Le Havre, is an urban French commune and city in the Seine-Maritime department in the Normandy region of northwestern France. It is situated on the right bank of the estuary of the river Seine on the Channel southwest of the Pays de Caux. Modern Le Havre remains influenced by its employment and maritime traditions, its port is the second largest in France, after that of Marseille, for total traffic, the largest French container port. The name Le Havre means "the harbour" or "the port", its inhabitants are known as Havraises. Administratively the commune is located in the Normandy region and, with Dieppe, is one of the two sub-prefectures of the Seine-Maritime department. Le Havre is the capital of the canton. Le Havre is the most populous commune of Upper Normandy, although the total population of the greater Le Havre conurbation is smaller than that of Rouen, it is the second largest subprefecture in France. The city and port were founded by King Francis I in 1517. Economic development in the Early modern period was hampered by religious wars, conflicts with the English and storms.
It was from the end of the 18th century that Le Havre started growing and the port took off first with the slave trade other international trade. After the 1944 bombings the firm of Auguste Perret began to rebuild the city in concrete; the oil and automotive industries were dynamic during the Trente Glorieuses but the 1970s marked the end of the golden age of ocean liners and the beginning of the economic crisis: the population declined, unemployment increased and remains at a high level today. Changes in years 1990–2000 were numerous; the right won the municipal elections and committed the city to the path of reconversion, seeking to develop the service sector and new industries. The Port 2000 project increased the container capacity to compete with ports of northern Europe, transformed the southern districts of the city, ocean liners returned. In 2005 UNESCO inscribed the central city of Le Havre as a World Heritage Site; the André Malraux Modern Art Museum is the second of France for the number of impressionist paintings.
The city has been awarded two flowers by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom. Le Havre is a major French city located some 50 kilometres west of Rouen on the shore of the English Channel and at the mouth of the Seine. Numerous roads link to Le Havre with the main access roads being the A29 autoroute from Amiens and the A13 autoroute from Paris linking to the A131 autoroute. Administratively, Le Havre is a commune in the Normandy region in the west of the department of Seine-Maritime; the urban area of Le Havre corresponds to the territory of the Agglomeration community of Le Havre which includes 17 communes and 250,000 people. It occupies the south-western tip of the natural region of Pays de Caux where it is the largest city. Le Havre is sandwiched between the coast of the Channel from south-west to north-west and the estuary of the Seine to the south. Le Havre belongs to the Paris Basin, formed in the Mesozoic period; the Paris Basin consists of sedimentary rocks.
The commune of Le Havre consists of two areas separated by a natural cliff edge: one part in the lower part of the town to the south including the harbour, the city centre and the suburbs. It was built on former marshland and mudflats; the soil consists of several metres of silt deposited by the Seine. The city centre was rebuilt after the Second World War using a metre of flattened rubble as a foundation; the upper town to the north, is part of the cauchois plateau: the neighbourhood of Dollemard is its highest point. The plateau is covered with a fertile silt; the bedrock consists of a large thickness of chalk measuring up to 200 m deep. Because of the slope the coast is affected by the risk of landslides. Due to its location on the coast of the Channel, the climate of Le Havre is temperate oceanic. Days without wind are rare. There are maritime influences throughout the year. According to the records of the meteorological station of the Cap de la Heve, the temperature drops below 0 °C on 24.9 days per year and it rises above 25 °C on 11.3 days per year.
The average annual sunshine duration is 1,785.8 hours per year. Precipitation is distributed with a maximum in autumn and winter; the months of June and July are marked by some thunderstorms on average 2 days per month. One of the characteristics of the region is the high variability of the temperature during the day; the prevailing winds are from the southwest sector for strong winds and north-north-east for breezes, snowstorms occur in winter in January and February. The absolute speed record for wind at Le Havre – Cap de la Heve was recorded on 16 October 1987 at 180 kilometres per hour; the main natural hazards are floods and storm surges. The lower town is subject to a rising water table; the lack of watercourses within the commune prevents flooding from overflows. Le Havre's beach may experience flooding known as "flooding from storms"; these are caused by the combination of strong winds, high waves, a large tidal range. Weather Data for Le Havre A study by Aphekom comparing ten large French cities showed that Le Havre is the least polluted urban commune of France.
