ARLON, the chief town of the Belgian province of Luxemburg,
situated on a hill about 1240 ft. above the sea. Pop. (1904)
10,894. It is a very ancient town, and in the time of the Romans
was called Orolaunum, being a station on the Antoninian way
connecting Reims and Trèves. Authorities dispute as to the
origin of the name, some tracing it to Ara Lunae, a temple of
Diana having been erected here, while others more plausibly
derive it from the Celtic words ar (mount) and lun (wooded).
Nowadays the woods have disappeared, and Arlon is chiefly
notable for the extensive views obtainable from the church of St
Donat which crowns the peak. Arlon is no longer fortified.
When Vauban by order of Louis XIV. turned it into a fortress
in 1671 great damage was done to the old Roman wall, the foundations
of which were practically intact. In the local museum
are many Roman antiquities collected on the spot, including
several large sculptural stones similar to the celebrated monument
at Igel near Trèves. In the middle ages Arlon was the seat of
a powerful countship (later marquisate), held after 1235 by the
dukes of Luxemburg. As an important strategic position it was
several times seized by the French, e.g. in 1647 and 1651.
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