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HAUTES ALPES

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Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 76 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HAUTES ALPES, a department in S.E. France, formed in 1790 out of the south-eastern portion of the old province of Dauphine, together with a small part of N. Provence. It is bounded N. by the department of Savoie_, E. by Italy and the department of the Basses Alpes, S. by the last-named department and that of the Drome, and W. by the departments of the Drome and of the Isere. Its area is 2178 sq. m., its greatest length is 85 m. and its greatest breadth 62 m. It is very mountainous, and includes the Pointe des Ecrins (13,462 ft.), the loftiest summit in France before the annexation of Savoy in r86o, as well as the Meije (13,081 ft.), the Ailefroide (12,989 ft.) and the Mont Pelvoux (12,973 ft.), though Monte Viso (=_2,609 ft.) is wholly in Italy, rising just over the border. The department is to a large extent made up of the basins of the upper Durance (with its tributaries, the Guisane, the Gyronde and the Guil), of the upper Drac and of the Buech—all being to a very large extent wild mountain torrents in their upper course. The department is divided into three arrondissements (Gap, Briancon and Embrun), 24 cantons and 186 communes. In 1906 its population was 107,498. It is a very poor department owing to its great elevation above the sea-level. There are no industries of any extent, and its commerce is almost wholly of local importance. The prolonged winter greatly hinders agricultural development, while the pastoral region has been greatly damaged and the forests destroyed by the ravages of the Provencal sheep, vast flocks of which are driven up here in the summer, as the pastures are leased out to a large extent, and but little utilized by the inhabitants. It now forms the diocese of Gap (this see is first certainly mentioned in the 6th century), which is in the ecclesiastical province of Aix en Provence; in 1791 there was annexed to it the archiepiscopal see of Embrun, which was. then sup-pressed. There are 114 M. of railway in the department. This includes the main line from Briancon past Gap towards Grenoble. About 162 m. W. of Gap is the important railway junction of Veynes, whence branch off the lines to Grenoble, to Valence by Die and Livron, and to Sisteron for Marseilles. The chief town is Gap, while Briancon and Embrun are the only other important places. See J. Roman, Dictionnaire topographique du dep. des Htes-Alpes (Paris, 1884), Tableau historique du dep. des Htes-Alpes (Paris, 1887-189o, 2 vols.), and Repertoire archeologique du dep. des Htes-Alpes (Paris, 1888) ; J. C. F. Ladoucette, Histoire, topographie, f&c., des Hautes-.4lpes (3rd ed., Paris, 1848), (W. A. B. C.) HAUTE-SAONE, a department of eastern France, formed in 1790 from the northern portion of Franche Comte. It is traversed by the river Saone, bounded N. by the department of the Vosges, E. by the territory of Belfort, S. by Doubs and Jura, and W. by Cute-d'Or and Haute-Marne. Pop. (1906), 263,890; area, 2075 sq. m. On the north-east, where they are formed by the Vosges, and to the south along the course of the Ognon the limits are natural. The highest point of the department is the Ballon de Servance (3970 ft.), and the lowest the confluence of the Saone and Ognon (610 ft.). The general slope is from north-east to south-west, the direction followed by those two streams. In the north-east the department belongs to the Vosgian formation, consisting of forest-clad mountains of sandstone and granite, and is of a marshy nature; but throughout the greater part of its extent it is composed of limestone plateaus 800 to woo ft. high pierced with crevasses and subterranean caves, into which the rain water disappears to issue again as springs in the valleys 200 ft. lower down. In its passage through the department the Saone receives from the right the Amance and the Salon from the Langres plateau, and from the left the Coney, the Lanterne (augmented by the Breuchin which passes by Luxeuil), the Durgeon (passing Vesoul), and the Ognon. The north-eastern districts are cold and have an annual rainfall ranging from 36 to 48 in. Towards the south-west the climate becomes more temperate. At Vesoul and Gray the rainfall only reaches 24 in. per annum. Haute-Saone is primarily agricultural. Of its total area nearly half is arable land; wheat, oats, meslin and rye are the chief cereals and potatoes are largely grown. The vine flourishes mainly in the arrondissement of Gray. Apples, plums and cherries (from which the kirsch, for which the department is famous, is distilled) are the chief fruits. The woods which cover a quarter of the department are composed mainly of firs in the Vosges and of oak, beech, hornbeam and aspen in the other dist ricts. The river-valleys furnish good pasture