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Etampes

ETAMPES, a town of northern France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Seine-et-Oise, on the Orléans railway, 35 m. S. by W. of Paris. Pop. (1906) 8720. Etampes is a long straggling town hemmed in between the railway on the north and the Chalouette on the south; the latter is a tributary of the Juine which waters the eastern outskirts of the town. A fine view of Etampes is obtained from the Tour Guinette, a ruined keep built by Louis VI. in the 12th century on an eminence on the other side of the railway. Notre-Dame du Fort, the chief church, dates from the 11th and 12th centuries; irregular in plan, it is remarkable for a fine Romanesque tower and spire, and for the crenellated wall which partly surrounds it. The interior contains ancient paintings and other artistic works. St Basile (12th and 16th centuries), which preserves a Romanesque doorway, and St Martin (12th and 13th centuries), with a leaning tower of the 16th century, are of less importance. The civil buildings offer little interest, but two houses named after Anne de Pisseleu (see above), mistress of Francis I., and Diane de Poitiers, mistress of Henry II., are graceful examples of Renaissance architecture. In the square there is a statue of the naturalist, Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, who was born in Etampes. The subprefecture, a tribunal of first instance, and a communal college are among the public institutions of Etampes. Flour-milling, metal-founding, leather-dressing, printing and the manufacture of boots and shoes and hosiery are carried on; there are quarries of paving-stone, nurseries and market gardens in the vicinity, and the town has important markets for cereals and sheep.

Etampes (Lat. Stampae) existed at the beginning of the 7th century and in the early middle ages belonged to the crown domain. During the middle ages it was the scene of several councils, the most notable of which took place in 1130 and resulted in the recognition of Innocent II. as the legitimate pope. In 1652, during the war of the Fronde it suffered severely at the hands of the royal troops under Turenne.

Lords, Counts and Dukes of Etampes. - The lordship of Etampes, in what is now the department of Seine et Oise in France, belonged to the royal domain, but was detached from it on several occasions in favour of princes, or kings' favourites. St Louis gave it to his mother Blanche of Castile, and then to his wife Marguerite of Provence. Louis, the brother of Philip the Fair, became lord of Etampes in 1317 and count in 1327; he was succeeded by his son and his grandson. Francis I. raised the countship of Etampes to the rank of a duchy for his mistress Anne de Pisseleu D'Heilly. The new duchy passed to Diane de Poitiers (1553), to Catherine of Lorraine, duchess of Montpensier (1578), to Marguerite of Valois (1582) and to Gabrielle d'Estrées (1598). The latter transmitted it to her son, César of Vendôme, and his descendants held it till 1712. It then passed by inheritance to the families of Bourbon-Conti and of Orleans.

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

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