CLAMECY, a town of central France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Nièvre, at the confluence of the Yonne and Beuvron and on the Canal du Nivernais, 46 m. N.N.E. of Nevers on the Paris-Lyon railway. Pop. (1906) 4455. Its principal building is the church of St Martin, which dates chiefly from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. The tower and façade are of the 16th century. The chevet, which is surrounded by an aisle, is rectangular—a feature found in few French churches. Of the old castle of the counts of Nevers, vaulted cellars alone remain. A church in the suburb of Bethlehem, dating from the 12th and 13th centuries, now serves as part of an hotel. The public institutions include the sub-prefecture, tribunals of first instance and of commerce and a communal college. Among the industrial establishments are saw-mills, fulling-mills and flour-mills, tanneries and manufactories of boots and shoes and chemicals; and there is considerable trade in wine and cattle and in wood and charcoal, which is conveyed principally to Paris, by way of the Yonne.
In the early middle ages Clamecy belonged to the abbey of St Julian at Auxerre; in the 11th century it passed to the counts of Nevers, one of whom, Hervé, enfranchised the inhabitants in 1213. After the capture of Jerusalem by Saladin in 1188, Clamecy became the seat of the bishops of Bethlehem, who till the Revolution resided in the hospital of Panthenor, bequeathed by William IV., count of Nevers. On the coup d’état of 1851 an insurrection broke out in the town, and was repressed by the new authorities with great severity.