Aunis is a historical province of France, situated in the north-west of the department of Charente-Maritime. Its historic capital is La Rochelle, which took over from Castrum Allionis the historic capital which gives its name to the province, it was a fief of the Duchy of Aquitaine. It extended to Marais Poitevin in the north, Basse Saintonge in the east, Rochefortais in the south. Aunis had an influence 20–25 km into the Isle of Ré; the province was recognised during the reign of Charles V of France in 1374: "In 1374, Charles V separated La Rochelle from Saintonge to set up a provincial government, comprising the jurisdictions of Rochefort, Marennes and, for a time, Benon. It was thus that Aunis became a separate province."Aunis was the smallest province in France, in terms of area. Nowadays it is a part of the Charente-Maritime département together with Saintonge. People from Aunis were called Aunisienne; the English term is Aunisian. Aunis is a rolling chalk plain, whose navigable rivers have always been important modes of communication, from which came economic development and the urbanisation of the region.
The region is coastal, with varied seafronts and offshore islands, from which maritime activities diversified. Nowadays tourism is of great importance. Aunis has two river borders, those of the Sèvre Niortaise in the north, the Charente River in the south. To the west is the Atlantic Ocean and two islands, the Île de Ré and the Île d'Aix. To the east it is bordered by the valley of the Mignon River, by the hills of Saintonge around Saint-Félix, by the valleys of the Trézence and Boutonne. Aunis is a chalk plain of the Jurassic period, characterised by rolling hills, where no valley is enclosed, where the land has a regular descent towards the sea; the islands of Ré and Aix were made from the same type of rock. The chalk table completes the triangular promontory which juts into the Atlantic, forming the northern extremity of the Aquitaine Basin. Large freshwater and seawater marshes have formed in places that have been drained, hardly altering the general relief; the seawater marshes correspond to ancient marine gulfs, made from fluvial sediments.
Since the Middle Ages they have been continuously drained by people. In the north, the Marais Poitevin dries up, at the centre there are the valleys of the small river Curé and its main tributary the Virson and in the east the valley of the Mignon River). In the south is the marshland of "Little Flanders", drained since the 17th century. Together these constitute an important reservoir of fresh water, essential for the agricultural and snail-farming activities of the north of the department; the geography of the plain was always unfavourable for communications. The region was an enclave, for a long time on the margins of the French kingdom politically as well as geographically. Huge efforts were made to break this geographical isolation. Without doubt the most spectacular was the coming of the railway in 1857, running from La Rochelle and Rochefort to Paris; this line has been modernised. The regional railways connecting Nantes to Bordeaux serve Aunis, passing through La Rochelle, Châtelaillon-Plage and Rochefort.
Roads have been modernised, notably the roads from La Rochelle to Rochefort, from La Rochelle to Niort, the A837 autoroute from Rochefort to Saintes, the viaduct over the Charente River at Rochefort, the ring road around La Rochelle, the bridge to the Île de Ré, all of which are now dual carriageways. The modernisation of communication infrastructure had its heyday in the second half of the 19th century, at the end of the Second French Empire, economic activity diversified; the two principal agricultural resources are livestock farming. Dairy cows have long been the mainstay. Vineyards were abandoned after phylloxera wiped them out in 1876, although there are still some on the Île de Ré. At sea, between the estuary of the Sèvre Niortaise and the north of La Rochelle, mussel farming has an important place, while Fouras and the Marais d'Yves Nature Reserve are the main centres for oyster farming. La Rochelle keeps its place as a fishing port thanks to its modern port of Chef-de-Baie, but so fishing is in decline.
Reclamation of sea salt from the marshes of Aunis brought the region its riches in the Middle Ages, but this has now disappeared from the coast of mainland Aunis. However, it still takes place on the Île de Ré and notably on the nearby Île d'Ars, has achieved a certain notability for its small-volume craft production and minimal postprocessing. In the north-east of Aunis there is a huge forest of hardwood trees, the Forest of Benon, protected because it is unique to the region. With an area of 3,300 hectares, it is the Aunisiens' "green belt". La Rochelle Chamber of Commerce Rochefort and Saintonge Chamber of Commerce and IndustryAunis does not have the strong industrial tradition, the trademark of regions of the North and of Lorraine, it was only at the end of the 19th century that factories started to be developed. After World War II, industry in Aunis continued, was reinforced and brought up-to-date. Three industrial hubs emerged in Aunis to bring together the industries of Charente-Maritime: La Rochelle specialised in railway construction and naval construction (Chantiers navals Gameli
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
Provinces of France
The Kingdom of France was organized into provinces until March 4, 1790, when the establishment of the department system superseded provinces. The provinces of France were equivalent to the historic counties of England, they came into their final form over the course of many hundreds of years, as many dozens of semi-independent fiefs and former independent countries came to be incorporated into the French royal domain. Because of the haphazard manner in which the provinces evolved, each had its own sets of feudal traditions, taxation systems, etc. and the system represented an impediment to effective administration of the entire country from Paris. During the early years of the French Revolution, in an attempt to centralize the administration of the whole country, to remove the influence of the French nobility over the country, the entirety of the province system was abolished and replaced by the system of departments in use today. In some cases, several modern regions or departments share names with the historic provinces, their borders may cover the same territory.