for the rearing of horses and of horned cattle. The department possesses mines of coal (at Ronchamp) and rock-salt (at Gouhenans) and stone quarries are worked. Of the many mineral waters of Haute-Saone the best known are the hot springs of Luxeuil (q.r.). Besides iron-working establishments (smelting furnaces, foundries and wire-drawing mills), Haute-Saone possesses copper-foundries, engineering works, steel-foundries and factories at Plancher-les-Mines and elsewhere for producing ironmongery, nails, pins, files, saws, screws, shot, chains, agricultural implements, locks, spinning machinery, edge tools. Window-glass and glass wares, pottery and earthenware arc manufactured; there are also brick and tile-works. The spinning and weaving of cotton, of which Hcricourt (pop. in 1906, 5104) is the chief centre, stand nest in importance to metal working, and there are numerous paper-mills. Print-works, fulling mills, hosiery factories and straw-hat factories are also of some account; as well as sugar works, distilleries, dye-works, saw-mills, starch-works, the chemical works at Gouhenans, oil-mills, tanyards and flour-mills. The department exports wheat, cattle, cheese, butter, iron, wood, pottery, kirschwasser, plaster, leather, glass, &c. The Saone provides a navigable channel of about 70 m,, which is connected with the Moselle and the Meuse at Corre by the Canal de i'Est along the valley of the Coney. Gray is the chief emporium of the water-borne trade of the Saone. Haute-Saoneis served chiefly by the Eastern railway. There are three arrondissements—Vesoul, Gray, Lure—comprising 28 cantons, 583 communes. Haute-Saone is in the district of the VII. army corps, and in its legal, ecclesiastical and educational relations depends on Besancon. Vesoul, the capital of the department, Gray and Luxeuil are the principal towns. There is an important school of agriculture at St Remy in the arrondissement of Vesoul. The Roman ruins and mosaics at Membrey in the arrondissement of Gray and the church (13th and 15th centuries) and abbey buildings at Faverney, in the arrondissement of Vesoul, are of antiquarian interest. HAUTE-SAVOIE, a frontier department of France, formed in 186o of the old provinces of the Genevois, the Chablais and the Faucigny, which constituted the northern portion of the duchy of Savoy. It is bounded N. by the canton and Lake of Geneva, E. by the Swiss canton of the Valais, S. by Italy and the department of Savoie, and W. by the department of the Ain. It is mainly made up of the river-basins of the Arve (flowing along the northern foot of the Mont Blanc range, and receiving the Giffre, on the right, and the Borne and Foron, on the left—the Arve joins the Rhone, close to Geneva), of the Dranse (with several branches, all flowing into the Lake of Geneva), of the Usses and of the Fier (both flowing direct into the Rhone, the latter after forming the Lake of Annecy). The upper course of the Arly is also in the department, but the river then leaves it to fall into the Isere. The whple of the department is mountainous. But the hills attain no very great height, save at its south-east end, where rises the sncwclad chain of Mont Blanc, with many high peaks (culminating in Mont Blanc, 15,782 ft.) and many glaciers. That portion of the department is alone frequented by travellers, whose centre is Chamonix in the upper Arve valley. The lowest point (945 ft.) in the department is at the junction of the Fier with the Rhone. The whole of the department is included in that portion of the duchy of Savoy which was neutralized in 1815. In 1906 the population of the department was 260,617. Its area is 1775 sq. m., and it is divided into four arrondissements (Annecy, the chief town, Bonneville, St Julien and Thonon), 28 cantons and 314 communes. It forms the diocese of Annecy. There are in the department 176 m. of broad-gauge railways, and 70 M. of narrow-gauge lines. There are also a number of mineral springs, only three of which are known to foreigners—the chalybeate waters of Evian and Amphion, close to each other on the south shore of the Lake of Geneva, and the chalybeate and sulphurous waters of St Gervais, at the north-west end of the chain of Mont Blanc. Anthracite and asphalte mines are numerous, as well as stone quarries. Cotton is manufactured at Annecy, while Cluses is the centre of the clock-making industry. There is a well-known bell foundry at Annecy le Vieux. Thonon (the old capital of the Chablais) is the most important town on the southern shore of the Lake of Geneva and, after Annecy, the most populous place in the department. (W. A. B. C.) HAUTES-PYRENEES, a department of south-western France, on the Spanish frontier, formed in 1790, half of it being taken from Bigorre and the remainder from Armagnac, Nebouzan, Astarac and Quatre Vallees, districts which all belonged to the province of Gascony. Pop. (1906), 209397. Area, 1750 sq. m. Hautes-Pyrenees is bounded S. by