France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. 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, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, 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 leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Nice is the seventh most populous urban area in France and the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes département. The metropolitan area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits, with a population of about 1 million on an area of 721 km2. Located in the French Riviera, on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, at the foot of the Alps, Nice is the second-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast and the second-largest city in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region after Marseille. Nice is 13 kilometres from the principality of Monaco and 30 kilometres from the French-Italian border. Nice's airport serves as a gateway to the region; the city is nicknamed Nice la Belle, which means Nice the Beautiful, the title of the unofficial anthem of Nice, written by Menica Rondelly in 1912. The area of today's Nice contains Terra Amata, an archaeological site which displays evidence of a early use of fire. Around 350 BC, Greeks of Marseille founded a permanent settlement and called it Nikaia, after Nike, the goddess of victory.
Through the ages, the town has changed hands many times. Its strategic location and port contributed to its maritime strength. For centuries it was a dominion of Savoy, was part of France between 1792 and 1815, when it was returned to the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia until its re-annexation by France in 1860; the natural environment of the Nice area and its mild Mediterranean climate came to the attention of the English upper classes in the second half of the 18th century, when an increasing number of aristocratic families took to spending their winters there. The city's main seaside promenade, the Promenade des Anglais owes its name to visitors to the resort; the clear air and soft light have appealed to notable painters, such as Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Niki de Saint Phalle and Arman. Their work is commemorated in many of the city's museums, including Musée Marc Chagall, Musée Matisse and Musée des Beaux-Arts. Nice has the second largest hotel capacity in the country and it is one of its most visited cities, receiving 4 million tourists every year.
It has the third busiest airport in France, after the two main Parisian ones. It is the historical capital city of the County of Nice; the first known hominid settlements in the Nice area date back about 400,000 years. Nice was founded around 350 BC by the Greeks Phoceans of Massalia, was given the name of Nikaia in honour of a victory over the neighbouring Ligurians; the city soon became one of the busiest trading ports on the Ligurian coast. The ruins of Cemenelum are in Cimiez, now a district of Nice. In the 7th century, Nice joined. In 729 the city repulsed the Saracens. During the Middle Ages, Nice participated in the wars and history of Italy; as an ally of Pisa it was the enemy of Genoa, both the King of France and the Holy Roman Emperor endeavoured to subjugate it. During the 13th and 14th centuries the city fell more than once into the hands of the Counts of Provence, but it regained its independence though related to Genoa; the medieval city walls surrounded the Old Town. The landward side was protected by the River Paillon, covered over and is now the tram route towards the Acropolis.
The east side of the town was protected by fortifications on Castle Hill. Another river flowed into the port on the east side of Castle Hill. Engravings suggest that the port area was defended by walls. Under Monoprix in Place de Garibaldi are excavated remains of a well-defended city gate on the main road from Turin. In 1388 the commune placed itself under the protection of the Counts of Savoy. Nice participated – directly or indirectly – in the history of Savoy until 1860; the maritime strength of Nice now increased until it was able to cope with the Barbary pirates. In 1561 Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy abolished the use of Latin as an administrative language and established the Italian language as the official language of government affairs in Nice. During the struggle between Francis I and Charles V great damage was caused by the passage of the armies invading Provence. In 1538, in the nearby town of Villeneuve-Loubet, through the mediation of Pope Paul III, the two monarchs concluded a ten years' truce.
