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
Jacques-François Blondel was an 18th-century French architect and teacher. After running his own successful school of architecture for many years, he was appointed Professor of Architecture at the Académie Royale d'Architecture in 1762, his Cours d'architecture superseded a titled book published in 1675 by his famous namesake, François Blondel, who had occupied the same post in the late 17th century. Born in Rouen, he trained under his uncle Jean-François Blondel, architect of Rouen. Jacques-François was in Paris by 1726 and continued his studies with Gilles-Marie Oppenord, from whom he acquired a knowledge of rococo, he worked with Jean Mariette, contributing to the latter's L'Architecture françoise, as a writer and as an architectural engraver. Blondel developed into a conservative and thorough architect, whose rationally ordered mind consolidated French classical tradition and practice, his first independent publication was the hugely influential encyclopedic work, De la Distribution des Maisons de Plaisance, et de la Décoration des Edifices en General, issued at Paris, 1737–38.
It contained 155 engraved plates. His Distribution des Maisons de Plaisance and other engraved work attracted a commission to produce thirteen of the engravings for the festival book commemorating the fêtes that celebrated the wedding of Madame Elizabeth of France with Dom Philippe of Spain, published in 1740; that same year he opened his own private school in Paris, the École des Arts, sanctioned by the Académie in 1743. In the ensuing years a long sequence of architects profited from his discourse: Boullée, Chalgrin, La Guêpière, Desprez, de Wailly, Ledoux and Rondelet, to foreigners who would bring Neoclassicism home with them: the Anglo-Swedish Sir William Chambers, the Dane Caspar Frederik Harsdorff. "Blondel was the most significant French architectural educator of the eighteenth century.....his objective was to establish design principles for domestic architecture that correspond to the classical principles in practice for civil structures". In his clear and rational Architecture françoise, a four-volume work published from 1752 to 1756, he covered the past century and more of French buildings in and near Paris, setting them in their historical context and providing a wealth of detailed information that would otherwise have been lost.
In the preface, he remarked, "I have used simple terms and a popular style with the intention of being understood by layman and artist alike. He planned eight volumes, but only the first four were published; the work brought him to official notice. Though his executed body of work was small confined to work he executed at Metz under commission of the duc de Choiseul, his approach was soundly grounded: for Diderot's Encyclopédie he wrote the article on masonry, as well as architecture, contributed nearly 500 articles between 1751 and his death in 1774. In 1762, he was appointed Professor of Architecture at the Académie, closing his own school and introducing his comprehensive curriculum to the Académie, his Cours d'architecture ou traité de la décoration, distribution et constructions des bâtiments contenant les leçons données en 1750, et les années suivantes began appearing in 1771 and ran to nine volumes by 1777, a volume of plates to each two volumes of text. His Cours d'architecture is sometimes referred to as the "Petit Blondel" to distinguish it from the "Grand Blondel", his Architecture françoise.
Blondel's practical, encyclopedic approach ignoring the excesses of Rococo, had survived changes in taste and remained in the mainstream of French architectural training for several decades more. Blondel married Marie Anne Garnier in 1729, their son, Georges-François Blondel, born in 1730, became an architectural engraver. They had a daughter, Claudine Angelique. After his first wife's death in 1755, Jacques-François married Manon Balletti in 1760, their son, Jean-Baptiste Blondel, who became an architect for the city of Paris, was born in 1764. During his final illness, Jacques-François requested to be taken to his classrooms at the Louvre, where he died surrounded by his books, his architectural models, his students. Notes Sources Arnold, Dana. "Blondel" in Turner 1998, vol. 4, pp. 162–165. Braham, Allan; the Architecture of the French Enlightenment. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 9780520067394. Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Blondel, Jacques François". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press.
