1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Montluçon
MONTLUÇON, a town of central France, capital of an arrondissement, and the most important industrial centre in the department of Allier. Pop. (1906), 31,888. It is situated on the Cher, 50 m. S.W. of Moulins by the Orléans railway. The upper town, on an eminence on the right bank, consists of steep, narrow, winding streets, and preserves several buildings of the 15th and 16th centuries; the lower town, traversed by the Cher, is the seat of the industries, which embrace the manufacture of glass, chemicals, mirrors, sewing-machines, and iron and steel production. The Commentry coal-mines and Néris, a town with thermal springs, are a few miles distant to the south-east. Of the churches, Notre-Dame is of the 15th century, St Pierre partly of the 12th and St Paul modern. The town-hall, with a library, occupies the site of an old Ursuline convent, and two other convents are used as college and hospital. Overlooking the town is the castle rebuilt by Louis II., duke of Bourbon, and taken by Henry IV. during the religious wars; it serves as a barracks. Montluçon is the seat of a sub-prefect and has tribunals of first instance and of commerce, a board of trade arbitration, a chamber of commerce and a lycée. The town, which formed part of the duchy of Bourbon, was taken by the English in 1171, and by Philip Augustus in 1181; the English were beaten under its walls in the 14th century.