1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Leuk

LEUK (Fr. Loèche Ville), an ancient and very picturesque little town in the Swiss canton of the Valais. It is built above the right bank of the Rhone, and is about 1 m. from the Leuk-Susten station (151/2 m. east of Sion and 171/2 m. west of Brieg) on the Simplon railway. In 1900 it had 1592 inhabitants, all but wholly German-speaking and Romanists. About 101/2 m. by a winding carriage road N. of Leuk, and near the head of the Dala valley, at a height of 4629 ft. above the sea-level, and overshadowed by the cliffs of the Gemmi Pass (7641 ft.; q.v.) leading over to the Bernese Oberland, are the Baths of Leuk (Leukerbad, or Loèche les Bains). They have only 613 permanent inhabitants, but are much frequented in summer by visitors (largely French and Swiss) attracted by the hot mineral springs. These are 22 in number, and are very abundant. The principal is that of St Laurence, the water of which has a temperature of 124° F. The season lasts from June to September. The village in winter is long deprived of sunshine, and is much exposed to avalanches, by which it was destroyed in 1518, 1719 and 1756, but it is now protected by a strong embankment from a similar catastrophe.  (W. A. B. C.)