Slovakia the Slovak Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the west, the Czech Republic to the northwest. Slovakia's territory spans about 49,000 square kilometres and is mountainous; the population is over 5.4 million and consists of Slovaks. The capital and largest city is Bratislava, the second largest city is Košice; the official language is Slovak. The Slavs arrived in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the 6th centuries. In the 7th century, they played a significant role in the creation of Samo's Empire and in the 9th century established the Principality of Nitra, conquered by the Principality of Moravia to establish Great Moravia. In the 10th century, after the dissolution of Great Moravia, the territory was integrated into the Principality of Hungary, which would become the Kingdom of Hungary in 1000. In 1241 and 1242, much of the territory was destroyed by the Mongols during their invasion of Central and Eastern Europe.
The area was recovered thanks to Béla IV of Hungary who settled Germans which became an important ethnic group in the area in what are today parts of central and eastern Slovakia. After World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Czechoslovak National Council established Czechoslovakia. A separate Slovak Republic existed during World War II as a totalitarian, clero-fascist one-party client state of Nazi Germany. At the end of World War II, Czechoslovakia was re-established as an independent country. A coup in 1948 ushered in a totalitarian one-party state under the Communist regime during whose rule the country existed as a satellite of the Soviet Union. Attempts for liberalization of communism in Czechoslovakia culminated in the Prague Spring, crushed by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. In 1989, the Velvet Revolution ended the Communist rule in Czechoslovakia peacefully. Slovakia became an independent state on 1 January 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia, sometimes known as the Velvet Divorce.
Slovakia is a developed country, with a high-income advanced economy and a high Human Development Index, a high standard of living and performs favourably in measurements of civil liberties, press freedom, internet freedom, democratic governance and peacefulness. The country maintains a combination of market economy with a comprehensive social security system. Citizens of Slovakia are provided with universal health care, free education and one of the longest paid parental leave in the OECD; the country joined the European Union on 1 May 2004 and joined the Eurozone on 1 January 2009. Slovakia is a member of the Schengen Area, NATO, the United Nations, the OECD, the WTO, CERN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Visegrád Group. Although regional income inequality is high, 90% of citizens own their homes. In 2018, Slovak citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 179 countries and territories, ranking the Slovak passport 10th in the world; as part of Eurozone, Slovak legal tender is the world's 2nd-most-traded currency.
Slovakia is the world's largest per-capita car producer with a total of 1,040,000 cars manufactured in the country in 2016 alone and the 7th largest car producer in the European Union. The car industry represents 43% of Slovakia's industrial output, a quarter of its exports; the first written mention of name Slovakia is in 1586. It derives from the Czech word Slováky; the native name Slovensko derives from an older name of Slovaks Sloven what may indicate its origin before the 15th century. The original meaning was geographic, since Slovakia was a part of the multiethnic Kingdom of Hungary and did not form a separate administrative unit in this period. Radiocarbon dating puts the oldest surviving archaeological artefacts from Slovakia – found near Nové Mesto nad Váhom – at 270,000 BCE, in the Early Paleolithic era; these ancient tools, made by the Clactonian technique, bear witness to the ancient habitation of Slovakia. Other stone tools from the Middle Paleolithic era come from the Prévôt cave in Bojnice and from other nearby sites.
The most important discovery from that era is a Neanderthal cranium, discovered near Gánovce, a village in northern Slovakia. Archaeologists have found prehistoric human skeletons in the region, as well as numerous objects and vestiges of the Gravettian culture, principally in the river valleys of Nitra, Ipeľ, Váh and as far as the city of Žilina, near the foot of the Vihorlat and Tribeč mountains, as well as in the Myjava Mountains; the most well-known finds include the oldest female statue made of mammoth-bone, the famous Venus of Moravany. The statue was found in the 1940s in Moravany nad Váhom near Piešťany. Numerous necklaces made of shells from Cypraca thermophile gastropods of the Tertiary period have come from the sites of Zákovská, Podkovice and Radošina; these findings provide the most ancient evidence of commercial exchanges carried out between the Mediterranean and central Europe. The Bronze Age in the geographical territory of modern-day Slovakia went through three stages of development, stretching from 2000 to 800 BCE.
