The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies in Europe, separating Southern from Central and Western Europe and stretching 1,200 kilometres across eight Alpine countries: France, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria and Slovenia. The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. Extreme shortening caused by the event resulted in marine sedimentary rocks rising by thrusting and folding into high mountain peaks such as Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. Mont Blanc spans the French–Italian border, at 4,810 m is the highest mountain in the Alps; the Alpine region area contains about a hundred peaks higher than 4,000 metres. The altitude and size of the range affects the climate in Europe. Wildlife such as ibex live in the higher peaks to elevations of 3,400 m, plants such as Edelweiss grow in rocky areas in lower elevations as well as in higher elevations. Evidence of human habitation in the Alps goes back to the Palaeolithic era.
A mummified man, determined to be 5,000 years old, was discovered on a glacier at the Austrian–Italian border in 1991. By the 6th century BC, the Celtic La Tène culture was well established. Hannibal famously crossed the Alps with a herd of elephants, the Romans had settlements in the region. In 1800, Napoleon crossed one of the mountain passes with an army of 40,000; the 18th and 19th centuries saw an influx of naturalists and artists, in particular, the Romantics, followed by the golden age of alpinism as mountaineers began to ascend the peaks. The Alpine region has a strong cultural identity; the traditional culture of farming and woodworking still exists in Alpine villages, although the tourist industry began to grow early in the 20th century and expanded after World War II to become the dominant industry by the end of the century. The Winter Olympic Games have been hosted in the Swiss, Italian and German Alps. At present, the region has 120 million annual visitors; the English word Alps derives from the Latin Alpes.
Maurus Servius Honoratus, an ancient commentator of Virgil, says in his commentary that all high mountains are called Alpes by Celts. The term may be common to Italo-Celtic, because the Celtic languages have terms for high mountains derived from alp; this may be consistent with the theory. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the Latin Alpes might derive from a pre-Indo-European word *alb "hill". Albania, a name not native to the region known as the country of Albania, has been used as a name for a number of mountainous areas across Europe. In Roman times, "Albania" was a name for the eastern Caucasus, while in the English languages "Albania" was used as a name for Scotland, although it is more derived from the Latin albus, the color white; the Latin word Alpes could come from the adjective albus. In modern languages the term alp, albe or alpe refers to a grazing pastures in the alpine regions below the glaciers, not the peaks. An alp refers to a high mountain pasture where cows are taken to be grazed during the summer months and where hay barns can be found, the term "the Alps", referring to the mountains, is a misnomer.
The term for the mountain peaks varies by nation and language: words such as Horn, Kopf, Spitze and Berg are used in German speaking regions. The Alps are a crescent shaped geographic feature of central Europe that ranges in a 800 km arc from east to west and is 200 km in width; the mean height of the mountain peaks is 2.5 km. The range stretches from the Mediterranean Sea north above the Po basin, extending through France from Grenoble, stretching eastward through mid and southern Switzerland; the range continues onward toward Vienna and east to the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia. To the south it dips into northern Italy and to the north extends to the southern border of Bavaria in Germany. In areas like Chiasso and Allgäu, the demarcation between the mountain range and the flatlands are clear; the countries with the greatest alpine territory are Austria, Italy and Switzerland. The highest portion of the range is divided by the glacial trough of the Rhône valley, from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa on the southern side, the Bernese Alps on the northern.
The peaks in the easterly portion of the range, in Austria and Slovenia, are smaller than those in the central and western portions. The variances in nomenclature in the region spanned by the Alps makes classification of the mountains and subregions difficult, but a general classification is that of the Eastern Alps and Western Alps with the divide between the two occurring in eastern Switzerland according to geologist Stefan Schmid, near the Splügen Pass; the highest peaks of the Western Alps and Eastern Alps are Mont Blanc, at 4,810 m and Piz Bernina at 4,049 metres. The second-highest major
The Rhineland is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly its middle section. The Rhinelands refers to a loosely defined region embracing the land on the banks of the Rhine in Central Europe, which were settled by Ripuarian and Salian Franks and became part of Frankish Austrasia. In the High Middle Ages, numerous Imperial States along the river emerged from the former stem duchy of Lotharingia, without developing any common political or cultural identity. A "Rhineland" conceptualization did not evolve until the 19th century after the War of the First Coalition, when a short-lived Cisrhenian Republic was established on territory conquered by French troops; the term covered the whole occupied zone west of the Rhine including the bridgeheads on the eastern banks. After the collapse of the French dominated West Bank in the early 19th century, the regions of Lower Rhine and Jülich-Cleves-Berg were annexed to the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1822 the Prussian administration reorganized the territory as the Rhine Province, a term continuing in the names of the German states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia.
