Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Gray

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

GRAY, the chief town of an arrondissement in the department of Haute-Saône, is situated on the declivity of a hill on the left bank of the Saône, 37 miles S.W. of Vesoul by rail. Its streets are narrow and steep, but it possesses broad and beautiful quays, and the Allée des Capucins is a fine promenade. The principal buildings are the old castle of the duke of Burgundy, the church in the style of the Renaissance, the communal college (with a library of 15,000 volumes and a natural history museum), the theatre, and the barracks. The town possesses very large flour-mills, and among the other industries are ship building, dyeing, tanning, haircloth-weaving, plaster-casting, and the manufacture of machinery, oils, and starch. There is also a considerable trade in iron, corn, provisions, vegetables, wine, and wood. The population in 1876 was 7305. Gray was founded in the 7th century. Its former defensive works were destroyed by Louis XIV. in 1688. During the Franco-Prussian war General von Werder concentrated his army corps in the town, and held it for a month, making it the point d'appui of movements towards Dijon and Langres, as well as towards Besançon.