A route nationale, or nationale, is a trunk road in France. Trunk roads in France are important roads which cross broad portions of the French territory, as opposed to secondary or communal roads who only serve local areas, their use is free, except. They are open to all vehicles, except on certain sections having the status of motorway and express road, both being reserved for motorized vehicles. France has had 30,500 km of nationales and publicly owned motorways, but has 21,200 km of motorways and other nationales road, since 2007. By comparison, routes départementales cover a total distance of 365,000 km; the main trunk road network reflects the centralising tradition of France: the majority of them leave the gates of Paris. Indeed, trunk roads begin on the parvis of Notre Dame de Paris at Kilomètre zéro. To ensure an effective road network, new roads that do not serve Paris have been created; the system dates back to December 1811, when Napoleon designated a number of routes impériales. First class routes were numbered from 1 to 14.
Route 1 ran from Paris north to Calais, is still the general path of route nationale 1. Second class routes, from 15 to 27, did the same, while third class routes from 28 to 229 provided less major connections. During the Bourbon Restoration, in 1824, these routes were modified. Route 3, Paris to Hamburg via Soissons, Reims and Liège, was renumbered to 31 and 51, the subsequent routes were shifted down by one. Routes 19 and 20 were outside the post-Napoleon France, so 21 to 27 became 18 to 24. In 1830 the highways were renamed routes nationales. In the 21st century, the French Government has downgraded many the routes nationales, such as RN7 from Paris to the Côte d'Azur to departmental status. Routes Nationales
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Auch
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Auch-Condom-Lectoure-Lombez, more known as the Archdiocese of Auch, is an archdiocese of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church in France. The archdiocese now comprises the department of Gers in south-west France; the archdiocese is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Toulouse, the current bishop, who therefore does not wear the pallium, is Maurice Marcel Gardès, appointed in 2004. Erected in the 5th century as the diocese of Auch, the first Bishop of Auch known to history is the poet Orientius, in honor of whom a famous abbey was founded in the seventh century. A local legend of the 13th century attributes to King Clovis the promotion of Auch to the status of an archbishopric, its status as primate of "Gascony". Up to 1789 the Archbishops of Auch bore the title of Aquitaine, though for centuries there had been no Aquitaine; the archbishop enjoyed the primacy of Novempopulania and both Navarres, though Navarre became part of France when Henri IV acceded to the throne.
A local tradition that dates back to the beginning of the twelfth century tells us that Taurinus, fifth Bishop of Eauze, abandoned his episcopal city, destroyed by the Vandals, transferred his see to Auch. Eauze, in fact remained a metropolitan see till about the middle of the ninth century, at which time, owing to the invasions of the Vikings, it was reunited, to the Diocese of Auch, which had existed since the fifth century at and became an archdiocese; the first bishop of Auch to be accorded the title Archbishop in the surviving evidence is Archbishop Airardus in 879. He was the recipient, along with his three suffragan bishops Involatus of Comminges, Wainard of Couserans, Garston of Tarbes, of a letter of Pope John VIII, in which the Pope complained that their parishioners were a people heavy with iniquity; as a metropolitan see by the 9th century, it had ten suffragan sees: Aire. On 1 April 1198, less than three months after his election, Pope Innocent III sent a series of mandates to the Archbishop of Auch.
In one, the Pope complained that unworthy persons were being intruded, sometimes by secular persons, into parishes in the dioceses of the ecclesiastical Province of Auch, for which tasks they were unfit and had been rejected by their bishops. Another mandate complained that reports had reached the Pope that, in the Province of Auch, monks and other religious had left their cloisters and were visiting the courts of local magnates in neglect of their vows and monastic discipline, their superiors. In a third mandate, the Pope advised the Archbishop that in his Province there were clergy who were accumulating dignities and other benefices, including Archdeaconries and Cathedral dignities. In yet another letter, Innocent III reminds the Archbishop of Auch that he was well advised by him and by his fellow bishops that Gascony was overrun by heretics, he encourages and authorizes the Archbishop to pursue them until they are cleared from his Province, by whatever effective measures he can muster, suspending the right of appeal.
Evidently unsatisfied with Archbishop Bernard's performance as Archbishop, Pope Innocent sent him a letter on 15 April 1212, remarking that when a bishop feels himself to be unequal to the task of governing his diocese, he should ask himself whether he ought to put down his burden. He pointed out that the diocese of Auch had fallen on bad times during Bernard's administration, or rather maladministration, that it might be appropriate for him to consider a spontaneous resignation. In May 1213, the Pope commissioned the Archbishop of Bordeaux, the Bishop of Agen, the Abbot of Clariacensis, to investigate the many complaints about Archbishop Bernard which had come to the Pope's notice, which had led to serious lapses in the temporal and spiritual administration of his diocese, he was said to be a harborer and favorer of heretics. The procurator which he had sent to the papal court had not settled the Pope's concerns, the Archbishop was suspended; the Commission was authorized to determine the truth of the charges, if appropriate to depose the Archbishop and select some other suitable person to succeed him.
