France, officially the French Republic, is a country with territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The European, or metropolitan, area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, Overseas France include French Guiana on the South American continent and several island territories in the Atlantic and Indian oceans. France spans 643,801 square kilometres and had a population of almost 67 million people as of January 2017. It is a unitary republic with the capital in Paris. Other major urban centres include Marseille, Lille, Toulouse, during the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic people. The area was annexed in 51 BC by Rome, which held Gaul until 486, France emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages, with its victory in the Hundred Years War strengthening state-building and political centralisation. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a colonial empire was established.
The 16th century was dominated by civil wars between Catholics and Protestants. France became Europes dominant cultural and military power under Louis XIV, in the 19th century Napoleon took power and established the First French Empire, whose subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War, the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, was formed in 1958 and remains to this day. Algeria and nearly all the colonies became independent in the 1960s with minimal controversy and typically retained close economic. France has long been a centre of art, science. It hosts Europes fourth-largest number of cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and receives around 83 million foreign tourists annually, France is a developed country with the worlds sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest by purchasing power parity.
In terms of household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, France remains a great power in the world, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a member state of the European Union and the Eurozone. It is a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, originally applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name France comes from the Latin Francia, or country of the Franks
Ailly-le-Haut-Clocher is a commune in the Somme department in Hauts-de-France in northern France. The commune liest about 25 km southwest of Abbeville, at the junction of the national road N1, part of the old region of Ponthieu, the town is situated on a large plateau. Only the slightest undulation of the land is noticeable,3 neighbourhoods can be distinguished and the former hamlets of Famechon and Alliel. The place name Ailly comes from the name Alius, a Gallo-Roman, whose farm was located at the site of the present cemetery, aerial photography can pick out the farm boundaries. Ailly’s former names were, Alliacus and Ally, a place known as the “Three Cities”, between Ailly and Famechon, is believed to have been a Gallo-Roman cemetery, where stone axes, stone coffins containing skeletons and medallions have been found. In 831, Ailly belonged to the abbey of Saint Riquier, four fiefdoms were created at Ailly, one held by Nicolas Deroussen, another by Jean Maye, a third one held by J. Belleborgue and the other by François de Bacouel.
In 1500, Catherine de Fosseux, married Robert d’Ococh, Ailly was sold to Josse of Beauvarlet, in 1546, the church was burnt down by marauders. 130 inhabitants that had taken refuge in the building were killed, the leader of the arsonists was himself burned at the stake at Abbeville on 16 July 1546. 10 years later, the new spire was constructed by François Glassant. In 1615, Ailly was ravaged by the troops of the Maréchal dAncre, in 1639, War against Spain, Ailly was pillaged by French troops of Charles de La Porte. During September 1849, Victor Hugo passed through the town and he noted that there were a few signs of cholera. Freak hailstorms devastated the town in 1885, notre-Dame de lAssomption church, Classified historic monument, dating back to the 13th century. The sundial on the facing wall of the structure, is not very visible except in favorable conditions. Monument to the dead, Erected just to the south of the church, pierre dAilly, bishop of Cambrai and cardinal of Rome, was a native of Ailly.
John-Baptiste Honoré Deroussen, Lawyer to Parliament, ernest Deroussen, Army infantry officer, killed in the assault on the Malakoff Tower at Sebastopol, decorated with the Legion of Honour. The town has a school, a high school and is equipped with several athletic facilities. Because this rural town is located on the roads serving Abbeville and Amiens, in the 1930s, a factory making buttons of mother-of-pearl employed many Alliciens. Nowadays, economical life is reduced to two producers, mixed farming and a few craftsmen
Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to civil townships incorporated municipalities in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany, the United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and have received significant powers of governance to manage the populations, the communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France. A French commune may be a city of 2.2 million inhabitants like Paris, communes typically are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes, a commune is a town, city, or municipality. Use of commune in English is a habit, and one that might be corrected. There is nothing in commune in French that is different from town in English.
The French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, as of January 2015, there were 36,681 communes in France,36,552 of them in metropolitan France and 129 of them overseas. This is a higher total than that of any other European country. The whole territory of the French Republic is divided into communes and this is unlike some other countries, such as the United States, where unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority can be found. There are only a few exceptions, COM of Saint-Martin and it was previously a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007, COM of Wallis and Futuna, which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. It was previously a commune inside the Guadeloupe region, the commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007.88 square kilometres. The median area of metropolitan Frances communes at the 1999 census was even smaller, the median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than that of most European countries. In Italy, the area of communes is 22 km2, in Belgium it is 40 km2, in Spain it is 35 km2, and in Germany. Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, and Thuringia in Germany were the places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France. The communes of Frances overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards and they usually group into the same commune several villages or towns, often with sizeable distances among them
Amiens is a city and commune in northern France,120 km north of Paris and 100 km south-west of Lille. It is the capital of the Somme department in Hauts-de-France, the city had a population of 136,105 according to the 2006 census. It has one of the biggest university hospitals in France with a capacity of 1,200 beds, Amiens Cathedral, the tallest of the large, Gothic churches of the 13th century and the largest in France of its kind, is a World Heritage Site. The author Jules Verne lived in Amiens from 1871 until his death in 1905, during December, the town hosts the largest Christmas market in northern France. The first known settlement at this location was Samarobriva, the settlement of the Ambiani. The town was given the name Ambianum by the Romans, meaning settlement of the Ambiani people, the town has been much fought over, being attacked by barbarian tribes, and by the Normans. In 1113 the city was recognized by King Louis VI of France, in 1597, Spanish soldiers held the city during the six-month Siege of Amiens, before Henry IV regained control.
