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
Balbronn 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 Balbronnaises. Balbronn is located 8 km south-west of Wasselonne. Access to the commune is by the D75 road from Westhoffen in the north which passes through the village and continues west through the commune south-west to Oberhaslach; the D275 goes from the village south-east to Bergbieten. The commune is farmland but with large forests north of the D75 in the west of the commune. Le Schleithal river flows south through the forests in the west and continues south through the commune to join the Bruche at Dinsheim-sur-Bruche; the Niedermattgraben rises near the village and flows south-east to join the Kehlbach east of Bergbieten. In his chronicle, Hertzog describes Balbronn as a Staettlin; the church is old. Inside it is a headstone from 1574 containing the remains of Jean de Mittelhausen and his wife Barbe Hufel. In the forests in the west of Balbronn there was once a village called Elbersforst, in a large clearing in the forest where there is now the Auberge d'Elemerforst.
A plaque indicates. Stones from the old village can still be seen above the restaurant patio; these are the old foundations of several buildings of what was called Elbersforst. Since 2007 this medieval town has been the subject of archaeological excavations. Elbersforst was part of Westhoffen. 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 The commune has many buildings and sites that are registered as historical monuments: A Jewish House at 47-48 Rue Balbach Farmhouses A Chateau at Rue du Chateau The Town Hall/School at 63 Place de la Mairie A Protestant School at 170 Place du Pasteur-Albert-Kiefer A Merchant's House at 29 Rue des Tonneliers A Forester's House at Elmersforst The commune has several religious buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments: A Synagogue at Rue des Femmes A Protestant Presbytery 173 Rue du Fossé.
The Presbytery contains 2 communion ewers. A Protestant Church at Place du Pasteur-Albert-Kiefer The Parish Church of Saint-Catherine at Rue de Westhoffen The church contains many items that are registered as historical objects: The Furniture in the Church A Chalice with Paten and Spoon A Painting: Saint Catherine A Eucharistic Cabinet A Baptismal font The main Altar 3 Stained glass windows A Monumental Cross The Interdenominational Cemetery at Rue de Westhoffen The Church and Cemetery of Balbronn; the Cemetery contains a Cemetery Cross, registered as an historical object. Louis Albert Kiefer, pastor from 1873 to 1913, the date of his death, author of the book: Die geschichte balbronn, 1894. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department Balbronn on the old National Geographic website Regional Directorate of the Environment, Sustainable development, Lodgings website Balbronn official website Balbronn on Lion1906 Balbronn on Google Maps Balbronn on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute website Balbronn on the 1750 Cassini Map Balbronn on the INSEE website INSEE
Avolsheim 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 Avolsheimoises; 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. Avolsheim is located some 22 km west by 18 km north of Obernai. Access to the commune is by the D422 from Odratzheim in the north which passes through the centre of the commune and the town and continues south to Molsheim; the D127 goes east from the town to Dachstein. Apart from the significant sized urban area the commune is mixed farmland; the Bruche river flows north through the east of the commune and abruptly turns right near the northern border of the commune before continuing east to join a branch of the Rhine at Strasbourg. The Mossig river flows from the north-west forming the northern border of the commune before joining the Bruche; the first written record of the name of a village in the current commune dates from the year 788 and is called Hunzolfesheim.
It was found in 1051 spelled Avelsheim Afelsheim in 1350 with a dialectal form Âfelse. In 1496 it was written Afeltzheim and in 1589 Avelssheim again but with two "s". Since the village has had its present name and its spelling has not changed; the prefix offe was the origin of the name Avolsheim and therefore means "Open Town". It is possible that this name was given to the village since it was devoid of walls, which in the Middle Ages was rare. There is an old local saying in dialect: Es steht offe wie Âfelse suggesting that at one time the steeple at Avolsheim, which remained so long in ruins so was "open to the sky", that this could have been the origin of its name; this argument, with the previous one, are confirmed by the popular phrase, Fescht wie Landau un Offe wie Âfelse meaning "A Fort like Landau or open like Avolsheim". Avolsheim is located on the Gallo-Roman road linking Molsheim to Saverne. Many objects dating from this period were excavated in 1930. In the 10th century the area had two distinct hamlets: Avelsheim one hand, corresponding to the current village, Tumpfieter, Dompieter, or Domphietenheim, a village consisting of a group of a few farms and a mill located at a church called the Dompeter.
The last mention of this hamlet was in the 16th century. It died as a village by the end of the same century. For some historians doubt remains: it may have disappeared in the 17th century, its destruction following the Siege of Dachstein by the armies of Turenne. According to the papal bull of Leo IX in 1051 Avolsheim, including the Mont Sainte-Odile Abbey, was part of the possessions of the bishopric of Strasbourg. Avolsheim was put in vassalage to the Counts of Ostoffen to von Murnhart in 1384, remained with von Beger until 1521. From 1534 until the Revolution, the area was a fief of the dignitaries of the diocese; the village has been linked to the sub-prefecture of Molsheim since the Revolution. Avolsheim was once on the Sélestat to Saverne railway line before the section from Molsheim to Saverne was removed in 1967 and replaced with a bicycle path. List of Successive Mayors In 2010 the commune had 728 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 that are registered as historical monuments: A Vineyard Farmhouse at 3 Rue de la Boucherie A Vineyard Farmhouse at 4 Rue de Dompeter The Audéoud House or Maison des Soeurs at 1 place de l'Ecole A Stonemason's House at 2 place de l'Ecole A Vineyard Farmhouse at 4 Place de l'Eglise A Guardhouse at 16 Rue de la Paix A Vineyard Farmhouse at 2 Rue de la Paix A Boatman's House at 5 Rue de la Paix A former Presbytery now Town Hall at 8 Rue de la Paix A Fisherman's House at 9 Rue de la Paix A Stonemason's House at 2 bis Rue Saint-Ullrich A Farmhouse at 5 Route du Vin Houses and FarmsOther sites of interestThe Avolsheim Dam was built in 1682 on the Bruche Canal, built by Vauban; this canal was used to transport blocks of sandstone to Strasbourg from quarries at Soultz-les-Bains and Wolxheim which were necessary for the construction of the Citadel of Strasbourg.