Following the First World War, the western part of Rhineland was occupied by Entente forces demilitarized under the 1919 Treaty of Versailles and the 1925 Locarno Treaties. German forces remilitarized the territory in 1936, as part of a diplomatic test of will, three years before the outbreak of the Second World War. To the west the area stretches to the borders with Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Stretching down to the North Palatine Uplands in the south, this area, except for the Saarland, more or less corresponds with the modern use of the term; the southern and eastern parts are hill country, cut by river valleys, principally the Middle Rhine up to Bingen and its Ahr and Nahe tributaries. The border of the North German plain is marked by the lower Ruhr. In the south, the river cuts the Rhenish Massif; the area encompasses the western part of the Cologne Lowland. Some of the larger cities in the Rhineland are Aachen, Cologne, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Koblenz, Leverkusen, Mainz, Mönchengladbach, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Remscheid, Solingen and Wuppertal.
Toponyms as well as local family names trace back to the Frankish heritage. The lands on the western shore of the Rhine are characterized by Roman influence, including viticulture. In the core territories, large parts of the population are members of the Catholic Church. At the earliest historical period, the territories between the Ardennes and the Rhine were occupied by the Treveri, the Eburones and other Celtic tribes, however, were all more or less modified and influenced by their Germanic neighbors. On the East bank of the Rhine, between the Main and the Lahn, were the settlements of the Mattiaci, a branch of the Germanic Chatti, while farther to the north were the Usipetes and Tencteri. Julius Caesar conquered the Celtic tribes on the West bank, Augustus established numerous fortified posts on the Rhine, but the Romans never succeeded in gaining a firm footing on the East bank; as the power of the Roman empire declined the Franks pushed forward along both banks of the Rhine, by the end of the 5th century had conquered all the lands, under Roman influence.
The Frankish conquerors of the Rhenish districts were singularly little affected by the culture of the Roman provincials they subdued, all traces of Roman civilization were submerged. By the 8th century, the Frankish dominion was established in western Germania and northern Gaul. On the division of the Carolingian Empire at the Treaty of Verdun the part the province to the east of the river fell to East Francia, while that to the west remained with the kingdom of Lotharingia. By the time of Emperor Otto I both banks of the Rhine had become part of the Holy Roman Empire, in 959 the Rhenish territory was divided between the duchies of Upper Lorraine, on the Mosel, Lower Lorraine on the Meuse; as the central power of the Holy Roman Emperor weakened, the Rhineland split up into numerous small independent principalities, each with its separate vicissitudes and special chronicles. The old Lotharingian divisions became obsolete, while the Lower Lorraine lands were referred to as the Low Countries, the name of Lorraine became restricted to the region on the upper Moselle that still bears it.
