Online Encyclopedia

ORENSE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 253 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ORENSE, an episcopal see and the capital, of the Spanish province of Orense; on the left bank of the river Milo, and on the Tuy-Monforte railway. Pop. (1900) 15,194. The river is here crossed by a bridge—one of the most remarkable in Spain—of seven arches, 1319 ft. in length, and at its highest point 135 ft. above the bed of the river. This bridge was built by Bishop Lorenzo in 1230, but has frequently been repaired. The Gothic cathedral, also dating from Bishop Lorenzo's time, is a comparatively small building, but has an image, El Santo Cristo, which was brought from Cape Finisterre in 1330 and is celebrated throughout Galicia for its miraculous powers. The city contains many schools, a public library and a theatre. In the older streets there are some interesting medieval houses. Chocolate and leather are manufactured, and there are saw-mills, flour-mills and iron foundries. The three warm springs to the west, known as Las Burgas, attract many summer visitors; the waters were well known to the Romans, as their ancient name, Aquae Originis, Aquae Urentes, or perhaps Aquae Salientis, clearly indicates. The Romans named Orense Aurium, probably from the alluvial gold found in the Mino valley. The bishopric, founded in the 5th century by the Visigoths, was named the Sedes Auriensis (see of Aurium), and from this the modern Orense is derived. The city became the capital of the Suevi in the 6th century; it was sacked by the Moors in 716, and rebuilt only in 884.
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