du Champde, of which the facade in the Renaissance style now forms the entrance to the cemetery, are other notable buildings. The public institutions include a tribunal of first instance and a communal college. Flour-milling, tanning and leather-dressing, and the manufacture of blankets, silver jewelry, nails and machinery are the prominent industries. Trade is in cattle, grain, wool and hemp. Chateaudun (Castrodunum), which dates from the Gallo-Roman period, was in the middle ages the capital of the countship of Dunois. CHATEAU-GONTIER, a town of western France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Mayenne, on the Mayenne, 18 m. S. by E. of Laval by road. Pop. (1906) 6871. Of its churches, that of St Jean, a relic of the castle, dates from the 1th century. Chateau-Gontier is the seat of a sub-prefect and has a tribunal of first instance, a communal college for boys and a small museum. It carries on wool- and cotton-spinning, the manufacture of serge, flannel and oil, and is an agricultural market. There are chalybeate springs close to the town. Chateau-Gontier owes its origin and its name to a castle erected in the first half of the 1th century by Gunther, the steward of Fulk Nerra of Anjou, on the site of a farm belonging to the monks of St Aubin d'Angers. On the extinction of the family, the lordship was assigned by Louis XI. to Philippe de Comines. The town suffered severely during the wars of the League. In 1793 it was occupied by the Vendeans.
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