Communauté d'agglomération du Pays Basque
The Communauté d'agglomération du Pays Basque, is the communauté d'agglomération, an intercommunal structure, centred on the cities of Bayonne and Biarritz. It is located in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, southwestern France, it was created in January 2017 by the merger of the former communauté de l'agglomération Côte Basque-Adour, communauté de l'agglomération Sud Pays Basque and eight communautés de communes. Its population was 309,723 of which 49,550 in Bayonne and 25,480 in Biarritz; the Communauté d'agglomération du Pays Basque consists of the following 158 communes
Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain; the United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered; the communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France. Communes vary in size and area, from large sprawling cities with millions of inhabitants like Paris, to small hamlets with only a handful of inhabitants. Communes are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes, the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers.
Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy. A commune is city, or other municipality. "Commune" in English has a historical bias, implies an association with socialist political movements or philosophies, collectivist lifestyles, or particular history. There is nothing intrinsically different between commune in French; the French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, for a large gathering of people sharing a common life. As of January 2015, there were 36,681 communes in France, 36,552 of them in metropolitan France and 129 of them overseas; this is a higher total than that of any other European country, because French communes still reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution. The whole territory of the French Republic is divided into communes.
This is unlike some other countries, such as the United States, where unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority can be found. There are only a few exceptions: COM of Saint-Martin, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. COM of Wallis and Futuna, which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. COM of Saint Barthélemy, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe region. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. Furthermore, two regions without permanent habitation have no communes: TOM of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 was 14.88 square kilometres. The median area of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was smaller, at 10.73 square kilometres. The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than that of most European countries. In Italy, the median area of communes is 22 km2. Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France; the communes of France's overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards. They group into the same commune several villages or towns with sizeable distances among them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes; the median population of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. Again this is a small number, here France stands apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries; this small median population of French communes can be compared with Italy, where the median population of communes in 2001 was 2,343 inhabitants, Belgium, or Spain.
The median population given here should not hide the fact that there are pronounced differences in size between French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a hamlet of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a few hundred inhabitants. In metropolitan France just over 50 percent of the 36,683 communes have fewer than 500 inhabitants a
Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in south-western France close to Ostabat in the Pyrenean foothills. The town is the old capital of the traditional Basque province of Lower Navarre. Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is a starting point for the French Way Camino Francés, the most popular option for travelling the Camino de Santiago; the town lies on the river Nive, 8 km from the Spanish border, is the head town of the region of Cize. The town's layout is one main street with sandstone walls encircling. Saint-Jean-le-Vieux Ossès Baigorri Estérençuby Luzaide/Valcarlos The original town at nearby Saint-Jean-le-Vieux was razed to the ground in 1177 by the troops of Richard the Lionheart after a siege; the Kings of Navarre refounded the town on its present site shortly afterwards. The town was thereafter a town of the Kingdom of Navarre, the seat of the sheriff of the Lower Navarre district, it remained as such up to the period of the Spanish conquest when King Henry II of Navarre decided to transfer the seat of the royal institutions to Saint Palais on safety grounds.
The town has traditionally been an important point on the Way of St. James, the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, as it stands at the base of the Roncevaux Pass across the Pyrenees. Pied-de-Port means'foot of the pass' in Pyrenean French; the routes from Paris, Vézelay and Le Puy-en-Velay meet at Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and it was the pilgrims' last stop before the arduous mountain crossing. In 1998, the Porte St-Jacques was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites as part of the sites along the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France; the cobbled rue de la Citadelle runs down hill and over the river from the fifteenth century Porte St-Jacques to the Porte d'Espagne by the bridge. From the bridge, there are views of the old houses with balconies overlooking the Nive. Many of the buildings are old, built of pink and grey schist, retain distinctive features, including inscriptions over their doors. One, a bakery, lists the price of wheat in 1789; the 14th century red schist Gothic church, Notre-Dame-du-Bout-du-Pont, stands by the Porte d'Espagne.
