Open main menu

DAX, formerly Ax, or Acqs, the ancient Aquæ Tarbellicæ, a town of France, at the head of an arrondissement in the department of Landes, situated in a fertile plain on the left bank of the Adour, 28 miles north-east of Bayonue, and connected by a fine stone bridge with the suburb of Sablar. It is still partially surrounded by its old tower-flanked walls, which present if not a genuine specimen, at least an interesting mediaeval imitation, of Roman masonry; and it has a cathedral (rebuilt in the 18th century, but preserving a sculptured doorway and porch of the 13th), an old episcopal palace, a court-house, a prison, a mineralogical museum, and a training college. It manufactures earthenware, pitch, oil, chocolate, salt, and liqueurs, and carries on cork-cutting, ham-curing, and a trade in wine, brandy, grain, and timber. Its prosperity is further increased by its thermal springs, of which the most remarkable, rising in a great re servoir 20 feet deep in the Central Square, has a temperature of 155-166° Fahr., and sometimes discharges such volumes of steam as to envelop the whole town in a mist. Dax, as its ancient name implies, was the capital of the Tarbelii; and during the Roman period it ranked as the second town of Novempopulonia. For some time it was the seat of a viscount, and its bishopric was preserved till the Revolution. The church of St Vincent derives its name from the first occupant of the see, and is interesting for its connection with the more famous St Vincent de Paul. Population in 1871, 8154.