This dam enabled the keeping of the water level high enough to supply the canal located a little further down. The commune has two religious buildings that are registered as historical monuments: The Chapel of Saint-Ullrich; the original building dates back to the end of the 10th century. In 1774 the chapel was transformed to become the new church adopting the facade, seen today; the chapel consists of an original Tetraconch, the oldest still existing in Alsace located along the ancient Roman road in the foothills of the Vosges. Taking the form of a clover leaf covered by a dome, the chapel is surmounted by an unusual octagonal tower. In 1774 a church was built next to the chapel to replace the Dompeter, too far away; the church was demolished in 1911 because the building was too small. The central dome and mural paintings were revealed in 1968; the chapel contains two items that are registered as historical objects: A Monumental Painting An Altar (18
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
Adamswiller 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 Adamswillerois or Adamswilleroises Adamswiller is located some 20 km north by north-west of Phalsbourg and 20 km south-east of Sarralbe; the D9 road from Mackwiller passes south through the western part of the commune on the way to Durstel in the south. The D182 runs off the D9 in the commune to Rexingen in the south-west. There is the D239 road from the village going north-east to join the D919 road just outside the commune; the commune is farmland with a little forest in the east. The commune is renowned for its pink sandstone from the north-east of the commune, approved for the restoration of historical monuments; the Eichel river forms the north-western border of the commune and the Marstbach forms the western border. The commune lies within the Northern Vosges Regional Natural Park; the commune was part of the County of La Petite-Pierre. Between Adamswiller and Mackwiller there have been found ancient tombs which have been given the name Totdenberg due to the heights on which they were found.
1281: Adelmanswiler 1793: Adamsweiller 1801: AdamswilerIn German: Adamsweiler. List of Successive Mayors of Adamswiller Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 The commune has a number of buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments: A Blacksmith's House at 27 Rue Principale The Town Hall / School at 44 Rue Principale A Farmhouse at 51 Rue Principale A Farmhouse at 55 Rue Principale The Au Cheval Noir restaurant at 59 Rue Principale The Weaver's House at 68 Rue Principale The Worker's House at 69 Rue Principale A Restaurant at 73 Rue Principale The Totenberg Tile Factory at RD 239 Houses and Farms A Public Bench at 12 Rue de la Gare is registered as an historical object. Other sites of interestThe Rauscher Quarry The Black Horse bistro The commune has several religious buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments: A Monstrance Altar Bench at CD 239 A Lutheran Church at Rue Principale; the Church has several items which are registered as historical objects: The Furniture in the Church The Organ A Baptismal Ewer and Basin The Cemetery.
All movable items in the Cemetery are registered as historical objects. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department Communes of the Bas-Rhin department sorted by arrondissements and cantons Communities of Communes of the Bas-Rhin département Arrondissements of the Bas-Rhin département Cantons of the Bas-Rhin département Adamswiller on the old National Geographic Institute website Adamswiller on Lion1906 Adamswiller on Google Maps Adamswiller on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute website Adamsweiller on the 1750 Cassini Map Adamswiller on the INSEE website INSEE
Beinheim is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Grand Est in the Alsace region of northeastern France. Beinheim lies on the A35 autoroute between Seltz, it is about 50 kilometres north near the German border. In 884, Beinheim belonged to the Abbey of Honau, is mentioned as such in a document of Charles the Fat; as a former landgrave city with a castle, by the 15th century, Beinheim was no longer head of the Riet. In 1255, Beinheim belonged to the baron of Fleckenstein, who sold it to the margrave of Bade in 1402 or 1404; the margrave introduced religious reform, which did not gain much of a hold. In 1497 the margrave sold Beinheim to the Count Palatine. In 1557 the count sold it back to the margrave, who maintained possession until the French Revolution; the castle was demolished in 1687. Bernard Hentsch was elected mayor in 2001 and has held the position since re-elected most in 2014. Beinheim has 19 municipal councillors. Census data has been collected since 1793. Since 2009, the populations of French communes are published yearly through a census based on annual data collection from all the communal territories over a period of five years.
For communes of under 10 000 inhabitants, census inquiries are made of the entire population every five years, with the populations of intermediate years extrapolated or interpolated. For the commune, the first exhaustive census under the new system was taken in 2006. Jean Adam Schramm French lieutenant-general during the Revolution and Empire was born and died in Beinheim. François Bracci French international association football player was born on 31 October, 1951 in Beinheim. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department INSEE commune file
Achenheim is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department and Grand Est region of north-eastern France. The village, in the arrondissement of Strasbourg and the canton of Lingolsheim lies close to the Canal de la Bruche and to the departemental road connecting Soultz-les-Bains to Strasbourg; the oldest traces of human habitation in Alsace – tools used by Homo erectus in the Paleolithic era some 700,000 years ago – have been found in loess deposits at Achenheim. In 1264 the village was burnt down by forces from Strasbourg during the war between the city and its bishop, Walter de Geroldseck. Canal de la Bruche Bruche River Communes of the Bas-Rhin department INSEE commune file