Le Havre is the third best city in France with more than 100,000 inhabitants for air quality. A Carbon accounting showed i
Île-de-France called the région parisienne, contains the city of Paris, is the most populous of the 18 regions of France. It covers 12,012 square kilometres, or two percent of the national territory, has official estimated population of 12,213,364 as of January 1, 2019, or 18.2% of the population of France. The region accounts for nearly 30 percent of the French Gross Domestic Product; the region is made up of eight administrative departments: Paris, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Seine-et-Marne, Val-de-Marne, Val-d'Oise and Yvelines. It was created as the "District of the Paris Region" in 1961 renamed in 1976 after the historic province of Île-de-France, when its status was aligned with the other French administrative regions created in 1972. Residents are sometimes referred to an administrative word created in the 1980s; the GDP of the region in 2016 was €681 billion. It has the highest per-capita GDP among regions in France and the third-highest of regions in the European Union. In 2018 all of the twenty-eight French companies listed in the Fortune Global 500 had their headquarters in the Paris region.
Besides the landmarks of Paris, the region has many important historic sites, including the Palace of Versailles and the Palace of Fontainebleau, as well as the most-visited tourist attraction in France, Disneyland Paris. Although the modern name Île-de-France means "Island of France", the etymology is in fact unclear; the "island" may refer to the land between the rivers Oise and Seine, or it may have been a reference to the Île de la Cité, where the French royal palace and cathedral were located. The Île-de-France was inhabited by the Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the area's major north–south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité; the Parisii minted their own coins for that purpose. The Romans began their settlement on Paris's Left Bank, it became a prosperous city with a forum, temples, an amphitheatre. Christianity was introduced in the middle of the 3rd century AD by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris: according to legend, when he refused to renounce his faith before the Roman occupiers, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as Mons Martyrum "Montmartre", from where he walked headless to the north of the city.
As the Frankish domination of Gaul began, there was a gradual immigration by the Franks to Paris and the Parisian Francien dialects were born. Fortification of the Île-de-la-Citie failed to avert sacking by Vikings in 845, but Paris's strategic importance—with its bridges preventing ships from passing—was established by successful defence in the Siege of Paris. In 987, Hugh Capet, Count of Paris and Duke of the Franks, was elected King of the Franks. Under the rule of the Capetian kings, Paris became the largest and most prosperous city in France; the Kings of France enjoyed getting away from Paris and hunting in the game-filled forests of the region. They built palatial hunting lodges, most notably Palace of Fontainebleau and the Palace of Versailles. From the time of Louis XIV until the French Revolution, Versailles was the official residence of the Kings and the seat of the French government; the Ile-de-France became the term used for the territory of Paris and the surrounding province, administered directly by the King.
During the French Revolution, the royal provinces were abolished and divided into departments, the city and region were governed directly by the national government. In the period after World War II, as Paris faced a major housing shortage, hundreds of massive apartment blocks for low-income residents were built around the edges of Paris. In the 1950s and the 1960s, Many thousands of immigrants settled in the communes bordering the city. In 1959, under President Charles De Gaulle, a new region was created out of six departments, which corresponded with the historic region, with the name District de la région de Paris. On 6 May 1976, as part of the process of regionalisation, the district was reconstituted and increased administrative and political powers and renamed the Île-de-France region. Île-de-France has a land area of 12,011 km2. It is composed of eight départements centered on Paris. Around the département of Paris, urbanization fills a first concentric ring of three departments known as the petite couronne, extends into a second outer ring of four départements known as the grande couronne.
The former département of Seine, abolished in 1968, included the city proper and parts of the petite couronne. The petite couronne consists of the départements of Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, the grande couronne of those of Seine-et-Marne, Yvelines and Val-d'Oise. Politically, the region is divided into 8 départements, 25 arrondissements, 155 cantons and 1 276 communes, out of the total of 35 416 in metropolitan France, The outer parts of the Ile-de-France remain rural. Agriculture land and natu
Mont Saint Michel Abbey
The Mont Saint Michel Abbey is located within the city and island of Mont-Saint-Michel in Lower Normandy, in the department of Manche. The abbey is an essential part of the structural composition of the town the feudal society constructed. On top, the abbey, monastery; the abbey has been protected as a French monument historique since 1862. Since 1979, the site as a whole – i.e. the Mont Saint-Michel and its bay – has been a UNESCO world heritage site and is managed by the Centre des monuments nationaux. With more than 1.335 million visitors in 2010, the abbey is among the most visited cultural sites in France. The first text about an abbey is the 9th-century Latin text Revelatio ecclesiae sancti Michaelis in monte Tumba written by a chanoine living at Mont Saint Michel or at the Cathédrale Saint-André d'Avranches; this text was written at a time of power struggle between Brittany and the County of Normandy against Francia as well as during canon law reforms by Roman emperors. When Christianity expanded to the area, around the 4th century, Mont Tombe, the original name of Mont Saint Michel, was part of the Diocese of Avranches.
