LOUVIERS, a town of north-western France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Eure, 17^ m. S.S.E. of Rouen by road. Pop. (1906) 9449. Louviers is pleasantly situated in a green valley surrounded by wooded hills, on the Eure, which here divides into several branches. The old part of the town, built of wood, stands on the left bank of the river; the more modern portions, in brick and hewn stone, on the right. There are spacious squares, and the place is surrounded by boulevards. The Gothic church of Notre-Dame has a south portal which ranks among the most beautiful works of the kind produced in the 15th century; it contains fine stained glass of the 15th and 16th centuries and other works of art. The h6tel-de-ville, a large modern building, contains a museum and library. The chief industry is cloth and flannel manufacture. There are wool-spinning and fulling mills, thread factories and manufactories of spinning and weaving machinery, and enamel ware; leather-working, dyeing, metal-founding and bell-founding are also carried on. The town is the seat of a sub-prefect and has a court of first instance, a tribunal of commerce, a chamber of arts and manufactures, and a council of trade arbitrators.
Louviers (Lovera) was originally a villa of the dukes of Normandy and in the middle ages belonged to the archbishops of Rouen; its cloth-making industry first arose in the beginning of the 13th century. It changed hands once and again during the Hundred Years' War, and from Charles VII. it received extensive privileges, and the title of Louviers le Franc for the bravery of its inhabitants in driving the English from Pont de 1'Arche, Verneuil and Harcourt. It passed through various troubles successively at the period of the League of the Public Weal under Louis XL, in the religious wars (when the parlement of Rouen sat for a time at Louviers) and in the wars of the Fronde. See G. Petit, Hist, de Louviers (Louviers, 1877).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)