Online Encyclopedia

MILLAU

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 461 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MILLAU, a town of southern France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Aveyron, on the right bank of the Tarn at its confluence with the Dourbie, 74 M. N. of Beziers on the Southern railway. Pop. (1906), 16,853. Millau lies in a rich valley 1 200 ft. above the sea surrounded by the spurs of the Levezou, Causse Noir and Larzac ranges. The streets are narrow and some of the houses of great antiquity, but the town is surrounded by spacious boulevards. One of its squares is bordered on two sides by wooden galleries supported on stone columns. The only buildings of special interest are the Romanesque church of Notre Dame, restored in the 16th century, and the fine Gothic belfry of the old hotel de ville. Millau is seat of a sub-prefect, and possesses tribunals of first instance and of commerce, a board of trade-arbitrators, a chamber of commerce and a communal college. The principal industry is the manufacture of gloves, and various branches of the leather industry are carried on. The chief articles of trade are skins, wool, wine and Roquefort cheese. In the middle ages Millau was the seat of a viscounty held by the counts of Barcelona and afterwards by the counts of Armagnac. In the 16th century it became one of the leading strongholds of Calvinism in southern France. In 162o it revolted against Louis XIII., and after its submission Richelieu caused its fortifications to be dismantled. The edict of Nantes hastened the decline of the town, which did not recover its prosperity till after the Revolution.
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