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AMIENS

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 855 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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AMIENS, a city of northern France, capital of the department of Somme, on the left bank of the Somme, 81 m. N. of Paris on the Northern railway to Calais. Pop. (1906) 78,407. Amiens was once a place of great strength, and still possesses a citadel of the end of the 16th century, but the ramparts which surrounded it have been replaced by boulevards, bordered by handsome residences. Suburbs, themselves bounded by another line of boulevards, have arisen beyond these limits, and the city also extends to the right bank of the Somme. The busy quarter of Amiens lies between the river and the railway, which for some distance follows the inner line of boulevards. The older and more picturesque quarter is situated directly on the Somme; its narrow and irregular streets are intersected by the eleven arms of the river and it is skirted on the north by the canal derived therefrom. Besides its boulevards Amiens has the ample park or Promenade de la Hotoie to the west and several fine squares, notably the Place Longueville and the Place St Denis, in which stands the statue of the famous 17th-century scholar Charles Ducange. The cathedral (see ARCHITECTURE: Romanesque and Gothic Architecture in France; and CATHEDRAL), which is perhaps the finest church of Gothic architecture in France, far exceeds the other buildings of the town in importance. Erected on the plans of Robert de Luzarches, chiefly between 1220 and 1288, it consists of a nave, nearly 140 ft. in height, with aisles and lateral chapels, a transept with aisles, and a choir (with deambulatory) ending in an apse surrounded by chapels. The total length is 469 ft., the breadth 216 ft. The facade, which is flanked by two square towers without spires, has three portals decorated with a pro-fusion of statuary, the central portal having a remarkable statue of Christ of the 13th century; they are surmounted by two galleries, the upper one containing twenty-two statues of the kings of Judah in its arcades, and by a line rose-window. A slender spire rises above the crossing. The southern portal is remarkable for a figure of the Virgin and otner statuary. In the interior, which contains beautifully carved stalls, a choir-screen C6H5•C R•C C6Hb•C N—C—(CHs)
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HENRI FREDERIC AMIEL (1821-1881)
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