Colognola, Rita. "Jacques-François Blondel". Antiquariaat Papyrus. Retrieved January 3, 2012. Harrington, Kevin. "Blondel, Jacques-François" in Placzek 1982, vol. 1, pp. 220–223. Hermann, Wolfgang. "Blondel, François" in Placzek 1982, vol. 1, pp. 216–219. The Mark J. Millard Architectural Collection: French Books 1993. ISBN 0-8076-1281-2 Placzek, Adolf K. editor. Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects. New York: Collier Macmillan Publishing. ISBN 9780029250006. Schwab, Richard N.. Inventory of Diderot's Encyclopédie. VII. Inventory of the plates, with a study of the contributors to the Encyclopédie by John Lough. Oxford: The Voltaire Foundation at The Tayor Institution. ISBN 9780729403108. Smith, Benjamin Eli; the Century Cyclopedia of Names. New York: The Century Co. View at Google Books. Smith, Edward R.. "The Topographical Evolution o
Jean Arp or Hans Arp was a German-French sculptor, painter and abstract artist in other media such as torn and pasted paper. Arp was born in Strasbourg, the son of a French mother and a German father, during the period following the Franco-Prussian War when the area was known as Alsace-Lorraine after France had ceded it to in 1871. Following the return of Alsace to France at the end of World War I, French law determined that his name become Jean. Arp would continue referring to himself as "Hans". In 1904, after leaving the École des Arts et Métiers in Strasbourg, he went to Paris where he published his poetry for the first time. From 1905 to 1907, Arp studied at the Kunstschule in Weimar, in 1908 went back to Paris, where he attended the Académie Julian. Arp was a founder-member of the Moderne Bund in Lucerne, participating in their exhibitions from 1911 to 1913. In 1912, he went to Munich, called on Wassily Kandinsky, the influential Russian painter and art theorist, was encouraged by him in his researches and exhibited with the Der Blaue Reiter group.
That year, he took part in a major exhibition in Zürich, along with Henri Matisse, Robert Delaunay and Kandinsky. In Berlin in 1913, he was taken up by Herwarth Walden, the dealer and magazine editor, at that time one of the most powerful figures in the European avant-garde. In 1915, he moved to Switzerland to take advantage of Swiss neutrality. Arp told the story of how, when he was notified to report to the German consulate in Zurich, he pretended to be mentally ill in order to avoid being drafted into the German Army: after crossing himself whenever he saw a portrait of Paul von Hindenburg, Arp was given paperwork on which he was told to write his date of birth on the first blank line. Accordingly, he wrote "16/9/87". Hans Richter, describing this story, noted that "they believed him." In 1916, Hugo Ball opened the Cabaret Voltaire, to become the center of Dada activities in Zurich for a group that included Arp, Marcel Janco, Tristan Tzara, others. In 1920, as Hans Arp, along with Max Ernst and the social activist Alfred Grünwald, he set up the Cologne Dada group.
However, in 1925, his work appeared in the first exhibition of the surrealist group at the Galérie Pierre in Paris. In 1926, Arp moved to the Paris suburb of Meudon. In 1931, he broke with the Surrealist movement to found Abstraction-Création, working with the Paris-based group Abstraction-Création and the periodical, Transition. Beginning in the 1930s, the artist expanded his efforts from collage and bas-relief to include bronze and stone sculptures, he produced several small works made of multiple elements that the viewer could pick up, rearrange into new configurations. Throughout the 1930s and until the end of his life, he published essays and poetry. In 1942, he fled from his home in Meudon to escape German occupation and lived in Zürich until the war ended. Arp visited New York City in 1949 for a solo exhibition at the Buchholz Gallery. In 1950, he was invited to execute a relief for the Harvard University Graduate Center in Cambridge and would be commissioned to do a mural at the UNESCO building in Paris.
In 1958, a retrospective of Arp's work was held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, followed by an exhibition at the Musée National d'Art Moderne, France, in 1962. Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Wurttembergischer Kunstverein of Stuttgart, a 150-piece exhibition titled "The Universe of Jean Arp" concluded an international six-city tour at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1986; the Musée d'art moderne et contemporain of Strasbourg houses many of his sculptures. Arp's career was distinguished with many awards including the Grand Prize for sculpture at the 1954 Venice Biennale, a sculpture prizes at the 1964 Pittsburgh International, the 1963 Grand Prix National des Arts, the 1964 Carnegie Prize, the 1965 Goethe Prize from the University of Hamburg, the Order of Merit with a Star of the German Republic. Arp and his first wife, the artist Sophie Taeuber-Arp, became French nationals in 1926. In the 1930s, they built a house at the edge of a forest. Influenced by the Bauhaus, Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand, Taeuber designed it.
She died in Zürich in 1943. After living in Zürich, Arp was to make Meudon his primary residence again in 1946. Arp married the collector Marguerite Hagenbach, his long-time companion, in 1959, he died in Basel, Switzerland. - "I hereby declare that on February 1916, Tristan Tzara discovered the word Dada. I was present with my twelve children...and I wore a brioche in my left nostril. I am convinced that this word has no importance and that only imbeciles and Spanish professors can be interested in dates. What interests us is the Dada spirit and we were all Dada before the existence of Dada.." - "Art is fruit growing out of man like the fruit out of a plant like the child out of the mother... Reason tells man to stand above nature and to be the measure of all things....through reason man became a tragic and ugly figure.." - "These paintings, these sculptures – these objects – should remain anonymous, in the great workshop of nature, like the clouds, the mountains, the seas, the animals, man himself.
