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Mayenne, Town Of

MAYENNE, TOWN OF, a town of north-western France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Mayenne, 19 m. N.N.E. of Laval by rail. Pop., town 7003, commune 10,020. Mayenne is an old feudal town, irregularly built on hills on both sides of the river Mayenne. Of the old castle overlooking the river several towers remain, one of which has retained its conical roof; the vaulted chambers and chapel are ornamented in the style of the 13th century; the building is now used as a prison. The church of Notre-Dame, beside which there is a statue of Joan of Arc, dates partly from the 12th century; the choir was rebuilt in the 19th century. In the Place de Cheverus is a statue, by David of Angers, to Cardinal Jean de Cheverus (1768-1836), who was born in Mayenne. Mayenne has a subprefecture, tribunals of first instance and of commerce, a chamber of arts and manufactures, and a board of tradearbitration. There is a school of agriculture in the vicinity. The chief industry of the place is the manufacture of tickings, linen, handkerchiefs and calicoes.

Mayenne had its origin in the castle built here by Juhel, baron of Mayenne, the son of Geoffrey of Maine, in the beginning of the 11th century. It was taken by the English in 1424, and several times suffered capture by the opposing parties in the wars of religion and the Vendee. At the beginning of the 16th century the territory passed to the family of Guise, and in 1573 was made a duchy in favour of Charles of Mayenne, leader of the League.

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

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