the plateaus belong to the Brie, a fertile well-wooded district of a clayey character. In the south lie the dry sandy district of the Fontainebleau sandstones and part of the region known as the Gâtinais. The climate is rather more “continental” than that of Paris—the summers warmer, the winters colder; the annual rainfall does not exceed 16 in. There is a striking difference in temperature between the south of the department, where the famous white grape (chasselas) of Fontainebleau ripens, and the country to the north of the Marne,—this river marking pretty exactly the northern limit of the vine.
The wheat and oats of Brie are especially esteemed; potatoes, sugar beet, mangel-wurzel and green forage are also important crops, and market gardening flourishes. Provins and other places are well-known for their roses. The cider and honey of the department are of good quality. Thousands of the well-known Brie cheeses are manufactured, and large numbers of calves, sheep and poultry are reared. The forests (covering a fifth of the surface) are planted with oak, beech, chestnut, hornbeam, birch, wild cherry, linden, willow, poplar and conifers. Best known and most important is the forest of Fontainebleau. Large areas are devoted to game-preserves. Excellent freestone is quarried in the department, notably at Château-Landon in the valley of the Loing, mill-stones at La Ferté-sous-Jouarre; the Fontainebleau sandstone is used for pavements, and the white sand which is found along with it is in great request for the manufacture of glass. Along the Marne are numerous gypsum quarries; lime-kilns occur throughout the department; and peat is found in the valleys of the Ourcq and the Voulzie. Beds of common clay and porcelain clay supply the potteries of Fontainebleau and Montereau. Other industrial establishments are numerous large flour-mills, notably those of Meaux, the chocolate works of Noisiel, sugar factories, alcohol distilleries, paper-mills (the Jouarre paper-mill manufactures bank-notes, &c., both for France and for foreign markets), saw-mills, printing works (Coulommiers, &c.) and tanneries. Much of the motive-power used is supplied by the streams. Paris is the chief outlet for the industrial and agricultural products of the department. Coal and raw material for the manufactures are the chief imports. The Seine, the Yonne, the Marne, and the Grand Morin are navigable, and, with the canals of the Loing and the Ourcq and those of Chalifert, Cornillon and Chelles, which cut off the windings of the Marne, form a total waterway of over 200 m. Seine-et-Marne has 5 arrondissements (Melun, Coulommiers, Fontainebleau, Meaux, Provins), 29 cantons and 533 communes. It forms the diocese of Meaux (archiepiscopal province of Paris), and part of the region of the V. army corps and of the académie (educational circumscription) of Paris. Its court of appeal is at Paris. Melun, the capital, Meaux, Fontainebleau, Coulommiers, Provins, Nemours and Montereau (qq.v.), are the more important towns in the department. Among other interesting places are Lagny (pop. 5302), with an abbey church of the 13th century; Brie-Comte Robert, with a church of the early 13th century; Ferrières, with a fine château built in 1860 by Baron Alphonse Rothschild; Moret-sur-Loing, which preserves fortifications dating from the 15th century including two remarkable gateways; St Loup-de-Naud, with a church of the first half of the 12th century; Jouarre, where there is a church of the 15th century, built over a crypt containing workmanship of the Merovingian period; and Vaux-le-Vicomte with the famous château built by Fouquet, minister of Louis XIV.
SEINE-ET-OISE, a department of northern France, formed in 1790 of part of the old province of Île-de-France, and traversed from south-east to north-west by the Seine, which is joined by the Oise, Pop. (1906) 749,753. Area, 2184 sq. m. It is bounded by the departments of Seine-et-Marne on the E., Loiret on the S., Eure-et-Loir on the W., Eure on the N.W. and Oise on the N . It encloses the department of Seine. The Epte on the north-west is almost the only natural boundary on the department. The streams (all belonging to the basin of the Seine) are: on the right the Yères, the Marne, the Oise and the Epte, and on the left the Essonne (joined by the Juine, which passes Étampes), the Orge, the Bièvre and the Mauldre. Seine-et-Oise belongs in part of the tableland of Beauce in the south and to that of Brie in the east. In the centre are the high wooded hills which make the charm of Versailles, Marly and St Germain. But it is in the north-west, in the Vexin, that the culminating point (690 ft.) is reached, while the lowest point, where the Seine leaves the department, is little more than 40 ft. above the sea. The mean temperature is 51° F.
