AUBE, a department of north-eastern France, bounded N. by the department of Marne, N.W. by Seine-et-Marne, W. by Yonne, S. by Yonne and Cote-d'Or, and E. by Haute-Marne; it was formed in 1790 from Basse-Champagne, and a small portion of Burgundy. Area, 2326 sq. m. Pop. (1906) 243,670. The department belongs to the Seine basin, and is watered chiefly by the Seine and the Aube. These rivers follow the general slope of the department, which is from south-east, where the Bois du Mont (1200 ft.), the highest point, is situated, to north-west. The southern and eastern districts are fertile and well wooded. The remainder of the department, with the exception of a more broken and picturesque district in the extreme north-west, forms part of the sterile and monotonous plain known as Champagne Pouilleuse. The climate is mild but damp. The annual rainfall over the greater part varies from 24 to 28 in.; but in the extreme south-east it at times reaches a height of 36 in. Aube is an agricultural department; more than one third of its surface consists of arable land of which the chief products are wheat and oats, and next to them rye, barley and potatoes; vegetables are extensively cultivated in the valleys of the Seine and the Aube. The vine flourishes chiefly on the hills of the south-east; the wines of Les Riceys, Bar-sur-Aube, Bouilly and Laines-aux-Bois are most esteemed. The river valleys abound in natural pasture, and sainfoin, lucerne and other forage crops are largely grown; cattle-raising is an important source of wealth, and the cheeses of Troyes are well known. There are excellent nurseries and orchards in the neighbourhood of Troyes, Bar-sur-Seine, Méry-sur-Seine and Brienne. Chalk, from which blanc de Troyes is manufactured, and clay are abundant; and there are peat workings and quarries of building-stone and limestone. The spinning and weaving of cotton and the manufacture of hosiery, of both of which Troyes is the centre, are the main industries of the department; there are also a large number of distilleries, tanneries, oil works, tile and brick works, flour-mills, saw-mills and dye-works. The Eastern railway has works at Romilly, and there are iron works at Clairvaux and wire-drawing works at Plaines; but owing to the absence of coal and iron mines, metal working is of small importance. The exports of Aube consist of timber, cereals, agricultural products, hosiery, wine, dressed pork, etc.; its imports include wool and raw cotton, coal and machinery, especially looms. The department is served by the Eastern railway, of which the main line to Belfort crosses it. The river Aube is navigable for 28 m. (from Arcis-sur-Aube to its confluence with the Seine); the Canal de la Haute-Seine extends beside the Seine from Bar-sur-Seine to Marcilly (just outside the department) a distance of 46 m.; below Marcilly the Seine is canalized.
Aube is divided into 5 arrondissements with 26 cantons and 446 communes. It falls within the educational circumscription (académie) of Dijon and the military circumscription of the XX. army corps; its court of appeal is in Paris. It constitutes the diocese of Troyes and part of the archiepiscopal province of Sens. The capital of the department is Troyes; of the arrondissements the capitals are Troyes, Bar-sur-Aube, Arcis-sur-Aube, Bar-sur-Seine and Nogent-sur-Seine. The architecture of the department is chiefly displayed in its churches, many of which possess stained glass of the 16th century. Besides the cathedral and other churches of Troyes, those of Mussy-sur-Seine (13th century), Chaource (16th century) and Nogent-sur-Seine (15th and 16th centuries), are of note. The abbey buildings of Clairvaux are the type of the Cistercian abbey.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)