1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Eure

EURE, a department of north-western France, formed in 1790 from a portion of the old province of Normandy, together with the countship of Évreux and part of Perche. Pop. (1906) 330,140. Area, 2330 sq. m. It is bounded N. by the department of Seine Inférieure, W. by Calvados, S.W. by Orne, S. by Eure-et-Loir, and E. by Seine-et-Oise and Oise. The territory of Eure, which nowhere exceeds 800 ft. in altitude, is broken up by its rivers into well-wooded plateaus with a general inclination from south to north. Forests cover about one-fifth of the department. The Seine flows from S.E. to N.W. through the E. of the department, and after touching the frontier at two or three points forms near its mouth part of the northern boundary. All the rivers of the department flow into the Seine,—on the right bank the Andelle and the Epte, and on the left the Eure with its tributaries the Avre and the Iton, and the Risle with its tributary the Charentonne. The Eure, from which the department takes its name, rises in Orne, and flowing through Eure-et-Loir, falls into the Seine above Pont de l’Arche, after a course of 44 m. in the department. The Risle likewise rises in Orne, and flows generally northward to its mouth in the estuary of the Seine. The climate is mild, but moist and variable. The soil is for the most part clayey, resting on a bed of chalk, and is, in general, fertile and well tilled. The chief cereal cultivated is wheat; oats, colza, flax and beetroot are also grown. There is a wide extent of pasturage, on which are reared a considerable number of cattle and sheep, and especially those horses of pure Norman breed for which the department has long been celebrated. Fruit is very abundant, especially apples and pears, from which much cider and perry are made. The mineral products of Eure include freestone, marl, lime and brick-clay. The chief industries are the spinning of cotton and wool, and the weaving, dyeing and printing of fabrics of different kinds. Brewing, flour-milling, distilling, turnery, cotton-bleaching, cider-making, metal-founding, tanning, and the manufacture of glass, paper, iron ware, nails, pins, wind-instruments, bricks and sugar are also carried on. Coal and raw materials for its industries are the chief imports of Eure; its exports include cattle, poultry, eggs, butter, grain and manufactured goods. The department is served chiefly by the Western railway; the Seine, Eure and Risle provide 87 m. of navigable waterway. Eure is divided into the following arrondissements (containing 36 cantons, 700 communes):—Évreux, Louviers, Les Andelys, Bernay, and Pont-Audemer. Its capital is Évreux, which is the seat of a bishopric of the ecclesiastical province of Rouen. The department belongs to the III. Army Corps and to the académie (educational division) of Caen. Its court of appeal is at Rouen.

Évreux, Les Andelys, Bernay, Louviers, Pont-Audemer, Verneuil, Vernon and Gisors are the principal towns of the department. At Gaillon there are remains of a celebrated château of the archbishops of Rouen (see Louviers). Pont de l’Arche has a fine Gothic church, with stained-glass windows of the 16th and 17th centuries; the church of Tillières-sur-Arvre is a graceful specimen of the Renaissance style. The churches of Conches (15th or 16th century) and of Rugles (13th, 15th and 16th centuries), and the château of Beaumesnil (16th century) are also of architectural interest.