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Chambery

CHAMBERY, a city of France, capital of the department of Savoie, pleasantly situated in a fertile district, between two hills, on the rivers Leysse and Albane, 79 m. by rail S.S.W. of Geneva. Pop. (1906) town, 16,852; commune, 23,027. The town is irregularly built, and has only two good streets - the Place Saint-Léger and the Rue de Boigne, the latter being named after General Benoît Boigne (1741-1830), who left a fortune of 3,400,000 francs (accumulated in India) to the town. The principal buildings are the cathedral, dating from the 14th and 15th centuries; the Hôtel-Dieu, founded in 1647; the castle, a modern building serving as the prefecture, and preserving only a great square tower belonging to the original structure; the palace of justice, the theatre, the barracks, and the covered market, which dates from 1863. Several of the squares are adorned with fountains; the old ramparts of the city, destroyed during the French Revolution, have been converted into public walks; and various promenades and gardens have been constructed. Chambéry is the seat of an archbishop (raised to that dignity from a bishopric in 1817) and of a superior tribunal. It has also a Jesuit college, a royal academical society, a society of agriculture and commerce, a public library with 60,000 volumes, a museum (antiquities and paintings), a botanic garden, and many charitable institutions. It manufactures silk-gauze, lace, leather and hats, and has a considerable trade in liqueurs, wine, lead, copper and other articles. Overlooking the town on the north is the Rocher de Lémenc, which derives its name from the Lemincum of the Romans; and in the vicinity is Les Charmettes, for some time (1736-1740) the residence of Rousseau.

The origin of Chambéry is unknown, but its lords are mentioned for the first time in 1029. In 1232 it was sold to the count of Savoy, Thomas I., who bestowed several important privileges on the inhabitants. As capital of the duchy of Savoy, it has passed through numerous political vicissitudes. Between 1536 and 1713 it was several times occupied by the French; in 1742 it was captured by a Franco-Spanish army; and in 1792 it was occupied by the Republican forces, and became the capital of the department of Mont Blanc. Restored to the house of Savoy by the treaties of Vienna and Paris, it was again surrendered to France in 1860. Among the famous men whom it has given to France, the most important are Vaugelas (1585-1650), Saint-Réal (1639-1692), and the brothers Joseph (1754-1821) and Xavier (1763-1852) de Maistre.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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