By the middle of the 6th century, Christianity had a stronger presence in the bay. By this time, Mont Tombe was populated by religious devotees, hermits supplied by the curé of Astériac, who took care of the site and led a contemplative life around some oratories; the hermits Saint Pair and Saint Seubilion dedicated one of the oratories to Saint Étienne, midway through the mont and one to Saint Symphorien, at the foot of the rock. In 710, Mont Tombe was renamed Mont Saint Michel au péril de la Mer after erecting an oratory to Saint Michael by bishop Saint Aubert of Avranches in 708. According to the legend, Aubert received, during his sleep, three times the order from Saint Michael to erect an oratory on the Mont Tombe; the archangel was reputed to have left his finger mark on Aubert's skull. This skull is displayed at the Saint-Gervais d'Avranches basilica with such a scar on it; this sanctuary should be, according to a replica of the Gargano in Italy. Aubert had a local religious artifact removed and instead a circular sanctuary built, made of dry stones.
Around 708, Aubert sent two monks to get some artifacts from the Italian sanctuary Gargano. During this mission, the March 709 tsunami is supposed to have destroyed the Scissy forest and turned the Mont into an island. On October 16 709, the bishop put twelve chanoine there; the Mont-Saint-Michel was born. The remains of the oratory were found in the chapel Notre-Dame-Sous-Terre; this sanctuary contained the tomb of Aubert and most the artifacts brought from Gargano. The chapel Notre-Dame-Sous-Terre is today under the nave of the abbey-church; the first buildings became too small and under the Western Roman Empire multiple buildings were added. Charlemagne chose saint Michel as a protector of his empire during the 9th century and tried to have the place renamed Mont-Saint-Michel, but during the Middle Ages it was called Saint-Michel-aux-Deux-Tombes; the Mont-Saint-Michel monks, during the first century of their institution, venerated the archangel Michael. The Mont became a place of prayer and study, but the stability period, known as the Neustria, during the reign of Charlemagne ended when he died.
As the rest of Gaule was fighting invasions and science found some welcoming in the diocese of Avranches and at the Mont-Saint-Michel. At first, pilgrims kept coming to the Mont. After the Vikings captured the Mont in 847, the monks departed. But, as an island, it offered some protection for the local population and thus never stayed empty. After the signature of the treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte, Rollo started repairing the damages inflicted to the religious buildings, he generously financed the Mont and called back the monks displaced by the war, returning the Mont to its previous condition. The wealth and support that the Mont obtained from Rollo started to fundamentally affect its inhabitants, taking them away from their solitary, religious life. After William I of Normandy took over his father's title as Duke of Normandy in 927, he expanded his support toward monasteries until his assassination in 932; because of their generous contributions to the Mont, the Dukes of Brittany Conan 1st, who died in 992, Geoffrey 1st, who died in 1008, were buried in the Mont as benefactors.
The rapid growth of wealth of the church-abbey Saint-Michel became an obstacle to its function and nature. The religious used their wealth, coming from the piety of the rich surrounding princes, to satisfy their pleasures. Local nobles tried to obtain the favors of the Mont's religious inhabitants to spend it on meals and hunting in their company, which became their main occupation; when Richard 1st, son of William 1st, became duke of Normandy, he tried, using his authority, to return them to a more monastic life. After failing to do so, with the approbation of pope John XIII and king Lothair, he decided to replace them with a monastery of the Benedict order, as mentioned in Introductio monachorum, a treaty written around 1080-1095 by a Mont-Saint-Michel monk trying to defend the independence of the monastery toward the state. After getting the approval from the local warlords and religio
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
The Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave in the Ardèche department of southern France is a cave that contains some of the best-preserved figurative cave paintings in the world, as well as other evidence of Upper Paleolithic life. It is located near the commune of Vallon-Pont-d'Arc on a limestone cliff above the former bed of the Ardèche River, in the Gorges de l'Ardèche. Discovered on December 18, 1994, it is considered one of the most significant prehistoric art sites and the UN’s cultural agency UNESCO granted it World Heritage status on June 22, 2014; the cave was first explored by a group of three speleologists: Eliette Brunel-Deschamps, Christian Hillaire, Jean-Marie Chauvet for whom it was named six months after an aperture now known as "Le Trou de Baba" was discovered by Michel Rosa. At a date the group returned to the cave. Another member of this group, Michel Chabaud, along with two others, travelled further into the cave and discovered the Gallery of the Lions, the End Chamber. Chauvet has his own detailed account of the discovery.
