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Autun (ōtöNˈ) [key], town (1990 pop. 19,422), Saône-et-Loire dept., E central France, on the Arroux River. It is an industrial center producing metals, machinery, leather, cloth, timber, and shale oil. An important market town in ancient times, Autun was a residence of the prefects of Gaul and was the seat of an important Gallic university. Between the 5th and 9th cent. Autun was often attacked by barbarians. Among the Roman ruins are the remains of the town wall, an amphitheater, and the 3d-century gates of SS. André and Arroux. The Hotel Rolen (15th cent.), with the 12th-century sculpture of Eve, is now a museum. The Cathedral of St. Lazare (12th cent.) is also famous for its medieval sculpture. The town has other museums as well as a bishop's palace.

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

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: French Political Geography

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