1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Mâcon

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MÂCON, a town of east-central France, capital of the department of Saône-et-Loire, 45 m. N. of Lyons on the Paris-Lyon railway. Pop. (1906), 16,151. Mâcon is situated on the right bank of the Saône facing the plain of the Bresse; a bridge of twelve arches connects it with the suburb of St Laurent on the opposite bank. The most prominent building is the modern Romanesque church of St Pierre, a large three-naved basilica, with two fine spires. Of the old cathedral of St Vincent (12th and 13th centuries), destroyed at the Revolution, nothing remains but the Romanesque narthex, now used as a chapel, the façade and its two flanking towers. The hôtel de ville contains a library, a theatre and picture-gallery. Opposite to it stands a statue of the poet Alphonse Lamartine, a native of the town. Mâcon is the seat of a prefecture, and has tribunals of first instance and of commerce, and a chamber of commerce. There are lycées and training colleges. Copper-founding is an important industry; manufactures include casks, mats, rope and utensils for the wine-trade. The town has a large trade in wine of the district, known as Mâcon. It is a railway centre of considerable importance, being the point at which the line from Paris to Marseilles is joined by that from Mont Cenis and Geneva, as well as by a branch from Moulins.

Mâcon (Matisco) was an important town of the Aedui, but under the Romans it was supplanted by Autun and Lyons. It suffered a succession of disasters at the hands of the Germans, Burgundians, Vandals, Huns, Hungarians and even of the Carolingian kings. In the feudal period it was an important countship which in 1228 was sold to the king of France, but more than once afterwards passed into the possession of the dukes of Burgundy, until the ownership of the French crown was established in the time of Louis XI. In the 16th century Mâcon became a stronghold of the Huguenots, but afterwards fell into the hands of the League, and did not yield to Henry IV. until 1594. The bishopric, created by King Childebert, was suppressed in 1790.