Major cultural and political development can be attributed to the significant growth in production of copper in central Slovakia and northwe
Dijon is a city in eastern France, capital of the Côte-d'Or département in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. The earliest archaeological finds within the city limits of Dijon date to the Neolithic period. Dijon became a Roman settlement named Divio, located on the road from Lyon to Paris; the province was home to the Dukes of Burgundy from the early 11th until the late 15th centuries and Dijon was a place of tremendous wealth and power, one of the great European centres of art and science. Population: 151,576 within the city limits; the city has retained varied architectural styles from many of the main periods of the past millennium, including Capetian and Renaissance. Many still-inhabited town houses in the city's central district date from the 18th century and earlier. Dijon architecture is distinguished by, among other things, toits bourguignons made of tiles glazed in terracotta, green and black and arranged in geometric patterns. Dijon holds an Gastronomic Fair every year in autumn. With over 500 exhibitors and 200,000 visitors every year, it is one of the ten most important fairs in France.
Dijon is home, every three years, to the international flower show Florissimo. Dijon is famous for Dijon mustard which originated in 1856, when Jean Naigeon of Dijon substituted verjuice, the acidic "green" juice of not-quite-ripe grapes, for vinegar in the traditional mustard recipe; the historical centre of the city has been registered since July 4, 2015 as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The earliest archaeological finds within the city limits of Dijon date to the Neolithic period. Dijon became a Roman settlement called Divio, which may mean sacred fountain, located on the road from Lyon to Paris. Saint Benignus, the city's apocryphal patron saint, is said to have introduced Christianity to the area before being martyred; this province was home to the Dukes of Burgundy from the early 11th until the late 15th century, Dijon was a place of tremendous wealth and power and one of the great European centres of art and science. The Duchy of Burgundy was a key in the transformation of medieval times toward early modern Europe.
The Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy now houses a museum of art. In 1513, Swiss and Imperial armies invaded Burgundy and besieged Dijon, defended by the governor of the province, Louis II de la Trémoille; the siege was violent, but the town succeeded in resisting the invaders. After long negotiations, Louis II de la Trémoille managed to persuade the Swiss and the Imperial armies to withdraw their troops and to return three hostages who were being held in Switzerland. During the siege, the population called on the Virgin Mary for help and saw the town's successful resistance and the subsequent withdrawal of the invaders as a miracle. For those reasons, in the years following the siege the inhabitants of Dijon began to venerate Notre-Dame de Bon-Espoir. Although a few areas of the town were destroyed, there are nearly no signs of the siege of 1513 visible today. However, Dijon's museum of fine arts has a large tapestry depicting this episode in the town's history: it shows the town before all subsequent destruction and is an example of 16th-century art.
Dijon was occupied by anti-Napoleonic coalitions in 1814, by the Prussian army in 1870–71, by Nazi Germany beginning in June 1940, during WWII, when it was bombed by US Air Force B-17 Flying Fortresses, before the liberation of Dijon by the French Army and the French Resistance, 11 September 1944. Dijon is situated at the heart of a plain drained by two small converging rivers: the Suzon, which crosses it underground from north to south, the Ouche, on the southern side of town. Farther south is the hillside, of vineyards that gives the department its name. Dijon lies 310 km southeast of Paris, 190 km northwest of Geneva, 190 km north of Lyon; the average low of winter is −1 °C, with an average high of 4.2 °C. The average high of summer is 25.3 °C with an average low of 14.7 °C. Average normal temperatures are between 2.3 °C and 5.3 °C from November to March, 17.2 to 19.7 °C from June to August. The climate is oceanic but with a greater temperature range than closer to the Atlantic coastline. Dijon has a large number of churches, including Notre Dame de Dijon, St. Philibert, St. Michel, Dijon Cathedral, dedicated to the apocryphal Saint Benignus, the crypt of, over 1,000 years old.
