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Montluçon (môNlüsôNˈ) [key], town (1990 pop. 46,660), Allier dept., central France, on the Cher River. Industry developed in the 19th cent. because of nearby coal fields in Commentry and iron-ore deposits around Berry. The southern terminal of the Berry Canal, which links the former Commentry coal fields with the Loire River, is at Montluçon. The area now produces electrical and metal products, tires, chemicals, furniture, and clothing. Points of interest include the Romanesque St. Pierre Church, the flamboyant Gothic church of Notre Dame, and many houses dating from the 15th and 16th cent.; the castle (15th–16th cent.) of the dukes of Bourbon now houses a crockery museum.

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

See more Encyclopedia articles on: French Political Geography

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