Yes! Man should go back to nature! Artists should work together like the artists of the Middle Ages." -"Sculpture should walk on the tips of its toes, unpre
Theo van Doesburg
Theo van Doesburg was a Dutch artist, who practiced painting, writing and architecture. He is best known as the leader of De Stijl, he was married to artist and choreographer Nelly van Doesburg. Theo van Doesburg was born Christian Emil Marie Küpper on 30 August 1883, in Utrecht, the Netherlands, as the son of the photographer Wilhelm Küpper and Henrietta Catherina Margadant. After a short training in acting and singing, he decided to become a storekeeper, he always regarded his stepfather, Theodorus Doesburg, to be his natural father, so that his first works are signed with Theo Doesburg, to which he added the insertion "van". His first exhibition was in 1908. From 1912 onwards, he supported his works by writing for magazines, he considered himself to be a modern painter, at that time, although his early work is in line with the Amsterdam Impressionists and is influenced by Vincent van Gogh, both in style and subject matter. This changed in 1913 after reading Wassily Kandinsky's Rückblicke, in which he looks back at his life as a painter from 1903–1913.
It made him realize there was a higher, more spiritual level in painting that originates from the mind rather than from everyday life, that abstraction is the only logical outcome of this. It was in 1912 that Van Doesburg was criticizing Futurism in an art article in Eenheid no. 127, on 9 November 1912, because "The mimetic expression of velocity is diametrically opposed to the character of painting, the supreme origin of, to be found in inner life". On 6 November 1915, he wrote in the same journal: "Mondrian realizes the importance of line; the line has become a work of art in itself. The white canvas is solemn; each superfluous line, each wrongly placed line, any color placed without veneration or care, can spoil everything—that is, the spiritual". It was while reviewing an exposition for one of these magazines he wrote for, in 1915, that he came in contact with the works of Piet Mondrian, eight years older than he was, had by already gained some attention with his paintings. Van Doesburg saw in these paintings his ideal in painting: a complete abstraction of reality.
Soon after the exposition Van Doesburg got in contact with Mondrian, together with related artists Bart van der Leck, Antony Kok, Vilmos Huszár and Jacobus Oud they founded the magazine De Stijl in 1917. Although De Stijl was made up of many members, Van Doesburg was the "ambassador" of the movement, promoting it across Europe, he moved to Weimar in 1922, deciding to make an impression on the Bauhaus principal, Walter Gropius, in order to spread the influence of the movement. While Gropius accepted many of the precepts of contemporary art movements he did not feel that Doesburg should become a Bauhaus master. Doesburg installed himself near to the Bauhaus buildings and started to attract school students interested in the new ideas of Constructivism, De Stijl; the friendship between Van Doesburg and Mondrian remained strong in these years, although their primary means of communication was by letter. In 1923 Van Doesburg moved to Paris, together with his wife Nelly van Moorsel; because the two men got to see each other on a much more regular basis the differences in character became apparent: Mondrian was an introvert, while van Doesburg was more flamboyant and extravagant.
During 1924 the two men had disagreements, which led to a temporary split that year. The exact reason for the split has been a point of contention among art historians. Mondrian accepted some concepts of diagonals, such as in his "Lozenge" paintings, where the canvas was rotated 45 degrees, while still maintaining horizontal lines. In recent years, this theory has been challenged by art historians such as Carel Blotkamp, who cites the artist's different concepts about space and time. After the split, Van Doesburg launched a new concept for his art, characterized by the diagonal lines and which rivaled Mondrian's Neo-Plasticism. In 1929 the two men reconciled. Van Doesburg had other activities apart from painting and promoting De Stijl: he made efforts in architecture, designing houses for artists, together with Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Hans Arp he designed the decoration for the Aubette entertainment complex in Strasbourg. Together with El Lissitzky and Kurt Schwitters, Van Doesburg pioneered the efforts to an International of Arts in two congresses held in Düsseldorf and Weimar, in 1922.
