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Haute-Vienne

HAUTE-VIENNE, a department of central France, formed in 1790 of Haut-Limousin and of portions of Marche, Poitou and Berry. Pop. (1906), 385,732. Area, 2144 sq. m. It is bounded N. by Indre, E. by Creuse, S.E. by Correze, S.W. by Dordogne, W. by Charente and N.W. by Vienne. Haute- Vienne belongs to the central plateau of France, and drains partly to the Loire and partly to the Garonne. The highest altitude (2549 ft.) is in the extreme south-east, and belongs to the treeless but wellwatered plateau of Millevaches, formed of granite, gneiss and mica. From that point the department slopes towards the west, south-west and north. To the north-west of the Millevaches are the Ambazac and Blond Hills, both separating the valley of the Vienne from that of the Gartempe, a tributary of the Creuse. The Vienne traverses the department from east to west, passing Eymoutiers, St Leonard, Limoges and St Junien, and receiving on the right the Maude and the Taurion. The Isle, which flows into the Dordogne, with its tributaries the Auvezere and the Dronne, and the Tardoire and the Bandiat, tributaries of the Charente, all rise in the south of the department. The altitude and inland position of Haute-Vienne, its geological character, and the northern exposure of its valleys make the winters long and severe; but the climate is milder in the west and north-west. The annual rainfall often reaches 36 or 37 in. and even more in the mountains. Haute-Vienne is on the whole unproductive. Rye, wheat, buckwheat and oats are the cereals most grown, but the chestnut, which is a characteristic product of the department, still forms the staple food of large numbers of the population. Potatoes, mangolds, hemp and colza are cultivated. After the chestnut, walnuts and cider-apples are the principal fruits. Good breeds of horned cattle and sheep are reared and find a ready market in Paris. Horses for remount purposes are also raised. The quarries furnish granite and large quantities of kaolin, which is both exported and used in the porcelain works of the department. Amianthus, emeralds and garnets are found. Limoges is the centre of the porcelain industry and has important liqueur distilleries. Woollen goods, starch, paper and pasteboard, wooden and leather shoes, gloves, agricultural implements and hats are other industrial products, and there are flour-mills, breweries, dye-<works, tanneries, iron foundries and printing works. Wine and alcohol for the liqueurmanufacture, coal, raw materials for textile industries, hops, skins and various manufactured articles are among the imports.

The department is served almost entirely by the Orleans Railway. It is divided into the arrondissements of Limoges, Bellac, Rochechouart and St Yrieix (29 cantons and 205 communes), and belongs to the academic (educational division) of Poitiers and the ecclesiastical province of Bourges. Limoges, the capital, is the seat of a bishopric and of a court of appeal, and is the headquarters of the XII. army corps. The other principal towns are St Yrieix and St Junien. Solignac, St Leonard and Le Dorat have fine Romanesque churches. The remains HAUT-RHIN HAVANA of the chateau of Chalusset (S.S.E. of Limoges) , the most remarkable feudal ruins in Limousin, and the chateau of Rochechouart, which dates from the 13th, isth and 16th centuries, are also of interest.

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

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