Spain, W. by the department of Basses-Pyrenees (which encloses on its eastern border five communes belonging to Hautes-Pyrenees), N. by Gera and E. by Haute-Garonne. Except on the south its boundaries are conventional. The south of the department, comprising two-thirds of its area, is occupied by the central Pyrenees. Some of the peaks reach or exceed the height of 10,000 ft., the Vignemale (10,820 ft.) being the highest in the French Pyrenees. The imposing cirques (Cirques de Troumouse, Gavarnie and Estaube), with their glaciers and waterfalls, and the pleasant valleys attract a large number of tourists, the most noted point being the Cirque de Gavarnie. The northern portion of the department is a region of plains and undulating hills clothed with corn-fields, vineyards and meadows. To the north-east, however, the cold and wind-swept plateau of Lannemezan (about moo ft.), the watershed of the streams that come down on the French side of the Pyrenees, presents in its bleakness and barrenness a striking contrast to the plain that lies below. The department is drained by three principal streams, the Gave de Pau, the Adour and the Neste, an affluent of the Garonne. The sources of the first and third lie close together in the Cirque of Gavarnie and on the slopes of Troumouse, whence they flow respectively to the north-west and north-east. An important section of the Pyrenees, which carries the Massif Neouvielle and the Pic du Midi de Bigorre (with its meteorological observatory), runs northward between these two valleys. From the Pic du Midi descends the Adour, which, after watering the pleasant valley of Campan, leaves the mountains at Bagneres and then divides into a multitude of channels, to irrigate the rich plain of Tarbes. The chief of these is the Canal d'Alaric with a length of 36 m. Beyond Hautes-Pyrenees it receives on the right the Arros, which flows through the department from south to north-north-west; on the left it receives the Gave de Pau. This latter stream, rising in Gavarnie, is joined at Luz by the Gave de Bastan from Neouvielle, and at Pierrefitte by the Gave de Cauterets, fed by streams from the Vignemale. The Gave de Pau, after passing Argeles, a well-known centre for excursions, and Lourdes, leaves the mountains and turns sharply from north to west; it has a greater volume of water than the Adour, but, being more of a mountain torrent, is regarded as a tributary of the Adour, which is navigable in the latter part of its course. The Neste d'Aure, descending from the peaks of Neouvielle and Troumouse, receives at Arreau the Neste de Louron from the pass of Clarabide and flows northwards through a beautiful valley as far as La Barthe, where it turns east; it is important as furnishing the plateau of Lannemezan with a canal, the Canal de la Neste, the waters of which are partly used for irrigation and partly for supplying the streams that rise there and are dried up in summer—the Gers and the Baise, affluents of the Garonne. This latter only touches the department. The climate of Hautes-Pyrenees, though very cold on the highlands, is warm and moist in the plains, where there are hot summers, fine autumns, mild winters and rainy springs. On the plateau of Lannemezan, while the summers are dry and scorching, the winters are very severe. The average annual rainfall at Tarbes, in the north of the department, is about 34 in.; at the higher altitudes it is much greater. The mean annual temperature at Tarbes is J90 Fahr. Hautes-Pyrenees is agricultural in the plains, pastoral in the highlands. The more important cereals are wheat and maize, which is much used for the feeding of pigs and poultry, especially geese; rye, oats and barley are grown in the mountain districts. The wines of Madiran and Peyriguere are well known and tobacco is also cultivated; chestnut trees and fruit trees are grown on the lower slopes. In the neighbourhood of Tarbes and Bagneres-de-Bigorre horse-breeding is the principal occupation and there is a famous stud at Tarbes. The horse of the region is the result of a fusion of Arab, English and Navarrese blood and is well fitted for saddle and harness; it is largely used by light cavalry' regiments. Cattle raising is important; the milchcows of Lourdes and the oxen of Tarbes and the valley of the Aure are highly esteemed. Sheep and goats are also reared. The forests, which occur chiefly in the highlands, contain bears, boars, wolves and other wild animals. There are at Campan and Sarrancolin quarries of fine marble, which is sawn and worked at Bagneres. There is a group of slate quarries at Labassere. Deposits of lignite, lead, manganese and zinc are found. The mineral springs of Hautes-Pyrenees are numerous and much visited. The principal in the valley of the Gave de Pau are Cauterets (hot springs containing sulphur and sodium), St Sauveur (springs with sulphur and sodium), and Bareges (hot springs with sulphur and sodium), and in the valley