1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Brive

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BRIVE, or BRIVES-LA-GAILLARDE, a town of south-central France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Corrèze, 62 m. S.S.E. of Limoges on the main line of the Orléans railway from Paris to Montauban. Pop. (1906) town 14,954; commune 20,636. It lies on the left bank of the Corrèze in an ample and fertile plain, which is the meeting-place of important roads and railways. The enceinte which formerly surrounded the town has been replaced by shady boulevards, and a few wide thoroughfares have been made, but many narrow winding streets and ancient houses still remain. Outside the boulevards lie the modern quarters, also the fine promenade planted with plane trees which stretches to the Corrèze and contains the chief restaurants and the theatre. Here also is the statue of Marshal Guillaume Marie Anne Brune, who was a native of Brive. A fine bridge leads over the river to suburbs on its right bank. The public buildings are of little interest apart from the church of St Martin, which stands in the heart of the old town. It is a building of the 12th century in the Romanesque style of Limousin, with three narrow naves of almost equal height. The ecclesiastical seminary occupies a graceful mansion of the 16th century, with a façade, a staircase and fireplaces of fine Renaissance workmanship. Brive is the seat of a sub-prefect and has a tribunal of first instance, a tribunal of commerce, a communal college and a school of industry. Its position makes it a market of importance, and it has a very large trade in the early vegetables and fruit of the valley of the Corrèze, and in grain, live-stock and truffles. Table-delicacies, paper, wooden shoes, hats, wax and earthenware are manufactured, and there are slate and millstone workings and dye-works.

In the vicinity are numerous rock caves, many of them having been used as dwellings in prehistoric times. The best known are those of Lamouroux, excavated in stages in a vertical wall of rock, and four grotto-chapels resorted to by pilgrims in memory of St Anthony of Padua, who founded a Franciscan monastery at Brive in 1226. Under the Romans Brive was known as Briva Curretiae (bridge of the Corrèze). In the middle ages it was the capital of lower Limousin.