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
Altorf is a French commune in the Bas-Rhin department in the Grand Est region of northeastern France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Altorfois or AltorfoisesThe commune has been awarded one flower by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom. A part of the Canton of Molsheim and its arrondissement, Altorf is located about 15 kilometres west of Strasbourg; the A352 National Highway runs from east to west across the southern portion of the commune but has no exit. Access to the commune is by road D392 which runs parallel but north of the highway and connects with Highway exit 8 to the east of the commune and west to Dorlisheim. Another access road is the D127 which comes from Jaegerhof just over the northern border south to the village continuing south to Griesheim-pres-Molsheim. There are a number of small country roads covering the commune. Most of the commune is farmland with some forests in the north-eastern portion; the Bras de la Bruches flows through the commune from west to east, through the village east to join the Muelbach and flows east under the name Altorfer Arm until it joins La Bruche river north of Eintzheim Airport.
In the north-east another waterway forms the north-eastern border of the commune. The only other hamlet in the commune is that of Forstoff north-east of Altorf village, it was known as Altum Coenobium in 787. The origin of the commune name Altorf is from the form Alt-dorf; the old spelling was still visible before the Second World War. However the spelling Altorf through Altorfium / Atorfium it is more to come from the Latin root altum. Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, there is adequate rainfall year-round; the Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb". Altorf is located on the ancient Roman via romana or Bergstrasse which connected Strasbourg to the strategic pass of Donon; the funerary steles of the 3rd century attest to a Roman presence. The village's history became intertwined with that of its Benedictine abbey, founded in 960 by Hugues III of Eguisheim called l'Enroue, Count of Nordgau and his wife Countess Hewilde, his father, Count Eberhard IV was buried in the abbey in 972, sealing the connection between the family and Altorf.
The abbey had was built following a cenobite community of monks called the Altum Coenobium, reported in 787, where the name of the abbey and village came from. Pope Saint Leo IX, son of the powerful empire family of Eguisheim-Dabo came to Altorf in 1049 to honor his ancestors, he endowed it with relics. The reliquary in oriental style represents a bust in polychrome wood and with the words notitia altorfensis is one of the major parts of the Abbey. Cyriac of Malaga, who had cured epilepsy of the daughter of the Emperor Diocletian in the 4th century, became the patron saint of the village and he is celebrated on 8 August. Altorf was a place of pilgrimage for epileptics and people possessed with demons with many healings reported in the abbey archives in the 13th century; the chapel was consecrated in 974, under the leadership of Maïeul, Bishop of Cluny, Erchembald, Bishop of Strasbourg. As with the abbeys of Steige and Marmoutier, the Altorf Abbey was successful because of its many dependencies.
The churches of Barembach and Grendelbruch, although remote, were incorporated into the abbey by a papal bull of 1192 from Pope Celestin III which involved in particular the attachment of tithes. In particular its properties along the right bank of the Bruche extending from the course of the Rothaine into the plain of Alsace were attached to the bishopric of Strasbourg in 1226, extinguishing the line of Eguisheim. In addition, the emperors gave the abbey the right to issue currency, from the Ottonian revival at the end of the 10th century; the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa explicitly recognized this right with a charter in 1153. In the 13th century however, this privilege was transferred to Dachstein Molsheim; the cultural influence of the abbey led to the establishment of a university, subsequently transferred to Molsheim in the Carthusian heartland there to be moved aside to form the University of Strasbourg. Economic and cultural power caused the shedding blood in Altorf in 1262 when the village and monastery were burned by the Strasbourgers who were in revolt against Bishop Walter de Geroldseck.
In 1525 there was the peasant revolt. A century during the Thirty Years War which included Swedish and French forces. In 1606, Altorf Abbey joined the Union of Bursfeld which included a hundred Benedictine monasteries and was in 1624 formally called the Benedictine Congregation of Strasbourg; the Peasants' epic struggle, which had originated from the Holy Roman Empire in 1524, crystallized in Lower Alsace around Altorf and Boersch. The leaders of the movement were Erasmus Gerber and Georg Ittel from Molsheim and Rosheim, established themselves with a group of 1500 men at their headquarters in Altorf, from where the contagion spread throughout the province in a week with their troops raiding monasteries and mistreating Jews. Father Nartz reported these events in his mo
Bellefosse is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Grand Est in northeastern France and culturally part of Alsace. The village is located on a mountain terrace on the west slope of the Champ du Feu in the Bruche Valley, it is dominated by the ruins of the Château de la Roche towering above it. 1434: Belfus 1534: Belfuss 1578: Belfos 1584: Belfuß 1782: Belfus 1793: Bellefosse 1915-1918: SchöngrundOriginating from the celtic words bill and fois. Bellefosse is part of the old Ban de la Roche fief; the village's name is formalized as Belfus in 1434. It is composed under the name of belfos then. On the 1st April 1974, it fuses with Waldersbach and Belmont to form the commune of Ban-de-Roche, in reference to the historical fief, Fouday is added to the commune in 1975. On the 1st January 1992, the commune of Bellefosse is reestablished; the heraldics of Bellefosse are blazzoned as followed: « Azure with one golden chevron followed by three silver cramps set in pale.» Communes of the Bas-Rhin department INSEE commune file
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
Albé is a commune in the Bas Rhin département in Alsace in north-eastern France. It is located 2 km northeast of Villé, on the left bank of the river Giessen close to the valley of Erlenbach, from which it derives its name. To the North and West it is bounded by mountains leading to the communes of Breitenbach. To the East is the peak of Ungersberg. Numerous streams flow from this mounting and the buttresses of the Champ du Feu to the north, which merge to form the brook of the Erlenberg; this river flowed down the main street of the village, but has now been covered. The village is at 300 m altitude; until 1867 the village was known by its German name Erlenbach. The name Albé was formally adopted in 1919. Under Louis XIV it was awarded a coat of arms emblazoned "Azure, three chevrons Argent"; the Azure suggests the river and the three chevrons a narrow boxed valley. The village is first mentioned in 1303 as a possession of the Habsburg Empire. A growth in the population, as a result of an expansion in farming and forestry led to the demands by the abbot of Honcourt for the construction of a church, begun by 1342.
