Remiremont - Encyclopedia

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REMIREMONT, a town of eastern France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Vosges, 17 m. S.S.E. of Epinal by rail, on the Moselle, a mile below its confluence with the Moselotte. Pop. town, 8782; commune, 10,548.10,548. Remiremont is surrounded by forest-clad mountains, and commanded by Fort Parmont, one of the Moselle line of defensive works. The abbey church, consecrated in 1051, has a crypt of the nth century in which are the tombs of some of the abbesses, but as a. whole belongs to the late 13th century. The abbatial residence (which now contains the mairie, the court-house and the public library) has been twice rebuilt in modern times (in 1750 and again after a fire in 1871), but the original plan and style have been preserved in the imposing front, the vestibule and the grand staircase. Some of the houses of the canonesses dating from the 17th and 18th centuries also remain. Remiremont is the seat of a sub-prefect and has a tribunal of first instance, a communal college, a board of trade-arbitration and a chamber of arts and manufactures. Its industries include cotton-spinning and weaving, the manufacture of hosiery and embroidery, iron and copper founding and the manufacture of boots and shoes and brushes.

Remiremont (Romarici Mons) derives its name from St Romaric, one of the companions of St Columban of Luxeuil, who in the 7th century founded a monastery and a convent. on the hills above the present town. In 910 the nuns, menaced by the invasion of the Hungarians, took refuge at Remiremont, which had grown up round a villa of the Frankish kings, and in the i 1th century they permanently settled there. Enriched by dukes of Lorraine, kings of France and emperors of Germany, the ladies of Remiremont attained great power. The abbess was a princess of the empire, and received consecration at the hands of the pope. The fifty canonesses were selected from those who could give proof of noble descent. On Whit-Monday the neighbouring parishes paid homage to the chapter in a ceremony called the "Kyrioles"; and on their accession the dukes of Lorraine, the immediate suzerains of the abbey, had to come to Remiremont to swear to continue their protection. The "War of the Scutcheons" (Panonceaux) in 1566 between the duke and the abbess ended in favour of the duke; and the abbess never recovered her former position. In the 17th century the ladies of Remiremont fell away so much from the original monastic rule as to take the title of countesses, renounce their vows and marry. The town was attacked by the French in 1638 and ruined by the earthquake of 1682. With the rest of Lorraine it was joined to France in 1766. The monastery on the hill and the nunnery in the town were both suppressed in the Revolution.

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