Online Encyclopedia

LECTOURE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 358 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LECTOURE, a town of south-western France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Gers, 21 M. N. of Auch on the Southern railway between that city and Agen. Pop. (1906), town, 2426; commune, 4310. It stands on the right bank of the Gers, overlooking the river from the summit of a steep plateau. The church of St Gervais and St Protais was once a cathedral. The massive tower which flanks it on the north belongs to the 15th century; the rest of the church dates from the 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. The hotel de ville, the sous-prefecture and the museum occupy the palace of the former bishops, which was once the property of Marshal Jean Lannes, a native of the town. A recess in the wall of an old house contains the Fontaine de Houndelie, a spring sheltered by a double archway of the 13th century. At the bottom of the hill a church of the 16th century marks the site of the monastery of St Geny. Lectoure has a tribunal of first instance and a communal college. Its industries include distilling, the manufacture of wooden shoes and biscuits, and market gardening; it has trade in grain, cattle. wine and brandy. Lectoure, capital of the Iberian tribe of the Lactorates and for a short time of Novempopulania, became the seat of a bishopric in the 4th century. In the 11th century the counts of Lomagne made it their capital, and on the union of Lomagne with Armagnac, in 1325, it became the capital of the counts of Armagnac. In 1473 Cardinal Jean de Jouffroy besieged the town on behalf of Louis XI. and after its fall put the whole pupulation to the sword. In 1562 it again suffered severely at the hands of the Catholics under Blaise de Montluc.
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