Online Encyclopedia

TONNERRE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V27, Page 11 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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TONNERRE, a town of north-central France, capital of. an arrondissement in the department of Yonne, 52 M. S.E. of Sens on the Paris-Lyon railway. Pop. (1906), 3974. It is situated on a slope of the vineclad hills on the left bank of the Armancon. At the foot of the hill rises the spring of Fosse-Dionne, enclosed in a circular basin 49 ft. in diameter. The town has two interesting churches. That of St Pierre, which crowns the hill, possesses a fine lateral portal of the Renaissance period to which the church, with the exception of the choir (1351), belongs. The church of Notre-Dame is mainly Gothic, but the facade is a fine specimen of Renaissance architecture. The Salle des Malades, a large timber-roofed apartment in the hospital, dates from the end of the 13th century and is used as a chapel. It is 330 ft. long and contains the tombs of Margaret of Burgundy, wife of Charles of Anjou, king of Sicily, and foundress of the hospital, and of Francois-Michel Le Tellier, marquis of Louvois, war minister of Louis XIV. The hospital itself was rebuilt in the 19th century. The Renaissance HCtel d'Uzes was built in the 16th century. Tonnerre is the seat of a sub-prefect and has a tribunal of first instance. The vineyards of the vicinity produce well-known wines. The trade of the town is chiefly in wine, in the good building-stone found in the neighbourhood and in Portland cement. Cooperage is carried on. Its ancient name of Tornodorum points to a Gallic or Gallo-Roman origin for Tonnerre. In the 6th century it became the capital of the region of Tonnerrois and in the loth century of a countship. After passing into the possession of several noble families, it was bought from a count of Clermont-Tonnerre by Louvois, by whose descendants it was held up to the time of the Revolution.
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