1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Figueras

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FIGUERAS, a town of north-eastern Spain, in the province of Gerona, 14 m. S. of the French frontier, on the Barcelona-Perpignan railway. Pop. (1900) 10,714. Figueras is built at the foot of the Pyrenees, and on the northern edge of El Ampurdan, a fertile and well-irrigated plain, which produces wine, olives and rice, and derives its name from the seaport of Ampurias, the ancient Emporiae. The castle of San Fernando, 1 m. N.W., is an irregular pentagonal structure, built by order of Ferdinand VI. (1746–1759), on the site of a Capuchin convent. Owing to its situation, and the rocky nature of the ground over which a besieger must advance, it is still serviceable as the key to the frontier. It affords accommodation for 16,000 men and is well provided with bomb-proof cover. In 1794 Figueras was surrendered to the French, but it was regained in 1795. During the Peninsular War it was taken by the French in 1808, recaptured by the Spaniards in 1811, and retaken by the French in the same year. In 1823, after a long defence, it was once more captured by the French. An annual pilgrimage from Figueras to the chapel of Nuestra Señora de Requesens, 15 m. N., commemorates the deliverance of the town from a severe epidemic of fever in 1612.