Alençon (äläNsôNˈ) [key], town (1990 pop. 31,139), capital of Orne dept., N France, in Normandy, on the Sarthe and Briante rivers. A commercial center in a fertile farm area, it is particularly noted for its fine lace work, an industry which dates from the 17th cent. The town also has spinning mills, printing plants, sawmills, and quarries. Alençon was heavily damaged in World War II. Among its surviving structures are Notre Dame Church, with windows and a porch from the 16th cent.; the Gothic St. Leonard's Church (completed in 1505); and the Ozé House (15th cent.).
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