GIRONDE , a maritimedepartment of south-western France, formed from four divisions of the old province of Guyenne, viz . Bordelais, Bazadais, and parts of
See also:Perigord and
See also:Agenais .
See also:Area, 4140 sq. m . Pop . (1906) 823,925 . It is bounded N. by the department of
See also:Charente-Inferieure, E. by those of
See also:Dordogne and Lot-et-
See also:Garonne, S. by that of
See also:Landes, and W. by the
See also:Bay of Biscay . It takes its name from the
See also:river or estuary of the Gironde formed by the union of the Garonne and Dordogne . The department divides itself naturally into a western and an eastern portion . The former, which is termed the Landes (q.v.), occupies more than a third of the department, and consists chiefly of morass or sandy plain, thickly planted with pines and divided from the
See also:sea by a long
See also:line of
See also:dunes . These dunes are planted with pines, which, by binding the sand together with their roots, prevent it from drifting inland and afford a barrier against the sea . On the east the dunes are fringed for some distance by two extensive lakes, Carcans and Lacanau, communicating with each other and with the Bay of
See also:Arcachon, near the
See also:southern extremity of the department . The Bay of Arcachon contains numerous islands, and on the
See also:land side forms a vast shallow lagoon, a considerable portion of which, however, has been drained and converted into arable land .
The eastern portion of the department consists chiefly of asuccession of
See also:hill and dale, and, especially in the valley of the Gironde, is very fertile . The estuary of the Gironde is about 45 M. in length, and varies in breadth from 2 to 6 m . It presents a succession of islands and mud
See also:banks which
See also:divide it into two channels and render navigation somewhat difficult . It is, however, well buoyed and lighted, and has a mean
See also:depth of 21 ft . There are extensive marshes on the right
See also:bank to the
See also:north of Blaye, and the shores on the
See also:left are characterized, especially towards the mouth, by low-lying polders protected by dikes and composed of fertile
See also:salt marshes . At the mouth of the Gironde stands the famous tower of Cordouan, one of the finest lighthouses of the French
See also:coast . It was built between the years 1585 and 1611 by the architect and engineer
See also:Louis de
See also:Foix, and added to towards the end of the 18th century . The
See also:principal affluent of the Dordogne in this department is the Isle . The feeders of the Garonne are, with the exception of the Dropt, all small . West of the Garonne the only river of importance is the Leyre, which flows into the Bay of Arcachon . The
See also:climate is humid and mild and very hot in summer . Wheat,
See also:maize, oats and
See also:tobacco are grown to a considerable extent .
Thecorn produced, however, does not meet the wants of the inhabitants . The culture of the
See also:vine is by far the most important branch of
See also:industry carried on (see
See also:WINE), the vineyards occupying about one-seventh of the
See also:surface of the department . The wine-growing districts are the Medoc,
See also:Cotes, Palus, Entre-deux-Mers and Sauternes . The Medoc is a region of 5o m. in length by about 6 m. in breadth, bordering the left banks of the Garonne and the Gironde between
See also:Bordeaux and the sea . The Graves
See also:country forms a zone 30 M. in extent, stretching along the left bank of the Garonne from the neighbourhood of Bordeaux to Barsac . The Sauternes country lies to the S.E. of the Graves . The Cotes lie on the right bank of the Dordogne and Gironde, between it and the Garonne, and on the left bank of the Garonne . The produce of the Palus, the alluvial ]and of the valleys, and of the Entre-deux-Mers, situated on the left bank of the Dordogne, is inferior . Fruits and vegetables are extensively cultivated, the peaches and
See also:pears being especially
See also:fine .
See also:Cattle are extensively raised, the Bazadais breed of oxen and the Bordelais breed of milch-cows being well known .
See also:Oyster-breeding is carried on on a large scale in the Bay of.Arcachon . Large supplies of
See also:resin, pitch and
See also:turpentine are obtained from the
See also:pine woods, which also supply vine-props, and there are well-known quarries of
See also:limestone .
The manufactures are various, and, with thegeneral
See also:trade, are chiefly carried on at Bordeaux (q.v.), the chief
See also:town and third
See also:port in France . Pauillac, Blaye,
See also:Libourne and Arcachon are minor ports . Gironde is divided into the arrondissements of Bordeaux, Blaye, Lesparre, Libourne,
See also:Bazas and La Reole, with 49 cantons and 554 communes . The department is served by five
See also:railways, the chief of which are those of the
See also:Orleans and Southern companies . It forms
See also:part of the circumscription of the archbishopric, the
See also:court and the
See also:academic (educational division) of Bordeaux, and of the region of the XVIII. army
See also:corps, the headquarters of which are at that city . Besides Bordeaux, Libourne, La Reole, Bazas, Blaye, Arcachon, St Emilion and St
See also:Macaire are the most noteworthy towns and receive
See also:separate treatment . Among the other places of
See also:interest the chief are
See also:Cadillac, on the right bank of the Garonne, where there is a
See also:castle of the 16th century, surrounded by fortifications of the 14th century; Labrede, with a feudal chateau in which Montesquieu was
See also:born and lived; Villandraut, where there is a ruined castle of the 13th century; Uzeste, which has a
See also:church begun in 1310 by
See also:Clement V.; Mazeres with an imposing castle of the 14th century; La Sauve, which has a church (11th and 12th centuries) and other remains of a
See also:Benedictine abbey; and Ste Foy-la-Grande, a bastide created in 1255 and afterwards a centre of Protestantism, which is still strong there . La Teste (pop. in 1906, 5699) was the capital in the
See also:middle ages of the famous lords of Buch .
GIROLAMO GIUSEPPE (1555-1611)
GIRONDISTS (Fr. Girondins)
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