The city has retained varied architectural styles from many of the main periods of the past millennium, including Capetian and Renaissance. Many still-inhabited town houses in the city's central district date from the 18th century and earlier. Dijon architecture is distinguished by, among other things, toits bourguignons made of tiles glazed in terracotta, green and black and arranged in geometric patterns. Dijon was spared the destruction of wars such as the 1870 Franco-Prussian War and the Second World War, despite the city being occupied. Therefore, many of the old buildings such as the half-timbered houses dating from the 12th to the 15th centuries are undamaged, at least by organized violence. Dijon is home to many museums, including the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon in part of the Ducal Palace, it contains, among other things, ducal kitchens dating back to the mid-15th century, a substantial collection of European art, from Roman times through the present. Am
Trenčín is a city in western Slovakia of the central Váh River valley near the Czech border, around 120 km from Bratislava. It has a population of more than 55,000, which makes it the eighth largest municipality of the country and is the seat of the Trenčín Region and the Trenčín District, it has Trenčín Castle, situated on a rock above the city. Trenčín was first mentioned under the Greek name Leukaristos, depicted on the Ptolemy world map around 150 CE. During the course of the Marcomannic Wars between the Roman Empire and Germanic Quadi, the Romans carved an inscription on the rock under the present-day castle in 179 CE and the place was mentioned as Laugaricio. For a long time it was considered the northernmost known presence of the Romans in Central Europe; the first written mentions in the Middle Ages are from 1111 and 1113. The name is derived from a personal name Trnka/Trenka with a possessive suffix -ín; the German and Polish forms are Trentschin, Trencsén and Trenczyn, respectively. The site of Trenčín has been inhabited since time immemorial.
Trenčín Castle, a typical medieval fortified castle is situated high on a rock above the city. Trenčín is best known for a Roman inscription on the rock below the Trenčín Castle dating from 179 AD, the era of the Marcomannic Wars, a series of wars between the Roman Empire and the Germanic Quadi and Marcomanni, it denotes the site as Laugaricio and for long time it was the most northern known evidence of the presence of Roman soldiers in central Europe. Trenčín is one of the suggested locations for the capital of Samo's Empire in the 7th century. Wogastisburg was located somewhere on the Vah river and was the site of a decisive battle between the Slavic and Frankish armies in 631, it is plausible. In the beginning of the 11th century, the region was controlled by king Bolesław I the Brave of Poland. In 1017, Stephen I of Hungary conquered the region which remained part of Hungary until 1918. By the end of the 11th century, the castle became the administrative centre of Trencsén county in the Kingdom of Hungary.
As one of the few stone castles in the country it resisted the disastrous invasion of Mongols in 1241. In 1263 Trenčín was in the possession of Jakab Cseszneky royal swordbearer, but in 1302 King Wenceslas I took it away from the Cseszneky brothers because they were supporting his rival Charles Robert, donated it to Matthew III Csák. Between 1302 and 1321 the castle was the seat of the powerful magnate Matthew Csák who controlled most of what is now Slovakia. Challenging the authority of king Charles Robert, Matthew Csák maintained a large court and pursued his own foreign policy; the Treaty of Trentschin between Bohemia and Poland was signed in the city in 1335. Trenčín gained a number of privileges during the Middle Ages: In 1324 the inhabitants were freed from paying tolls and the city received free royal town privileges in 1412 from King Sigismund. However, during the following decades and centuries there were catastrophes and wars which lasted until the end of the 18th century. During the conflict between the Habsburgs and the supporters of the rival king, János Szapolyai, the town was captured in 1528 by imperial troops.
