LAKE OF ISEO (the Lacus Sebinus of the Romans), a lake in Lombardy, N. Italy, situated at the southern foot of the Alps, and between the provinces of Bergamo and Brescia. It is formed by the Oglio river, which enters the northern extremity of the lake of Lovere, and issues from the southern end at Sarnico, on its way to join the Po. The area of the lake is about 24 sq. m., it is 172 m. in length, and 3 m. wide in the broadest portion, while the greatest depth is said to be about 984 ft. and the height of its surface above sea-level 607 ft. It contains one large island, that of Siviano, which culminates in the Monte Isola (1965 ft.) that is crowned by a chapel, while to the south is the islet of San Paolo, occupied by the buildings of a small Franciscan convent now abandoned, and to the north the equally tiny island of Loreto, with a ruined chapel containing frescoes. At the southern end of the lake are the small towns of Iseo (15 m. by rail N.W. of Brescia) and of Sarnico. From Paratico, opposite Sarnico, on the other or left bank of the Oglio, a railway runs in 64 m. to Palazzolo, on the main Brescia-Bergamo line. Towards the head of the lake, the deep wide valley of the Oglio is seen, dominated by the glittering snows of the Adamello (11,661 ft.), a glorious prospect. Along the east shore (the west shore is far more rugged) a fine carriage road runs from Iseo to the considerable town of Pisogne (132 m.), situated at the northern end of the lake, and nearly opposite that of Lovere, on the right bank of the Oglio. The portion of this road some way S. of Pisogne is cleverly engineered, and is carried through several tunnels. The lake's charms were celebrated by Lady Mary WortleyMontagu, who spent ten summers (1747-1757) in a villa at Lovere, then much frequented by reason of an iron spring. The lake has several sardine and eel fisheries. (W. A. B. C.) ISERE [anc. Isara], one of the chief rivers in France as well as of those flowing down on the French side of the Alpine chain. Its total length from its source to its junction with the Rhone is about 180 m., during which it descends a height of about 7550 ft. Its drainage area is about 4725 sq. m. It flows through the departments of Savoie, Isere and Drome. This river rises in the Galise glaciers in the French Graian Alps and flows, as a mountain torrent, through a narrow valley past Tignes in a north-westerly direction to Bourg St Maurice, at the western foot of the Little St Bernard Pass. It now bends S.W., as far as Moutiers, the chief town of the Tarentaise, as the upper course of the Isere is named. Here it again turns N.W. as far as Albertville, where after receiving the Arly (right) it once more takes a south-westerly direction, and near St Pierre d'Albigny receives its first important tributary, the Arc (left), a wild mountain stream flowing through the Maurienne and past the foot of the Mont Cenis Pass. A little way below, at Montmelian, it becomes officially navigable (for about half of its course), though it is but little used for that purpose owing to the irregular depth of its bed and the rapidity of its current. Very probably, in ancient days, it flowed from Montmelian N.W. and, after passing through or forming the Lac du Bourget, joined the Rhone. But at present it continues from Montmelian in a south-westerly direction, flowing through the broad and fertile valley of the Graisivaudan, though receiving but a single affluent of any importance, the Breda (left). At Grenoble, the most important town on its banks, it bends for a short distance again N.W. But just below that town it receives by far its most important affluent (left) the Drac, which itself drains the entire S. slope of the lofty snow-clad Dauphine Alps, and which, i 1 m. above Grenoble, had received the Romanche (right), a mountain stream which drains the entire. central and N. portion of the same Alps. Hence the Drac is, at its junction with the Isere, a stream of nearly the same volume, while these two rivers, with the Durance, drain practically the entire French slope of the Alpine chain, the basins of the Arve and of the Var forming the sole exceptions. A short distance below Moirans the Isere changes its direction for the last time and now flows S.W. past Romans before joining the Rhone on the left, as its principal affluent after the Saone and the Durance, between Tournon and Valence. The Isere is remarkable for the way in which it changes its direction, forming three great loops of which the apex is respectively at Bourg St Maurice, Albertville and Moirans. For some way after its junction with the Rhone the grey troubled current of the Isere can be distinguished in the broad and peaceful stream of the Rhone. (W. A. B. C.) ISERE, a department of S.E. France, formed in 1790 out of the northern part of the old province of Dauphine. Pop. (1906) 562,315. It is bounded N. by the department of the Ain, E. by that of Savoie, S. by those of the Hautes Alpes and the Drome and W. by those of the Loire and the Rhone. Its area is 3179 sq. m. (surpassed only by 7 other departments), while its greatest length is 93 m. and its greatest breadth 53 m. The river Isere runs for nearly half its course through this department, to which it gives its name. The southern portion of the department is very mountainous, the loftiest summit being the Pic Lory (1 3,396 ft.) in the extensive snow-clad Oisans group (drained by the Drac and Romanche, two mighty mountain torrents), while minor groups are those of Belledonne, of Allevard, of the Grandes Rousses, of the Devoluy, of the Trieves, of the Royannais, of the Vercors and, slightly to the north of the rest, that of the Grande Chartreuse. The northern portion of the department is composed of plateaux, low hills and plains, while on every side but the south it is bounded by the course of the Rhone. It forms the bishopric of Grenoble (dating from the 4th century), till 1790 in the ecclesiastical province of Vienne, and now in that of Lyons. The department is divided into four arrondissements (Grenoble, St Marcellin, La Tour du Pin and Vienne), 45 cantons and 563 communes. Its capital is Grenoble, while other important towns in it are the towns of Vienne, St Marcellin and La Tour du Pin. It is well supplied with railways (total length 342 m.), which give access to Gap, to Chambery, to Lyons, to St Rambert and to Valence, while it also possesses many tramways (total length over 200 m.). It contains silver, lead, coal and iron mines, as well as extensive slate, stone and marble quarries, besides several mineral springs (Allevard, Uriage and La Motte). The forests cover much ground, while among the most flourishing industries are those of glove making, cement, silk weaving and paper making. The area devoted to agriculture (largely in the fertile valley of the Graisivaudan, or Isere, N.E. of Grenoble) is about 1 211 sq. m. (W. A. B. C.)
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