Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Ardennes (Kelt, forest), Arduenna Sylva, a vast tract of rugged woodland lying on the confines of France, Belgium, and Rhenish Prussia. In Roman times it was far more extensive. At present the French portion, lying within the department to which it gives its name, covers some 600 square miles. The department of Ardennes is bounded north by Luxembourg, west by the department of Aisne, south by that of Marne, and east by that of Meuse. It has an extreme length of 63 miles and its breadth is 60 miles, the area being 2,021 square miles. The soil is fertile in the south-west, but woods, limestone rocks and chalk prevail in other parts. The chief rivers are the Meuse and the Aisne with their affluents. Corn is grown in abundance, and numbers of horses, cattle, and sheep are raised, but cider and beer take the place of wine. Iron is worked in the district, where 150 mines are said to exist, and there are stone, slate, and marble quarries, factories for cloth and woollen goods, and glass-works. Mezieres, Rathel, Rocroy, and Sedan are the chief towns.