Issoudun - Encyclopedia




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ISSOUDUN, a town of central France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Indre, on the right bank of the Theols, 17 m. N.E. of Chateauroux by rail. Pop. (1906) 10,566. Among the interesting buildings are the church of St Cyr, combining various architectural styles, with a fine porch and window, and the chapel of the Hotel Dieu of the early 16th century. Of the fortifications with which the town was formerly surrounded, a town-gate of the 16th century and the White Tower, a lofty cylindrical building of the reign of Philip Augustus, survive. Issoudun is the seat of a sub-prefecture, and has tribunals of first instance and of commerce, a chamber of arts and manufactures and a communal college. The industries, of which the most important is leather-dressing, also include malting and brewing and the manufacture of bristles for brushes and parchment. Trade is in grain, live-stock, leather and wine.

Issoudun, in Latin Exoldunum or Uxellodunum, existed in and before Roman times. In 1195 it was stoutly and successfully defended by the partizans of Richard Coeur-de-Lion against Philip Augustus, king of France. It has suffered severely from fires. A very destructive one in 1651 was the result of an attack on the town in the war of Fronde; Louis XIV. rewarded its fidelity to him during that struggle by the grant of several privileges.

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