In addition to the paintings and other human evidence, they discovered fossilized remains and markings from a variety of animals, some of which are now extinct. Further study by French archaeologist Jean Clottes has revealed much about the site; the dates have been a matter of dispute but a study published in 2012 supports placing the art in the Aurignacian period 32,000–30,000 years BP. A study published in 2016 using additional 88 radiocarbon dates showed two periods of habitation, one 37,000 to 33,500 years ago and the second from 31,000 to 28,000 years ago with most of the black drawings dating to the earlier period; the cave is situated above the previous course of the Ardèche River. The gorges of the Ardèche region are the site of numerous caves, many of them having some geological or archaeological importance. Based on radiocarbon dating, the cave appears to have been used by humans during two distinct periods: the Aurignacian and the Gravettian. Most of the artwork dates to the earlier, era.
The Gravettian occupation, which occurred 27,000 to 25,000 years ago, left little but a child's footprints, the charred remains of ancient hearths, carbon smoke stains from torches that lit the caves. The footprints may be the oldest human footprints. After the child's visit to the cave, evidence suggests that due to a landslide which covered its historical entrance, the cave remained untouched until it was discovered in 1994; the soft, clay-like floor of the cave retains the paw prints of cave bears along with large, rounded depressions that are believed to be the "nests" where the bears slept. Fossilized bones include the skulls of cave bears and the horned skull of an ibex. A set of foot prints of a young child and a wolf or dog walking side by side was found in this cave; this information suggests. Hundreds of animal paintings have been catalogued, depicting at least 13 different species, including some or never found in other ice age paintings. Rather than depicting only the familiar herbivores that predominate in Paleolithic cave art, i.e. horses, mammoths, etc. the walls of the Chauvet Cave feature many predatory animals, e.g. cave lions, panthers and cave hyenas.
There are paintings of rhinoceroses. Typical of most cave art, there are no paintings of complete human figures, although there is one partial "Venus" figure composed of what appears to be a vulva attached to an incomplete pair of legs. Above the Venus, in contact with it, is a bison head, which has led some to describe the composite drawing as a Minotaur. There are a few panels of red ochre hand prints and hand stencils made by blowing pigment over hands pressed against the cave surface. Abstract markings—lines and dots—are found throughout the cave. There are two unidentifiable images that have a vaguely butterfly or avian shape to them; this combination of subjects has led some students of prehistoric art and cultures to believe that there was a ritual, shamanic, or magical aspect to these paintings. One drawing overlaid with a sketch of a deer, is reminiscent of a volcano spewing lava, similar to the regional volcanoes that were active at the time. If confirmed, this would represent the earliest known drawing of a volcanic eruption.
The artists who produced these paintings used techniques found in other cave art. Many of the paintings appear to have been made only after the walls were scraped clear of debris and concretions, leaving a smoother and noticeably lighter area upon which the artists worked. A three-dimensional quality and the suggestion of movement are achieved by incising or etching around the outlines of certain figures; the art is exceptional for its time for including "scenes", e.g. animals interacting with each other. The cave contains some of the oldest known cave paintings, based on radiocarbon dating of "black from drawings, from torch marks and from the floors", according to Jean Clottes. Clottes concludes that the "dates fall into two groups, one centered around 27,000–26,000 BP and the other around 32,000–30,000 BP." As of 1999, the dates of 31 samples from the cave had been reported. The earliest, sample Gifa 99776 from "zone 10", dates to 32,900 ± 490 BP; some archaeologists have questioned these dates.