The original was built by Sancho the Strong of Navarre to commemorate the 1212 Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa where Moorish dominance of Spain was undermined. Above the town at the top of the hill is the citadel, remodelled by Vauban in the 17th century. Outside the walls is a new town, with a pelota fronton. Traditional crafts and foods remain in the town, including Basque linen from the Inchauspé family since 1848; the town is now an important tourist centre for the Pyrenees and the French Basque country and there are shops and hotels. St-Jean-Pied-de-Port specializes in fromage de brebis, an Ossau-Iraty cheese, local trout and pipérade omelette with peppers and Bayonne ham. Mondays see a large market, with sheep and cattle driven into the town. At 5pm, there is a communal game of bare-handed pelote at the fronton. There are large fairs four times a year. Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is the terminus on the railway line from Bayonne through the French Basque Country, along the valley of the river Nive, with several services each day.
It is 1 km from the centre of the town. Biarritz Airport is the closest airport to Saint Jean Pied de Port. Bernard Etxepare, writer of first printed book in Basque. Juan Huarte de San Juan and psychologist was born there. Charles Floquet, born in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, French lawyer and statesman. Imanol Harinordoquy, French international rugby union player, grew up in the town. Communes of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department INSEE commune file Official website Tourist office website Webpage about the fortifications
Pyrénées-Atlantiques is a department in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, in southwestern France. It takes its name from the Atlantic Ocean, it covers the Béarn. Named Basses-Pyrénées, it is one of the first 83 departments of France created during the French Revolution, on 4 March 1790, it was created out of parts belonging to the former greater province of Guyenne and Gascony, as well as the Béarn-Navarre, i.e. the Basques provinces of Basse-Navarre, Labourd and Soule, Béarn. The 1790 administrative design brought about the end of native laws; the Basque third-estate representatives overtly opposed the new administrative layout since it suppressed their institutions and laws. The representatives of Lower Navarre refused to vote arguing that they were not part of the Kingdom of France, those of Soule voted against, while the brothers Garat, representing Labourd voted yes, thinking that would give them a say in upcoming political decisions. On 10 October 1969, Basses-Pyrénées was renamed Pyrénées-Atlantiques.
Pyrénées-Atlantiques is part of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of Southwest France. It is bordered by Hautes-Pyrénées, Gers departments and the Bay of Biscay. Principal settlements include Pau, Oloron-Sainte-Marie, Biarritz, Anglet, Saint-Jean-de-Luz and Hendaye. Lac Gentau is located here. Pyrénées-Atlantiques, a border province, has cultivated a number of economic and cultural links with Spain. Two urban concentrations exist in the east and west of the département: Pau, which has 145,000 inhabitants, 344,000 workers in the local area. Both the Gascon Bearnese variant and Basque language are indigenous to the region in their respective districts. Gascon in turn is a dialect of Occitan the main language of southern France, it is more related to Catalan than it is to French. Basque is a language isolate, not related to any known language. Today, the sole official language of the French Republic, is the predominant native language and is spoken by all inhabitants. Pyrénées-Atlantiques is home to a number of professional sports teams, including Aviron Bayonnais, Biarritz Olympique, Section Paloise, Élan Béarnais Pau-Orthez and Pau FC.
The Pau Grand Prix, an auto race first held in 1901, has hosted the World Touring Car Championship, British Formula Three, Formula 3 Euro Series and FIA European Formula 3 Championship. The coat of arms of Pyrénées-Atlantiques combines those of four traditional provinces: Béarn Labourd Lower Navarre Soule Arrondissements of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department Cantons of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department Communes of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department General Council website Archives of the Pyrenees-Atlantiques department website Photography Panoramics 360° website Prefecture official website Pyrenees-Atlantiques at Curlie Pyrenees-Atlantiques Monuments, Villages and Attractions Information on living and visiting Pyrenees Atlantiques
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
French Basque Country
The French Basque Country, or Northern Basque Country is a region lying on the west of the French department of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. Since 1 January 2017, it constitutes the Basque Municipal Community presided over by Jean-René Etchegaray, it includes three former historic French provinces in the north-east of the traditional Basque Country totalling 2,869 km2: Lower Navarre, until 1789 nominally Kingdom of Navarre, with 1,284 km2. The population included in the Basque Municipal Community amounts to 295,970 inhabitants distributed in 158 municipalities, it is delimited in the north by the department of Landes, in the west by the Bay of Biscay, in the south by the Southern Basque Country and in the east by Béarn, the eastern part of the department. Bayonne and Biarritz are its chief towns, included in the Basque Eurocity Bayonne-San Sebastián Euroregion, it is a popular tourist destination and is somewhat distinct from neighbouring parts of either France or the southern Basque Country, since it was not industrialized as Biscay or Gipuzkoa and remained agricultural and a beach destination.