In the 17th century the Ottomans were another threat from the south but they failed to conquer the city. The town suffered from the Kuruc uprising against the Habsburgs and on 3 August 1708 the Battle of Trenčín took place close to the city. Two years a plague killed 1,600 inhabitants of the city. In 1790 the town, along with the castle, was burned down and the castle has been in ruins since. In the 19th century Trenčín flourished, as the railways to Žilina and Bratislava were built and many new enterprises were established in the textile and machine industries; the town became the hub of the middle Považie region. In 1867 Trenčín was downgraded from a "free royal town" to a "town with municipal government" and came under the direct control of the chief of Trenčín county. Trenčín flourished again during the era of the first Czechoslovak republic and became the capital of the Trenčín county again between 1940–1945 when the Slovak Republic was in existence. Shortly after the Slovak National Uprising began, Trenčín was occupied by Nazi Germany and it became the headquarters of the Sicherheitsdienst and the Gestapo.
Trenčín was captured by the Romanian and Soviet troops on 10 April 1945. Since 1990, the historical centre of the city has been restored and since 1996 it has been the seat of Trenčín Region and Trenčín District; the castle and its Roman inscription have attracted tourism since. Trenčín lies at an altitude of 262 metres above sea level and covers an area of 82.0 square kilometres. It lies in the Trenčín Basin of north-western Slovakia, surrounded by the Strážov Mountains, Považský Inovec and White Carpathians, with the last mentioned being a protected area; the Váh River flows in the north-south axis. Trenčín has a continental climate with four distinct seasons, it is characterized by a significant variation between cold, snowy winters. The city is dominated by Trenčín Castle, the third-largest castle in Slovakia. Trenčín Castle is divided with extensive fortifications; the upper castle has several palace buildings which surround the central medieval tower, which remains the highest point of the city.
Below the castle
Colmar is the third-largest commune of the Alsace region in north-eastern France. It is the seat of the prefecture of the Haut-Rhin department and the arrondissement of Colmar-Ribeauvillé; the town is situated on the Alsatian Wine Route and considers itself to be the "capital of Alsatian wine". The city is renowned for its well-preserved old town, its numerous architectural landmarks, its museums, among, the Unterlinden Museum, with the Isenheim Altarpiece. Colmar was founded in the 9th century and is mentioned as Columbarium Fiscum by the monk Notker Balbulus in a text dated 823; this was the location where the Carolingian Emperor Charles the Fat held a diet in 884. Colmar was granted the status of a free imperial city by Emperor Frederick II in 1226. In 1354 it joined the Décapole city league. In 1548 Josel of Rosheim urged the Reichskammergericht court to repeal the Colmar market ban on Jewish merchants; the city adopted the Protestant Reformation in 1575, long after the northern neighbours of Strasbourg and Sélestat.
During the Thirty Years' War, it was taken by the Swedish army in 1632. In 1634 the Schoeman family started the first town library. In 1635 the city's harvest was spoiled by Imperialist forces while the residents shot at them from the walls; the city was conquered by France under King Louis XIV in 1673 and ceded by the 1679 Treaties of Nijmegen. With the rest of Alsace, Colmar was annexed by the newly formed German Empire in 1871 as a result of the Franco-Prussian War and incorporated into the Alsace-Lorraine province, it returned to France after World War I according to the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1940, reverted to French control after the battle of the "Colmar Pocket" in 1945. Colmar has been continuously governed by conservative parties since 1947, the Popular Republican Movement, the Union for French Democracy and the Union for a Popular Movement, has had only three mayors during that time; the Colmar Treasure, a hoard of precious objects hidden by Jews during the Black Death, was discovered here in 1863.
