A custom house or customs house was a building housing the offices for the government officials who processed the paperwork associated with importing and exporting goods into and out of a country. Customs officials collected customs duty on imported goods; the custom house was located in a seaport or in a city on a major river, with access to the ocean. These cities acted as a port of entry into a country; the government stationed officials at such locations to regulate commerce. Due to advances in electronic information systems, the increased volume of international trade, the introduction of air travel, the term "custom house" is now an historical anachronism. There are many examples of buildings around the world that were used as custom houses but have since been converted for other uses, such as museums or civic buildings. In the United Kingdom, since 1386, the phrase custom house has been in use over the term customs house; this was after a "Custom House" was erected at Wool Wharf in Tower Ward, to contain just the officials of the Great Custom on Wool and Woolfells.
The singular form was used though in years the Custom House was the location of other Customs officials as well. Customs broking Philadelphia Customs House Custom House, Leith
Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Grand Est region of France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department. In 2016, the city proper had 279,284 inhabitants and both the Eurométropole de Strasbourg and the Arrondissement of Strasbourg had 491,409 inhabitants. Strasbourg's metropolitan area had a population of 785,839 in 2015, making it the ninth largest metro area in France and home to 13% of the Grand Est region's inhabitants; the transnational Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau had a population of 915,000 inhabitants in 2014. Strasbourg is one of the de facto capitals of the European Union, as it is the seat of several European institutions, such as the Council of Europe and the Eurocorps, as well as the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman of the European Union; the city is the seat of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine and the International Institute of Human Rights.
Strasbourg's historic city centre, the Grande Île, was classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, the first time such an honour was placed on an entire city centre. Strasbourg is immersed in Franco-German culture and although violently disputed throughout history, has been a cultural bridge between France and Germany for centuries through the University of Strasbourg the second largest in France, the coexistence of Catholic and Protestant culture, it is home to the largest Islamic place of worship in France, the Strasbourg Grand Mosque. Economically, Strasbourg is an important centre of manufacturing and engineering, as well as a hub of road and river transportation; the port of Strasbourg is the second largest on the Rhine after Germany. Before the 5th century, the city was known as Argantorati, a Celtic Gaulish name Latinized first as Argentorate, as Argentoratum; that Gaulish name is a compound of -rati, the Gaulish word for fortified enclosures, cognate to the Old Irish ráth, arganto-, the Gaulish word for silver, but any precious metal gold, suggesting either a fortified enclosure located by a river gold mining site, or hoarding gold mined in the nearby rivers.
After the 5th century, the city became known by a different name Gallicized as Strasbourg. That name is of Germanic origin and means "Town of roads"; the modern Stras- is cognate to the German Straße and English street, all of which are derived from Latin strata, while -bourg is cognate to the German Burg and English borough, all of which are derived from Proto-Germanic *burgz. Gregory of Tours was the first to mention the name change: in the tenth book of his History of the Franks written shortly after 590 he said that Egidius, Bishop of Reims, accused of plotting against King Childebert II of Austrasia in favor of his uncle King Chilperic I of Neustria, was tried by a synod of Austrasian bishops in Metz in November 590, found guilty and removed from the priesthood taken "ad Argentoratensem urbem, quam nunc Strateburgum vocant", where he was exiled. Strasbourg is situated at the eastern border of France with Germany; this border is formed by the Rhine, which forms the eastern border of the modern city, facing across the river to the German town Kehl.
The historic core of Strasbourg however lies on the Grande Île in the river Ill, which here flows parallel to, 4 kilometres from, the Rhine. The natural courses of the two rivers join some distance downstream of Strasbourg, although several artificial waterways now connect them within the city; the city lies in the Upper Rhine Plain, at between 132 metres and 151 metres above sea level, with the upland areas of the Vosges Mountains some 20 km to the west and the Black Forest 25 km to the east. This section of the Rhine valley is a major axis of north–south travel, with river traffic on the Rhine itself, major roads and railways paralleling it on both banks; the city is some 397 kilometres east of Paris. The mouth of the Rhine lies 450 kilometres to the north, or 650 kilometres as the river flows, whilst the head of navigation in Basel is some 100 kilometres to the south, or 150 kilometres by river. In spite of its position far inland, Strasbourg's climate is classified as oceanic, but a "semicontinental" climate with some degree of maritime influence in relation to the mild patterns of Western and Southern France.
