city, seat (1868) of Iberia parish, southern Louisiana, U.S., on Bayou Teche (connected via canal with the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway), 23 miles (37 km) southeast of Lafayette. Founded in the late 18th century by French, Spanish, and Acadian settlers, it was laid out in 1835. It was first called Iberia, the ancient name for Spain, but the name was changed when the parish was created. The city was occupied (1863), along with nearby salt mines, by Union forces during the American Civil War's Red River Campaign. It developed as a processing and shipping centre for salt, sugarcane, rice, peppers, vegetables, and petroleum and acquired some light manufacturing.
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