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
Araujuzon is a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwestern France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Araujuzonaises; the town is located some 40 km north-west of Oloron-Sainte-Marie, 15 km east by south-east of Sauveterre-de-Béarn, 8 km north-west of Navarrenx. Araujuzon is accessed by the D936 road from Oloron-Sainte-Marie which passes through the north of the commune and continues west to Autevielle-Saint-Martin-Bideren. There is the D160 road from the southern border where it joins the D115 passing through the length of the commune to the D936 west of the village; the D265 road links the north of the commune to Narp. The village can be reached by a number of country roads; the Intercity network of Pyrénées-Atlantiques bus network has a stop in the commune on Route 850 from Oloron-Sainte-Marie to Sauveterre-de-Béarn. Located in the Drainage basin of the Adour, the northern border of the commune is formed by the Gave d'Oloron with its tributary, the Lausset, passing through the commune and joining the Gave d'Oleron near the village.
The Ruisseau de la Mousquere rises in the commune and gathers several tributaries while flowing north-west to join the Gave d'Oleron. The Cassou dou Boue and the Ruisseau de Lescuncette rise in the south of the commune and flow south-east to join the Ruisseau de Harcellane; the name of the commune in Béarnese is Araus-Juzon. The commune name in Gascon is Lajuson. For Michel Grosclaude, the name comes from juzon. Brigitte Jobbé-Duval indicated that Juzon meaning "underneath" gives the place name translating as "underneath Arrau", but more "underneath Araux"; the following table details the origins of the commune name and other names in the commune. Sources: Raymond: Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, 1863, on the page numbers indicated in the table. Grosclaude: Toponymic Dictionary of communes, Béarn, 2006 Cassini: Cassini Map from 1750 Ldh/EHESS/Cassini: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini database Origins: Fors de Béarn Establishments: Register of Establishments of Béarn Reformation: Reformation of Béarn Insinuations: Insinuations of the Diocese of Oloron Paul Raymond noted on page 8 of the 1863 dictionary that the commune had a Lay Abbey, a vassal of the Viscounty of Béarn.
In 1385 Araujuzon depended on the Bailiwick of Navarrenx. It became a dependency of the Barony of Jasses from 1644 which included Araujuzon, Jasses and Viellenave. In 1790 the commune was part of the Canton of Sauveterre. List of Successive Mayors The commune is part of nine inter-communal structures: the Community of communes of the Canton of Navarrenx the mixed association Bil Ta Garbi the mixed association of Béarn des Gaves the inter-communal association of gaves and of Saleys the association of Gaves Country and of Lausset the association of schools of Gaveausset the association for promotion of Navarrenx the AEP association of Navarrenx the Energy association of Pyrénées-AtlantiquesAraujuzon is part of the Pays de Lacq Orthez Béarn des Gaves. In 2009 the commune had 191 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 towns that have a sample survey every year.
Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 Economic activity is agricultural. The town is part of the Appellation d'origine contrôlée zone of Ossau-iraty; the commune has an elementary school. Communes of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department Araujuzon official website Araujuzon on Lion1906 Araujuzon on the 1750 Cassini Map Araujuzon on the INSEE website INSEE
Accous is a Béarnais French commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in southwestern France. Accous is located some 30 km south of Oloron-Sainte-Marie in the Aspe Valley, one of the three valleys of the High-Béarn, the other valleys being the Ossau Valley in the east and Barétous valley in the west. From the Spanish border on its southern edge, it stretches along Le Labadie river to the point where it joins the Gave d'Aspe. From this river junction, the Gave d'Aspe forms the western border of the rest of the commune which extends a further 10 kilometres to the east with the Lac du Montagnon at the northeastern edge; the commune is accessed from the north by the E7 motorway. This highway follows the western border of the commune along the Gave d'Aspe crosses the narrow neck of the commune before continuing to the Spanish border near Candanchu. To access Accous village it is necessary to follow one of a number of country roads - the Daban Athas road being the most direct.
