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
Les Artigues-de-Lussac is a commune in the Gironde department in southwestern France. It is around 10 km northeast of Libourne, around 35 km east-northeast of Bordeaux. Communes of the Gironde department INSEE
The Loire is the longest river in France and the 171st longest in the world. With a length of 1,012 kilometres, it drains an area of 117,054 km2, or more than a fifth of France's land area, while its average discharge is only half that of the Rhône, it rises in the highlands of the southeastern quarter of the French Massif Central in the Cévennes range at 1,350 m near Mont Gerbier de Jonc. Its main tributaries include the rivers Nièvre and the Erdre on its right bank, the rivers Allier, Indre and the Sèvre Nantaise on the left bank; the Loire gives its name to six departments: Loire, Haute-Loire, Loire-Atlantique, Indre-et-Loire, Maine-et-Loire, Saône-et-Loire. The central part of the Loire Valley, located in the Pays de la Loire and Centre-Val de Loire regions, was added to the World Heritage Sites list of UNESCO on December 2, 2000. Vineyards and châteaux are found along the banks of the river throughout this section and are a major tourist attraction; the human history of the Loire river valley begins with the Middle Palaeolithic period of 90–40 kya, followed by modern humans, succeeded by the Neolithic period, all of the recent Stone Age in Europe.
Came the Gauls, the historical tribes in the Loire during the Iron Age period 1500 to 500 BC. Gallic rule ended in the valley in 56 BC when Julius Caesar conquered the adjacent provinces for Rome. Christianity was introduced into this valley from the 3rd century AD, as missionaries, converted the pagans. In this period, settlers began producing wines; the Loire Valley has been called the "Garden of France" and is studded with over a thousand châteaux, each with distinct architectural embellishments covering a wide range of variations, from the early medieval to the late Renaissance periods. They were created as feudal strongholds, over centuries past, in the strategic divide between southern and northern France; the name "Loire" comes from Latin Liger, itself a transcription of the native Gaulish name of the river. The Gaulish name comes from the Gaulish word liga, which means "silt, deposit, alluvium", a word that gave French lie, as in sur lie, which in turn gave English lees. Liga comes from the Proto-Indo-European root *legʰ-, meaning "to lie, lay" as in the Welsh word Lleyg, which gave many words in English, such as to lie, to lay, law, etc.
Studies of the palaeo-geography of the region suggest that the palaeo-Loire flowed northward and joined the Seine, while the lower Loire found its source upstream of Orléans in the region of Gien, flowing westward along the present course. At a certain point during the long history of uplift in the Paris Basin, the lower, Atlantic Loire captured the "palaeo-Loire" or Loire séquanaise, producing the present river; the former bed of the Loire séquanaise is occupied by the Loing. The Loire Valley has been inhabited since the Middle Palaeolithic period from 40–90 ka. Neanderthal man navigated the river. Modern man inhabited the Loire valley around 30 ka. By around 5000 to 4000 BC, they began clearing forests along the river edges and cultivating the lands and rearing livestock, they built megaliths to worship the dead from around 3500 BC. The Gauls arrived in the valley between 1500 and 500 BC, the Carnutes settled in Cenabum in what is now Orléans and built a bridge over the river. By 600 BC the Loire had become a important trading route between the Celts and the Greeks.
A key transportation route, it served as one of the great "highways" of France for over 2000 years. The Phoenicians and Greeks had used pack horses to transport goods from Lyon to the Loire to get from the Mediterranean basin to the Atlantic coast; the Romans subdued the Gauls in 52 BC and began developing Cenabum, which they named Aurelianis. They began building the city of Caesarodunum, now Tours, from AD 1; the Romans used the Loire as far as Roanne, around 150 km downriver from the source. After AD 16, the Loire river valley became part of the Roman province of Aquitania, with its capital at Avaricum. From the 3rd century, Christianity spread through the river basin, many religious figures began cultivating vineyards along the river banks. In the 5th century, the Roman Empire declined and the Franks and the Alemanni came to the area from the east. Following this there was ongoing conflict between the Franks and the Visigoths. In 408, the Iranian tribe of Alans crossed the Loire and large hordes of them settled along the middle course of the Loire in Gaul under King Sangiban.
Many inhabitants around the present city of Orléans have names bearing witness to the Alan presence – Allaines. In the 9th century, the Vikings began invading the west coast of France, using longships to navigate the Loire. In 853 they attacked and destroyed Tours and its famous abbey destroying Angers in raids of 854 and 872. In 877 Charles the Bald died. After considerable conflict in the region, in 898 Foulques le Roux of Anjou gained power. During the Hundred Years' War from 1337 to 1453, the Loire marked the border between the French and the English, who occupied territory to the north. One-third of the inhabitants died in the epidemic of the Black D
Bagas is a commune in the Gironde department in southwestern France. Communes of the Gironde department INSEE
Auriolles is a commune in the Gironde department in southwestern France. Communes of the Gironde department INSEE
Avensan is a commune in the Gironde department in southwestern France. Communes of the Gironde department INSEE
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