Alençon is a town in the Orne département. It is situated 105 miles west of Paris, and has a population of 30,380 (in 1999).

  • Some History

The fabric industry gave birth to the famous point d'Alençon lace. The economic development of the 19th century and the industrial boom was generated by several factories (mills), and transport networks (roads and railways) developed. In the first half of the 20th century the city developed a flourishing printing industry.

On June 17 1940 the German army occupied Alençon. On August 12 1944 Alençon was the first French city to be liberated by the French army under General Leclerc, after minor bomb damage.


After the war the population sharply increased and new industries settled. Many of these are related to plastics and Moulinex was a major employer until the closure of the Moulinex factories throughout France in 2001.

Alençon is linked by the A28 autoroute to Le Mans in the Sarthe to the south. In late 2005 Alençon was linked to Rouen by a new section of the A28 autoroute.

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