Colmar is 64 kilometres south-southwest of Strasbourg, at 48.08°N, 7.36°E, on the Lauch River, a tributary of the Ill. It is connected to the Rhine in the east by a canal. In 2013, the city had a population of 67,956, the metropolitan area of Colmar had a population of 126,957 in 2009. Colmar is the center of the arrondissement of Colmar-Ribeauvillé, which had 199,182 inhabitants in 2013. Colmar has a sunny microclimate and is one of the driest cities in France, with an annual precipitation of just 607 mm, making it ideal for Alsace wine, it is considered the capital of the Alsatian wine region. The dryness results from the town's location next to mountains, which force clouds arriving from the west to rise, much of their moisture to condense and fall as precipitation over the higher ground, leaving the air warmed and dried by the time it reaches Colmar. Spared from the destructions of the French Revolution and the wars of 1870–1871, 1914–1918 and 1939–1945, the cityscape of old-town Colmar is homogenous and renowned among tourists.
An area, crossed by canals of the river Lauch is now called "little Venice". Colmar's secular and religious architectural landmarks reflect eight centuries of Germanic and French architecture and the adaptation of their respective stylistic language to the local customs and building materials. Maison Adolph – 14th century Koïfhus known as Ancienne Douane – 1480 Maison Pfister – 1537. Ancien Corps de garde – 1575 Maison des Chevaliers de Saint-Jean – 1608 Maison des Têtes – 1609 Poêle des laboureurs – 1626 Ancien Hôpital – 1736–1744 Tribunal de grande instance – 1771 Hôtel de ville – 1790 Colmar prison –- 1791 a convent built in 1316. Cour d'Assises – 1840 Théâtre municipal – 1849 Marché couvert – 1865; the city's covered market, built in stone and cast iron, still serves today. Préfecture – 1866 Water tower – 1886. Oldest still preserved water tower in Alsace. Out of use since 1984. Gare SNCF – 1905 Cour d'appel – 1906 Église Saint-Martin – 1234–1365; the largest church of Colmar and one of the largest in Haut-Rhin.
Displays some early stained glass windows, several Gothic and Renaissance sculptures and altars, a grand Baroque organ case. The choir is surrounded by an ambulatory opening on a series of Gothic chapels, a unique feature in Alsatian churches. Église des Dominicains – 1289–1364. Now disaffected as a church, displays Martin Schongauer's masterwork La Vierge au buisson de roses as well as 14th century stained glass windows and baroque choir stalls; the adjacent convent buildings house a section of the municipal library. Église Saint-Matthieu – 13th century. Gothic and Renaissance stained glass windows and mural paintings, as well as a wooden and painted ceiling. Couvent des Antonins – 13th century. Disaffected church and convent buildings notable for a richly ornate cloister. Now housing the Unterlinden Museum. Église Sainte-Catherine – 1371. Disaffected church and convent buildings now used as an assembly festival venue. Chapelle
Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score points. The sport is known to be fast-paced and physical, with teams consisting of six players each: one goaltender, five players who skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team. Ice hockey is most popular in Canada and eastern Europe, the Nordic countries and the United States. Ice hockey is the official national winter sport of Canada. In addition, ice hockey is the most popular winter sport in Belarus, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Slovakia and Switzerland. North America's National Hockey League is the highest level for men's ice hockey and the strongest professional ice hockey league in the world; the Kontinental Hockey League is much of Eastern Europe. The International Ice Hockey Federation is the formal governing body for international ice hockey, with the IIHF managing international tournaments and maintaining the IIHF World Ranking.
Worldwide, there are ice hockey federations in 76 countries. In Canada, the United States, Nordic countries, some other European countries the sport is known as hockey. Ice hockey is believed to have evolved from simple stick and ball games played in the 18th and 19th century United Kingdom and elsewhere; these games were brought to North America and several similar winter games using informal rules as they were developed, such as "shinny" and "ice polo". The contemporary sport of ice hockey was developed in Canada, most notably in Montreal, where the first indoor hockey game was played on March 3, 1875; some characteristics of that game, such as the length of the ice rink and the use of a puck, have been retained to this day. Amateur ice hockey leagues began in the 1880s, professional ice hockey originated around 1900; the Stanley Cup, emblematic of ice hockey club supremacy, was first awarded in 1893 to recognize the Canadian amateur champion and became the championship trophy of the NHL. In the early 1900s, the Canadian rules were adopted by the Ligue Internationale de Hockey sur Glace, the precursor of the IIHF and the sport was played for the first time at the Olympics during the 1920 Summer Olympics.
