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Melun (məlöNˈ) [key], town (1990 pop. 36,489), capital of Seine-et-Marne dept., N central France, SE of Paris. It is an important industrial center where automobile bodies, airplane engines, leather products, pharmaceuticals, and elastics are produced. An ancient town of Île-de-France, Melun was founded on an island in the Seine and during Gallo-Roman times expanded to both banks of the river. It was ravaged often by the Normans. Melun became an early residence of the Capetian kings. The town has a Romanesque church (12th cent.) and vestiges of a Roman fortress and a Capetian castle. Nearby is the famous Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte, built for Nicholas Fouquet.

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

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