Dordogne River - Encyclopedia




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DORDOGNE, a river of central and south-western France, rising at a height of 5640 ft. on the Puy-de-Sancy, a mountain of the department of Puy-de-Dome, and flowing to the Garonne with which it unites at Bec d'Ambes to form the Gironde estuary. It has a length of 295 m. and the area of its basin is 9214 sq. m. Descending rapidly from its source, sometimes over cascades, the river soon enters deep gorges through which it flows as far as Beaulieu (department of Correze) where it debouches into a wide and fertile valley and is shortly after joined by the Cere. Entering the department of Lot, it abandons a south-westerly for a westerly course and flowing in a sinuous channel traverses the department of Dordogne, where it receives the waters of the Vezere. Below the town of Bergerac it enters the department of Gironde, where at Libourne it is joined by the Isle and widens cut, attaining at its union with the Garonne 45 m. from the sea a width of nearly 3300 yds. A few miles above this point the river is spanned by the magnificent bridges of Cubzac-lesPonts, which carry a road and railway. Below its confluence with the Vezere, over the last 112 m. of its course, the river carries considerable navigation. The influence of the highest tides is felt at Pessac, a distance of 100 m. from the ocean.

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