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Abbeville

Abbeville (äbvēlˈ) [key], town (1990 pop. 24,588), Somme dept., N France, in Picardy, on the Somme River. Sugar refining, brewing, iron working, and carpet manufacturing are the chief industries. Abbeville received its commercial charter in 1184 and enjoyed prosperity until the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685) caused the Protestants, who constituted the skilled labor, to flee. The closing of the Somme River port because of sedimentation also affected prosperity. Although heavily damaged in World War II, the town retains the late Gothic Church of St. Wolfram, with its 13th-century belfry.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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