On 4 April 1218 Pope Honorius III confirmed the decision of Pope Paschal II that the Archbishop of Bourges enjoyed the primacy over the Archbishop of Auch. The current cathedral of the diocese of Auch, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a Gothic structure with a neo-classical Renaissance façade
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
Eauze is a commune in the Gers department in southwestern France. Located in the heart of south-west France, 130 kilometers from the Spanish border, Eauze is a proto-Basque city that became Roman, it was the capital of the Roman province of Novempopulania until the eighth century. Its Latin name, Elusa, is identical to that of a titular see of Palaestina Tertia, suffragan of Petra. Eauze is twinned with Ampuero; the weather is typical of the southwestern French climate, characterized by an oceanic influence and high temperatures in summer. The annual sunshine is around 2,000 hours. In winter, frosts can be large and reach a minimum early morning temperature of -5 ° C. On the other hand, summers are favorable to the strong heat and the proximity of the ocean accentuates the temperatures felt which reach 35 to 38 ° C. In spring and autumn, temperatures range from 12 to 27 ° C. Éauze Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Luperculus, said to have been a bishop here in the third century before being martyred.
Éauze has a market on Thursday mornings and there is a separate poultry and rabbit market. Communes of the Gers department INSEE This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "article name needed". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. Official Site of the commune of Éauze Éauze tourist office
The commune of Agen is the prefecture of the Lot-et-Garonne department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France. It lies on the river Garonne 135 kilometres southeast of Bordeaux; the city of Agen lies in the southern department Lot-et-Garonne in the Aquitaine region. The city centre lies on the east bank of the Garonne river close to the Canal de Garonne halfway between Bordeaux and Toulouse. Agen features an oceanic climate, in the Köppen climate classification. Winters feature cool to cold temperatures while summers are mild and warm. Rainfall is spread throughout the year； however, most sunshine hours are from March–September. From Occitan Agen, itself from Latin Aginnum, from a Celtic root agin- meaning "rock or height"; the town has a higher level of unemployment than the national average. Major employers include the pharmaceutical factory UPSA; the old centre of town contains a number of medieval buildings. The twelfth century Agen Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Caprasius, is one of the few large churches in France with a double nave, a regional trait found in the Church of the Jacobins in nearby Toulouse.
The Saint Hilaire church, dedicated to the theme of the Holy Trinity which the Saint in question did a lot to defend, is notable for its unusual statues in front of the Church – Moses on the right, St Peter on the left. The Fine Arts museum, Musée des Beaux Arts contains artefacts and sculptures from prehistoric times onwards; the art gallery contains several hundred works, including several by Goya, others by Bonnard and Seurat. The collection contains a large number of works by artists who lived locally; the museum is made up of twenty or so rooms. The Canal des Deux Mers, which joins the Mediterranean with the Atlantic, crosses the river Garonne at Agen via the town's famous canal bridge; the municipal theatre "Théâtre Ducourneau" presents theatre, classical concerts. The smaller "Théâtre du jour" has a resident theatre company presenting a variety of recent or older plays. There are two cinemas, one a commercial multiscreened affair, the other an arts cinema run by a voluntary organization.
The latter organizes film festivals every year. Rugby is popular in the town, the local team, SU Agen, is enthusiastically supported; the town serves as the base for the Team Lot-et-Garonne cycling team. The Gare d'Agen connects Agen with Bordeaux as well as Périgueux, it is around an hour around an hour from Bordeaux. The TGV train to Paris take three hours and thirteen minutes with a stop in Bordeaux. Agen is connected, to both Toulouse and Bordeaux; the Agen Airport is serviced by Airlinair service to Paris Orly 6 days a week. It is used for business and leisure flying. Agen close to Bordeaux. Agen is the seat of a Roman Catholic diocese that comprises the Département of Garonne, it is a suffragan of the archdiocese of Bordeaux. Agen is twinned with: Tuapse, Russia Dinslaken, Germany Llanelli, United Kingdom Toledo, Spain Corpus Christi, United States As place of birthBernard Palissy, potter – according to some accounts, he may have been born in Saintes Joseph Justus Scaliger, scholar Pierre Dupuy, scholar Joseph Barsalou, physician Godefroi, comte d'Estrades and marshal Bernard Germain Étienne comte de La Ville-sur-Illon La Cépède, naturalist Jean Baptiste Bory de Saint-Vincent, naturalist Jacques Jasmin, Provençal poet Victor Rabu, architect who built many important churches in Montevideo, Uruguay Joseph Chaumié, politician William Grover-Williams racer and SOE agent Michel Serres and author Jacques Sadoul, author Jean Cruguet, jockey who won the U.
S. Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. Alain Aspect, physicist Francis Cabrel, singer-songwriter and guitarist Bernard Campan and film director Emmanuel Flipo, artist Stéphane Rideau, actor Aymeric Laporte, footballerAs residenceNostradamus lived in Agen from 1531 until at least 1534, he was married to a local woman with. Agen is the "capital of the prune", a local product consumed as a sweet, either stuffed with prune purée or in pastries, or as a dessert, e.g. prunes soaked in Armagnac, a type of brandy. On the last weekend of August, a prune festival comprises rock concerts, circuse performances and prune tastings; the first Jews settled in the town in the twelfth century AD. They were expelled from the town in 1306. A number of Jews returned to the town in 1315, a "Rue des Juifs" is documented since this period. In 1968, about 600 Jews lived in the town, though most of them emigrated to the town from North Africa. A Jewish synagogue still exists in the town. SU Agen Lot-et-Garonne, a French rugby union club based in Agen Agenais, or Agenois, a former province of France INSEE statisticsNotes site de la ville office de tourisme Diocese of Agen – Catholic Encyclopædia article
Sunshine duration or sunshine hours is a climatological indicator, measuring duration of sunshine in given period for a given location on Earth expressed as an averaged value over several years. It is a general indicator of cloudiness of a location, thus differs from insolation, which measures the total energy delivered by sunlight over a given period. Sunshine duration is expressed in hours per year, or in hours per day; the first measure indicates the general sunniness of a location compared with other places, while the latter allows for comparison of sunshine in various seasons in the same location. Another often-used measure is percentage ratio of recorded bright sunshine duration and daylight duration in the observed period. An important use of sunshine duration data is to characterize the climate of sites of health resorts; this takes into account the psychological effect of strong solar light on human well-being. It is used to promote tourist destinations. If the Sun were to be above the horizon 50% of the time for a standard year consisting of 8,760 hours, apparent maximal daytime duration would be 4,380 hours for any point on Earth.
However, there are physical and astronomical effects. Namely, atmospheric refraction allows the Sun to be still visible when it physically sets below the horizon. For that reason, average daytime is longest in polar areas, where the apparent Sun spends the most time around the horizon. Places on the Arctic Circle have the longest total annual daytime, 4,647 hours, while the North Pole receives 4,575; because of elliptic nature of the Earth's orbit, the Southern Hemisphere is not symmetrical: the Antarctic Circle, with 4,530 hours of daylight, receives five days less of sunshine than its antipodes. The Equator has a total daytime of 4,422 hours per year. Given the theoretical maximum of daytime duration for a given location, there is a practical consideration at which point the amount of daylight is sufficient to be treated as a "sunshine hour". "Bright" sunshine hours represent the total hours when the sunlight is stronger than a specified threshold, as opposed to just "visible" hours. "Visible" sunshine, for example, occurs around sunrise and sunset, but is not strong enough to excite the sensor.
Measurement is performed by instruments called sunshine recorders. For the specific purpose of sunshine duration recording, Campbell–Stokes recorders are used, which use a spherical glass lens to focus the sun rays on a specially designed tape; when the intensity exceeds a pre-determined threshold, the tape burns. The total length of the burn trace is proportional to the number of bright hours. Another type of recorder is the Jordan sunshine recorder. Newer, electronic recorders have more stable sensitivity than that of the paper tape. In order to harmonize the data measured worldwide, in 1962 the World Meteorological Organization defined a standardized design of the Campbell–Stokes recorder, called an Interim Reference Sunshine Recorder. In 2003, the sunshine duration was defined as the period during which direct solar irradiance exceeds a threshold value of 120 W/m². Sunshine duration follows a general geographic pattern: subtropical latitudes have the highest sunshine values, because these are the locations of the eastern sides of the subtropical high pressure systems, associated with the large-scale descent of air from the upper-level tropopause.
Many of the world's driest climates are found adjacent to the eastern sides of the subtropical highs, which create stable atmospheric conditions, little convective overturning, little moisture and cloud cover. Desert regions, with nearly constant high pressure aloft and rare condensation—like North Africa, the Southwestern United States, Western Australia, the Middle East—are examples of hot, dry climates where sunshine duration values are high; the two major areas with the highest sunshine duration, measured as annual average, are the central and the eastern Sahara Desert—covering vast desert countries such as Egypt, Libya and Niger—and the Southwestern United States. The city claiming the official title of the sunniest in the world is Yuma, with over 4,000 hours of bright sunshine annually, but many climatological books suggest there may be sunnier areas in North Africa. In the belt encompassing northern Chad and the Tibesti Mountains, northern Sudan, southern Libya, Upper Egypt, annual sunshine duration is estimated at over 4,000 hours.
There is a smaller, isolated area of sunshine maximum in the heart of the western section of the Sahara Desert around the Eglab Massif and the Erg Chech, along the borders of Algeria and Mali where the 4,000-hour mark is exceeded, too. Some places in the interior of the Arabian Peninsula receive 3,600–3,800 hours of bright sunshine annually; the largest sun-baked region in the world is North Africa. The sunniest month in the world is December in Eastern Antarctica, with 23 hours of bright sun daily. Conversely, higher latitudes lying in stormy westerlies have much cloudier and more unstable and rainy weather, have the lowest values of sunshine duration annually. Temperate oceanic climates like those in northwestern Europe, the western coast of Canada, areas of New Zealand's South Island are examples of cool, wet, humid climates where cloudless sunshine duration values are low; the areas with the lowest sunshine duration annually lie over the polar oceans, as well as parts of northern Europe, southern Alaska, northern Russia, areas near the Sea of
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