A geometrically constructed alphabet Van Doesburg designed in 1919 has been revived in digital form as Architype Van Doesburg. This typeface anticipates similar experimentation by Kurt Schwitters in his typeface Architype Schwitters. In the mid 1920s, Van Doesburg worked together with Schwitters and the artist Kate Steinitz to produce a series of children's fairy-tale books that featured unusual typography, including Hahnepeter, Die Märchen vom Paradies, Die Scheuche. Van Doesburg kept a link with DADA, publishing the magazine Mécano under the heteronym of I. K. Bonset, he published Dada poetry under the same name in De Stijl. U
Sophie Henriette Gertrude Taeuber-Arp was a Swiss artist, sculptor, textile designer and interior designer and dancer. She is considered one of the most important artists of concrete art and geometric abstraction of the 20th century. Born in Davos, Sophie Henriette Gertrude Taeuber was the fifth child of Prussian pharmacist Emil Taeuber and Swiss Sophie Taeuber-Krüsi, from Gais in Appenzell Inner Rhodes, Switzerland, her parents operated a pharmacy in Davos until her father died of tuberculosis when she was two years old, after which the family moved to Trogen, where her mother opened a pension. She studied textile design at the trade school in St. Gallen, she moved on to the workshop of Wilhelm von Debschitz at his school in Munich, where she studied in 1911 and again in 1913. She joined the Schweizerischer Werkbund in 1915. In the same year, she attended the Laban School of Dance in Zurich, in the summer she joined the artist colony of Monte Verita in Ascona. From 1916 to 1929, Taeuber was an instructor at Zürich Kunstgewerbeschule in Switzerland, teaching embroidery and design classes.
In 1915, at an exhibition at the Tanner Gallery, she met the Dada artist Jean "Hans" Arp, who had moved to Zurich in 1915 to avoid being drafted by the German Army during the First World War. They were to collaborate on numerous joint projects until her death in 1943, they married in 1922 and she changed her last name to Taeuber-Arp. Taeuber-Arp taught weaving and other textile arts at the Kunstgewerbeschule Zürich from 1916 to 1929, her textile and graphic works from around 1916 through the 1920s are among the earliest Constructivist works, along with those of Piet Mondrian and Kasimir Malevich. These sophisticated geometric abstractions reflect a subtle understanding of the interplay between colour and form. During this period, she was involved in the Zürich Dada movement, which centred on the Cabaret Voltaire, she took part in Dada-inspired performances as a dancer and puppeteer, she designed puppets and sets for performances at the Cabaret Voltaire as well as for other Swiss and French theatres.
At the opening of the Galerie Dada in 1917, she danced to poetry by Hugo Ball while wearing a shamanic mask by Marcel Janco. A year she was a co-signer of the Zurich Dada Manifesto; as both a dancer and painter, Taeuber was able to incorporate Dada in her movement for dancing and was described as obscure and awkward. She made a number of sculptural works, such as a set of abstract "Dada Heads" of turned polychromed wood. With their witty resemblance to the ubiquitous small stands used by hatmakers, they typified her elegant synthesis of the fine and applied arts. Tauber-Arp was close friends and contemporaries with the French-Romanian avant-garde poet and artist, Tristan Tzara, one of the central figures of the Dada movement. In 1920, Tzara solicited over four dozen Dadaist artists, among which were Tauber-Arp, Jean Arp, Jean Cocteau, Marcel Duchamp, Hannah Hoch. Tzara planned to use the contributed text and images to create an anthology of Dada work entitled Dadaglobe. A worldwide release of 10,000 copies was planned, but the project was abandoned when its main backer, Francis Picabia, distanced himself from Tzara in 1921.
In 1926 Taeuber-Arp and Jean Arp moved to Strasbourg. There Taeuber-Arp received numerous commissions for interior design projects. In 1927 she co-authored a book entitled Welly Lowell with Blanche Gauchet. From the late 1920s, she lived in Paris and continued experimenting with design; the couple became French citizens in 1926 and in 1928 they moved to Meudon-Val Fleury, outside Paris, where she designed their new house and some of its furnishings. She was an exhibitor at the Salon des Surindépendents in Paris in 1929–30. In the 1930s, she was a member of the group Cercle et Carré, founded by Michel Seuphor and Joaquín Torres García as a standard-bearer of non-figurative art, its successor, the Abstraction-Création group. Sophie Taeuber-Arp explored the circle which represented the cosmic metaphor, the form that contains all others, she referred to this period as “ping pictures”. She appears to be the first artist to use polka dots in fine art with works such as Dynamic Circles, 1934, in the footsteps of Kazimir Malevich and his Black Circle.
