1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Savoie

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SAVOIE, a frontier department of France, formed in 1860 of the old provinces of Haute Savoie, Savoie, the Tarentaise and the Maurienne, which constituted the southern portion of the duchy of Savoy. It is bounded N. by the department of Haute Savoie, E. and S.E. by Italy, S.W. by the department of the Hautes Alpes, and W. by those of the Isère and the Ain. Pop. (1901) 254,781; area 2224 sq. m. It is mainly made up of the basin of the Isère. The upper course of that river flows through the Tarentaise, receiving (right) the Arly and later (left) the Arc, which flows through the Maurienne, which is to a large extent traversed by the Mont Cenis railway. Probably the Isère formerly communicated with the Rhône past Chambéry and the Lac du Bourget. The sources of the Isère and of the Arc are separated by the ridge of the Col du Mont Iseran (9085 ft.). The loftiest points in the department are the Grande Casse (12,668 ft.), the culminating summit of the Vanoise group, the Mont Pourri (12,428 ft.), the Pointe de Charbonel (12,336 ft.), the Aiguille de la Grande Sassière (12,323 ft.), the Dent Parrachée (12,179 ft.), the Levanna (11,943 ft.) and the Aiguilles d'Arves (11,529 ft.). A small portion of the department (including both shores of the Lac du Bourget) is in the part of the duchy of Savoy neutralized in 1815. It is divided into 4 arrondissements (Chambéry, the chief town, Albertville, Moutiers-Tarentaise, and St Jean de Maurienne), 29 cantons and 329 communes. It forms the dioceses of Chambéry (an archbishopric), Moutiers and St Jean de Maurienne. The best place known to foreigners is Aix les Bains (q.v.), while other sulphur springs rise at Marlioz and at Challes, those of Salins being saline, and those of Brides (the best known after Aix) alkaline.

See J. J. Vernier, Dictionnaire topographigue du dép. de la Savoie (Chambéry, 1897).

 (W. A. B. C.)