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FELDKIRCH

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V10, Page 238 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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FELDKIRCH, a small town in the Austrian province of the Vorarlberg, some 20 M. S. of the S. end of the Lake of Constance. It is situated in a green hollow, on the Ill river, between the two narrow rocky gorges through which it flows out into the broad valley of the Rhine. Hence, though containing only about 4000 inhabitants (German-speaking and Romanist), the town is of great military importance, since it commands the entrance into Tirol from the west, over the Arlberg Pass (5912 ft.), and has been the scene of many conflicts, the last in 1799, when the French, under Oudinot and Massena, were driven back by the Austrians under Hotze and Jellachich. It is a picturesque little town, overshadowed by the old castle of Schattenburg (now a poor-house), built about 1200 by the count of Montfort, whose descendant in 1375 sold it to the Habsburgs. The town contains many administrative offices, and is the residence of a suffragan bishop, who acts as vicar-general of the diocesan, the bishop of Brixen. Among the principal buildings are the parish church, dating from 1487, and possessing a " Descent from the Cross" (1521), which has been attributed to Holbein, the great Jesuit educational establishment called " Stella Matutina," and a Capuchin convent and church. There is a considerable amount of transit trade at Feldkirch, which by rail is 11 m. from Buchs (Switzerland), through the principality of Liechtenstein, 24 M. from Bregenz, and 991 M. from Innsbruck by tunnel beneath the Arlberg Pass. The town also possesses numerous industrial establishments, such as factories for cotton-spinning, weaving, bell-founding, dyeing, &c. (W. A. B. C.) FtLIBIEN, ANDR$ (1619-1695), sieur des Avaux et de Javercy, French architect and historiographer, was born at Chartres in May 1619. At the age of fourteen he went to Paris to continue his studies; and in 1647 he was sent to Rome in the capacity of secretary of embassy to the Marquis de Marueil. His residence at Rome he turned to good account by diligent study of its ancient monuments, by examination of the literary treasures of its libraries, and by cultivating the acquaintance of men eminent in literature and in art, with whom he was brought into contact through his translation of Cardinal Barberini's Life of Pius V. Among his friends was Nicholas Poussin, whose counsels were of great value to him. On his return to France he married, and was ultimately induced, in the hope of employment and honours, to settle in Paris. Both Fouquet and Colbert in their turn recognized his abilities; and he was one of the first members (1663) of the Academy of Inscriptions. Three years later Colbert procured him the appointment of historiographer to the king. In 1671 he was named secretary to the newly-founded Academy of Architecture, and in 1673 keeper of the cabinet of antiques in the palace of Brion. To these offices was afterwards added by Louvois that of deputy controller-general of roads and bridges. Felibien found time in the midst of his official duties for study and research, and produced many literary works. Among these the best and the most generally known is the Entretiens sur les vies et sur les ouvrages des plus excellents peintres cinder's et modernes, which appeared in successive livraisons, the first in 1666, and the fifth in 1688. It was republished with several additions at Amsterdam in 1706, and again at Trevoux in X725. Felibien wrote also Origine de la peinture (166o), Principes de l'architecture, de la sculpture, de la peinture, &c. (1676-169o), and descriptions of Versailles, of La Trappe, and of the pictures and statues of the royal residences. Among other literary works, he edited the Conferences of the Academy of Painting, and translated the Castle of the Soul from the Spanish of St Theresa. His personal character commanded the highest esteem, agreeing with the motto which he adopted—Bene facere et vera dicere. He died in Paris on the 1 Xth of June 1695. His son, Jean Francois Felibien (c. 1658-1733), was also an architect who left a number of works on his subject; and a younger son, Michel Felibien (c. 1666-1719), was a Benedictine of Saint Germain-des-Pres whose fame rests on his Histoire de l'abbaye royale de S. Denys en France, and also his L'Histoire de la ville de Paris in 5 vols., a work indispensable to the student of Paris.
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