Montluçon

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Montluçon castle

Montluçon is a city in the center of France. It is the sous-prefecture of the Allier departement, in Auvergne. In 2009, almost 39.000 people lived in the city, and about about 78.000 in the urban area. Montluçon is the biggest town in the departement, before Vichy. It is the second most important town in Auvergne, after Clermont-Ferrand, its capital. Montluçon is a fortified town, with was of strategic importance for a long time. There was a rivalry with Moulins. There is a church built in the 12th century, using Romanesque architecture, and another one from the 15th century, built in Gothic architecture. Industrialization profited a lot from the coal that was found near Commentry. When the Canal de Berry opened, industrialization began in the city. Today, big companies such as Dunlop are installed in the city. After the Second World War, and the Trente Glorieuses (the years 1945-1975), industrial importance of the city faded. Marx Dormoy, a French politician and André Messager, a French composer were born in Montluçon. Audrey Tautou grew up there.