In 1543, Nice was attacked by the united Franco-Ottoman forces of Francis I and Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha, in the Siege of Nice. Pestilence appeared again in 1550 and 1580. In 1600, Nice was taken by the Duke of Guise. By opening the ports of the county to all nations, proclaiming full freedom of trade, the commerce of the city was given great stimulu
Stade de la Beaujoire
The Stade de la Beaujoire - Louis Fonteneau, or "Stade de la Beaujoire", is a stadium in Nantes, France. It is the home of the FC Nantes football club; the stadium opened for the first time on May 1984, for a friendly game: FC Nantes - Romania. It was named after Louis Fonteneau, President of FC Nantes between 1969-1986, it was renovated for the World Cup. While its original capacity was 52,923, in 1998, it was converted to an all-seater stadium and its current capacity is 38,128; the team played at Stade Marcel Saupin. The stadium hosts international rugby matches, including France against New Zealand on November 15, 1986. In September 2007, it hosted three pool matches of the 2007 Rugby World Cup: Wales vs Canada on September 9, England vs Samoa on September 22 and Wales vs Fiji on September 29. In domestic rugby, La Beaujoire hosted both Top 14 semifinal matches in 2013, Paris-area Top 14 side Racing Métro 92 will play their final "home" match of the 2013–14 season against Clermont at La Beaujoire on April 19, 2014.
La Beaujoire hosted matches during the UEFA Euro 1984, including a 5-0 victory for France over Belgium. Six matches were played there during the 1998 FIFA World Cup, including the quarter-final between Brazil and Denmark; the stadium was not selected for the UEFA Euro 2016. The France national football team have played here on four occasions, most 2007 in a EURO 2008 qualifying match against Lithuania; the stadium has hosted musical concerts including: 1982 - AC/DC 1983 - The Police 1984 - Yes 1985 - Phil Collins 1987 - Genesis 1988 - Pink Floyd 1991 - Sting 1992 - Dire Straits 1993 - U2, with Urban Dance Squad & Utah Saints 2003 - Eminem A new stadium named YellowPark will be inaugurated on 2022 and replace the Stade de la Beaujoire, which will be demolished for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris and the 2023 Rugby World Cup. The stadium was one of the venues of the 1998 FIFA World Cup, held the following matches
Lens is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in northern France. It is one of the main towns of Hauts-de-France along with Lille, Amiens, Tourcoing and Douai; the inhabitants are called Lensois. Lens belongs to the intercommunality of Lens-Liévin, which consists of 36 communes, with a total population of 250,000. Lens, along with Douai, forms the metropolitan area of Douai-Lens, whose population at the 1999 census was 552,682. Lens was a fortification from the Norman invasions. In 1180, it was owned by the Count of Flanders, sovereignty was exercised by the Crown of France. In the 13th century, Lens received a charter from Louis VIII of France, allowing it to become a city; the Flemish razed the city in 1303. Prior to this, the city's population relied on its markets. In 1526, Lens was made part of the Spanish Netherlands under the ownership of the French monarchy, only passed back to France on 7 November 1659 with the Treaty of the Pyrenees. In 1849, coal was discovered in Lens after surveys were carried out at Annay, Courrières and Loos-en-Gohelle.
This led to the expansion of the city into an important industrial center. The Lens Mining Company was founded in experienced large profits; the city was destroyed in the First World War and half of the population perished. The Gare de Lens railway station, built in 1927, is served by regional trains towards Lille, Douai, Dunkirk and Valenciennes. In World War II, the Allies bombarded the city from the air. Nine kilometres from Lens, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial was opened in 1936, dedicated to the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the First World War Canadian soldiers who lost their lives during the war; the centennial commemoration of the Battle of Vimy Ridge was held at the Memorial on 9 April 2017. The official ceremony included comments from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Governor General David Johnston as representative of the Monarchy of Canada, Prince Charles as representative of the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the President of France François Hollande, the Prime Minister of France Bernard Cazeneuve.