After the Imperial Reform of 1500/12, the territory was part of the Lower Rhenish–Westphalian, Upper Rhenish, Electoral Rhenish Circles. Notable Rhenish Imperial States included: the ecclesiastical electorates of Cologne and Trier the duchies of Jülich and Berg, forming the United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg from 1521 the County of Sponheim and numerous further Imperial Counties the Free Imperial Cities of Aachen and Cologne. In spite of its dismembered condition and the sufferings it underwent at the hands of its French neighbors in various periods of warfare, the Rhenish territory prospered and stood in the foremost rank of German culture and progress. Aachen was the place of coronation of the German emperors, the ecclesiastical principalities of the Rhine played a large role in German history. At the Peace of Basel in 1795, the whole of the left bank of the Rhine was tak
The Vosges are a range of low mountains in eastern France, near its border with Germany. Together with the Palatine Forest to the north on the German side of the border, they form a single geomorphological unit and low mountain range of around 8,000 km2 in area, it runs in a north-northeast direction from the Burgundian Gate to the Börrstadt Basin, forms the western boundary of the Upper Rhine Plain. The Grand Ballon is the highest peak at 1,424 m, followed by the Storkenkopf, the Hohneck. Geographically, the Vosges Mountains are wholly in France, far above the Col de Saverne separating them from the Palatinate Forest in Germany; the latter area logically continues the same Vosges geologic structure but traditionally receives this different name for historical and political reasons. From 1871 to 1918 the Vosges marked for the most part the border between Germany and France, due to the Franco-Prussian War; the elongated massif is divided south to north into three sections: The Higher Vosges or High Vosges, extending in the southern part of the range from Belfort to the river valley of the Bruche.
The rounded summits of the Hautes Vosges are called ballons in French "balloons". The sandstone Vosges or Middle Vosges, between the Permian Basin of Saint-Die including the Devonian-Dinantian volcanic massif of Schirmeck-Moyenmoutier and the Col de Saverne The Lower Vosges or Low Vosges, a sandstone plateau ranging from 1,000 feet to 1,850 feet high, between the Col de Saverne and the source of the Lauter. In addition, the term "Central Vosges" is used to designate the various lines of summits those above 1,000 m in elevation; the French department of Vosges is named after the range. From a geological point of view, a graben at the beginning of the Paleogene period caused the formation of Alsace and the uplift of the plates of the Vosges, in eastern France, those in the Black Forest, in Germany. From a scientific view, the Vosges Mountains are not mountains as such, but rather the western edge of the unfinished Alsatian graben, stretching continuously as part of the larger Tertiary formations.
Erosive glacial action was the primary catalyst for development of the representative highland massif feature. The Vosges in their southern and central parts are called the Hautes Vosges; these consist of a large Carboniferous mountain eroded just before the Permian Period with gneiss, porphyritic masses or other volcanic intrusions. In the north and west, there are places less eroded by glaciers, here Vosges Triassic and Permian red sandstone remains are found in large beds; the grès vosgien are embedded sometimes up to more than 500 m in thickness. The Lower Vosges in the north are dislocated plates of various sandstones, ranging from 300 to 600 m high; the Vosges is similar to the corresponding range of the Black Forest on the other side of the Rhine: both lie within the same degrees of latitude, have similar geological formations, are characterized by forests on their lower slopes, above which are open pastures and rounded summits of a rather uniform altitude. Both areas exhibit steeper slopes towards the Rhine River and a more gradual descent on the other side.
This occurs because both the Vosges and the Black Forest were formed by isostatic uplift, in a response to the opening of the Rhine Graben. The Rhine Graben is a major extensional basin; when such basins form, the thinning of the crust causes uplift adjacent to the basin. The amount of uplift decreases with distance from the basin, causing the highest range of peaks to be adjacent to the basin, the lower mountains to stretch away from the basin; the highest points are in the Hautes Vosges: the Grand Ballon, in ancient times called Ballon de Guebwiller or Ballon de Murbach, rises to 1,424 m. The Col de Saales, between the Higher and Central Vosges, reaches nearly 579 m, both lower and narrower than the Higher Vosges, with Mont Donon at 1,008 m being the highest point of this Nordic section; the highest mountains and peaks of the Vosges are: Grand Ballon 1,424 m Storkenkopf 1,366 m Hohneck 1,363 m Kastelberg 1,350 m Klintzkopf 1,330 m Rothenbachkopf 1,316 m Lauchenkopf 1,314 m Batteriekopf 1,311 m Haut de Falimont 1,306 m Gazon du Faing 1,306 m Rainkopf 1,305 m Gazon du Faîte 1,303 m Ringbuhl 1,302 m Soultzereneck 1,302 m Le Tanet 1,292 m Petit Ballon 1,272 m Ballon d'Alsace 1,247 m Brézouard 1,229 m Ballon de Servance 1,216 m Drumont 1,200 m Planche des Belles Filles 1,148 m Molkenrain 1,123 m Champ du Feu 1,099 m Baerenkopf 1,074 m Rocher de Mutzig 1,010 m Donon 1,009 m Taennchel 992 m Climont 965 m Hartmannswillerkopf 956 m Chatte Pendue 902 m Ungersberg 901 m Tête du Coq
