town south toulon
HYERES, a town of France, in the department of Var and arrondissement of Toulon, about 3 miles from the coast of the Mediterranean. It is connected by a branch line with the railway from Toulon to Cannes, and by diligences with the neighbouring towns. The town proper is situated on the south-eastern side of a steep hill (650 feet high) which forms one of the last buttresses of the Maurettes, a group of picturesque hills covered with olive, pine, and cork trees, and underwood of myrtles and other shrubs. In front, towards the south and south-east, a fertile plain, once famous for its orange groves, and now mainly occupied by vineyards and farms, stretches to the sea, while towards the south-west, across a narrow valley, rises a cluster of low but well-clad hills. The older part of the town, still on its eastern and northern sides sur rounded by its ancient and dilapidated wall, is a labyrinth of steep dirty streets ; but the new quarters which have grown up at the foot of the hill have handsome boulevards and villas, many of them with beautiful gardens full of semi-tropical plants. Of best note among the objects of interest at Ilyeres are the house (Rue Rabaton, No. 7) where Massillon was born ; the cathedral or church of St Louis, a low building of the 12th century (restored in 1840), which belonged to the Cordeliers; and the ancient castle, crowning the highest part of the hill. The Place des Palmiers takes its name from the seven palm trees planted there in 1831. On the plain between the town and the sea are large nurseries, an excellent jardin d'aoclimatation, and the famed kitchen gardens which supply Paris with early fruits and vegetables and with roses in winter. There are extensive salt-beds on the peninsula of Giens, which juts due south into the Mediterranean, where salt is made by the exposure of the sea-water to the sun. Up to the 14th century Hyeres was a larger and more important town than Toulon; and in the 16th century it became famous as a winter resort. Catherine de' Medici at one time thought of making it the seat of a royal residence. At present the more brilliant social attractions of some of the neighbouring watering-places of the Riviera divert the more fashionable visitors from Hy6res. In climate it differs little from its more favoured compeers. From the east and north-east winds it is completely sheltered, but it lies open to the ravages of the mistral. The population in 1872 was returned at 5881 for the town and 11,21-2 for the commune ; in 1876 the corresponding figures were 6797 and 12,289. The islands of Hyeres (the Stcechades - ca roLX.48es vCicroL - of the classical geographers), other-wise called Les Iles d'Or, lie to the east of the peninsula of Giens, and form a protection to the roads of Hyeres, one of the great rendezvous of the French fleets. The principal islands are Porquerolles, which rises to a height of 600 feet, Port-cros, and Titan. The population is scanty. A marquisate of the Iles d'Or was created by Francis I.
See Alphonse Denis, Promenades pittoresqucs a Hyeres, 1842; Eu,One Farene, Les recite du touriste Provencal, 1859 ; Aufauvre, Hyeres et sa vallee, 1862; Joanne, Hyeres et Toulon, 1870; Lentheric, La Provence maritime, 1830.