TULLE, a town of central France, capital of the department of Correze, 58 m. S.S.E. of Limoges by rail. Pop. (1906), of the town, 11,741; of the commune, 17,245.17,245. The town extends along the narrow valley of the Correze, its streets here and there ascending the hill-slopes on either side by means of stairways. Tulle is the seat of a bishop. Of its 12th-century cathedral, once attached to an abbey, only the porch and nave remain, the choir and transept having been destroyed in 1793, but there is a tower of the 13th century with a fine stone steeple of the 14th century. The neighbouring cloister (12th and 13th century) has been restored. The abbot's house (15th century) has a carved doorway and well-preserved windows. Other curious old houses are to be seen in the vicinity of the cathedral. The prefecture of Tulle is a sumptuous building of 1869 surrounded by gardens. The town has tribunals of first instance and of commerce, a lycee for boys, training colleges for both sexes, a chamber of commerce and a branch of the Bank of France. Its principal industry is the manufacture of small-arms, established in 1690, and now carried on by the state under the direction of the artillery authorities. At its busiest times the factory has employed 3000 hands. The well-known cascades of Gimel formed by the Montane are near Tulle.
Tulle (Tutela) owed its importance in the middle ages to the abbey of St Martin, founded in the 7th or 8th century. The abbacy was raised to the rank of bishopric in 1317. The town was taken by the English in 1346 and was subsequently ravaged by the Black Death. It was again conquered by the English in 1369; but, when the inhabitants succeeded in freeing themselves, they were exempted from all imposts by Charles V. The Protestants tried in vain to seize Tulle in 1577, but were successful in 1585.
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