During the 18th and 19th century, the tradition of Amiens became famous for its velours. In 1789 the provinces of France were dismantled and the territory was organised into departments, much of Picardy became the newly created department of Somme, with Amiens as the departmental capital. During the industrial revolution the city walls were demolished, opening up space for large boulevards around the town centre, the Henriville neighbourhood in the south of the city was developed around this time. In 1848, the first railway arrived in Amiens, linking the city to Boulogne-sur-Mer, during the 1870 Battle of Amiens, when the Somme was invaded by Prussian forces, Amiens was occupied. The town was fought over during both the First and Second World Wars, suffering damage, and being occupied several times by both sides. The 1918 Battle of Amiens, was the phase of the Hundred Days Offensive. It was heavily bombed by the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, the city was rebuilt according to Pierre Dufaus plans, with a focus on widening the streets to ease traffic congestion.
These newer structures were built of brick and white stone with slate roofs. The architect Auguste Perret designed the Gare dAmiens train station and nearby Tour Perret, the regional prefecture of Picardy, is the prefecture of the Somme, one of the three departments in the region. Located in the Paris Basin, across the country the city benefits from a geographical position. At the crossroads of major European routes of movement, the city is at the heart of a major rail star
Albert is a commune in the Somme department in Hauts-de-France in northern France. It is located halfway between Amiens and Bapaume. Albert was founded as a Roman outpost, in about 54 BC, after being known by various forms of the name of the local river, the Ancre, it was renamed to Albert after it passed to Charles dAlbert, duc de Luynes. It was a key location in the Battle of the Somme in World War I, the British said that whoever made the statue fall would lose the war, whilst the Germans thought the opposite. A number of surrounding the Leaning Virgin developed among German, French. As The Golden Virgin it provided Henry Williamson with the title of an autobiographical book, the statue was knocked over, but has never fallen, I sent you a picture of it. It really is a wonderful sight and it is incomprehensible how it can have stayed there, but I think it is now lower than when the photograph was taken, and no doubt will come down with the next gale. The Church and village are wrecked, there’s a huge hole made by a Jack Johnson just outside the west door of the Church, the statue fell in April 1918 and was never recovered.
In August 1918 the Germans were again forced to retreat, Albert was completely reconstructed after the war, including widening and re-orienting the towns main streets. The Basilica, was rebuilt according to its original design by Eduoard Duthoit. The underground shelters in which the museum is located served as protective bunkers for Alberts residents during aerial bombardments in World War II, the city appears in a short story, The Garden of Forking Paths, by the Argentine writer Jorge Luís Borges. In the story it is the location of a British artillery park that the Germans are about to bomb during World War I, the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial is located only 9 kilometres from the village. It is a site dedicated to Dominion of Newfoundland forces members who were killed during World War I. Officially opened by British Field Marshal Earl Haig in 1925, the memorial is one of only two National Historic Sites of Canada located outside of Canada, Albert is twinned with the British town of Ulverston in Cumbria.
The two towns regularly meet to play football at Easter with the Cyril Barker Shield being contested every year and Ulverston alternate the matchs venue. Albert is twinned with the German towns of Aldenhoven and Niesky, Albert has been adopted by the British city of Birmingham and the main street is named Rue de Birmingham. Battle of Albert Communes of the Somme department List of Frances twin towns Vendémiaire Pavot INSEE Museum website Image of the Albert Basilica
Somme is a department of France, located in the north of the country and named after the Somme river. It is part of the Hauts-de-France region, the north central area of the Somme was the site of a series of battles during World War I. Particularly significant was the 1916 Battle of the Somme, the 1346 Battle of Crécy, a major English victory early in the Hundred Years War, took place in this department. The Somme department is in the current region of Hauts-de-France and is surrounded by the departments of Pas-de-Calais, Aisne, Oise, in the northwest, it has a coast on the English Channel. The main rivers are the Somme and its tributaries as well as the Bresle, at the beginning of the First World War, during the Race to the Sea of September and November 1914, the Somme became the site of the Battle of Albert. The line settled around the town of Thiepval and remained there until July 1916, the Allies had originally intended the Somme to be the site of one of several simultaneous major offensives by Allied powers against the Central Powers in 1916.
However, before these offensives could begin, the Germans attacked first, as this battle dragged on, the purpose of the Somme campaign shifted from striking a decisive blow against Germany to drawing German forces away from Verdun and relieving the Allied forces there. By its end the losses on the Somme had exceeded those at Verdun, while Verdun would bite deep in the national consciousness of France for generations, the Somme would have the same effect on generations of Britons. The battle is best remembered for its first day,1 July 1916, on which the British suffered 57,420 casualties, as terrible as the battle was for the British Empire troops who suffered there, it naturally affected the other nationalities as well. One German officer, General D. Swaha, famously described it as the grave of the German field army. By the end of the battle, the British had learned lessons in modern warfare while the Germans had suffered irreplaceable losses. British historian Sir James Edmonds stated, It is not too much to claim that the foundations of the victory on the Western Front were laid by the Somme offensive of 1916.
The Somme experienced war twice more in the First and Second Battles of the Somme of 1918