The list below shows the major provinces of France at the time of their dissolution during the French Revolution. Capital cities are shown in parentheses. Bold indicates a city, the seat of a judicial and quasi-legislative body called either a parlement or a conseil souverain. In some cases, this body met in a different city from the capital. Île-de-France Berry Orléanais Normandy Languedoc Lyonnais Dauphiné Champagne Aunis Saintonge Poitou Guyenne and Gascony Burgundy Picardy Anjou Provence Angoumois Bourbonnais Marche Brittany Maine Touraine Limousin Foix Auvergne Béarn Alsace Artois Roussillon Flanders and Hainaut Franche-Comté Lorraine.
Saintonge spelled Xaintonge and Xainctonge, is a former province of France located on the west central Atlantic coast. The capital city was Saintes. Other principal towns include Saint-Jean-d'Angély, Frontenay-Rohan-Rohan, Marennes and Barbezieux-Saint-Hilaire; the borders of the province shifted through history, some mapmakers, such as Nicolas Sanson, Johannes Blaeu, Bernard Antoine Jaillot, show it extending into Cognac, traditionally part of Angoumois, to the parishes of Braud-et-Saint-Louis and Étauliers, part of the Pays Gabay on the right bank of the Gironde River. Today, four fifths of the historical Saintonge province occupies the modern département of Charente-Maritime. Most of the other fifth is in Charente, a small section extends north into Deux-Sèvres, all within the administrative region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine; the province derives its name from the Santones, an ancient Gallic tribe that once inhabited the area. During antiquity, Saintonge was part of the Roman province of Gallia Aquitania, Saintes became its first capital.
The region fell under the control of the kings and dukes of Aquitaine, the counts of Anjou the counts of Poitiers, before becoming integrated for centuries in the new Duchy of Aquitaine. Occupying the frontier between Capetian and Plantagenet-controlled areas during the late Middle Ages, between 1152 and 1451, it was the site of constant struggles between lords torn between their allegiance to Anglo-Aquitaine and those linked to Paris. Saintonge was attached to Anglo-Aquitaine until the mid-fourteenth century. However, errors by Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster and Edward, the Black Prince contributed to weakening English power, the province came under the control of the King of France, Charles VII, "the Victorious", in 1451. Saintonge was the birthplace of French explorer Jean Allefonsce in 1484, Samuel de Champlain in 1574, who explored the New World and founded Quebec, it was one of the centers of French Huguenots, Protestants. The distinctive Saintongeais dialect was once spoken throughout Saintonge, as well as in the provinces of Aunis and Angoumois.
The region is famous for its grapes, which are used to produce Pineau des Charentes. This area is famous for its medieval pottery, exported. Shards of it have been found in large quantities in medieval excavations throughout Ireland and other European countries; these shards are from vessels exported as a by-product of the Bordeaux wine trade. This ware has been found on Irish excavations from the 12th century but it is most uncovered in 13th-century contexts, they consist of an off-white micaceous fabric with moderate amounts of quartz and sparse inclusions of haematite. They are glazed on the external surface only, with a clear lead glaze. In Saintonge Green wares, the addition of copper filings, or copper oxide to the clear lead glaze, produced a mottled mid-green colouring. Many forms of Saintonge wares were produced, including Saintonge Polychrome, Saintonge Green, in some cases unglazed wares. Slipped Saintonge is more consistent in colour and appearance than unslipped, having the benefit of an undercoating to regulate the process.