The last coal mine in Lens closed in 1986. Since 2012, Lens has been the location of the Louvre-Lens art museum. Lens is connected with high speed trains to Paris. Football club RC Lens plays in the town, their stadium, Stade Bollaert-Delelis, was used for UEFA Euro 1984, the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016 and the 1999 Rugby World Cup and the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Stade Bollaert-Delelis Communes of the Pas-de-Calais department Category:Counts of Lens Institut de génie informatique et industriel INSEE commune file Official web site Communauté d'Agglomeration of Lens-Liévin
History of the Rugby World Cup
The first Rugby World Cup was held in 1987, hosted by Australia and New Zealand who pushed for the tournament to be approved. Since the first tournament, 7 others have been held at four-year intervals; the 2015 tournament was won by New Zealand, the cup was held from 19 September 2015 till 31 October 2015. It was held in Wales. Apart from regular test matches and touring sides, tournaments that resembled a world cup format – albeit not of its scale, but in terms of international nations competing, are competitions such as the Summer Olympics and the Home Nations Championship/Five Nations Championship. Rugby union was played at the Summer Olympics on four occasions, 1900, 1908, 1920 and 1924; these competitions did not involve full national sides, only had three or four participating nations at any individual event. The International Championship/Five Nations, now the Six Nations Championship, has been played since 1883, it is one of the oldest international rugby tournaments, involving only European nations.
There are several stories that depict suggestions of staging a rugby union world cup before the 1980s. One of the earliest known pioneers was Harold Tolhurst, an Australian player who would become a referee, it has been said. It has been said that in 1968, the International Rugby Board made it known that it did not want its unions to be a part of such a competition that resembled a world cup. Similar ideas arose during the last years of the pre-WC era. Bill McLaughlin, the president of the Australian Rugby Union in 1979, suggested the idea of staging a World Cup in 1988, as the event would coincide with Australia's bicentenary celebrations. In 1982, Neil Durden-Smith suggested that the world cup should be held in the United Kingdom in the mid-1980s; the IRB discussed the proposal in March 1983. Another meeting was held in June 1983, where Australia put forth a proposal that would see them host the first event – if it should happen. New Zealand joined the campaign; the IRB went on to conduct a feasibility study – Australia and New Zealand joined forces to bid for the hosting of an inaugural World Cup.
A subsequent IRFB meeting was held in Paris in March 1985. It is known that all four home nations were opposed to the idea, the most vocal supporters were Australia, New Zealand and France, it is believed that South Africa's decision to vote in favour of the event was the turning point in the voting. South Africa voted in favour of the tournament going ahead, though they knew they would not be competing due to the sports boycott at the time. South Africa's vote saw; the 1987 Rugby World Cup was hosted by both New Zealand. 32 matches were played from over a period of 22 May to 20 June. The tournament featured one African nation, three American nations, one Asian nation, seven European nations and four Oceanic nations. One notable omission was the Springboks who were not competing due to the international sports boycott. Seven places were automatically filled by the IRFB members, with invitations being sent out to fill remaining places. In total there were 16 nations in the competition. France played Australia in one of the semi-finals with New Zealand playing Wales in the other.
New Zealand became the first Rugby World Cup Champions, defeating France 29 points to 9 at Eden Park in Auckland. The 1991 Rugby World Cup was hosted by Great Britain and France, with the tournament final to be played at the home of English rugby, Twickenham. For the first time, a qualifying tournament replaced the used invitation format; the qualifying tournament involved 32 teams. England qualified for the final by defeating Scotland at Murrayfield, with Australia joining them by defeating New Zealand the day after. Australia won the final, defeating England 12–6, became the first nation to win the cup away from home; the 1995 Rugby World Cup was hosted by South Africa, was the first time that all matches would be played in just a single country. It was the first time that South Africa participated in the tournament following the end of their international sports boycott due to the apartheid regime. South Africa won the tournament. Joel Stransky kicked a drop-goal in extra time to grab the victory for South Africa.
The All Blacks were mysteriously struck down with food poisoning just days before the final with many All Blacks still affected on the day of the final. Nelson Mandela, wearing a Springbok jersey and matching cap, famously presented the Webb Ellis Cup to South African captain Francois Pienaar; the tournament saw the emergence of rugby's first global superstar, All Blacks winger Jonah Lomu. He and Marc Ellis finished the tournament as the top try scorers; the 1999 Rugby World Cup was hosted by Wales with matches played in England, France and Ireland. There were further changes to the rules of automatic qualification for this tournament, where only the top three places from 1995, along with the host nation, automatically qualified. Sixty-five rugby nations participated in qualifying competitions for the 1999 tournament, the participating nations increased from 16 to 20. France's shock 43–31 semifinal win over the All Blacks is regarded as one of the biggest upsets and one of the best games in the history of the World Cup.
