1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cholet

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CHOLET, a town of western France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Maine-et-Loire, 41 m. S.E. of Nantes on the Ouest-État railway between that town and Poitiers. Pop. (1906) 16,554. Cholet stands on an eminence on the right bank of the Moine, which is crossed by a bridge of the 15th century. A public garden occupies the site of the old castle; the public buildings and churches, the finest of which is Notre-Dame, are modern. The public institutions include the sub-prefecture, a tribunal of first instance, a chamber of commerce, a board of trade-arbitrators, and a communal college. There are granite quarries in the vicinity of the town. The chief industry is the manufacture of linen and linen handkerchiefs, which is also carried on in the neighbouring communes on a large scale. Woollen and cotton fabrics are also produced, and bleaching and the manufacture of preserved foods are carried on. Cholet is the most important centre in France for the sale of fat cattle, sheep and pigs, for which Paris is the chief market. Megalithic monuments are numerous in the neighbourhood. The town owes the rise of its prosperity to the settlement of weavers there by Edouard Colbert, count of Maulévrier, a brother of the great Colbert. It suffered severely in the War of La Vendée of 1793, insomuch that for years afterwards it was almost without inhabitants.