Alpes Maritimes, a dep. in the extreme SB. of France, on the shores of the Mediterranean and confines of Italy, was formed in 1860. It is made up. of the ancient county of Nice, then ceded to France, and of the arrondissement of Grasse. The chain of the Alpes Maritimes forms the northern boundary of the dep., and from it numerous spurs run seaward, among which are lovely and fertile valleys. The silkworm is reared, and honey exported. There are some mineral springs. The tunny, anchovy, and sardine fisheries are important. The capital is Nice, and the other principal towns are Antibes, Ville-franche, Cannes, Grasse, and Menton or Mentone. Area, 1482 sq. m.; pop. 293,500.
Alpnach, or Alpnacht, a Swiss village, in the canton of Unterwalden, at the foot of Mount Pilatus, 1 1/2 mile from that part of Lake Lucerne called Lake Alpnach. Its celebrated 'slide,' 8 miles long, for the timber of Mount Pilatus, is now disused. Pop. 1679.
Alsen, a Baltic island off the coast of Sles-wick. Formerly Danish, it became Prussian in 1864. It is 19 miles long, and 12 broad; its area is 121 sq. m. Pop. 25,000, almost all Danish-speaking. The chief town is the port of Sonder-borg; pop. 6000.
Alster, a river in Holstein, formed by the confluence of three streams, in the neighbourhood of Hamburg spreads itself out, and forms a lake, called the Great or Outer Alster, and within the town, the Inner Alster. It flows by several channels into the Elbe.
Alte'a, a Spanish seaport, 25 miles NE. of Alicante; pop. 5865.
Altenburg, the capital of the duchy of Saxe-Altenburg, on the Pleisse, 30 miles S. of Leipzig by rail. On an almost perpendicular rock of porphyry stands the old castle of Altenburg, the scene in 1455 of the 'Prinzenraub.' Its foundations are probably as old as the 11th century; and, since the two fires of 1865 and 1868, it has been finely restored. Brushes, woollen goods, gloves, and cigars are manufactured. Pop. (1890) 31,439; (1900) 37,150.
Altengaard, a hamlet in Finmarken, the northernmost province of Norway, on the south Side of the Alten Fiord, in 69° 55' N. lat., with a meteorological station.
Alton, a town of Hampshire, 8 3/4 miles SW. of Farnham. Its Perpendicular parish church was thoroughly restored in 1867. Hops are grown in the neighbourhood, and there are large breweries in the town. Pop. 5600.
Alton, a city and port of Illinois, U.S., on the left bank of the Mississippi, 24 miles N. of St Louis. Laid out in 1817, and since 1868 the seat of a Catholic bishopric, it is a centre of commerce, and has a Baptist college (1836). Pop. (1860) 6332; (1900) 14,210.