Seine-et-Oise is a flourishing agricultural and horticultural department. Wheat, oats, potatoes and sugar-beet are important crops. Versailles, Rambouillet, Argenteuil are among the numerous market-gardening and horticultural centres, and wine is rown at Argenteuil and in other localities on the right bank of the Seine. Milch-cows and draught-oxen are the chief livestock, and poultry farming is prosperous, the town of Houdan giving its name to a well-known breed of fowls. Forests occupy about 190,000 acres, the largest being that of Rambouillet (about 32,000 acres). Oak, hornbeam, birch and chestnut are the commonest trees. Building, paving and mill stones, gypsum, cement, &c., are produced by the department which is very rich in quarries. There are mineral springs at Enghien and Forges-les-Bains. The most important industrial establishments are the national porcelain factory at Sèvres; the government powder-mills of Sevran and Bouchet; paper-mills, especially those of Essonnes and its vicinity, which are among the most important in Europe; textile works, flour-mills, foundries and engineering, metallurgical or railway works at Évry-Petit-Bourg, Villeneuve-St Georges (pop. 9508) and elsewhere; agricultural implement factories at Dourdan and elsewhere; sugar-refineries and distilleries; crystal works (Meudon), laundries, large printing establishments, close to Paris; factories for chemical products, candles, hosiery, perfumery, shoes and buttons; zinc-works, saw-mills. Seine-et-Oise exports chiefly the products of its farms and quarries. Its imports include coal, raw material for its industries, wine, kaolin and wood.
The railways of all the great companies of France (except the Southern) traverse the department, but most of the lines belong to those of the Western and Northern systems. The Seine and the Oise, and the canals of Ourcq and Chelles provide about 120 m. of waterway. Seine-et-Oise is divided into six arrondissements (Versailles, Corbeil, Étampes, Mantes, Pontoise, Rambouillet) with 37 cantons and 691 communes. It forms the diocese of Versailles and part of the educational circumscription (académie) of Paris and of the regions of the II., III., IV. and V. army corps, the troops in its territory being under the command of the military government of Paris. Its court of appeal is also at Paris.
The most notable towns in the department are Versailles, the capital, Corbeil, Sèvres, Étampes, Mantes, Pontoise, Rambouillet, Argenteuil, Poissy, St Cloud, St Cyr, St Germain-en-Laye, Meudon, Montmorency, Rueil and Marly-le-Roi (see separate articles). Other places of interest are Montfort-l'Amaury, which has a Renaissance church with fine stained glass, a gateway of the 16th century and a ruined château once the seat of the powerful family of Montfort; Montlhéry, which preserves the keep (13th century) and other ruins of a celebrated fortress which commanded the road from Paris to Orléans; Roche-Guyon, seat of the family of that name, which has two châteaus, one a feudal stronghold, the other also medieval but altered in the 18th century; Vigny, with a Gothic château of the 15th century; Écouen, where there is a château of the 16th century once the property of the Condé family, now a school for daughters of members of the Legion of Honour; Dampierre, which has a château of the 17th century once the property of Charles, Cardinal of Lorraine; Maisons-Laffitte (pop. 8117), with a château of the same period once belonging to the family of Longueil. The château of Malmaison (18th century) is famous as the residence of the Empress Joséphine.
Of the churches of the department, which are very numerous mention may be made of those of Jouy-le Moutier (11th and 12th centuries); Beaumont-sur-Oise (13th century); Taverny (12th and 13th centuries); Longpont (remains of an abbey-church dating from the 11th to the 13th centuries). Near Cernay-la-Ville are interesting remains of a Cistercian abbey and near Lévy-St-Nom those of the abbey of Notre-Dame de la Roche, including a church (13th century) with stalls which are among the oldest in France and the tombs of the Lévis-Mirepoix family.
SEINE-INFÉRIEURE, a department of the north of France, formed in 1790 of four districts (Norman Vexin, Bray, Caux and Roumois) belonging to the province of Normandy. Pop. (1906) 863,879. Area 2448 sq. m. Seine-Inférieure is bounded N.W. and N. by the English Channel for a distance of 80 m., N.E by Somme, from which it is separated by the Bresle, E. by Oise, S. by Eure and the estuary of the Seine, which separates it from Calvados. It is divided almost equally between the basin of the Seine in the south and the basins of certain coast streams in the north. The Seine receives from the right hand before it reaches the department the Epte and the Andelle from the Bray district, and then the Darnétal, the Cailly, the Austreberthe, the Bolbec and the Lézarde. The main coast streams are the Bresle (which forms the ports of Eu and Tréport), the Yères, the Arques or Dieppe stream (formed by the junction of the Varennes, the Béthune and the Eaulne), the Scie, the Saane, the Durdent. The Pays de Caux, the most extensive natural division, is a system of plateaus separated by small valleys, terminating along the Seine in high bluffs and towards the sea in steep chalk cliffs 300 to 400 ft. high, which are continually being eaten away and transformed into beds of shingle. The Bray district in the south-east is a broad valley of denudation formed by the sea as it retired, and traversed by valleys covered with excellent