Christian Züchner, relying on stylistic comparisons with similar paintings at other well-dated sites, expressed the opinion that the red paintings are from the Gravettian period and the black paintings are from the Early Magd
Le Mont-Saint-Michel is an island and mainland commune in Normandy, France. The island is located about one kilometer off the country's northwestern coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches and is 7 hectares in area; the mainland part of the commune is 393 hectares in area so that the total surface of the commune is 400 hectares. As of 2015, the island has a population of 50; the island has held strategic fortifications since ancient times and since the 8th century AD has been the seat of the monastery from which it draws its name. The structural composition of the town exemplifies the feudal society that constructed it: on top, the abbey and monastery; the commune's position—on an island just a few hundred metres from land—made it accessible at low tide to the many pilgrims to its abbey, but defensible as an incoming tide stranded, drove off, or drowned would-be assailants. The Mont remained unconquered during the Hundred Years' War; the reverse benefits of its natural defence were not lost on Louis XI, who turned the Mont into a prison.
Thereafter the abbey began to be used as a jail during the Ancien Régime. One of France's most recognisable landmarks, visited by more than 3 million people each year, the Mont Saint-Michel and its bay are on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Over 60 buildings within the commune are protected in France as monuments historiques. Now a rocky tidal island, the Mont occupied dry land in prehistoric times; as sea levels rose, erosion reshaped the coastal landscape, several outcrops of granite emerged in the bay, having resisted the wear and tear of the ocean better than the surrounding rocks. These included Lillemer, the Mont Dol and Mont Tombe called Mont Saint-Michel. Mont Saint-Michel consists of leucogranite which solidified from an underground intrusion of molten magma about 525 million years ago, during the Cambrian period, as one of the younger parts of the Mancellian granitic batholith; the Mont has a circumference of about 960 m and its highest point is 92 m above sea level. The tides can vary at 14 metres between highest and lowest water marks.
Popularly nicknamed "St. Michael in peril of the sea" by medieval pilgrims making their way across the flats, the mount can still pose dangers for visitors who avoid the causeway and attempt the hazardous walk across the sands from the neighbouring coast. Polderisation and occasional flooding have created salt marsh meadows that were found to be ideally suited to grazing sheep; the well-flavoured meat that results from the diet of the sheep in the pré salé makes agneau de pré-salé, a local specialty that may be found on the menus of restaurants that depend on income from the many visitors to the mount. The connection between the Mont Saint-Michel and the mainland has changed over the centuries. Connected by a tidal causeway uncovered only at low tide, this was converted into a raised causeway in 1879, preventing the tide from scouring the silt around the mount; the coastal flats have been polderised to create pastureland, decreasing the distance between the shore and the island, the Couesnon River has been canalised, reducing the dispersion of the flow of water.
These factors all encouraged silting-up of the bay. On 16 June 2006, the French prime minister and regional authorities announced a €200 million project to build a hydraulic dam using the waters of the Couesnon and the tides to help remove the accumulated silt, to make Mont Saint-Michel an island again; the construction of the dam began in 2009. The project includes the removal of the causeway and its visitor car park. Since 28 April 2012, the new car park on the mainland has been located 2.5 kilometres from the island. Visitors can use shuttles to cross the causeway. On 22 July 2014, the new bridge by architect Dietmar Feichtinger was opened to the public; the light bridge allows the waters to flow around the island and improves the efficiency of the now operational dam. The project, which cost €209 million, was opened by President François Hollande. On rare occasions, tidal circumstances produce an high "supertide"; the new bridge was submerged on 21 March 2015 by the highest sea level for at least 18 years, as crowds gathered to snap photos.
The original site was founded by an Irish hermit. Mont Saint-Michel was used in the sixth and seventh centuries as an Armorican stronghold of Gallo-Roman culture and power until it was ransacked by the Franks, thus ending the trans-channel culture that had stood since the departure of the Romans in 460. From the fifth to the eighth century, Mont Saint-Michel belonged to the territory of Neustria and, in the early ninth century, was an important place in the marches of Neustria. Before the construction of the first monastic establishment in the 8th century, the island was called Mont Tombe. According to a legend, the archangel Michael appeared in 708 to Aubert of Avranches, the bishop of Avranches, instructed him to build a church on the rocky islet. Unable to defend his kingdom against the assaults of the Vikings, the king of the Franks agreed to grant the Cotentin
Nancy is the capital of the north-eastern French department of Meurthe-et-Moselle, the capital of the Duchy of Lorraine, the French province of the same name. The metropolitan area of Nancy had a population of 434,565 inhabitants at the 2011 census, making it the 20th largest urban area in France; the population of the city of Nancy proper was 104,321 in 2014. The motto of the city is Non inultus premor, Latin for "I'm not touched with impunity"—a reference to the thistle, a symbol of Lorraine. Place Stanislas, a large square built between March 1752 and November 1755 by Stanislaus I of Poland to link the medieval old town of Nancy and the new town built under Charles III in the 17th century, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the first place in France and in the top four in the world; the earliest signs of human settlement in the area date to 800 BC. Early settlers were attracted by mined iron ore and a ford in the Meurthe River. A small fortified town named Nanciacum was built by Gérard, Duke of Lorraine around 1050.
