GERS , adepartment of south-western France, composed of the whole or parts of certain districts of
See also:Gascony, viz .
See also:Armagnac, Astarac, Fezensac, Pardiac, Pays de Gaure, Lomagne, Cornminges, Condomois and of a small portion' of
See also:Agenais .. It is bounded N. by the department of Lot-et-
See also:Garonne, N.E. by Tarn-et-Garonne, E. and S.E. by Haute-Garonne, S. by Hautes-Pyrenees, S.W. by Basses-Pyrenees and W. by
See also:Landes . Pop . (1906) 231,088 .
See also:Area, 2428 sq. m . The department consists of a
See also:plateau sloping from south to
See also:north and traversed by numerous
See also:rivers, most of them having their source close together in the Plateau de Lannemezan (Hautes-Pyrenees), from which point they diverge in the shape of a
See also:fan to the north-west, north and north-east . In the south several summits exceed 1100 ft. in height . Thence the descent towards the north is gradual till on the
See also:northern limit of the department the lowest point (less than 200 ft.) is reached . The greater
See also:part of the department belongs to the.
See also:basin of the Garonne, while a small portion in the west is drained by the Adour . The chief affluents of the former are the Save, Gimone, Arrats, Gers and Basse, which derive their
See also:waters in
See also:great part from the Canal de la Neste in the department of Hautes-Pyrenees; and of the latter, the Arros, Midou and Douze, the last two uniting and taking the name of Midouze before joining the Adour . The
See also:climate is temperate; its drawbacks are the unwholesome south-east
See also:wind and the destructive
See also:hail-storms which sometimes occur in
See also:spring .
There is seldom any
See also:snow or
See also:frost . Over the greater portion of the department the
See also:annual rainfall varies between 28 and 32 in . Gers is primarily agricultural . The south-western
See also:district is the most productive, but the valleys generally are fertile and the
See also:grain produced is more than sufficient for
See also:consumption . Wheat,
See also:maize and oats are the
See also:principal cereals . About one-third of the
See also:wine produced is used for home consumption, and the
See also:remainder is chiefly manufactured into
See also:brandy, known by the name of Armagnac, second only to
See also:Cognac in reputation . The natural pastures are supplemented chiefly by crops of
See also:sainfoin and
See also:clover; horses,
See also:sheep and
See also:swine are reared in considerable numbers; turkeys, geese and, other poultry are abundant . There are
See also:mineral springs at Aurenson, Barbotan and several other places in the department . The mineral production and manufactures are unimportant .
See also:stone and
See also:clay are obtained .
See also:Flour-mills, saw-mills, tanneries,
See also:works and cask-works are the chief
See also:industrial establishments . Gers is divided into the arrondissements of
See also:Condom and Lombez, with 29 cantons and 466 communes .
See also:town is Auch, the seat of an archbishopric . The department falls within the circumscription of the
See also:court of
See also:Agen, and the region of the XVII. army
See also:corps . It forms part of the academie (educational circumscription) of Toulouse . Auch, Condom, Lectoure and Mirande are the principal towns . The following are also of
See also:interest: Lombez, with its
See also:church of Sainte-
See also:Marie, once a
See also:cathedral, dating from the 14th century, when the bishopric was created; Flaran, with an abbey-church of the last
See also:half of the 12th century; La Romieu, with a church of the' same
See also:period and a beautiful cloister; Simorre, with a fortified abbey-church of the 14th century; and Fleurance, with a handsome church, also of the 14th century, containing stained
See also:glass of the 16th century .
GERRYMANDER (usually pronounced " jerrymander," but...
JOHN GERSON (1363—1429)
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