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Seine-Et-Marne

SEINE-ET-MARNE, a department of northern France, formed in 1 790 of almost the entire district of Brie (half of which belonged to Champagne and half to Ile-de-France) and a portion of Gatinais (from Ile-de-France and Orleanais). Pop. (1906) 361,939. Area, 2289 sq. m. Seine-et-Marne is bounded N. by the department of Oise, N.E. by that of Aisne, E. by Marne and Aube, S.E. by Yonne, S. by Loiret and W. by Seine-et-Oise. The whole department belongs to the basin of the Seine, and is drained partly by that river and partly by its tributaries the Yonne and the Loing from the left, and from the right the Voulzie, the Yeres and the Marne, with its affluents the Ourcq, the Petit Morin and the Grand Morin. With the exception of the Loing, flowing from south to north, all these streams cross the department from east to west, following the general slope of the surface, which is broken up into several plateaus from 300 to 500 ft. in height (highest point, in the north-east, 705 ft., lowest 105), and separated from each other by deep valleys. Most of the plateaus belong to the Brie, a fertile well-wooded district o; a clayey character. In the south lie the dry sandy district 01 the Fontainebleau sandstones and part of the region known as the Gatinais. The climate is rather more " continental " than that of Paris the summers warmer, the winters colder; the annual rainfall does not exceed 16 in. There is a striking difference in temperature between the south of the department, where the famous -white grape (chassdas) of Fontainebleau ripens, and the country to the north of the Marne, this river marking pretty exactly the northern limit of the vine.

The wheat and oats of Brie are especially esteemed; potatoes, sugar beet, mangel-wurzel and green forage are also important crops, and market gardening flourishes. Provins and other places are wellknown for their roses. The cider and honey of the department are of good quality. Thousands of the well-known Brie cheeses are manufactured, and large numbers of calves, sheep and poultry are reared. The forests (covering a fifth of the surface) are planted with oak, beech, chestnut, hornbeam, birch, wild cherry, linden, willow, poplar and conifers. Best known and most important is the forest of Fontainebleau. Large areas are devoted to game-preserves. Excellent freestone is quarried in the department, notably at ChateauLandon in the valley of the Loing, mill-stones at La Fert6- sousJouarre; the Fontainebleau sandstone is used for pavements, and the white sand which is found along with it is in great request for the manufacture of glass. Along the Marne are numerous gypsum quarries; lime-kilns occur throughout the department; and peat is found in the valleys of the Ourcq and the Voulzie. Beds of common clay and porcelain clay supply the potteries of Fontainebleau and Montereau. Other industrial establishments are numerous large flour-mills, notably those of Meaux, the chocolate works of Noisiel, sugar factories, alcohol distilleries, paper-mills (the Jouarre papermill manufactures bank-notes, etc., both for France and for foreign markets), saw-mills, printing works (Coulommiers, etc.) and tanneries. Much of the motive-pew;- used is supplied by the streams. Paris is the chief outlet for the industrial and agricultural products of the department. Coal and raw material for the manufactures are the chief imports. The Seine, the Yonne, the Marne, and the Grand Morin are navigable, and, with the canals of the Loing and the Ourcq and those of Chalifert, Cornillon and Chelles, which cut off the windings of the Marne, form a total waterway of over 200 m. Seineet-Marne has 5 arrondissements (Melun, Coulommiers, Fontainebleau, Meaux, Provins), 29 cantons and 533 communes. It forms the diocese of Meaux (archiepiscopal province of Paris), and part of the region of the V. army corps and of the accutemie (educational circumscription) of Paris. Its court of appeal is at Paris. Melun, the capital, Meaux, Fontainebleau, Coulommiers, Provins, Nemours and Montereau (M.V.), are the more important towns in the department. Among other interesting places are Lagny (pop. 5302), with an abbeychurch of the 13th century; Brie-Comte Robert, with a church of the early 13th century; Ferrieres, with a fine chateau built in 1860 by Baron Alphonse Rothschild; Moret-sur-Loing, which preserves fortifications dating from the 15th century including two remarkable gateways; St Loup-de-Naud, with a church of the first half of the mh century; Jouarre, where there is a church of the 15th century, hnilf over a crypt containing workmanship of the Merovingian built period; and Vaux-le-Vicomte with the famous chateau built by Fouquet, minister of Louis XIV.

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

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