1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Blaye-et-Ste Luce

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BLAYE-ET-STE LUCE, a town of south-western France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Gironde, on the right bank of the Gironde (here over 2 m. wide), 35 m. N. of Bordeaux by rail. Pop. (1906) of the town, 3423; of the commune, 4890. The town has a citadel built by Vauban on a rock beside the river, and embracing in its enceinte ruins of an old Gothic château. The latter contains the tomb of Caribert, king of Toulouse, and son of Clotaire II. Blaye is also defended by the Fort Pâté on an island in the river and the Fort Médoc on its left bank, both of the 17th century. The town is the seat of a sub-prefect, and has tribunals of first instance and of commerce and a communal college. It has a small river-port, and carries on trade in wine, brandy, grain, fruit and timber. The industries include the building of small vessels, distilling, flour-milling, and the manufacture of oil and candles. Fine red wine is produced in the district.

In ancient times Blaye (Blavia) was a port of the Santones. Tradition states that the hero Roland was buried in its basilica, which was on the site of the citadel. It was early an important stronghold which played an important part in the wars against the English and the Religious Wars. The duchess of Berry was imprisoned in its fortress in 1832–1833.