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
Gironde is a department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwest France. It is named after a major waterway; the Bordeaux wine region is in the Gironde. Gironde is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790, it was created from parts of the former provinces of Gascony. From 1793 to 1795, the department's name was changed to Bec-d'Ambès to avoid the association with the revolutionary party, the Girondists. Gironde is part of the current region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and is surrounded by the departments of Landes, Lot-et-Garonne and Charente-Maritime and the Atlantic Ocean on the west. With an area of 10,000 km², Gironde is the largest department in metropolitan France. If overseas departments are included, Gironde's land area is dwarfed by the 83,846 km² of French Guiana. Gironde is well known for the Côte d'Argent beach, Europe's longest, attracting many surfers to Lacanau each year, it is the birthplace of Jacques-Yves Cousteau who studied the sea and all forms of life in water.
The Great Dune of Pyla in Arcachon Bay near Bordeaux is the tallest sand dune in Europe. The President of the General Council is Jean-Luc Gleyze of the Socialist Party. Cantons of the Gironde department Communes of the Gironde department Arrondissements of the Gironde department Bordeaux wine regions General Council website Prefecture website Gironde at Curlie Tourism Office website
Departments of France
In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, five are overseas departments, which are classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; each department is administered by an elected body called a departmental council. From 1800 to April 2015, these were called general councils; each council has a president. Their main areas of responsibility include the management of a number of social and welfare allowances, of junior high school buildings and technical staff, local roads and school and rural buses, a contribution to municipal infrastructures. Local services of the state administration are traditionally organised at departmental level, where the prefect represents the government; the departments were created in 1790 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces with a view to strengthen national unity.
All of them were named after physical geographical features, rather than after historical or cultural territories which could have their own loyalties. The division of France into departments was a project identified with the French revolutionary leader the Abbé Sieyès, although it had been discussed and written about by many politicians and thinkers; the earliest known suggestion of it is from 1764 in the writings of d'Argenson. They have inspired similar divisions in some of them former French colonies. Most French departments are assigned a two-digit number, the "Official Geographical Code", allocated by the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques. Overseas departments have a three-digit number; the number is used, for example, in the postal code, was until used for all vehicle registration plates. While residents use the numbers to refer to their own department or a neighbouring one, more distant departments are referred to by their names, as few people know the numbers of all the departments.
For example, inhabitants of Loiret might refer to their department as "the 45". In 2014, President François Hollande proposed to abolish departmental councils by 2020, which would have maintained the departments as administrative divisions, to transfer their powers to other levels of governance; this reform project has since been abandoned. The first French territorial departments were proposed in 1665 by Marc-René d'Argenson to serve as administrative areas purely for the Ponts et Chaussées infrastructure administration. Before the French Revolution, France gained territory through the annexation of a mosaic of independent entities. By the close of the Ancien Régime, it was organised into provinces. During the period of the Revolution, these were dissolved in order to weaken old loyalties; the modern departments, as all-purpose units of the government, were created on 4 March 1790 by the National Constituent Assembly to replace the provinces with what the Assembly deemed a more rational structure.
Their boundaries served two purposes: Boundaries were chosen to break up France's historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences and build a more homogeneous nation. Boundaries were set so that every settlement in the country was within a day's ride of the capital of a department; this was a security measure, intended to keep the entire national territory under close control. This measure was directly inspired by the Great Terror, during which the government had lost control of many rural areas far from any centre of government; the old nomenclature was avoided in naming the new departments. Most were named after other physical features. Paris was in the department of Seine. Savoy became the department of Mont-Blanc; the number of departments 83, had been increased to 130 by 1809 with the territorial gains of the Republic and of the First French Empire. Following Napoleon's defeats in 1814–1815, the Congress of Vienna returned France to its pre-war size and the number of departments was reduced to 86.
In 1860, France acquired the County of Nice and Savoy, which led to the creation of three new departments. Two were added from the new Savoyard territory, while the department of Alpes-Maritimes was created from Nice and a portion of the Var department; the 89 departments were given numbers based on the alphabetical order of their names. The department of Bas-Rhin and parts of Meurthe, Moselle and Haut-Rhin were ceded to the German Empire in 1871, following France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. A small part of Haut-Rhin became known as the Territoire de Belfort; when France regained the ceded departments after World War I, the Territoire de Belfort was not re-integrated into Haut-Rhin. In 1922, it became France's 90th department; the Lorraine departments were not changed back to their original boundaries, a new Moselle department was created in the regaine
Subprefectures in France
In France, a subprefecture is the administrative center of a departmental arrondissement that does not contain the prefecture for its department. The term applies to the building that houses the administrative headquarters for an arrondissement; the civil servant in charge of a subprefecture is the subprefect, assisted by a general secretary. Between May 1982 and February 1988, subprefects were known instead by the title commissaire adjoint de la République. Where the administration of an arrondissement is carried out from a prefecture, the general secretary to the prefect carries out duties equivalent to those of the subprefect; the municipal arrondissements of Paris and Marseille are divisions of the city rather than the prefecture, so are not arrondissements in the same sense. List of subprefectures of France List of arrondissements of France
Lacanau is a commune in the Gironde department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France. Lacanau is a surfing area. Lacanau is a member of the Community of Municipalities Médoc's Lakes which includes the municipalities of Lacanau and Hourtin: the territory Médoc Océan: http://www.medococean.co.uk/ The United States Navy established a naval air station at NAS 001 Le Moutchic on 31 August 1917 to operate seaplanes during World War I. The base closed shortly after the First Armistice at Compiègne. Communes of the Gironde department INSEE Official website of the tourist office Médoc Océan Official Facebook of the tourist office Médoc Océan Official Twitter of the tourist office Médoc Océan Official Youtube of the tourist office Médoc Océan Official Flicker of the tourist office Médoc Océan Lacanauocean.com
Carcans is a commune in the Gironde department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France. Carcans is a member of the Community of Municipalities Médoc's Lakes which includes the municipalities of Lacanau and Hourtin. Communes of the Gironde department INSEE Official site Official website of the tourist office Médoc Océan Facebook tourist office Médoc Océan Youtube channel tourist office Médoc Océan Twitter tourist office Médoc Océan Flickr tourist office Médoc Océan
Cussac-Fort-Médoc is a commune in the Gironde department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France. Fort Médoc in Cussac-Fort-Médoc, together with several buildings in nearby Blaye, was listed in 2008 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of the "Fortifications of Vauban" group. Communes of the Gironde department INSEE