In international competitions, the national teams of six countries predominate: Canada, Czech Republic, Russia and the United States. Of the 69 medals awarded all-time in men's competition at the Olympics, only seven medals were not awarded to one of those countries. In the annual Ice Hockey World Championships, 177 of 201 medals have been awarded to the six nations. Teams outside the "Big Six" have won only five medals in either competition since 1953; the World Cup of Hockey is organized by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association, unlike the annual World Championships and quadrennial Olympic tournament, both run by the International Ice Hockey Federation. World Cup games are played under NHL rules and not those of the IIHF, the tournament occurs prior to the NHL pre-season, allowing for all NHL players to be available, unlike the World Championships, which overlaps with the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs. Furthermore, all 12 Women's Olympic and 36 IIHF World Women's Championships medals were awarded to one of these six countries.
The Canadian national team or the United States national team have between them won every gold medal of either series. In England, field hockey has been called "hockey" and what was referenced by first appearances in print; the first known mention spelled as "hockey" occurred in the 1773 book Juvenile Sports and Pastimes, to Which Are Prefixed, Memoirs of the Author: Including a New Mode of Infant Education, by Richard Johnson, whose chapter XI was titled "New Improvements on the Game of Hockey". The 1573 Statute of Galway banned a sport called "'hokie'—the hurling of a little ball with sticks or staves". A form of this word was thus being used in the 16th century, though much removed from its current usage; the belief that hockey was mentioned in a 1363 proclamation by King Edward III of England is based on modern translations of the proclamation, in Latin and explicitly forbade the games "Pilam Manualem, Pedivam, & Bacularem: & ad Canibucam & Gallorum Pugnam". The English historian and biographer John Strype did not use the word "hockey" when he translated the proclamation in 1720, instead translating "Canibucam" as "Cambuck".
According to the Austin Hockey Association, the word "puck" derives from the Scottish Gaelic puc or the Irish poc. "... The blow given by a hurler to the ball with his camán or hurley is always called a puck." Stick-and-ball games date back to pre-Christian times. In Europe, these games included the Irish game of hurling, the related Scottish game of shinty and versions of field hockey. IJscolf, a game resembling colf on an ice-covered surface, was popular in the Low Countries between the Middle Ages and the Dutch Golden Age, it was played with a wooden curved bat, a wooden or leather ball and two poles, with t
Briançon is a commune in the Hautes-Alpes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department. At an altitude of 1,326 metres it is the highest city in France, based on the French definition as a community containing more than 2,000 inhabitants. Briançon's most recent population estimate is 11,645. Briançon is built on a plateau centred on the confluence of the Guisane rivers. Briançon was the Brigantium of the formed part of the kingdom of King Cottius. Brigantium was marked as the first place in Gallia after Alpis Cottia. At Brigantium the road branched, to the west through Grenoble on the Rhone. Both the Antonine Itinerary and the Table give the route from Brigantium to Vapincum; the Table places Brigantium 6 M. P. from Alpis Cottia. Strabo mentions the village Brigantium, on a road to Alpis Cottia, but his words are obscure. Ptolemy mentions people of Segusio, in Piedmont. Walckenaer justifies Ptolemy in this matter by supposing that he follows a description of Italy made before the new divisions of Augustus, which we know from Pliny.
