Open main menu
This page needs to be proofread.
6
ST GERMAIN-EN-LAYE—ST GOTTHARD PASS

Louis XV. an appointment as sub-lieutenant. He left France, according to the gossip of the time, because of a duel; served under the elector palatine; fought for Hungary against the Turks, and on the outbreak of the war of the Austrian Succession (1740) joined the army of the elector of Bavaria (who later became emperor under the name of Charles VII.), displaying such bravery that he was promoted to the grade of lieutenant field-marshal. He left Bavaria on the death of Charles VII., and after brief service under Frederick the Great joined Marshal Saxe in the Netherlands and was created a field-marshal of the French army. He distinguished himself especially at Lawfeld, Rancoux and Maastricht. On the outbreak of the Seven Years War (1756) he was appointed lieutenant-general, and although he showed greater ability than any of his fellow-commanders and was admired by his soldiers, he fell a victim to court intrigues, professional jealousy and hostile criticism. He resigned his commission in 1760 and accepted an appointment as field-marshal from Frederick V. of Denmark, being charged in 1762 with the reorganization of the Danish army. On the death of Frederick in 1766 he returned to France, bought a small estate in Alsace near Lauterbach, and devoted his time to religion and farming. A financial crisis swept away the funds that he had saved from his Danish service and rendered him dependent on the bounty of the French ministry of war. Saint-Germain was presented at court by the reformers Turgot and Malesherbes, and was appointed minister of war by Louis XVI. on the 25th of October 1 77 5. He sought to lessen the number of officers and to establish order and regularity in the service. His efforts to introduce Prussian discipline in the French army brought on such opposition that he resigned in September 1777. He accepted quarters from the king and a pension of 40,000 livres, and died in his apartment at the arsenal on the 15th of January 1778.

  ST GERMAIN-EN-LAYE, a town of northern France, in the department of Seine-et-Oise, 13 m. W.N.W. of Paris by rail. Pop. (1906), town, 14,974; commune, 17,288. Built on a hill on the left bank of the Seine, nearly 300 ft. above the river, and on the edge of a forest 10,000 to 11,000 acres in extent, St Germain has a bracing climate, which makes it a place of summer residence for Parisians. The terrace of St Germain, constructed by A.Len6tre in 1672, is 1% m. long and 100ft.wide; it was planted with lime trees in 1745 and affords an extensive view over the valley of the Seine as far as Paris and the surrounding hills: it ranks as one of the finest promenades in Europe. Aimonastery in honour of St Germain, bishop of Paris, was built in the forest of Laye by King Robert. Louis VI. erected a castle close by. Burned by the English, rebuilt by Louis IX., and again by Charles V., this castle did not reach its full development till the time of Francis I., who may be regarded as the real founder of the building. A new castle was begun by Henry II. and completed by Henry IV.; it was subsequently demolished, with the exception 0 the so-called Henry IV. pavilion, where Thiers died in 1877. The old castle has been restored to the state in which it was under Francis I. The restoration is particularly skilful in the case of the chapel, which dates from the first half of the-13th century. In the church of St Germain is a mausoleum erected by George IV. of England (and restored by Queen Victoria) to the memory of James ll. of England, who after his deposition resided in the castle for twelve years and died there in 1701. In one of the public squares is a statue of Thiers. At no great distance in the orest is the Couvent des Loges, a branch of the educational establishment of the Legion of Honour (St Denis). The féte des Loges (end of August and beginning of September) is one of the most popular in the neighbourhood of Paris.

  ST GERMANS, a small town in the Bodmin parliamentary division of Cornwall, England, pleasantly situated on the river Lynher, 9% m. W. by N. of Plymouth by the Great Western railway. Pop. (1901) 2384. It contains a fine church dedicated to St Germanus. The west front is flanked by towers both of which are Norman in the lower parts, the upper part being in the one Early English and in the other Perpendicular. The front itself is wholly Norman, having three windows above a porch with a beautiful ornate doorway. Some Norman work remains in the body of the church, but the most part is Perpendicular or Decorated. Port Eliot, a neighbouring mansion, contains an excellent collection of pictures, notably several works of Sir Joshua Reynolds.

