Bergerac - Encyclopedia

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BERGERAC, a town of south-western France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Dordogne, on the right bank of the Dordogne, 60 m. E. of Bordeaux on the railway to Cahors. Pop. (1906) town, 10,545; commune, 15,623. The river is rendered navigable by a large dam and crossed by a fine bridge which leads to the suburb of La Madeleine. Apart from a few old houses in the older quarter by the river, the town contains no monuments of antiquarian interest. There is a handsome modern church built in the middle of the 19th century. Bergerac is the seat of a sub-prefect and has tribunals of first instance and of commerce and a communal college. Wine of fine quality is grown in the district and is the chief source of the commerce of the town, which is mainly carried on with Libourne and Bordeaux. There is trade in grain, truffles, chestnuts, brandy and in the salmon of the Dordogne. The town has flour-mills, iron-`works, tanneries, distilleries and nursery-gardens, and it has manufactures of casks and of vinegar. There are quarries of millstone in the vicinity. In the 16th century Bergerac was a very flourishing and populous place, but most of its inhabitants having embraced Calvinism it suffered greatly during the religious wars and by the revocation of the edict of Nantes (1685). It was in 1577 the scene of the signing of the sixth peace between the Catholics and Protestants. Its fortifications and citadel were demolished by Louis XIII. in 1621.

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