Walckenaer supports his justification of Ptolemy by the Jerusalem Itinerary, which makes the Alpes Cottiae commence at Rama between Embrun and Briançon. In the 1040s it came into the hands of the counts of Albon and thenceforth shared the fate of the Dauphiné; the Briançonnais included not the upper valley of the Durance, but the valley of the Dora Riparia, that of the Chisone —these glens all lying on the eastern slope of the chain of the Alps. But by the Treaty of Utrecht all these valleys were handed over to Savoy in exchange for that of Barcelonnette, on the west slope of the Alps. In 1815 Briançon withstood a siege of three months at the hands of the Allies, a feat, commemorated by an inscription on one of its gates, Le passé répond de l'avenir; the historical centre is a fortified town, built by Vauban to defend the region from Austrians in the 17th century. Its streets are steep and narrow, though picturesque. Briançon lies at the foot of the descent from the Col de Montgenèvre, giving access to Turin, so a great number of other fortifications have been constructed on the surrounding heights towards the east.
The Fort Janus is no less than 1,200 m. above the town. The parish church, with its two towers, was built 1703–1726, occupies a conspicuous position; the Pont d'Asfeld, east of the town, was built in 1734, forms an arch of 40 m span, thrown at a height of 56 m across the Durance. The modern town extends in the plain at the southwest foot of the plateau on which the old town is built and forms the suburb of Ste Catherine. Briançon is close to the Vallée de la Clarée. On 8 July 2008, several buildings of Briançon were classified by the UNESCO as World Heritage Sites, as part of the "Fortifications of Vauban" group; these buildings are: the city walls, Redoute des Salettes, Fort des Trois-Têtes, Fort du Randouillet, ouvrage de la communication Y and the Asfeld Bridge. Along with Briançon, 11 other sites of fortified buildings in France were classified. Among them is the place-forte of Mont-Dauphin in the Hautes-Alpes department; these pieces of art were designed by Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, a military engineer of King Louis XIV.
Briançon features a humid continental climate. Winters are cold and snowy; the following people were either born in Briançon or lived there for a significant portion of their lives. Starting with Jacques Challiol, members of the Challiol family served as the Vice Bailiffs of the Briançonnais region for more than 400 years. Oronce Fine and cartographer Augustin Chenu, painter Emilie Carles, author Jules Melquiond, Alpine ski racer Henry Bréchu, Alpine ski racer Luc Alphand, Alpine ski racer Benjamin Melquiond, Alpine ski racer Nicolas Bonnet, ski mountaineer and runner. Laure Barthélémy, cross-country skier. Richard Jouve, cross-country skier. Briançon was the site of April, 2018 activism against illegal immigration by Generation Identity, the pan-European organization working to secure Europe's borders. Briançon is twinned with: Rosenheim, Germany Susa, Italy Briançon has hosted starts and finishes of stages of the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Dauphiné Libéré. In 2017 stage 18 of the Tour de France started here.
As Briançon has featured as a stage town in the Tour de France, it is a popular base for cyclists. Since 1947, the town has been the start point for a stage of the Tour 22 times, has been a stage finish 22 times. In 2007, the town was the finish of the 159.5 km stage 9 on 17 July from Val-d'Isère crossing the Col de l'Iseran, the Col du Télégraphe and the Col du Galibier with a 37 km downhill finish to Briançon. The Diables Rouges de Briançon play in the French top league. Briançon is situated around the confluence of the Durance river and its tributary the Guisane which are fed with snow melt in the Spring. Tourists come from around Europe to kayak and raft on the resultant whitewater river
Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa. It covers an area of around 274,200 square kilometres and is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north; the July 2018 population estimate by the United Nations was 19,751,651. Burkina Faso is a francophone country, with French as the official language of government and business. 40% of the population speaks the Mossi language. Called the Republic of Upper Volta, the country was renamed "Burkina Faso" on 4 August 1984 by then-President Thomas Sankara, its citizens are known as Burkinabé. Its capital is Ouagadougou; the Republic of Upper Volta was established on 11 December 1958 as a self-governing colony within the French Community, on 5 August 1960 it gained full independence, with Maurice Yaméogo as President. After protests by students and labour unions, Yaméogo was deposed in the 1966 coup d'état, led by Sangoulé Lamizana, who became President, his rule coincided with the Sahel drought and famine, facing problems from the country's traditionally powerful trade unions he was deposed in the 1980 coup d'état, led by Saye Zerbo.