The most common forms of vessel produced in this ware were wine jugs. These were characteristically tall, with ovoid bodies, flat bases, parrot-beak spouts and strap handles. Saintonge was exported well through the 17th century. Acadians and French colonists in Quebec and Eastern Canada imported many Saintonge ceramics, including bowls, plates and other types. Many Saintonge ceramic fragments have been found in context with 17th-century colonists and are used as evidence of pre-British occupation of these areas. Saintonge Regiment Derœux, D. & Dufournier, D. 1991. "Réflexions sur la diffusion de la céramique très decorée d’origine française en Europe du nord-ouest XIII-XIVe siècles", Archéologie médiévale 21, pp. 163–77
Geographic coordinate system
A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position. A common choice of coordinates is latitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection; the invention of a geographic coordinate system is credited to Eratosthenes of Cyrene, who composed his now-lost Geography at the Library of Alexandria in the 3rd century BC. A century Hipparchus of Nicaea improved on this system by determining latitude from stellar measurements rather than solar altitude and determining longitude by timings of lunar eclipses, rather than dead reckoning. In the 1st or 2nd century, Marinus of Tyre compiled an extensive gazetteer and mathematically-plotted world map using coordinates measured east from a prime meridian at the westernmost known land, designated the Fortunate Isles, off the coast of western Africa around the Canary or Cape Verde Islands, measured north or south of the island of Rhodes off Asia Minor.
Ptolemy credited him with the full adoption of longitude and latitude, rather than measuring latitude in terms of the length of the midsummer day. Ptolemy's 2nd-century Geography used the same prime meridian but measured latitude from the Equator instead. After their work was translated into Arabic in the 9th century, Al-Khwārizmī's Book of the Description of the Earth corrected Marinus' and Ptolemy's errors regarding the length of the Mediterranean Sea, causing medieval Arabic cartography to use a prime meridian around 10° east of Ptolemy's line. Mathematical cartography resumed in Europe following Maximus Planudes' recovery of Ptolemy's text a little before 1300. In 1884, the United States hosted the International Meridian Conference, attended by representatives from twenty-five nations. Twenty-two of them agreed to adopt the longitude of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England as the zero-reference line; the Dominican Republic voted against the motion, while Brazil abstained. France adopted Greenwich Mean Time in place of local determinations by the Paris Observatory in 1911.
In order to be unambiguous about the direction of "vertical" and the "horizontal" surface above which they are measuring, map-makers choose a reference ellipsoid with a given origin and orientation that best fits their need for the area they are mapping. They choose the most appropriate mapping of the spherical coordinate system onto that ellipsoid, called a terrestrial reference system or geodetic datum. Datums may be global, meaning that they represent the whole Earth, or they may be local, meaning that they represent an ellipsoid best-fit to only a portion of the Earth. Points on the Earth's surface move relative to each other due to continental plate motion and diurnal Earth tidal movement caused by the Moon and the Sun; this daily movement can be as much as a metre. Continental movement can be up to 10 m in a century. A weather system high-pressure area can cause a sinking of 5 mm. Scandinavia is rising by 1 cm a year as a result of the melting of the ice sheets of the last ice age, but neighbouring Scotland is rising by only 0.2 cm.
These changes are insignificant if a local datum is used, but are statistically significant if a global datum is used. Examples of global datums include World Geodetic System, the default datum used for the Global Positioning System, the International Terrestrial Reference Frame, used for estimating continental drift and crustal deformation; the distance to Earth's center can be used both for deep positions and for positions in space. Local datums chosen by a national cartographical organisation include the North American Datum, the European ED50, the British OSGB36. Given a location, the datum provides the latitude ϕ and longitude λ. In the United Kingdom there are three common latitude and height systems in use. WGS 84 differs at Greenwich from the one used on published maps OSGB36 by 112 m; the military system ED50, used by NATO, differs from about 120 m to 180 m. The latitude and longitude on a map made against a local datum may not be the same as one obtained from a GPS receiver. Coordinates from the mapping system can sometimes be changed into another datum using a simple translation.
For example, to convert from ETRF89 to the Irish Grid add 49 metres to the east, subtract 23.4 metres from the north. More one datum is changed into any other datum using a process called Helmert transformations; this involves converting the spherical coordinates into Cartesian coordinates and applying a seven parameter transformation, converting back. In popular GIS software, data projected in latitude/longitude is represented as a Geographic Coordinate System. For example, data in latitude/longitude if the datum is the North American Datum of 1983 is denoted by'GCS North American 1983'; the "latitude" of a point on Earth's surface is the angle between the equatorial plane and the straight line that passes through that point and through the center of the Earth. Lines joining points of the same latitude trace circles on the surface of Earth called parallels, as they are parallel to the Equator and to each other; the North Pole is 90° N. The 0° parallel of latitude is designated the Equator, the fun