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Abbeville (city, United States)

Abbeville (ă´bēvĬl), city (1990 pop. 11,187), seat of Vermilion parish, S La., on the Vermilion River, with access to the Intracoastal Waterway; inc. 1850. It is a trade and processing center for a region of rice and sugarcane fields. There is fishing for crawfish, alligator, and crab, as well as varied manufacturing. In Cajun country, Abbeville was settled (1843) by descendants of Acadians from Nova Scotia and was laid out like a French town. It grew around the Roman Catholic church (1845) and preserves much of the early atmosphere in its historic district. There is an Acadian history museum. The city and surrounding region suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Rita in 2005.

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Abbeville (town, France)

Abbeville (äbvēl´), town (1990 pop. 24,588), Somme dept., N France, in Picardy, on the Somme River. Sugar refining, brewing, iron working, and carpet manufacturing are the chief industries. Abbeville received its commercial charter in 1184 and enjoyed prosperity until the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685) caused the Protestants, who constituted the skilled labor, to flee. The closing of the Somme River port because of sedimentation also affected prosperity. Although heavily damaged in World War II, the town retains the late Gothic Church of St. Wolfram, with its 13th-century belfry.

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