Encountering resistance from trade unions again, Zerbo's government was overthrown in the 1982 coup d'état, led by Jean-Baptiste Ouédraogo. The leader of the leftist faction of Ouédraogo's government, Thomas Sankara, became Prime Minister but was imprisoned. Efforts to free him led to the popularly-supported 1983 coup d'état. Sankara renamed the country Burkina Faso and launched an ambitious socioeconomic programme which included a nationwide literacy campaign, land redistribution to peasants and road construction and the outlawing of female genital mutilation, forced marriages and polygamy. Sankara was overthrown and killed in the 1987 coup d'état led by Blaise Compaoré – deteriorating relations with former coloniser France and its ally the Ivory Coast were the reason given for the coup. In 1987, Blaise Compaoré became President and, after an alleged 1989 coup attempt, was elected in 1991 and 1998, elections which were boycotted by the opposition and received a low turnout, as well as in 2005.
He remained head of state until he was ousted from power by the popular youth upheaval of 31 October 2014, after which he was exiled to the Ivory Coast. Michel Kafando subsequently became the transitional President of the country. On 16 September 2015, a military coup d'état against the Kafando government was carried out by the Regiment of Presidential Security, the former presidential guard of Compaoré. On 24 September 2015, after pressure from the African Union, ECOWAS and the armed forces, the military junta agreed to step down, Michel Kafando was reinstated as Acting President. In the general election held on 29 November 2015, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré won in the first round with 53.5% of the vote and was sworn in as President on 29 December 2015. The 2018 CIA World Factbook provides this summary of the issues facing Burkina Faso. "The country experienced terrorist attacks in its capital in 2016, 2017 and 2018, continues to mobilize resources to counter terrorist threats". In 2018, several governments were warning their citizens not to travel into the northern part of the country and into several provinces in the East Region.
The CIA report states that "Burkina Faso's high population growth, recurring drought and perennial food insecurity, limited natural resources result in poor economic prospects for the majority of its citizens". The report is optimistic in some aspects concerning activities being done with assistance by the International Monetary Fund. "A new three-year IMF program, approved in 2018, will allow the government to reduce the budget deficit and preserve critical spending on social services and priority public investments". Called the Republic of Upper Volta, the country was renamed "Burkina Faso" on 4 August 1984 by then-President Thomas Sankara; the words "Burkina" and "Faso" both stem from different languages spoken in the country: "Burkina" comes from Mossi and means "upright", showing how the people are proud of their integrity, while "Faso" comes from the Dyula language and means "fatherland". The "bè" suffix added onto "Burkina" to form the demonym "Burkinabè" comes from the Fula language and means "men or women".
The CIA summarizes the etymology as "name translates as "Land of the Honest Men". The French colony of Upper Volta was named for its location on the upper courses of the Volta River; the northwestern part of present-day Burkina Faso was populated by hunter-gatherers from 14000 BC to 5000 BC. Their tools, including scrapers and arrowheads, were discovered in 1973 through archaeological excavations. Agricultural settlements were established between 3600 and 2600 BC; the Bura culture was an Iron-Age civilization centred in the southwest portion of modern-day Niger and in the southeast part of contemporary Burkina Faso. Iron industry, in smelting and forging for tools and weapons, had developed in Sub-Saharan Africa by 1200 BC. From the 3rd to the 13th centuries AD, the Iron Age Bura culture existed in the territory of present-day southeastern Burkina Faso and southwestern Niger. Various ethnic groups of present-day Burkina Faso, such as the Mossi and Dyula, arrived in successive waves between the 8th and 15th centuries.
From the 11th century, the Mossi people established several separate kingdoms. In the 1890s, during the European Scramble for Africa, the territory of Burkina Faso was invaded by France, colonial control was established following a wa