LA CHARITE, a town of central France in the department of Nievre, on the right bank of the Loire, 17 m. N.N.W. of Nevers on the Paris-Lyon-Mediterranee railway. Pop. (1906) 3990. La Charit6 possesses the remains of a fine Romanesque basilica, the church of Sainte-Croix, dating from the nth and early 12th centuries. The plan consists of a nave, rebuilt at the end of the 17th century, transept and choir with ambulatory and side chapels. Surmounting the transept is an octagonal tower of one story, and a square Romanesque tower of much beauty flanks the main portal. There are ruins of the ramparts, which date from the 14th century. The manufacture of hosiery, boots and shoes, files and iron goods, lime and cement and woollen and other fabrics are among the industries; trade is chiefly in wood and iron.
La Charite" owes its celebrity to its priory, which was founded in the 8th century and reorganized as a dependency of the abbey of Cluny in 1052. It became the parent of many priories and monasteries, some of them in England and Italy. The possession of the town was hotly contested during the wars of religion of the 16th century, at the end of which its fortifications were dismantled.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)