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VILLAVICIOSA

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Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 77 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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VILLAVICIOSA, a seaport of northern Spain, in the province of Oviedo; on the Ria de Villaviciosa, an estuary formed by the small river Villaviciosa which here enters the Bay of Biscay. Pop. (1900) 20,995. The town is the headquarters of a large fishery, and has some coasting trade. Its exports are chiefly agricultural produce. Villaviciosa suffers from the competitionof the neighbouring ports of Gij6n and Aviles, and from the lack of railway communication. It is connected by good roads with Siero (13 m.) and Infiesto (9 m.) on the Oviedo-Infiesto railway. VILLEFRANCHE-DE-ROUERGUE, a town of France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Aveyron, 36 m. W. of Rodez by road. Pop. (1906) town, 6297; commune, 3352. Villefranche, which has a station on the Orleans railway, lies amongst the hills on the right bank of the Aveyron at its junction with the Alzou. One of the three bridges that cross the river belongs to the 13th century, and the straight, narrow streets are full of gabled houses of the 13th and 14th centuries. One of the principal thoroughfares passes beneath the porch of Notre-Dame, the principal church of Villefranche. Notre-Dame was built from 126o to 1581, the massive tower which surmounts its porch being of late Gothic architecture. The remarkable wood-work in the choir dates from the 15th century. A Carthusian monastery overlooking the town from the left bank of the Aveyron derives much interest from the completeness and fine preservation of its buildings, which date from the 15th century. They include a fine refectory and two cloisters, the smaller of which is a masterpiece of the late Gothic style. The manufacture of leather, animal-traps, hosiery, bell-founding, hemp-spinning, &c., are carried on. Quarries of phosphates and mines of argentiferous lead are worked near Villefranche. Villefranche, founded about 1252, owes its name to the numerous immunities granted by its founder Alphonse, count of Toulouse (d. 1271), and in 1348 it was so flourishing that sumptuary laws were passed. Soon afterwards the town fell into the hands of Edward, the Black Prince, but was the first place in Guienne to rise against the English. New privileges were granted to the town by King Charles V., but these were taken away by Louis XI. In 1588 the inhabitants repulsed the forces of the League, and afterwards murdered a governor sent by Henry IV. The town was ravaged by plague in 1463, 1558 and 1628, and in 1643 a revolt, excited by the exactions of the intendants, was cruelly repressed. VILLEFRANCHE-SUR-SAONE, a manufacturing town of east-central France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Rhone, on the Morgon near its junction with the Saline, 21 M. N. by W. of Lyons by rail. Pop (1906) 14,794. Among its industries the chief are the manufacture of working clothes, the manufacture, dyeing and finishing of cotton fabrics, the spinning of cotton thread, copper founding and the manufacture of machinery and agricultural implements. The wines of Beaujolais, hemp, cloth, linen, cottons, drapery goods and cattle . are the principal articles of trade. An old Renaissance house is used as the town hall. The church of Notre-Dame des Marais, begun at the end of the 14th and finished in the 16th century, has a tower and spire (rebuilt in 1862), standing to the right of the facade (15th century), in which are carved wooden doors. Villefranche is the seat of a sub-prefect and has tribunals of first instance and of commerce, a chamber of commerce and a communal college among its public institutions. Founded in 1212 by Guichard IV. count of Beaujeu, Villefranche became in the 14th century capital of the Beaujolais. As a punishment for an act of violence towards the mayor's daughter, Edward II. was forced to surrender the Beaujolais to the duke of Bourbon.
End of Article: VILLAVICIOSA
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