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St Die

ST DIE, a town of eastern France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Vosges, 38 m. N.E. of Epinal by rail. Pop. (1906) town, 16,783; commune, 22,136. St Dié is situated on the Meurthe in a basin surrounded by well-wooded hills. The town, part of which was laid out in a uniform style after the fire of 1757, is built largely of red sandstone. Its cathedral has a Romanesque nave (12th century) and a Gothic choir; the portal of red stone dates from the 18th century. A fine cloister (13th century), containing a stone pulpit, communicates with the Petite- Eglise or Notre-Dame, a well-preserved specimen of Romanesque architecture (12th century). The hotel-de-ville contains a theatre, a library with some valuable manuscripts, and a museum of antiquities. There is a monument by Merci6 to Jules Ferry, born in the town in 1832. St Dié is the seat of a bishop and of a sub-prefect. The town benefited from the immigration of Alsatians after the Franco-German War of 1870-71, and its industries include the spinning and weaving of cotton, bleaching, wire-drawing, metal-founding, and the manufacture of hosiery, woodwork of various kinds, machinery, iron goods and wire-gauze.

St Die (Deodatum, Theodata, S. Deodati Fanum) grew up round a monastery founded in the 7th century by St Deodatus of Never;-, who gave up his episcopal functions to retire to this place. In the 10th century the community became a chapter of canons; among those who subsequently held the rank of provost or dean were Giovanni de' Medici, afterwards Pope Leo X., and several princes of the house of Lorraine. Among the extensive privileges enjoyed by them was that of coining money. Though they co-operau-<i in building the town walls, the canons and the dukes of Lorraiin became rivals for the authority over St Die. Towards the end of the 15th century one of the earliest printing-presses of Lorraine was founded at St Die. The institution of a town council in 1628, and the establishment in 1777 of a bishopric which appropriated part of their spiritual jurisdiction, contributed greatly to diminish the influence of the canons; and with the Revolution they were completely swept away. During the wars of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries the town was repeatedly sacked. It was also partially destroyed by fire in 1065, 1155, 1554 and 1757. Funds for the rebuilding of the portion of the town destroyed by the last fire were supplied by Stanislas, last duke of Lorraine.

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

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