St Germans is supposed to have been the original seat of the Cornish bishopric. It was the see of Bishop Burhwold, who died in 1027. Under Leofric, who became bishop of Credito11 and Cornwall in 1046, the see was removed to Exeter. Bishop Leofric founded a priory at St Germans and bestowed upon it twelve of the twenty-four hides which in the time of the Confessor constituted the bishops' manor of St Germans. There was then a market on Sundays, but at the time of the Domesday Survey this had been reduced to nothing owing to a market established by the count of Mortain on the same day at Trematon castle. In 1302 the grant of infangenethef, assize of bread and ale, waif and stray by Henry III. was confirmed to the bishop, who in I3II obtained a further grant of a market on Fridays and a fair at the feast of St Peter ad Vincula. In 1343 the prior sustained his claim to a prescriptive market and fair at St Germans. After the suppression the borough belonging to the priory remained with the crown until 1610. Meanwhile Queen Elizabeth created it a parliamentary borough. From 1563 to 1832 it returned two members to the House of Commons. In 1815 John Eliot was created earl of St Germans, and in 1905 the first suffragan bishop of Truro was consecrated bishop of St Germans.

  ST GILLES, a town of southern France, in the department of Gard, on the canal from the Rhone to Cette, 12½ m. S.S.E. of Nimes by road. Pop. (1906) 5292. In the middle ages St Gilles, the ancient Vallis Flaviana, was the seat of an abbey founded towards the end of the 7th century by St Aegidius (St Gilles). It acquired wealth and power under the counts of Toulouse, who added to their title that of counts of St Gilles. The church, which survives, was founded in 1116 when the abbey was at the height of its prosperity. The lower part of the front (12th century) has three bays decorated with columns and bas-reliefs, and is the richest example of Romanesque art in Provence. The rest of the church is unfinished, only the crypt (1 2th century) and part of the choir, containing a spiral staircase, being of interest. Besides the church there is a Romanesque house serving as presbytery. The decadence of the abbey dates from the early years of the 13th century when the pilgrimage to the tomb of the saint became less popular; the monks also lost the patronage of the counts of Toulouse, owing to the penance inflicted by them on Raymond VI. in 1 209 for the murder of the papal legate Pierre de Castelnau. St Gilles was the seat of the first grand priory of the Knights Hospitallers in Europe (12th century) and was of special importance as their place of embarkation for the East. In 1226 the count ship of St Gilles was united to the crown. In 1562 the Protestants ravaged the abbey, which they occupied till 1622, and in 1774 it was suppressed.

  ST GIRONS, a town of south-western France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Ariege, 29 m. W. of Foix by rail. Pop. (1906) 5216. The town is situated on the Salat at the foot of the Pyrenees. There are mineral springs at Audinac in the vicinity, and the watering-place of Aulus, about 20 m. to the S.S.E., is reached by road from St Girons. St Lizier-de-Couserans (q.v.), an ancient episcopal town, is 1 m. N.N.W.

  ST GOAR, a town of Germany, in the Prussian Rhine Province, on the left bank of the Rhine, opposite St Goarshausen and just below the famous Lorelei, 12 m. above Boppard by the railway from Coblenz to Mainz. Pop. (1905) 1475. It is in part surrounded by the ruins of its old walls, and contains an Evangelical church, with some Renaissance monuments, and a Roman Catholic church with an image of St Goar of Aquitania, around whose chapel the place originally arose. Below the town, high on an eminence above the Rhine, stands Schloss Rheinfels, the property of the king of Prussia, the most perfect of the feudal castles on the banks of the river. In the later middle ages St Goar was the capital of the county of Katzenelnbogen, and on the extinction of this family it passed to Hesse-Cassel. It came into the possession of Prussia in 1815.

  ST GOTTHARD PASS, the 'principal route from northern Europe to Italy. It takes its name (it is not known wherefore) from St Gotthard, bishop of Hildesheim (d. 1038), but does not seem to be mentioned before the early 13th century, perhaps because the access to it lies through two very narrow Alpine