The city has warm sunny summers and cool, overcast winters. Precipitation is elevated from mid-spring to the end of summer, but remains constant throughout the year, totaling 631.4 mm annually. On average, snow falls 30 days per year; the highest temperature recorded was 38.5 °C in August 2003, during the 2003 European heat wave. The lowest temperature eve
Gothic architecture is a style that flourished in Europe during the High and Late Middle Ages. It was succeeded by Renaissance architecture. Originating in 12th-century France, it was used for cathedrals and churches, until the 16th century, its most prominent features included the use of the rib vault and the flying buttress, which allowed the weight of the roof to be counterbalanced by buttresses outside the building, giving greater height and more space for windows. Another important feature was the extensive use of stained glass, the rose window, to bring light and color to the interior. Another feature was the use of realistic statuary on the exterior over the portals, to illustrate biblical stories for the illiterate parishioners; these technologies had all existed in Romanesque architecture, but they were used in more innovative ways and more extensively in Gothic architecture to make buildings taller and stronger. The first notable example is considered to be the Abbey of Saint-Denis, near Paris, whose choir and facade were reconstructed with Gothic features.
The choir was completed in 1144. The style appeared in some civic architecture in northern Europe, notably in town halls and university buildings. A Gothic revival began in mid-18th-century England, spread through 19th century Europe and continued for ecclesiastical and university structures, into the 20th century. Gothic architecture was known during the period as opus francigenum, The term "Gothic architecture" originated in the 16th century, was very negative, suggesting barbaric. Giorgio Vasari used the term "barbarous German style" in his 1550 Lives of the Artists to describe what is now considered the Gothic style, in the introduction to the Lives he attributed various architectural features to "the Goths" whom he held responsible for destroying the ancient buildings after they conquered Rome, erecting new ones in this style; the Gothic style originated in the Ile-de-France region of northern France in the first half of the 12th century. A new dynasty of French Kings, the Capetians, had subdued the feudal lords, had become the most powerful rulers in France, with their capital in Paris.
They allied themselves with the bishops of the major cities of northern France, reduced the power of the feudal abbots and monasteries. Their rise coincided with an enormous growth of the population and prosperity of the cities of northern France; the Capetian Kings and their bishops wished to build new cathedrals as monuments of their power and religious faith. The church which served as the primary model for the style was the Abbey of St-Denis, which underwent reconstruction by the Abbot Suger, first in the choir and the facade, Suger was a close ally and biographer of the French King, Louis VII, a fervent Catholic and builder, the founder of the University of Paris. Suger remodeled the ambulatory of the Abbey, removed the enclosures that separated the chapels, replaced the existing structure with imposing pillars and rib vaults; this created higher and wider bays, into which he installed larger windows, which filled the end of the church with light. Soon afterwards he rebuilt the facade, adding three deep portals, each with a tympanum, an arch filled with sculpture illustrating biblical stories.
The new facade was flanked by two towers. He installed a small circular rose window over the central portal; this design became the prototype for a series of new French cathedrals. Sens Cathedral was the first Cathedral to be built in the new style. Other versions of the new style soon appeared in Noyon Cathedral; the Gothic style was adapted by some French monastic orders, notably the Cistercian order under Saint Bernard of Clairvaux It was used in an austere form without ornament at the new Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay and the church of Clairvaux Abbey, whose site is now occupied by a French prison. The new style was copied outside the Kingdom of France in the Duchy of Normandy. Early examples of Norman Gothic included Coutances Cathedral. Through the rule of the Angevin dynasty, the new style was introduced to England and spread from there to Low Countries, Spain, northern Italy and Sicily; the Gothic style did not replace the Romanesque everywhere in Europe. The Late Romanesque continued to flourish in the Holy Roman Empire under the Hohenstaufens and Rhineland.
From the end of the 12th century until the middle of the 13th century, the gothic style spread from the Île-de-France to appear in other cities of northern France. New structures in the style included Chartres Cathedral; the early type of rib vault used of Saint Denis and Notre Dame, with six parts, was modified to four parts, making it simpler and stronger. Amiens and Chartres were among the first to use the flying buttress. At Reims, the buttresses were given greater weight and strength by the addition of heavy stone pinnacles on top; these were decorated with statues of ange
Ministry of Culture (France)
The Ministry of Culture is the ministry of the Government of France in charge of national museums and the monuments historiques. Its goal is to maintain the French identity through the promotion and protection of the arts on national soil and abroad, its budget is dedicated to the management of the Archives Nationales and the regional Maisons de la culture. Its main office is in the Palais-Royal in the 1st arrondissement of Paris on the Rue de Valois, it is headed by the Minister of a cabinet member. The current position holder is Franck Riester, since 16 October 2018. Deriving from the Italian and Burgundian courts of the Renaissance, the notion that the state had a key role to play in the sponsoring of artistic production and that the arts were linked to national prestige was found in France from at least the 16th century on. During the pre-revolutionary period, these ideas are apparent in such things as the creation of the Académie française, the Académie de peinture et de sculpture and other state-sponsored institutions of artistic production, through the cultural policies of Louis XIV's minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert.
