Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Toul

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TOUL, a town of France, chef-lieu of an arrondissement in the department of Meurthe-et-Moselle, on the left bank of the Moselle, 199 miles east of Paris by the railway to Nancy, at the point where the Marne Canal joins those of the Rhine and the East. The isolated hills of St Michel and Barine respectively rise 548 feet and 574 feet above the town, which is a stronghold of the first order, the centre of an entrenched camp protected by numerous forts and redoubts, and a link in the chain of fortifications which extends from Verdun to Belfort. The light and elegant church of St Etienne (formerly the cathedral) has a fine choir and transept, dating from the 13th century; the nave and aisles are of the 14th, and the beautiful recently restored facade and the towers (246 feet) of the 15th. The interior (118 feet in height, 289 in length, and 89 in width) has fine glass, a remarkable organ-loft, and some interesting monuments. The bas-reliefs of the charming Gothic cloister (13th and 14th centuries) were much damaged during the Revolution. The choir and transept of St Gengoult, a fine church of the 13th century with a façade of the 15th, contain some interesting 13th century glass; and the light groups of supporting columns, and the sculptures in the cloisters (first half of the 16th century), should also be mentioned. The old episcopal palace (18th century) is now used as the town-hall; it contains the museum and library, in which is preserved the golden bull by which the emperor Charles IV. in 1367 confirmed the liberties of the city. The population, 9632 in 1881, was 9981 in 1886 (commune 10,459).

Toul (Tullum) is one of the oldest towns of France; originally capital of the Leuci, in the Belgic confederation, it acquired great importance under the Romans. It was evangelized by St Mansuy in the latter half of the 4th century, and became one of the leading sees of north-east Gaul. After being sacked successively by Goths, Burgundians, Vandals, and Huns, Toul was conquered by the Franks in 450. Under the Merovingians it was governed by counts, assisted by elective officers. The bishops, who had become increasingly powerful, were invested with sovereign rights in the 10th century, holding only of the emperor, and for a period of 300 years (13th to 16th centuries) the citizens maintained a long struggle against them. The town was forced to yield for a time to the count of Vaudemont in the 12th century, and twice to the duke of Lorraine in the 15th, and was thrice devastated by the plague in the 16th. Charles V. made a solemn entry into the town in 1544, but in the following year, at the instance of the Cardinal de Lorraine, it placed itself under the perpetual protection of the kings of France. Henry II. took possession in 1552, but the town with its territory was not officially incorporated with France till 1648. Henry IV. was received in state in 1603, and in 1637 the parlement of iletz was transferred to Toul. In 1700 Vauban reconstructed the fortifications of the town, and in 1790 the bishopric was suppressed and the diocese united to that of Nancy. Toul capitulated in 1870, after a bombardment of twelve days from heights now included in the new fortifications.