From the 13th to the 15th century, the area was occupied by various armies loyal to the German Emperor or the Pope. The nearby camp of Armagnacs, stationed in Châtenois, may have plundered Albé and other villages in the region. During the Easter of 1525, the peasantry of Albé took part in a revolt and the Abbeys of Honcourt and Baumgarten were destroyed; the revolt was crushed by troops from Lorraine on 20 May 1525, Albé was named by the Lord of Ensisheim as among those responsible for the sacking of the abbeys, liable for reprisal. Fire spread through the village in 1575 resulting in the destruction of the church; the town suffered again during the Thirty Years War. After attempting to resist Swedish troops, the town was laid waste. After the war, the town grew again and there was an influx of people from many different backgrounds, who brought with them their architectural traditions. A century of peace brought prosperity based again on viticulture, during the 18th century many grand lintel frame houses were built.
The French revolution brought a mixture of fear and hope, the town preserves a tree of freedom, a lime planted in 1795 in the village square. The church had been enlarged in 1752, by 1802 the village had a full-time vicar and obtained the status of parish. At the end of the 19th century the farmland was becoming exhausted and the spread of phylloxera gravely affected the town and the population shrank. Coal mines are operating in the village; the town is principally known for its wine, it is the only town in the valley to produce its own vin d'Alsace. The vineyards are on sunny slopes; the vineyards now cover about 15 hectares, this area is expected to increase as hillsides are improved for the purpose. Most of the grapes are processed locally; the forest surrounding the town is held in common, though some is managed for chestnuts and fuel. There is little industry in Albé, cottage industries such as weaving are not significant; however the production of brandy has taken place on a commercial scale.
The Maison du Val de Villé is a local museum, housed in the former mairie. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department INSEE commune file
Barembach is a French commune in the Bas-Rhin department in the Grand Est region of north-eastern France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Barembachoises. Barembach is located in a valley perpendicular to the Bruche valley some 25 km west by south-west of Illkirch and 30 km north-west of Sélestat at 350 metres above sea level; the Barembach Forest covers most of the commune with several summits including Pépinière, Barraque des Bœufs, Ordon Saxe, Haut de la Brûlée. Access to the commune is by the D204 road from Grendelbruch in the north-east which passes through the north-eastern corner of the commune and continues to Schirmeck. Access to the village is by the D193; the D1420 from Muhlbach-sur-Bruche in the north-east passes along the northern border as it goes south-west to Fouday. The Barembach river rises in the south-east of the commune and flows north-west to join the Bruche just north-west of the commune; the Bornichon river rises in the south of the commune and flows north to join the Barembach at the village.
Barembach was destroyed in 1875 by a violent fire. After the reconstruction of the village immediately after the disaster, the economy first restarted with livestock and forestry. There were mills and sawmills producing galoshes which changed to weaving. An enterprise was set up by Camille Glaszmann; the company was continued by Mecatherm who extended the buildings. Shortly before Liberation the village was the headquarters of Marshal Jean de Lattre de Tassigny and served as a springboard to free the region. Barembach included part of the commune of Rothau on the north shore of the Rothaine. Barembach appears as the same on the 1790 version; the name Barembach originated from the German Bach meaning "stream" and Bär meaning "bear". List of Successive Mayors In 2010 the commune had 868 inhabitants; the evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger communes that have a sample survey every year.
Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 The commune has many buildings and sites that are registered as historical monuments: Houses and Farmhouses The War Memorial at Route du Maréchal-De-Lattre-de-Tassigny A School at 14 Rue Principale The Town Hall / School at 15 Rue Principale The Town Hall / School contains several items that are registered as historical objects: A Heating Stove A Monumental Cross: Christ on the Cross and the Virgin and child The commune has several religious buildings and sites that are registered as historical monuments: The Barembach Cemetery on the D204 The Cemetery contains several items that are registered as historical objects: A Cemetery Cross Funeral Monuments The Schirmeck Cemetery at Rue du Douar The Cemetery contains many items that are registered as historical objects: Funeral Monuments Funeral Crosses A Monumental Cross A Monumental Cross: Christ on the Cross A Cemetery Cross: Christ on the Cross The Chartier Family Funeral Chapel on the D204 The Vogt Family Funeral Chapel at Rue du Douar The Church of Saint-Georges at Place de l'Eglise The Church contains several items that are registered as historical objects: A Chalice with Paten A Monstrance The Furniture in the Church The Church Organ A Presbytery at 16 Rue du Presbytère 3 Wayside Crosses are registered as historical objects.