The present-day territory was inhabited by the Tarbelli and the Sibulates, tribal divisions of the Aquitani. When Caesar conquered Gaul he found all the region south and west of the Garonne inhabited by a people known as the Aquitani, who were not Celtic and are modernly regarded as Basques. In the early Roman times, the region was first known as Aquitania, when the name Aquitania was extended until the Loire river, as Novempopulania or Aquitania Tertia. After the Basque rebellions against Roman feudalism in the late 4th and 5th century, the area formed part of the independent Duchy of Vasconia, a blur ethnic polity stretching south of the Garonne River that broke up from the 8th to 9th century following the Carolingian expansion, the pressure of Norman raids and feudalism; the County of Vasconia was created extending around the Adour River. In this period northern Basques participated in the successive battles of Roncevaux against the Franks, in 778, 812 and 824. Count Sans Sancion detached from the Franks and became the independent commander of Vasconia, but got involved in the Carolingian dynastic wars over succession after taking over Bordeaux, supporting the young Pepin II to the throne of Aquitaine.
He became Duke of Vasconia after submitting to Charles the Bald. At this point, Basque language was losing ground to vulgar and written Latin and was confined to the lands around the Pyrénées. Since 963, the town Saint-Sever is mentioned as "caput vasconiae", interpreted by some as "limit of Vasconia", while others take it as "prominence of Vasconia" on account of its location on a hill overlooking the plains of Vasconia; the lands to the south of the Adour became Labourd, encompassing a bigger region than the territory around the Nive and the coast. In 1020 Gascony ceded its jurisdiction over Labourd also including Lower Navarre, to Sancho the Great of Pamplona; this monarch made it a Viscounty in 1023. The area became disputed by the Angevin Dukes of Aquitaine until 1191 when Sancho the Wise and Richard Lionheart agreed to divide the country, Labourd remaining under Angevin sovereignty and Lower Navarre under Navarrese control. Meanwhile, Soule was constituted as an independent viscounty supported by Navarre against the pretensions of the Counts of Béarn, though at times it admitted a certain Angevin overlordship.
With the end of the Hundred Years' War and Soule passed to the Crown of France as autonomous provinces. After the conquest of Upper Navarre by Castile in 1512–21, the still independent north-Pyrenean part of Navarre took the lead of the Huguenot party in the French Wars of Religion. In this time the Bible was first translated into the Basque language. Henry III of Navarre became King of France but kept Navarre as a formally independent state, until in 1620–24 this separation was suppressed. In 1634, Axular gives in his literary work Gero a rough description of the extent of Basque at the time, with the language comprising all the provinces now known as Basque Country "and so many other places". After Axular's accomplished book, other Basque writing authors followed suit in Labourd, a district thriving on whale hunting. In 1579 an important handbook for navigation was published by Martin Oihartzabal, the Navigational pilot offering guidance and useful landmarks found in Newfoundland and other Basque traditional fisheries.
In 1677 it was translated to Basque by Pierre Etxeberri. However, during the 17 and 18th century that activity saw a gradual decline as the English took over from the Basques; the three Northern Basque provinces still enjoyed considerable autonomy until the French Revolution suppressed it radically, as it did elsewhere in France creating the department of Basses-Pyrénées, half Basque and half Gascon. Third estate representatives of the Basques provinces attending the Estates-General of 1789 and the following national assemblies in Paris rejected the imposition of an alien political-administrative design, regarding the events with a blend of disbelief and indignation; the brothers Garat, representatives of Labourd, defended against a hostile audience the specificity of their province a