Pope Pius VII
Pope Pius VII, born Barnaba Niccolò Maria Luigi Chiaramonti, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 14 March 1800 to his death in 1823. Chiaramonti was a monk of the Order of Saint Benedict in addition to being a well-known theologian and bishop throughout his life. Chiaramonti was made Bishop of Tivoli in 1782, resigned that position upon his appointment as Bishop of Imola in 1785; that same year, he was made a cardinal. In 1789, the French Revolution took place, as a result a series of anti-clerical governments came into power in the country. In 1796, during the French Revolutionary Wars, French troops under Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Rome and took as prisoner Pope Pius VI, he was taken as prisoner to France, where he died in 1799. The following year, after a sede vacante period lasting six months, Chiaramonti was elected to the papacy, taking the name Pius VII. Pius at first attempted to take a cautious approach in dealing with Napoleon. With him he signed the Concordat of 1801, through which he succeeded in guaranteeing religious freedom for Catholics living in France, was present at his coronation as Emperor of the French in 1804.
In 1809, during the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon once again invaded the Papal States, resulting in his excommunication. Pius VII was transported to France, he remained there until 1814 when, after the French were defeated, he was permitted to return to Rome, where he was greeted warmly as a hero and defender of the faith. Pius lived the remainder of his life in relative peace, his papacy saw a significant growth of the Catholic Church in the United States, where Pius established several new dioceses. Pius VII died in 1823 at age 81. In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI began the process towards canonizing him as a saint, he was granted the title Servant of God. Barnaba Chiaramonti was born in Cesena in 1742, the youngest son of Count Scipione Chiaramonti (30 April 1698 - 13 September 1750, his mother, Giovanna Coronata, was the daughter of the Marquess Ghini. Though his family was of noble status, they were not wealthy but rather, were of middle-class stock, his maternal grandparents were Isabella de' conti Aguselli.
His paternal grandparents were Ottavia Maria Altini. His paternal great-great grandparents were Polissena Marescalchi, his siblings were Giacinto Ignazio and Ottavia. Like his brothers, he attended the Collegio dei Nobili in Ravenna but decided to join the Order of Saint Benedict at the age of 14 on 2 October 1756 as a novice at the Abbey of Santa Maria del Monte in Cesena. Two years after this on 20 August 1758, he became a professed member and assumed the name of Gregorio, he taught at Benedictine colleges in Parma and Rome, was ordained a priest on 21 September 1765. A series of promotions resulted after his relative, Giovanni Angelo Braschi was elected Pope Pius VI. A few years before this election occurred, in 1773, Chiaramonti became the personal confessor to Braschi. In 1776, Pius VI appointed the 34-year-old Dom Gregory, teaching at the Monastery of Sant'Anselmo in Rome, as honorary abbot in commendam of his monastery. Although this was an ancient practice, it drew complaints from the monks of the community, as monastic communities felt it was not in keeping with the Rule of St. Benedict.
In December 1782, the pope appointed Dom Gregory near Rome. Pius VI soon named him, in February 1785, the Cardinal-Priest of San Callisto, as the Bishop of Imola, an office he held until 1816; when the French Revolutionary Army invaded Italy in 1797, Cardinal Chiaramonti counseled temperance and submission to the newly created Cisalpine Republic. In a letter that he addressed to the people of his diocese, Chiaramonti asked them to comply "... in the current circumstances of change of government" to the authority of the victorious general Commander-in-Chief of the French army. In his Christmas homily that year, he asserted that there was no opposition between a democratic form of government and being a good Catholic: "Christian virtue makes men good democrats.... Equality is not an idea of philosophers but of Christ...and do not believe that the Catholic religion is against democracy." Following the death of Pope Pius VI, by virtually France's prisoner, at Valence in 1799, the conclave to elect his successor met on 30 November 1799 in the Benedictine Monastery of San Giorgio in Venice.
