1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Avallon

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AVALLON, a town of central France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Yonne, 34 m. S.S.E. of Auxerre on a branch of the Paris-Lyon railway. Pop. (1906) 5197. The town, with wide streets and picturesque promenades, is finely situated on a promontory, the base of which is washed on the south by the Cousin, on the east and west by small streams. Its chief building, the church of St Lazare, dates from the 12th century. The two western portals are adorned with sculpture in the ornate Romanesque style; the tower on the left of the façade was rebuilt in the 17th century. The Tour de L'Horloge, pierced by a gateway through which passes the Grande Rue, is a 15th century structure containing a museum on its second floor. Remains of the ancient fortifications, including seven of the flanking towers, are still to be seen. Avallon has a statue of Vauban, the military engineer. The public institutions include the subprefecture, a tribunal of first instance, and a communal college. The manufacture of biscuits and gingerbread, and of leather and farm implements is carried on, and there is considerable traffic in wood, wine, and the live-stock and agricultural produce of the surrounding country.

Avallon (Aballo) was in the middle ages the seat of a viscounty dependent on the duchy of Burgundy, and on the death of Charles the Bold passed under the royal authority.