Page:Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition, v. 6.djvu/137

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117
COI—COI


Nilgiri Hills. Coimbatore may be described as a flat, open country, hemmed in by mountains on the north, west, and south, but opening eastwards on to the great plain of the Carnatic ; the average height of the plain above sea-level is about 900 feet. The principal mountains are the Anamali Hills, in the south of the district, rising at places to a height of between 8000 and 9000 feet. In the west, the Palghat and Vallagirl Hills form a connecting link between the Anamali range and the Nilgilis, with the exception of a remarkable gap known as the Palghat Pass. This gap, which completely intersects the Ghats, is about twenty miles wide. In the north is a range of primitive trap-hills known as the Cauveri (Kaveri) chain, extending eastwards from the Nilgiris, and rising in places to a height of 4000 feet. The principal rivers are the Cauveri, Bhawani, Noyel, and AmrawatL Numerous canals are cut from the rivers for the purpose of affording artificial irrigation, which has proved of immense benefit to the country. Well and tank water is also largely used for irrigation purposes. The total area of Coimbatore is 7432 square miles, of which 3877^ square miles or 2,488,000 acres were returned as under cultivation in 1874-75, viz., 2,089,000 acres under food grains or corn crops, 80,000 acres oilseeds, 6 1 ,000 acres green and garden crops, 5000 acres orchards, and 253,000 acres under special crops. Excellent cotton and tobacco of a superior quality are produced. Extensive teak forests exist in the neighbourhood. Coimbatore is subdivided into 10_ taluks or sub-districts, and contains 1515 villages. The census report of 1872 returns the population of the district as follows : Hindus, 1,715,081 ; Muhammadans, 36,026 ; Native Christians, 11,443 ; Europeans and Eurasians, 595 ; Buddhists, or Jains, 56 ; others, 73 ; total, 1,763,274. The principal town is Coimbatore, situ ated in 10 59 41" lat. and 76 59 46" long.; it forms a station on the line of railway between Beypur and Madras. Population in 1872 Hindus, 30,801 ; Muhammadans, 2599; Christians, 1892; Buddhists, 18; total, 35,310. The municipal revenue of the town amounted in 1874-75 to 3720, and the expenditure to 3367. Two other small towns Karur and Erode are also constituted municipali ties. The total district revenue in 1874-75 amounted to 304,818, of which 253,536 was derived from land. Coimbatore district was acquired by the British in 1799 at the close of the war which ended with the death of Tippu.

COIMBRA, a city of Portugal, capital of the province of Beira, on the north bank of the Mondego, 115 miles N.N.E. of Lisbon, in 40 14 N. lat. and 8 24 W. long. It is built for the most part on rising ground, and presents from the other side of the river a picturesque and imposing appearance ; though in reality its houses have individually but little pretension, and its streets are, almost without exception, narrow and mean. It derives its present importance from being the seat of the only university in the kingdom, an institution which was originally estab lished at Lisbon in 1291, was transferred to Coirnbra in 1306, was again removed to Lisbon, and was finally fixed at Coimbra in 1527. There are five faculties, theology, law, medicine, mathematics, and philosophy, with fifty-two pro fessors and twenty-one substitutes; and in 1874-5 the number of students was 667, of whom 15 came from the Azores and 11 from Brazil. The library contains 80,000 volumes, and the museums and laboratories are on an extensive scale. In connection with the medical faculty there are regular hospitals ; the mathematical faculty maintains an observatory from which an excellent view can be obtained of the whole valley of the Mondego; and outside of the town there is a. botanic garden (especially rich in the flora of Brazil), which also serves as a public promenade. Among the other educational establishments are a military college, a royal college of arts, and an episcopal seminary. The city is the seat of a bishop, suffragan to the archbishop of Braga ; and it possesses two cathedrals, eight parish churches, and several con ventual buildings. The new cathedral is of little interest; but the old is a fine specimen of the Romanesque style, and retains portions of the mosque which it replaced. The principal churches are Santa Cruz, of the 16th century, and San Salvador, founded by Esterao Martinez in 1169. On the bank of the Mondego stand the ruins of the once splendid monastery of Santa Clara, established by Don Mor Dias in 1286; and on the other side of the river, crossed by a fine bridge of several arches, is the celebrated Quintet das lagrimas, or Villa of Tears, where Inez de Castro is believed to have been murdered. The town is supplied with water by means of an aqueduct of 20 arches. The trade is purely local, as the river is navigable only in flood, and the port of Figueira is 20 miles distant ; but there are manufactures of pottery, linen, cloth, and articles of horn ; and a three days market is held yearly in front of the Clara monastery. The country to the south is the most fertile and salubrious in Portugal, and the neighbour hood is accordingly thickly studded with farm-houses and villas. The population of the city in lb 64 was 18,147.


Coimbra is identified with the ancient Conembrica, the site of

which, however, seems to have been a little to the south. The city was for a long time a Moorish stronghold, but in 1064 it was captured by Ferdinand the Great and the Cid. Previous to the 16th century it was the capital of the country, and no fewer than seven kings Sancho I. and II., Alphonso I., II., and III.. Pedro, and Ferdinand were born within its walls. In 1755 it suffered con siderably from the earthquake. In 1810 a division of the French army, under Massena, were made prisoners by the English in tlie neighbourhood. In 1834 Don iliguel made the city his headquar

ters ; and in 1846 it was the scene of a Miguelist insurrection.

COIN, a town of Spain, in the province of Malaga, and 20 miles west of the city of that name. It is well built, and has two large churches, an episcopal palace, and a town hall. Population, 8000.

COINAGE and COINS. See Bullion, Mint, Money, and Numismatics.

COIR, a rough, strong, fibrous substance obtained from the outer husk of the cocoa-nut. See Cocoa-Nut Palm.

COIRE (the German C/mr, Italian Coira, and Qitera of the Romance language spoken in the district), the capital of the Swiss canton of the Grisons or Graubiinden, at the foot of the valley of the Plessur, a short distance above the confluence of that river with the Rhone, in 46 50 54" N. lat. and 9 31 26" E. long. It lies 1830 feet above the level of the sea, and is overshadowed by the Mittenberg and Pizokelberg. The streets are narrow, and the general appearance of the place bespeaks its antiquity. The upper part of the town, or Bishop s Quarter, was once surrounded with walls, and it is still distinguished from the lower portion as the almost exclusive residence of the Roman Catholic population. The cathedral church of St Lucius is its most remarkable building, ascribed in part to Bishop Tello of the 8th century, and deriving its name from a legendary British king, who is reputed to have suffered martyrdom in the town. Of antiquarian interest are the statues of the Four Evangelists, the ancient wood carvings, and several monuments by Holbein and Diirer. The episcopal palace on the other side of the court is believed to occupy the site of a Roman castle ; and two ancient towers, probably dating from the 10th century, are popularly regarded as of Roman construction, the opinion being supported by deriving their names, Marsoel and Spinoel, from the Latin Mars in Oculis and Spina in Oculis. The episcopal school is now administered by the canton, and contains a rich collection of native literature. In the lower town are situated the great town-house, with a public library and three stained-glass windows of the 16th century;