Marshal Jean de Lattre de Tassigny had his headquarters in the village. The street from the cemetery to the church bears his name. There is a monument to him on this street near the church. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department "Barembach", in The Upper Valley of the Bruche, Alsace Heritage, General Inventory of Monuments and artistic riches of France, Éditions Lieux Dits, Lyon, 2005, p. 38-39, ISBN 978-2-914528-13-9 Barembach official website
Bassemberg is a French commune in the Bas-Rhin department in the Alsace region of north-eastern France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Bassembergeoises; the commune has been awarded one flower by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom. Bassemberg is located 12 km north-west of Sélestat; the commune covers 178 hectares and is divided into two distinct areas separated by the valley of Giessen: On the north side is the southern slope of the Honel with an altitude of 475 m at Scheibenberg and 615 metres further west. Its steep slopes are covered with old cultivated forests. On the south-west side the commune encroaches on the right bank of the Giessen towards Comte-Ban. Regular and a few steep slopes rise from 280 to 330 metres above sea level and are suitable for agriculture; the village is 280 metres above sea level at the foot of the slope of the Honel. Its location close to Giessen does not protect it from flooding of the river.
Access to the commune is by the D39 road from Villé]] in the north-east which passes through the commune and continues to Fouchy. The D97 from Neuve-Église passes through the south of the commune and continues to Fouchy; the Giessen river forms part of the southern border as it flows to the east through the village and continues east to join the Ill north of Muttersholtz. The commune lies in the coal basin of the valley of Villé. In 1361 the area became Bassemberg by the 18th century; the name may have come from an old German name Badubald meaning "the brave". Other interpretations may apply "der basse" meaning "wild boar": in this case a mountain boar. Bassemberg appears as Bassemtrery on the 1750 Cassini Map and does not appear at all on the 1790 version; the village was built in the Middle Ages on the ancient road connecting Villé to Saint-Dié-des-Vosges. The locality is mentioned for the first time in 1361 while it was in the hands of Frédéric de Cuntzmann de Hattstatt from a powerful Alsatian noble family.
The village was formed around a mill and a bridge over the Scheer d'Urbeis. A statement from 1453 mentions a forest without mentioning vast grasslands around which for centuries serve as pretexts for many lawsuits with the neighbouring villages of Lalaye, Charbes and Villé. After the end of conflicts that devastated the region Bassemberg adopted a regulation containing no less than 29 articles; this was in order to regulate rural policing and specified rights to the forest, the vines, the shepherds, the horses, pigs, chickens and dogs. It was so precise that "any individual, married or not, who wants to keep household shall, as a good citizen, submit to legal obligations otherwise he must leave the village". In the 19th century Bassemberg had a small Jewish community which did not exist at the census of 1784 but had 21 people in 1850. A synagogue was established in 1832. Thereafter the small community moved to Villé; the First World War transformed the life of the village, on the route of the "Londonbahn" that ran from June 1917 until the armistice of 11 November 1918.
There was a train station and a building that served as an arms and equipment warehouse to be carried on the front line at Bassemberg. On 24 November 1918, a child from Bassemberg, Emile Waechter, 9 years old, was the victim of a fatal accident on the road while playing on a wagon with friends. During the First World War the village lost 13 inhabitants; the village lost 12 inhabitants during the Second World War. List of Successive Mayors; the evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger communes that have a sample survey every year. Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 Bassemberg developed along the road from Villé to Lalaye; the buildings followed the shape of the village street in an S shape. Their placement took into account the presence of the river; the buildings located on the floodplain have placed their storerooms on the ground floor with the living areas on the first floor.
The houses have adopted the layout of Vosges type farms. The buildings are parallel to the street and, successively starting from the front: a gable wall, an arched entrance to the cellar, an access door to the house, an arched door to the barn, a stable door; some buildings date back to the 18th century. They are modest sized buildings. Due to lack of space they were joined in groups of two or three. Milestones; the southern part of the ancient forest of Honcourt Abbey was bordered by milestones in 1757 which served as a border between Bassemberg and Saint-Martin. On the boundary between Villé and Bassemberg there are four milestones from 1769 with the emblem of Villé. Second Empire Bench. At the exit from Bassemberg towards Fouchy on the left of the D39 is a bench in good condition from the Second Empire, it is one of five benches that were preserved in 1854 in the Val de Villé. They were erected in honor of the Empress Eugénie de Montijo; the commune has a number of buildings and sites that are registered as historical monuments: The Town Hall and School Buildings A Farmhouse at 53 Rue Principale This farmhouse contains a Tympanum, registered as an historical object.
A Farmhouse at 60 Rue Principale A Farmhouse at 62 Rue Principale A House at