1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Aurillac
AURILLAC, a town of central France, capital of the department of Cantal, 140 m. N.N.E. of Toulouse, on the Orléans railway between Figeac and Murat. Pop. (1906) 14,097. Aurillac stands on the right bank of the Jordanne, and is dominated from the north-west by the Roc Castanet, crowned by the castle of St Etienne, the keep of which dates from the 11th century. Its streets are narrow and uninteresting, with the exception of one which contains, among other old houses, that known as the Maison des Consuls, a Gothic building of the 16th century, decorated with sculptured stone-work. Aurillac owes its origin to an abbey founded in the 9th century by St Géraud, and the abbey-church, rebuilt in the 17th century in the Gothic style, is the chief building in the town. The former college, which dates from the 17th century, is now occupied by a museum and a library. There is a statue of Pope Silvester II., born near Aurillac in 930 and educated in the abbey, which soon afterwards became one of the most famous schools of France. Aurillac is the seat of a prefect, and its public institutions include tribunals of first instance and of commerce, a chamber of commerce, a lycée, training-colleges and a branch of the Bank of France. The chief manufactures are wooden shoes and umbrellas, and there is trade in cheese and in the cattle and horses reared in the neighbourhood.