of the Adour Bagneres (hot or cold springs containing calcium sulphates, iron, sulphur and sodium) and Capvern near Lannemezan (springs containing calcium sulphates). The department has flour-mills and saw-mills, a large militaryarsenal at Tarbes, paper-mills, tanneries and manufactories of agricultural implements and looms. The spinning and weaving of wool and the manufacture of knitted goods are carried on; Bagneres-de-Bigorre is the chief centre of the textile industry. Of the passes (ports) into Spain, even the chief, Gavarnie (7398 ft.), is not accessible to carriages. The department is served by the Southern railway and is traversed from west to east by the main line from Bayonne to Toulouse. There are three arrondissements, those of Tarbes, Argeles and Bagneresde-Bigorre, 26 cantons and 480 communes. Tarbes is the capital of Hautes-Pyrenees, which constitutes the diocese of Tarbes, and is attached to the appeal court of Pau; it forms part of the region of the XVIII. army corps. In educational matters it falls within the circumscription of the academic of Toulouse. Tarbes, Lourdes, Bagneres-de-Bigorre and Luz-St Sauveur are the principal towns. St Savin, in the valley of the Gave de Pau, and Sarrancolin have interesting Romanesque churches. The church of Maubourguet built by the Temnlars in the 12th century is also remarkable. HAUTE-VIENNE, a department of central France, formed in 1790 of Haut-Limousin and of portions of Marche, Poitou and Berry. Pop. (1906), 385,732. Area, 2144 sq. m. It is bounded N. by Indre, E. by Creuse, S.E. by Correze, S.W. by Dordogne, W. by Charente and N.W. by Vienne. Haute-Vienne belongs to the central plateau of France, and drains partly to the Loire and partly to the Garonne. The highest altitude (2549 ft.) is in the extreme south-east, and belongs to the treeless but well-watered plateau of Millevaches, formed of granite, gneiss and mica. From that point the department slopes towards the west, south-west and north. To the north-west of the Millevaches are the Ambazac and Blond Hills, both separating the valley of the Vienne from that of the Gartempe, a tributary of the Creuse. The Vienne traverses the department from east to west, passing Eymoutiers, St Leonard, Limoges and St Junien, and receiving on the right the Maude and the Taurion. The Isle, which flows into the Dordogne, with its tributaries the Auvezere and the Dronne, and the Tardoire and the Bandiat, tributaries of the Charente, all rise in the south of the department. The altitude and inland position of Haute-Vienne, its geological character, and the northern exposure of its valleys make the winters long and severe; but the climate is milder in the west and north-west. The annual rainfall often reaches 36 or 37 in. and even more in the mountains. Haute-Vienne is on the whole unproductive. Rye, wheat, buckwheat and oats are the cereals most grown, but the chestnut, which is a characteristic product of the department, still forms the staple food of large numbers of the population. Potatoes, mangolds, hemp and colza are cultivated. After the chestnut, walnuts and cider-apples are the principal fruits. Good breeds of horned cattle and sheep are reared and find a ready market in Paris. Horses for remount purposes are also raised. The quarries furnish granite and large quantities of kaolin, which is both exported and used in the porcelain works of the department. Amianthus, emeralds and garnets are found. Limoges is the centre of the porcelain industry and has important liqueur distilleries. Woollen goods, starch, paper and pasteboard, wooden and leather shoes, gloves, agricultural implements and hats are other industrial products, and there are flour-mills, breweries, dye-works, tanneries, iron foundries and printing works. Wine and alcohol for the liqueur-manufacture, coal, raw materials for textile industries, hops, skins and various manufactured articles are among the imports. The department is served almost entirely by the Orleans Railway. It is divided into the arrondissements of Limoges, Bellac, Rochechouart and St Yrieix (29 cantons and 205 communes), and belongs to the academic (educational division) of Poitiers and the ecclesiastical province of Bourges. Limoges, the capital, is the seat of a bishopric and of a court of appeal, and is the headquarters of the XII. army corps. The other principal towns are St Yrieix and St Junien. Solignac, St Leonard and Le Dorat have fine Romanesque churches. The remains of the chateau of Chalusset (S.S.E. of Limoges), the most remark-able feudal ruins in Limousin, and the chateau of Rochechouart, which dates from the 13th, 15th and 16th centuries, are also of interest. HAUT-RHIN, before 1871 a department of eastern France, formed in 1700 from the southern portion of Alsace. The name " Haut-Rhin " is sometimes used of the territory of Belfort (q.v.).
End of Article: HAUTES ALPES
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