There were three main candidates, two of whom proved to be unacceptable to the Habsburgs, whose candidate, Alessandro Mattei, could not secure sufficient votes. However, Carlo Bellisomi was a candidate, though not favoured by Austrian cardinals. After several months of stalemate, Jean-Sifrein Maury proposed Chiaramonti as a compromise candidate. On 14 March 1800, Chiaramonti was elected pope not the choice of die-hard opponents of the French Revolution, took as his pontifical name Pius VII in honour of his immediate predecessor, he was crowned on 21 March in a rather unusual ceremony, wearing a papier-mâché papal tiara as the French had seized the tiaras held by the Holy See when occupying Rome and forcing Pius VI into exile. He left for Rome, sailing on a seaworthy Austrian ship, the Bellona, which lac
Leodegar of Poitiers was a martyred Burgundian Bishop of Autun. He was the brother of Saint Warinus. Leodegar was an opponent of Ebroin, the Frankish Mayor of the Palace of Neustria and the leader of the faction of Austrasian nobles in the struggle for hegemony over the waning Merovingian dynasty, his torture and death made him saint. Leodegar was the son of a high-ranking Burgundian nobleman, Count of Poitiers and Paris and Sigrada of Alsace, who became a nun at Sainte-Marie de Soissons, his brother was Warinus. He spent his childhood in Paris at the court of Clotaire II, King of the Franks and was educated at the palace school; when he was older he was sent to Poitiers, where there was a long-established cathedral school, to study under his maternal uncle, Bishop of Poitiers. At the age of 20 his uncle made him an archdeacon. Shortly afterwards he became a priest, in 650, with the bishop's permission, became a monk at the monastery of St Maxentius in Poitou, he was soon elected abbot, initiated reforms including the introduction of the Benedictine rule.
Around 656, about the time of the usurpation of Grimoald in Austrasia and the banishment of the boy-heir Dagobert II, Leodegar was called to the Neustrian court by the widowed Queen Bathilde to assist in the government of the united kingdoms and in the education of her children. In 659 he was named to the see of Autun, in Burgundy, he again undertook the work of reform and held a council at Autun in 661. The council was the first to adopt the Trinitarian Athanasian Creed, he made reforms among the secular clergy and in the religious communities, had three baptisteries erected in the city. The church of Saint-Nazaire was enlarged and embellished, a refuge established for the indigent. Leodegar caused the public buildings to be repaired and the old Roman walls of Autun to be restored, his authority at Autun placed him as a leader among the Franco-Burgundian nobles. Meanwhile, in 660 the Austrasian nobles demanded a king, young prince Childeric II was sent to them through the influence of Ebroin, the mayor of the palace in Neustria.
The queen withdrew, from a court, Ebroin's in all but name, to an abbey she had founded at Chelles, near Paris. On the death of King Clotaire III in 673, a dynastic struggle ensued, with rival claimants as pawns. Ebroin was interned at Theoderic sent to St. Denis. Leodegar remained at court. In 673 or 675, Leodegar was sent to Luxeuil; the cause, a protest against the marriage of Childeric and his first cousin, is a hagiographic convention. When Childeric II was murdered at Bondi in 673, by a disaffected Frank, Theoderic III was installed as king in Neustria, making Leudesius his mayor. Ebroin each took advantage of the chaos to hasten to the court. In a short time Ebroin caused Leudesius to be murdered and became mayor once again, still Leodegar's implacable enemy. About 675 the Duke of Champagne, the Bishop of Châlons-sur-Marne and the Bishop of Valence, stirred up by Ebroin, attacked Autun, Leodegar fell into their hands. At Ebroin's instigation, Leodegar's eyes were gouged out and the sockets cauterized, his tongue was cut out.
