Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Noviodunum, the early name of Nevers was in later times altered to Nebirnum. The quantities of medals and other Roman antiquities found on the site indicate the importance of the place at the time when Caesar chose it as a military depot for corn, money and hostages. In 52 BC it was the first place seized by the revolting Aedui. It became the seat of a bishopric at the end of the 5th century. The countship dates at least from the beginning of the l0th century. The citizens of Nevers obtained charters in 1194 and in 1231. For a short time in the 14th century the town was the seat of a university, transferred from Orléans, to which it was restored.
Nevers is situated on the slope of a hill on the right bank of the Loire River at its confluence with the Nièvre River .
Narrow winding streets lead from the quay through the town where there are numerous old houses of the 14th to the 17th centuries.
Among the ecclesiastical buildings the most important is the cathedral of Saint Cyr-Sainte Juliette, which is a combination of two buildings, and possesses two apses. The apse and transept at the west end are the remains of a Romanesque church, while the nave and eastern apse are in the Gothic style and belong to the 14th century. There is no transept at the eastern end. The lateral portal on the south side belongs to the late 15th century; the massive and elaborately decorated tower which rises beside it to the early 16th century.
The church of Saint Etienne is a specimen of the Romanesque style of Auvergne of which the disposition of the apse with its three radiating chapels is characteristic. It was consecrated at the close of the nth century, and belonged to a priory affiliated to Cluny. The ducal palace at Nevers (now occupied by the courts of justice and an important ceramic museum) was built in the 15th and 16th centuries and is one of the principal feudal edifices in central France. The facade is flanked at each end by a turret and a round tower. A middle tower containing the great staircase has its windows adorned by sculptures relating to the history of the house of Cleves by the members of which the greater part of the palace was built.
In front of the palace lies a wide open space with a fine view over the valley of the Loire. The Porte du Croux, a square tower, with corner turrets, dating from the end of the 14th century, is among the remnants of the old fortifications; it now contains a collection of sculptures and Roman antiquities.
A triumphal arch of the 18th century, commemorating the victory of Fontenoy and the hotel de ville, a modern building which contains the library, are of some interest. The Loire is crossed by a modern stone bridge, and by an iron railway bridge.
Nevers is the seat of a bishopric, of tribunals of first instance and of commerce and of a court of assizes and has a chamber of commerce and a branch of the Bank of France. Its educational institutions include a lycee, a training college for female teachers, ecclesiastical seminaries and a school of art. The town manufactures porcelain, agricultural implements, chemical manures, glue, boilers and iron goods, boots and shoes and fur garments, and has distilleries, tanneries and dye-works. Its trade is in iron and steel, wood, wine, grain, live-stock, &c. Hydraulic lime, kaolin and clay for the manufacture of faience are worked in the vicinity.
Nevers was the birthplace of Pierre Gaspard Chaumette (1763-1794), revolutionist.
The Formula One circuit of Magny-Cours is located near Nevers.
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