Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Auch

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AUCH, the ancient Climberrum or Augusta Auscorum, one of the most ancient cities of France, capital of the department of Gers. In Caesar's time this was the chief town of the Ausci. In the 8th century it became the capital of Gascony ; and when that district was divided into countships, was the capital of Armagnac. The site of the modern town does not exactly coincide with that of the ancient, being on the opposite (the left) bank of the river Gers. Auch was probably destroyed by the Saracens about 724 A.D., and was afterwards rebuilt in its present picturesque situation on the slope of a hill. On the opposite side of the river, and occupying the site of the ancient city, is a considerable suburb, which is connected with the town by a bridge.; and communication between the lower and the upper town is afforded by long flights of steps. The streets, though narrow, are generally well built, and a fine promenade in the upper part of the town gives a magnificent view of the surrounding country. Auch is the seat of an archbishopric, which was founded in the 4th century, and gave, till the Revolution, the title of Primate of Aquitania to the holder of the see. It has tribunals of commerce and primary jurisdiction, a royal college, an agricultural society, a theological seminary, with a museum and an extensive library, a theatre, &c. The cathedral of St Mary, one of the most magnificent in France, was commenced in the reign of Charles VIII. (1489), and finished in that of Louis XV. It exhibits several styles of architecture, contains many elegant monuments, and is adorned with fine stained-glass windows and carved woodwork. The préfecture, formerly the archiepiscopal palace, is a vast and noble edifice. The principal manufactures are hats, various kinds of linen and cotton stuffs, leather, &c., and there is a considerable trade, especially in the brandies of Armagnac. Population in 1872, 13,087.