Some years Ebroin persuaded the king that Childeric had been assassinated at the instigation of Leodegar. The bishop was seized again, after a mock trial, was degraded and condemned to further exile, at Fécamp, in Normandy. Near Sarcing he was beheaded. A dubious testament drawn up at the time of the council of Autun has been preserved as well as the Acts of the council. A letter which he caused to be sent to his mother after his mutilation is extant. In 782, his relics were translated from the site of his death, Sarcing in Artois, to the site of his earliest hagiography – the Abbey of St Maxentius near Poitiers, they were removed to Rennes and thence to Ebreuil, which place took the name of Saint-Léger in his honour. Some relics are still kept in the Grand Séminaire of Soissons. In 1458 Cardinal Rolin caused his feast day to be observed as a holy day of obligation. For sources to his biography, there are two early Lives, drawn from the same lost source, two ones. There was a custom among wealthy British merchants to sell in May, spend the summer outside of London to return on St Leger's Day.
This gave rise to the saying used in regards to financial trading markets, "Sell in May and go away, come on back on St. Leger's Day". Liber Historiae Francorum List of Catholic saints This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "St. Leodegar". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. Liber Historiae Francorum, edited by B. Krusch, in MGH SS rer. Merov. Vol. ii. Passio Leudegarii I & II, edited by B. Krusch and W. Levison, in MGH SS rer. Merov. Vol v. Vita sancti Leodegarii, by Ursinus a monk of St Maixent Vita metrica in Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, vol. iii. Epistolae aevi Merovingici collectae 17, edited by W. Gundlach, in MGH EE vol iii. Adriaan Breukelaar. "Leodegar". In Bautz, Traugott. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexiko
Lyon is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located in the country's east-central part at the confluence of the rivers Rhône and Saône, about 470 km south from Paris, 320 km north from Marseille and 56 km northeast from Saint-Étienne. Inhabitants of the city are called Lyonnais. Lyon had a population of 513,275 in 2015, it is the capital of the region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. The Lyon metropolitan area had a population of 2,265,375 in 2014, the second-largest urban area in France; the city is known for its cuisine and gastronomy, historical and architectural landmarks. Lyon was an important area for the production and weaving of silk. Lyon played a significant role in the history of cinema: it is where Auguste and Louis Lumière invented the cinematograph, it is known for its light festival, the Fête des Lumières, which begins every 8 December and lasts for four days, earning Lyon the title of Capital of Lights. Economically, Lyon is a major centre for banking, as well as for the chemical and biotech industries.
The city contains a significant software industry with a particular focus on video games, in recent years has fostered a growing local start-up sector. Lyon hosts the international headquarters of Interpol, the International Agency for Research on Cancer and Euronews, it was ranked 19th globally and second in France for innovation in 2014. It ranked second in 39th globally in Mercer's 2015 liveability rankings. According to the historian Dio Cassius, in 43 BC, the Roman Senate ordered the creation of a settlement for Roman refugees of war with the Allobroges; these refugees had been expelled from Vienne and were now encamped at the confluence of the Saône and Rhône rivers. The foundation was built on Fourvière hill and called Colonia Copia Felix Munatia, a name invoking prosperity and the blessing of the gods; the city became referred to as Lugdunum. The earliest translation of this Gaulish place-name as "Desired Mountain" is offered by the 9th-century Endlicher Glossary. In contrast, some modern scholars have proposed a Gaulish hill-fort named Lugdunon, after the Celtic god Lugus, dúnon.
The Romans recognised that Lugdunum's strategic location at the convergence of two navigable rivers made it a natural communications hub. The city became the starting point of the principal Roman roads in the area, it became the capital of the province, Gallia Lugdunensis. Two Emperors were born in this city: Claudius, whose speech is preserved in the Lyon Tablet in which he justifies the nomination of Gallic Senators, Caracalla. Early Christians in Lyon were martyred for their beliefs under the reigns of various Roman emperors, most notably Marcus Aurelius and Septimius Severus. Local saints from this period include Blandina and Epipodius, among others. In the second century AD, the great Christian bishop of Lyon was Irenaeus. To this day, the archbishop of Lyon is still referred to as "Primat des Gaules". Burgundians fleeing the destruction of Worms by the Huns in 437 were re-settled at Lugdunum. In 443 the Romans established the Kingdom of the Burgundians, Lugdunum became its capital in 461.
