JARNAC, a town of western France in the department of Charente, on the right bank of the river Charente, and on the railway 23 m. W. of Angouleme, between that city and Cognac. Pop. (1906), 4493. The town is well built; and an avenue, planted with poplar trees, leads to a handsome suspension bridge. The church contains an interesting ogival crypt. There are communal colleges for both sexes. Brandy, wine and wine-casks are made in the town. Jarnac was in 1569 the scene of a battle in which the Catholics defeated the Protestants. A pyramid marks the spot where Louis, Prince de Conde, one of the Protestant generals, was slain. Jarnac gave its name to an old French family, of which the best known member is Gui Chabot, comte de Jarnac (d. c. 1575), whose lucky backstroke in his famous duel with Chateigneraie gave rise to the proverbial phrase coup de jarnac, signifying an unexpected blow.
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