GRASSE, a town of France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Alpes-Maritimes, 20 miles W. of Nice. It occupies a picturesque situation on the southern declivity of a hill facing the Mediterranean, from which it is about 7 miles distant ; and it possesses a climate remarkably mild and salubrious. It is well supplied with water from a rivulet which rises above it. The streets are narrow, steep, and winding, but the houses are generally well built. The town was formerly the seat of a bishop, and possesses a Gothic cathedral with a beautiful tower, an old chapel dating from the 11th century, now used as a powder magazine, a hospital, a town-hall, an exchange, a theatre, a communal college, and a public library. The chapel of the hospital contains three pictures by Rubens. Next to Paris, Grasse carries on the largest manufacture of perfumery in France. Citrons, oranges, lemons, figs, pomegranates, and the flowers used by the perfumers, are grown in the gardens of the town and neighbourhood, and fine marble, alabaster, and jasper are found in the vicinity. Grasse was founded in the 6th century by Jews from Sardinia. The population in 1876 was 9673.
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