Apart from country roads within the commune there is no other road access. The commune is traversed by some tributaries of the Gave d'Oloron, the Besse stream and the Gave d'Aspe, as well as tributaries of the latter such as the Gave Lescun and the Berthe; the Cotcharas stream and its tributary, the Congaets stream flow in the territory of Accous, as tributaries of the Gave d'Aydius, the Gave de Bouren and the Sahun stream. Accous is dominated by the Poey, a conical hill covered with ferns; the Poey is made of ophites. These green and harsh volcanic rocks from the Triassic belong to dolerites, they have resisted the erosion of torrential rivers. This is the reason; the name Accous appears in the following forms: Aspa Luca Achoss and Achost Acos Aquos d'Aspe Aquos Abadie de Cos Sanctus Martinus de Acous Acous. The name of the commune in Gascon is Acós. Brigitte Jobbé-Duval hypothesises that Accous originated from Acca or Acco, a woman's name mentioned in the inscriptions of Spain; the name Appatie came from the Lay Abbey of Jouers throygh corruption of the word Abbadie.
Note that in the Aspe Valley the voiceless consonants of Latin are preserved. This fief was a vassal of the Viscounts of Béarn. Le Bois d'Arapoup is attested in 1863 in the Topographical Dictionary. Aület is mentioned in the form Aulet in 1863 by the Topographical Dictionary. Lhers is cited in the dictionary; the name La Berthe, a tributary of the Gave d'Aspe, is cited in the dictionary of 1863. Despourrins is mentioned in 1863 in the Topographical Dictionary as a name taken from the poet Cyprien Despourrins, buried there. Izaure was a farm mentioned by Paul Raymond with the spellings: Usaure, Ixaure and Isaure. Jouers /juèrs/ was Joertz a metathesis of a Basque word Oïhartz a derivative of Oihan meaning'forest', it is found in the spelling Joers Jouers, again Joers. The Col de Lourtica is the name of a hill between the communes of Aydius. Saint-Christau was a chapel, mentioned by the dictionary of 1863. Tillabé was a place in Accous reported by the dictionary in 1863 and mentioned in the 18th century 2 in the form Le Tillaber.
Paul Raymond said that Tillabé "was the place of meeting of the aldermen of the Aspe valley". Paul Raymond noted that the commune had a vassal of the Viscounts of Béarn. In 1385, there were 74 "fires". Accous was the capital of the Aspe valley. List of Successive Mayors of Accous The town is part of five inter-communal organisations: the community of communes of the Aspe Valley the Energy union in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques the Television union of Oloron - Aspe Valley the inter-communal union to aid education in the Aspe Valley the joint union of Upper-Béarn. Accous has twinning associations with: Valle de Hecho since 1978. Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 The economy of the town is oriented toward agriculture and animal husbandry; the cheese-making farms are one of the resources of the commune, part of the Appellation d'origine contrôlée zone designation of Ossau-iraty. The Toyal plant, located at the edge of the commune, provides income to Accous through business tax, making of it the richest communes in the valley.
This activity has created hundreds of jobs in the valley. The 2006 INSEE classification, indicated that the median household incomes for each municipality with more than 50 households ranked Accous at 24495, for an average income per household of €14,199. Accous has a number of old farms registered as historical monuments; these are: House at Rue de Baix House 1 at Rue de Haut House 2 at Rue de Haut House at Rue Madrih The Accous railway station on the Pau to Canfranc line has been closed to traffic since 1970. The eco-museum of the Aspe valley is located in an old cheese fa
Ainhoa is a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in southwestern France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Ainhoars; the commune of Ainhoa is in the traditional Basque province of Labourd. Ainhoa is some 20 km due south of Bayonne and is directly on the Spanish border which forms the southern border of the commune; the commune is mountainous and forested in the south-east portion but with farmland in the northwest of the commune. There is one border crossing to Spain on the southern border at the village of Dantxana. Ainhoa and Sare, together with the two Spanish communes of Zugarramurdi and Urdazubi, form a cross-border territory, called Xareta. Straddling the border with Spain, it is a passage for the Way of St. James from Bayonne to Pamplona; the commune's border with Spain is in the Dancharia area and accesses the area of Dantxarinea d'Urdazubi. The commune is connected to Espelette in the north-east by Highway D20 which passes through the village and continues south to the Spanish border.