The modern post of Minister of Culture was created by Charles de Gaulle in 1959 and the first Minister was the writer André Malraux. Malraux was responsible for realizing the goals of the droit à la culture, an idea, incorporated in the Constitution of France and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, by democratising access to culture, while achieving the Gaullist aim of elevating the "grandeur" of post-war France. To this end, he created numerous regional cultural centres throughout France and sponsored the arts. Malraux's artistic tastes included the modern arts and the avant-garde, but on the whole he remained conservative. Under president François Mitterrand the Minister of Culture was Jack Lang who showed himself to be far more open to popular cultural production, including jazz and roll, rap music, graffiti art, comic books and food, his famous phrase "économie et culture, même combat" is representative of his commitment to cultural democracy and to active national sponsorship and participation in cultural production.
In addition to the creation of the Fête de la Musique and overseeing the French Revolution bicentennial, he was in charge of the massive architectural program of the François Mitterrand years that gave permission for the building of the Bibliothèque nationale, the new Louvre, the Arab World Institute, the Musée d'Orsay, the Opéra-Bastille, the "Grande Arche" of La Défense, the new seat of the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance, the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre, the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie and Cité de la Musique, both in the Parc de la Villette. The Ministry of Jacques Toubon was notable for a number of laws enacted for the preservation of the French language, both in advertisements and on the radio, ostensibly in reaction to the presence of English; the following people were appointed as Minister of Culture of France: Since the French constitution does not identify specific ministers, each government may label each ministry as they wish, or have a broader ministry in charge of several governmental sectors.
Hence, the ministry has gone through a number of different names: The Ministry of Culture is made up of a variety of internal divisions, including: Direction de l'administration générale Direction de l'architecture et du patrimoine - in charge of national monuments and heritage Inventaire général du patrimoine culturel - maintains extensive databases of historical sites and objects. See Base Mérimée, Base Palissy and Monument historique. Direction des archives de France - in charge of the National Archives Direction du livre et de la lecture - in charge of French literature and the book trade Direction de la musique, de la danse, du théâtre et des spectacles - in charge of music and theater Direction des Musées de France - in charge of the National museumsThe Ministry has access to one inter-ministerial division: Direction du développement des médias in charge of developing and expanding the French media The Ministry runs three "delegations": Délégation aux arts plastiques - in charge of the visual and sculptural arts Délégation au développement et aux affaires internationales - in charge of international affairs and French art Délégation générale à la langue française et aux langues de France - in charge of the French language and languages of FranceFinally, the Ministry shares in the management of the National Centre of Cinema, a public institution.
The Alliance française is run by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. For more on the organization of the Ministry, see Ministry of Culture. On the national level, the Ministry runs: Regional Cultural Affairs Departmental Architecture and Monuments Departmental Archives under the direction of the depart
Grande Île (Strasbourg)
The Grande Île is an island that lies at the historic centre of the city of Strasbourg in France. Its name means "Large Island", derives from the fact that it is surrounded on one side by the main channel of the Ill River and on the other side by the Canal du Faux-Rempart, a canalised arm of that river. Grand Île was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. At the time, the International Council on Monuments and Sites noted that Grand Île is "an old quarter that exemplifies medieval cities". Grande Île is sometimes referred to as "ellipse insulaire" because of its shape, it measures some 1.25 kilometres by 0.75 kilometres at broadest. At the centre of the island lies Place Kléber, the city's central square. Further south is Strasbourg Cathedral, the world's fourth-tallest church and an ornate example of 15th-century Gothic architecture. At the western end of the island is the quarter of Petite France, the former home of the city's tanners and fishermen, now one of Strasbourg's main tourist attractions.
The Grande Île houses the former fluvial customs house Ancienne Douane. Besides the cathedral, the Grande Île is home to four other centuries-old churches: St. Thomas, St. Pierre-le-Vieux, St. Pierre-le-Jeune, St. Étienne. Being the historical center of Strasbourg and the seat of local secular power, it houses the city's most imposing 18th-century hôtels particuliers and palaces, including the Palais Rohan, the Hôtel de Hanau, Hôtel des Deux-Ponts, Hôtel de Klinglin, Hôtel d'Andlau-Klinglin, Hôtel de Neuwiller, among many others; the island is home to the Episcopal palace of the Archdiocese of Strasbourg. To mark Grande Île's status as a World Heritage Site, 22 brass plates were placed on the bridges giving access to the island. UNESCO