Memel (May'mel), a fortified Prussian seaport, lies at the northern extremity of the Kurisches Haff, at its opening into the Baltic, 70 miles NNE. of Danzig. Founded in 1252, and almost totally destroyed by fire in 1854, it has a large harbour, exports timber, flax and linseed, coal, manure, grain, and herrings, and has manufactories of brandy, soap and chemicals, saw-mills, iron-foundries, breweries, and shipbuilding-yards. Pop. 20,748. For the river Memel, see Niemen.


Memmingen (Mem'ming-en), an old town of Bavaria, 33 miles SSB. of Ulm. Here Moreau defeated the Austrians, May 1800. Pop. 10,900.


Menado. See Celebes.

Menai Strait

Menai Strait, a channel between Carnarvonshire and Anglesey, running 14 miles east-northeast from its southern extremity to Bangor, where it widens out into Beaumaris Bay. Its width varies from about 200 yards to 2 miles, whilst the scenery on both sides is very picturesque. The navigation is hazardous, but for the sake of expedition vessels under 100 tons, and occasionally some of larger size, pass through the strait. At its entrance the tides sometimes rise 30 feet; ordinary neap-tides, however, do not rise more than from 12 to 15 1/2 feet. Communication with Anglesey was formerly solely maintained by ferry-boats, but since 1825 access has been afforded by Telford's suspension bridge, 1710 feet long, and 100 feet above the water-level, and since 1850 by Stephenson's Britannia Tubular Bridge.


Menam. See Siam.


Mende, capital of the French dep. of Lozere, on the Lot, 66 miles NW. of Nimes, with a cathedral, and cloth manufactures. Pop. 6000.

Mendip Hills

Mendip Hills, a range in Somersetshire, extending 23 miles SB. from Weston-super-Mare to Shepton Mallet, and 3 to 6 miles broad. The highest point is Black Down (1067 feet). The limestone of the Mendips is pierced by numerous caverns, some of which have yielded prehistoric remains ; and lead-mining, now unimportant, has been carried on from pre-Roman days, calamine-mining being a later industry. See Compton, A Mendip Valley (1892).


Mendo'za, a western dep. of the Argentine Republic. Area, 62,000 sq. m. ; pop. 117,200. The Andes occupy the western portion: Aconcagua (22,427 feet), the highest peak in America, is on the north-west frontier. The rest of the province is pampa land, fertile where it can be irrigated by the Mendoza and other streams, but elsewhere almost worthless. - The capital, Mendoza, 655 miles by rail W. by N. of Buenos Ayres, and 2320 feet above sea-level, is on the trans-continental railway, carried hither in 1884. An earthquake in 1861 destroyed Mendoza (founded 1559) and 13,000 of its 14,600 inhabitants; many of the ruins are still visible in the larger city raised on its site. Pop. 20,000.


Menin (Menang), a town of Belgium, 7 miles SW. of Courtrai, on the left bank of the Lys, which separates it from France. Pop. 19,513.