Highway D305 branches continues west to join Highway D4 before Cherchebruit. A network of small country roads covers all parts of the commune. Located in the watershed of the Adour, the Nivelle river runs along the southern border and forms the border between France and Spain. Numerous streams arise in the commune and flow down to the Nivelle including the Opalazioko erreka, the Lapitxuri and its tributaries, the Larreko erreka, the Erdiko erreka, the Farendeiko erreka, the Haitzagerriko erreka, the Barretako erreka. Paul Raymond mentions the Haïçaguerry, a tributary of the Nivelle, which descended to Gorospila on the Spanish border, which crossed the territory of Ainhoue; the commune name in basque is the same - Ainhoa. Brigitte Jobbé-Duval suggested that the name could come from the Basque aino which means "goat"; the following table details the origins of the commune name and other names in the commune. Sources: Orpustan: Jean-Baptiste Orpustan, New Basque Toponymy Raymond: Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, 1863, on the page numbers indicated in the table.
Map: The Map of the Government-General of Guyenne and Gascony and the neighbouring region Cassini: Cassini Map from 1750 Ldh/EHESS/Cassini: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini database Lhande: Pierre Lhande, Basque-French DictionaryOrigins: Saint-Claire: Titles of the Abbey of Sainte-Claire of Bayonne Collations: Collations of the Diocese of Bayonne The ancient redoubt of Urrizti reflects the ancient past of the area. Paul Raymond noted on page 4 of his 1863 dictionary that the parish of Ainhoa was in the gift of the Abbot of Urdax; the Curacy of Ainhoa was created by the Priory of the Premonstratensian of Urdazubi in the 13th century. On 27 April 1238 the new king Theobald I of Navarre purchased the toll rights instituted by Viscount Juan Pérez de Baztan, Ainhoa being at the borders between the Duchy of Aquitaine since 1151, run by the Angevin Kings of England and the Navarrese kingdom; such tolls were charged to pilgrims and traders traveling to Santiago de Compostela on the Way of St. James in Galicia, Spain.
Military clashes between the "English run" Basques of Aquitaine and the Navarrese in 1249 led the Seigneur of Ainhoa, in 1250, to recognize the suzerainty of King Henry III of England. By 1265 Gonzalvo Juanis, Seigneur of Ainhoa known as Gonzalvo Ibáñez or Gonzalvo Yáñes, did not recognize either the English or the Navarrese; however he opened the way to conquest based on old historical claims. Garda Arnaut de Espelette, with loyalty to the "English run" Basques of the Duchy of Aquitaine, sent a letter, dated 29 July 1289 praying the Ainhoa people to adequately connive with him; the outcome of such frontier business was to set up an "undivided" land as had been done previously with the nearby Aldudes close to the Baztan valley. Documents from Estella dated September 1369, some 80 years proved that the people from Ainhoa paid taxes to both the King of Navarre and the "English" Seneschal of the Landes territory in return for their fiscal and personal privileges; when "English run" Bayonne surrendered to the French in 1451 it is not known if these "undivided status" villages on the English-Navarrese frontier were taken by the French as well.
In the Spanish Invasion of 1636 in the Labourd territories many villages, including Ainhoa, were razed. Because of the 1659 "Treaty of the Pyrénées" whereby the Spanish-born Queen regent of France Anne of Austria with the help of Cardinal Mazarin, the First Minister of France, set up an advantageous peace and obtained Maria Theresa of Spain as a wife for her son Louis XIV of France. Ainhoa was repopulated again. Disputes between the new settlers and the old residents concerning the use of communal lands for cattle grazing and fodder and the access by newcomers to town hall positions, church grants, etc. had to be settled by the autonomous Parliament of Bordeaux in the sense of paying for access to village privileges. Ainhoa was destroyed during the Thirty Years War and rebuilt; the only remains from before the destruction are the Machitorénéa House. In 1724, following the revolts in Saint-Jean-le-Vieux Mouguerre and Saint-Pierre-d'Irube, the people of Ainhoa revolted against the salt tax and against other new taxes.