Nancy was burned in 1218 at the end of the War of Succession of Champagne, conquered by Emperor Frederick II. It was rebuilt in stone over the next few centuries as it grew in importance as the capital of the Duchy of Lorraine. Duke Charles the Bold of Burgundy, was defeated and killed in the Battle of Nancy in 1477. Following the failure of both Emperor Joseph I and Emperor Charles VI to produce a son and heir, the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 left the throne to the latter's next child; this turned out to be Maria Theresa of Austria. In 1736 Emperor Charles arranged her marriage to Duke François of Lorraine, who reluctantly agreed to exchange his ancestral lands for the Grand Duchy of Tuscany; the exiled Polish king Stanislaus Leszczyński, father-in-law of the French king Louis XV, was given the vacant duchy of Lorraine. Under his nominal rule, Nancy experienced growth and a flowering of Baroque culture and architecture. Stanislaus oversaw the construction of Place Stanislaus, a major square and development connecting the old medieval with a newer part of the city.
After Stanislaus' death in 1766, the duchy of Lorraine returned to the status of a regular French province. Nancy lost its position as a residential capital city with patronage; as unrest surfaced within the French armed forces during the French Revolution, a full-scale mutiny, known as the Nancy affair, took place in Nancy in the latter part of summer 1790. A few units loyal to the government shot or imprisoned the mutineers. In 1871, Nancy remained French; the flow of refugees reaching Nancy doubled its population in three decades. Artistic, academic and industrial excellence flourished, establishing what is still the Capital of Lorraine's trademark to this day. Nancy and other areas of France were occupied by German forces from 1940. During the Lorraine Campaign of World War II, Nancy was liberated from Nazi Germany by the U. S. Third Army in September 1944, at the Battle of Nancy. In 1988, Pope John Paul II visited Nancy. In 2005, French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski inaugurated the renovated Place Stanislas.
It is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nancy is situated on the left bank of the river Meurthe, about 10 km upstream from its confluence with the Moselle; the Marne–Rhine Canal runs through the city, parallel to the Meurthe. Nancy is surrounded by hills that are about 150 m higher than the city center, situated at 200 m above mean sea level; the area of Nancy proper is small: 15 km2. Its built-up area is continuous with those of its adjacent suburbs; the neighboring communes of Nancy are: Jarville-la-Malgrange, Malzéville, Maxéville, Saint-Max, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy and Villers-lès-Nancy. The oldest part of Nancy is the quarter Vieille Ville – Léopold, which contains the 14th century Porte de la Craffe, the Palace of the Dukes of Lorraine, the Porte Désilles and the 19th century St-Epvre basilica. Adjacent to its south is the quarter Charles III – Centre Ville, the 16th–18th century "new town"; this quarter contains the famous Place Stanislas, the Nancy Cathedral, the Opéra national de Lorraine and the main railway station.
The population of the city proper experienced a small decrease in population from 2009 to 2014, placing it behind Metz as the second largest city in the Lorraine. However, the urban area of Metz experienced population decline from 1990 to 2010 while the urban area of Nancy grew over the same period, becoming the largest urban area in Lorraine and second largest in the "Grand Est" region of northeastern France. Within the Nancy metropolitan area in recent years, the city population declined at the same time as a small increase in the population of its urban area. Nancy has an oceanic climate, although a bit more extreme than most of the larger French cities. By the standards of France it is a "continental" climate with a certain degree of maritimy; the temperatures have a distinct variation of the temperate zone, both during the day and between seasons but without being different. Winters are dry in freezing climates. Summers are not warm enough. Mists are frequent in autumn and the winds are light and not too violent.
Precipitation tends to be less abundant than in the west of the country. Sunshine hours are identical to Paris and the snowy days are the same as Stra