DAX, a town of south-western France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Landes, 92 m. S.S.W. of Bordeaux, on the Southern railway between that city and Bayonne. Pop. (1906) 8585. The town lies on the left bank of the Adour, a stone bridge uniting it to its suburb of Le Sablar on the right bank. It has remains of ancient Gallo-Roman fortifications, now converted into a promenade. The most remarkable building in the town is the church of Notre-Dame, once a cathedral; it was rebuilt from 1656 to 1719, but still preserves a sacristy, a porch and a fine sculptured doorway of the 13th century. The church of St Vincent, to the south-west of the town, derives its name from the first bishop, whose tomb it contains. The church of St Paul-les-Dax, a suburb on the right bank of the Adour, belongs mainly to the i 5th century, and has a Romanesque apse adorned with curious bas-reliefs. On a hill to the west of Dax stands a tower built in memory of the sailor and scientist Jean Charles Borda, born there in 1733; a statue was erected to him in the town in 1891. Dax, which is well known as a winter resort, owes much of its importance to its thermal waters and mudbaths (the deposit of the Adour), which are efficacious in cases of rheumatism, neuralgia and other disorders. The best-known spring is the Fontaine Chaude, which issues into a basin 160 ft. wide in the centre of the town. The principal of numerous bathing establishments are the Grands Thermes, the Bains Sales, adjoining a casino, and the Baignots, which fringe the Adour and are surrounded by gardens. Dax has a sub-prefecture, tribunals of first instance and of commerce, a communal college, a training college and a library. It has salt workings, tanneries, sawmills, manufactures of soap and corks; commerce is chiefly in the pine wood, resin and cork of the Landes, in mules, cattle, horses and poultry.
Dax (Aquae Tarbellicae, Aquae Augustae, later D'Acqs) was the capital of the Tarbelli under the Roman domination, when its waters were already famous. Later it was the seat of a viscounty, which in the 11th century passed to the viscounts of Beam, and in 1177 was annexed by Richard Coeur de Lion to Gascony. The bishopric, founded in the 3rd century, was in 1801 attached to that of Aire.
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