Online Encyclopedia

LAVA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 290 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LAVA, an Italian word (from Lat. lavare, to wash) applied to the liquid products of volcanic activity. Streams of rain-water, formed by condensation of exhaled steam often mingled with volcanic ashes so as to produce mud, are known as lava d'acqua, whilst the streams of molten matter are called lava di fuoco. The term lava is applied by geologists to all matter of volcanic origin, which is, or has been, in a molten state. The magma, or molten lava in the interior of the earth, may be regarded as a mutual solution of various mineral silicates, charged with highly-heated vapour, sometimes to the extent of super-saturation. According to the proportion of silica, the lava is distinguished as " acid " or " basic." The basic lavas are II des Cordeliers, which dates from the end of the Toth century or the beginning of the 15th, has some fine marble altars. Half-a-mile below the Pont Vieux is the beautiful 12th-century church of Avenieres, with an ornamental spire of 1534. The finest remaining relic of the ancient fortifications is the Beucheresse gate near the cathedral. The narrow streets around the castle are bordered by many old houses of the 15th and 16th century, chief among which is that known as the " Maison du Grand Veneur." There are an art-museum, a museum of natural history and archaeology and a library. The town is embellished by fine promenades, at the entrance of one of which, facing the mairie, stands the statue of the celebrated surgeon Ambroise Pare (1517-1590). Laval is the seat of a prefect, a bishopric created in 1855, and a court of assizes, and has tribunals of first instance and of commerce, a chamber of commerce, a board of trade-arbitrators, training colleges, an ecclesiastical seminary and a lycee for boys. The principal industry of the town is the cloth manufacture, introduced from Flanders in the 14th century. The production of fabrics of linen, of cotton or of mixtures of both, occupies some Io,000 hands in the town and suburbs. Among the numerous other industries are metal-founding, flour-milling, tanning, dyeing, the making of boots and shoes, and the sawing of the marble quarried in the vicinity. There is trade in grain. Laval is not known to have existed before the 9th century. It was taken by John Talbot, earl of Shrewsbury, in 1428, changed hands several times during the wars of the League, and played an important part at the end of the 18th century in the war of La Vendee.
End of Article: LAVA
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