In the decade she founded a Constructivist review, Plastique in Paris. Her circle of friends included the artists Sonia Delaunay, Robert Delaunay, Wassily Kandinsky, Joan Miró, Marcel Duchamp, she was a member of Allianz, a union of Swiss painters, from 1937 to 1943. In 1940, Taeuber-Arp and Arp fled Paris ahead of the Nazi occupation and moved to Grasse in Vichy France, where they created an art colony with Sonia Delaunay, Alberto Magnelli, other artists. At the end of 1942, they had to flee to Switzerland. In early 1943, Taeuber-Arp died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning due to a malfunctioning stove at the house of Max Bill. Wassily Kandinsky said: "Sophie Taeuber-Arp expressed herself by means of the'colored relief,' in the last years of her life, using exclusively the simplest forms, geometric forms
The Sistine Chapel is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the pope, in Vatican City. Known as the Cappella Magna, the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who restored it between 1477 and 1480. Since that time, the chapel has served as a place of both functionary papal activity. Today, it is the site of the process by which a new pope is selected; the fame of the Sistine Chapel lies in the frescos that decorate the interior, most the Sistine Chapel ceiling and The Last Judgment by Michelangelo. During the reign of Sixtus IV, a team of Renaissance painters that included Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Cosimo Rosselli, created a series of frescos depicting the Life of Moses and the Life of Christ, offset by papal portraits above and trompe-l'œil drapery below; these paintings were completed in 1482, on 15 August 1483 Sixtus IV celebrated the first mass in the Sistine Chapel for the Feast of the Assumption, at which ceremony the chapel was consecrated and dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Between 1508 and 1512, under the patronage of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo painted the chapel's ceiling, a project which changed the course of Western art and is regarded as one of the major artistic accomplishments of human civilization. In a different climate, after the Sack of Rome, he returned and, between 1535 and 1541, painted The Last Judgment for Popes Clement VII and Paul III; the fame of Michelangelo's paintings has drawn multitudes of visitors to the chapel since they were revealed five hundred years ago. While known as the location of Papal conclaves, the primary function of the Sistine Chapel is as the chapel of the Papal Chapel, one of the two bodies of the Papal household, called until 1968 the Papal Court. At the time of Pope Sixtus IV in the late 15th century, the Papal Chapel comprised about 200 people, including clerics, officials of the Vatican and distinguished laity. There were 50 occasions during the year on which it was prescribed by the Papal Calendar that the whole Papal Chapel should meet.
Of these 50 occasions, 35 were masses, of which 8 were held in Basilicas, in general St. Peter's, were attended by large congregations; these included the Christmas Easter masses, at which the Pope himself was the celebrant. The other 27 masses could be held in a smaller, less public space, for which the Cappella Maggiore was used before it was rebuilt on the same site as the Sistine Chapel; the Cappella Maggiore derived its name, the Greater Chapel, from the fact that there was another chapel in use by the Pope and his retinue for daily worship. At the time of Pope Sixtus IV, this was the Chapel of Pope Nicholas V, decorated by Fra Angelico; the Cappella Maggiore is recorded as existing in 1368. According to a communication from Andreas of Trebizond to Pope Sixtus IV, by the time of its demolition to make way for the present chapel, the Cappella Maggiore was in a ruinous state with its walls leaning; the present chapel, on the site of the Cappella Maggiore, was designed by Baccio Pontelli for Pope Sixtus IV, for whom it is named, built under the supervision of Giovannino de Dolci between 1473 and 1481.
The proportions of the present chapel appear to follow those of the original. After its completion, the chapel was decorated with frescoes by a number of the most famous artists of the High Renaissance, including Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Pietro Perugino, Michelangelo; the first mass in the Sistine Chapel was celebrated on 15 August 1483, the Feast of the Assumption, at which ceremony the chapel was consecrated and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The Sistine Chapel has maintained its function to the present day, continues to host the important services of the Papal Calendar, unless the Pope is travelling. There is a permanent choir, the Sistine Chapel Choir, for whom much original music has been written, the most famous piece being Gregorio Allegri's Miserere. One of the functions of the Sistine Chapel is as a venue for the election of each successive pope in a conclave of the College of Cardinals. On the occasion of a conclave, a chimney is installed in the roof of the chapel, from which smoke arises as a signal.
If white smoke,which is created by burning the ballots of the election, appears, a new Pope has been elected. If a candidate receives less than a two-thirds vote, the cardinals send up black smoke—created by burning the ballots along with wet straw and chemical additives—it means that no successful election has yet occurred; the first papal conclave to be held on the Sistine Chapel was the conclave of 1492, which took place from August 6 from August 11 of the same year and in which Pope Alexander VI known as Rodrigo Borja, was elected. The conclave provided for the cardinals a space in which they could hear mass, in which they could eat and pass time attended by servants. From 1455, conclaves have been held in the Vatican. Since 1996, John Paul II's Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici gregis requires the cardinals to be lodged in the Domus Sanctae Marthae during a papal conclave, but to continue to vote in the Sistine Chapel. Canopies for each cardinal-elector were once used during conclaves—a sign of equal dignity.
After the new Pope accepts his election, he would give his new name. Until reforms instituted by Saint Pius X, the canopies were of different colours to designate which Cardinals had been appointed by which Pope. Paul
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