In 843, by the Treaty of Verdun, Lyon went to the Holy Roman Emperor Lothair I. It was made part of the Kingdom of Arles. Lyon did not come under French control until the 14th century. Fernand Braudel remarked, "Historians of Lyon are not sufficiently aware of the bi-polarity between Paris and Lyon, a constant structure in French development...from the late Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution". In the late 15th century, the fairs introduced by Italian merchants made Lyon the economic counting house of France; the Bourse, built in 1749, resembled a public bazaar where accounts were settled in the open air. When international banking moved to Genoa Amsterdam, Lyon remained the banking centre of France. During the Renaissance, the city's development was driven by the silk trade, which strengthened its ties to Italy. Italian influence on Lyon's architecture is still visible among historic buildings. In the 1400s and 1500s Lyon was a key centre of literary activity and book publishing, both of French writers and of Italians in exile.
In 1572, Lyon was a scene of mass violence by Catholics against Protestant Huguenots in the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. Two centuries Lyon was again convulsed by violence when, during the French Revolution, the citizenry rose up against the National Convention and supported the Girondins; the city was besieged by Revolutionary armies for over two months before surrendering in October 1793. Many buildings were destroyed around the Place Bellecour, while Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois and Joseph Fouché administered the execution of more than 2,000 people; the Convention ordered that its name be changed to "Liberated City" and a plaque was erected that proclaimed "Lyons made war on Liberty. A decade Napoleon ordered the reconstruction of all the buildings demolished during this period; the Convention was not the only target within Lyon during the 1789-1799 French Revolution. After the National Convention faded into history, the French Directory appeared and days after the September 4, 1797, Coup of 18 Fructidor, a Directory's commissioner was assassinated in Ly
Marmoutier Abbey, Alsace
Marmoutier Abbey, otherwise Maursmünster Abbey, was a Benedictine monastery in the commune of Marmoutier in Alsace. The first foundation here, either in the late 6th century, or by Saint Leobard in 659, was a community of Irish monks under the Rule of St. Columbanus. Known as Aquileia, after the town in Italy, it was one of the Merovingian abbeys and a Reichsabtei. In 728 century Saint Pirmin reformed the Columban monasteries in Alsace, including this one, introducing to them the Rule of St. Benedict; the first abbot under the new rule was Maurus, from whom the place took the name of Maursmünster in German, of which Marmoutier is the French version. After two centuries of restriction and loss of income, the abbey, under Abbot Meinhard and his successors in the 12th century, enjoyed a long period of growth and prosperity, including the consolidation of the large territory. In the 12th century the abbey church of St. Stephen's was built, which still stands today as an imposing Romanesque church.
The west end, with its three massive towers, is striking. In the 13th and 14th centuries the abbey began to decline, becoming involved in long wrangles over its properties with the family of Geroldseck, lords of the town of Maursmünster, now Marmoutier, that had grown up round the abbey; the abbey was badly damaged during the German Peasants' War in 1525, when a mob ransacked the building and destroyed the library, again in the Thirty Years' War, when it suffered an invasion of Swedish soldiers in 1621. Under the Peace of Westphalia at the end of the war, Alsace was transferred to France; the latter part of the 17th century saw a revival of the abbey's fortunes, in the 18th century under abbots Anselm Moser and Placid Schweighäuser, re-building was undertaken, including the quire of the church in the 1760s. However, the French Revolution saw the dissolution of the monastery and the demolition or sale of all its buildings; the church survives as the parish church, other monastic buildings now serve as the presbytery and the mairie.
The church is located on the Route Romane d'Alsace. Will, R. 1966. Das romanische Elsass, pp. 143–211. Zodiaque. Goldinger, Walter, 1938. Die Verfassung des Klosters Maursmünster im Elsaß, in: Zeitschrift für die Geschichte des Oberrheins, 90, 1938. Alsace-Passion.com: St. Etienne's church, Marmoutier Pierre Camille Le Moine