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ALENCON, a town of north-western France, capital of the department of Orne, 36 m. N. of Le Mans on a branch line of the Western railway. Pop (1906) 14,378. Alencon, a clean, regularly built town with broad handsome streets, is situated in a wide and fertile plain, on the Sarthe at its confluence with the Briante. The only remains of the ancient castle of Alencon are two towers of the 15th century, which serve as a prison, and a third of the 14th century known as the Tour Couronnee, to which they are united. Notre-Dame, the chief church, dates from the 15th century. It is remarkable for a porch ornamented in the richest Gothic style, and for its stained windows of the 16th century. Alencon has a large circular corn-market and a cloth- market. The manufacture of the point d'Alencon lace has greatly diminished. The weaving and bleaching of cloth, which is of less importance than formerly, the manufacture of vehicles, and tanning are carried on; there is a large trade in the horses of the district, and granite is worked in the neighbourhood. Alencon is the seat of a prefect and a court of assizes. It has tribunals of first instance and of commerce, a board of trade-arbitrators, a lycee, training-colleges and a chamber of arts and manufactures.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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