Australia defeated France in the final 35–12. They therefore became the first nation to win the World Cup twice; the 2003 World Cup was hosted by Australia. It was to be co-hosted with New Zealand, but disagreements over scheduling and signage at venues led to Australia goin
South Africa the Republic of South Africa, is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation, it is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status; the remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European and multiracial ancestry. South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures and religions, its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, the fourth highest number in the world. Two of these languages are of European origin: Afrikaans developed from Dutch and serves as the first language of most coloured and white South Africans.
The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état, regular elections have been held for a century. However, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994. During the 20th century, the black majority sought to recover its rights from the dominant white minority, with this struggle playing a large role in the country's recent history and politics; the National Party imposed apartheid in 1948. After a long and sometimes violent struggle by the African National Congress and other anti-apartheid activists both inside and outside the country, the repeal of discriminatory laws began in 1990. Since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups have held political representation in the country's liberal democracy, which comprises a parliamentary republic and nine provinces. South Africa is referred to as the "rainbow nation" to describe the country's multicultural diversity in the wake of apartheid; the World Bank classifies South Africa as an upper-middle-income economy, a newly industrialised country.
Its economy is the second-largest in Africa, the 34th-largest in the world. In terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa; however and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed and living on less than US$1.25 a day. South Africa has been identified as a middle power in international affairs, maintains significant regional influence; the name "South Africa" is derived from the country's geographic location at the southern tip of Africa. Upon formation, the country was named the Union of South Africa in English, reflecting its origin from the unification of four separate British colonies. Since 1961, the long form name in English has been the "Republic of South Africa". In Dutch, the country was named Republiek van Zuid-Afrika, replaced in 1983 by the Afrikaans Republiek van Suid-Afrika. Since 1994, the Republic has had an official name in each of its 11 official languages. Mzansi, derived from the Xhosa noun umzantsi meaning "south", is a colloquial name for South Africa, while some Pan-Africanist political parties prefer the term "Azania".
South Africa contains human-fossil sites in the world. Archaeologists have recovered extensive fossil remains from a series of caves in Gauteng Province; the area, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been branded "the Cradle of Humankind". The sites include one of the richest sites for hominin fossils in the world. Other sites include Gondolin Cave Kromdraai, Coopers Cave and Malapa. Raymond Dart identified the first hominin fossil discovered in Africa, the Taung Child in 1924. Further hominin remains have come from the sites of Makapansgat in Limpopo Province and Florisbad in the Free State Province, Border Cave in KwaZulu-Natal Province, Klasies River Mouth in Eastern Cape Province and Pinnacle Point and Die Kelders Cave in Western Cape Province; these finds suggest that various hominid species existed in South Africa from about three million years ago, starting with Australopithecus africanus. There followed species including Australopithecus sediba, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, Homo rhodesiensis, Homo helmei, Homo naledi and modern humans.
Modern humans have inhabited Southern Africa for at least 170,000 years. Various researchers have located pebble tools within the Vaal River valley. Settlements of Bantu-speaking peoples, who were iron-using agriculturists and herdsmen, were present south of the Limpopo River by the 4th or 5th century CE, they displaced and absorbed the original Khoisan speakers, the Khoikhoi and San peoples. The Bantu moved south; the earliest ironworks in modern-day KwaZulu-Natal Province are believed to date from around 1050. The southernmost group was the Xhosa people, whose language incorporates certain linguistic traits from the earlier Khoisan people; the Xhosa reached the Great Fish River, in today's Eastern Cape Province. As they migrated, these larger Iron Age populations