This was a prelude to the uprisings in all of Labourd in 1726 against the said taxes. Bayonne and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port followed in 1748; the Law of 4 March 1790 determined a new administrative landscape of France by creating departments and districts. This resulted in the creation of the department of Basses-Pyrénées and reuniting the Béarn, the
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
Nouvelle-Aquitaine is the largest administrative region in France, located in the southwest of the country. The region was created by the territorial reform of French Regions in 2014 through the merger of three regions: Aquitaine and Poitou-Charentes, it covers 84,061 km2 – or 1⁄8 of the country – and has 5,800,000 inhabitants.. The new region was established on 1 January 2016, following the regional elections in December 2015, it is the largest region in France by area, with a territory larger than that of Austria. Its largest city, together with its suburbs and satellite cities, forms the 7th-largest metropolitan area of France, with 850,000 inhabitants; the region has 25 major urban areas, among which the most important after Bordeaux are Bayonne, Poitiers, La Rochelle, as well as 11 major clusters. The growth of its population marked on the coast, makes this one of the most attractive areas economically in France. After Île-de-France, New Aquitaine is the premier French region in research and innovation, with five universities and several Grandes Ecoles.
The agricultural region of Europe with the greatest turnover, it is the French region with the most tourism jobs, as it has three of the four historic resorts on the French Atlantic coast:, as well as several ski resorts, is the fifth French region for business creation. Its economy is based on agriculture and viticulture, tourism, a powerful aerospace industry, digital economy and design and pharmaceutical industries, financial sector, industrial ceramics. Many companies specializing in surfing and related sports have located along the coast; the new region includes major parts of Southern France, marked by Basque, Oïl cultures. It is the "indirect successor" to medieval Aquitaine, extends over a large part of the former Duchy of Eleanor of Aquitaine; the region's interim name Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes was a hyphenated placename, known as ALPC, created by hyphenating the merged regions' names – Aquitaine and Poitou-Charentes – in alphabetical order. In June 2016, a working group headed by historian Anne-Marie Cocula, a former vice president of Aquitaine, proposed the name "Nouvelle Aquitaine".
The decision came after the popular favorite, "Aquitaine", faced resistance by regional politicians from Limousin and Poitou-Charentes. The other popular favorite, "Grande Aquitaine," was rejected for its connotation with a feeling of superiority. Alain Rousset, president of the region, concurred with the working group's conclusion, reaffirming that he considered the acronym "ALPC" no choice at all. For those deploring the loss of "Limousin" and "Poitou-Charentes", he noted that the predecessor region of Aquitaine subsumed the identities of the Périgord or the Pays Basque, which did not disappear during its 40 years of operation. On 27 June 2016, just a few days ahead of the 1 July deadline, the Regional council unanimously adopted Nouvelle-Aquitaine as the region's permanent name. France's Conseil d'État approved Nouvelle-Aquitaine as the new name of the region on 28 September 2016, effective two days later. For the recent history of each former administrative regions and departments before 2016, For the history of past entities covering much of the area of the region before the French revolution, At 84,061 square kilometers, the region Nouvelle-Aquitaine is larger than French Guiana, which makes it the largest region in France.
Nouvelle-Aquitaine is delimited by four other French regions, three autonomous communities in Spain to the south, the North Atlantic Ocean to the west. Nouvelle-Aquitaine comprises twelve departments: Charente, Charente-Maritime, Corrèze, Dordogne, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Deux-Sèvres and Haute-Vienne, its largest city and only metropolis is Bordeaux, in the heart of an urban agglomeration of nearly one million inhabitants. Taking into consideration the urban area, the new region is home to six of the fifty largest metropolitan areas of French territory: Bordeaux Bayonne Limoges Poitiers Pau La Rochelle. In addition, the region has a network of medium towns scattered throughout its territory, including: Angoulême Agen Brive-la-Gaillarde Niort Périgueux Bergerac Villeneuve-sur-Lot Dax Mont-de-Marsan The region covers a large part of the Aquitaine Basin and a small portion of the Paris Basin and the Limousin plate and the western part of the Pyrenees, it is part of five watersheds facing the Atlantic Ocean: Loire, Charente and Dordogne (and their extension, the
Ance Féas is a commune in the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, southwestern France. The municipality was established on 1 January 2017 by merger of the former communes of Féas and Ance. Communes of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department