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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 763 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MONTDIDIER, a town of northern France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Somme, 23 M. S.E. of Amiens by rail. Pop. (1906), 4159. The town, situated on an eminence on the right bank of the Don, dates from the Merovingian period, and perhaps owes its name to the imprisonment of the Lombard king Didier in the 8th century. The church of St Pierre, dating chiefly from the 15th century, has a beautiful portal of the 16th century and contains the tomb of Raoul III., count of Crepy (12th century), fonts of the 11th century and other works. of art. The church of St Sepulcre belongs, with the exception of the modern portal, to the 15th and 16th centuries. In the interior there is a well-known " Holy Sepulchre " of the latter period. The law-court, once the castle, partly dating from the 12th century, possesses fine tapestries of the 17th century. A statue commemorates the birth at Montdidier of Antoine Parmentier (1737—1813), with whose name are connected the beginnings of potato-culture in France. The town has a sub-prefecture and a tribunal of first instance; its industries include tanning and the manufacture of zinc-white. Held first by its own lords, afterwards by the counts of Crepy and Valois, Montdidier passed to the Crown in the 12th century, at the end of which it was granted a charter of liberties. The town offered a brave and successful resistance to the Spanish troops in 1636. MONT-DORE-LES-BAINS, a watering-place of central France in the department of Puy-de-Dome, situated at a height of 3440 ft., on the right bank of the Dordogne not far from its source, and 31 M. by road S.W. of Clermont-Ferrand. Pop. (1906), 1677. The Monts Dore close the valley towards the south. The thermal springs of Mont Dore, now numbering twelve, were known to the Romans. Bicarbonate of soda, iron and arsenic are the principal ingredients of the waters, which are used both for drinking and bathing, baths of high temperature being characteristic of the treatment; they are efficacious in cases of pulmonary consumption, bronchitis, asthma, and nervous and rheumatic paralysis. From the elevation and exposure of the valley, the climate of Mont-Dore-les-Bains is severe, and the season only lasts from the 15th of June to the 15th of September. The bath-house was rebuilt in 1891—1894. In the " park," along the Dordogne, relics from the old Roman baths have been collected. The surrounding country, with its fir woods, pastures, waterfalls and mountains, is very attractive. To the south is the Puy de Sancy (6188 ft.), the loftiest peak of central France.
End of Article: MONTDIDIER

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