Aiguilhe is a commune in the Haute-Loire department in south-central France. Aiguilhe is close to Le Puy-en-Velay, famous for the Saint Michel chapel. Communes of the Haute-Loire department INSEE statistics
Aubazat is a commune in the Haute-Loire department and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of south-east central France. Communes of the Haute-Loire department INSEE statistics
Haute-Loire is a department in south-central France named after the Loire River. Haute-Loire is part of the current region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and is surrounded by the departments of Loire, Ardèche, Lozère, Puy-de-Dôme; the inhabitants of the department are called Altiligériens. The department covers the upper reaches of the Loire and consists of the Loire Valley and the surrounding mountains in the Massif Central, it is one of the original 83 departments of France created in 1790 during the French Revolution. Parts of the department are included in the Livradois-Forez Regional Natural Park; the first known inhabitants of this region were hunter-gatherers and it was occupied by pastoralists, shepherds living in caves or simple huts. It came under the control of a Gaulish tribe called Vellavi and at the time of Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars, this area lay on the border of Gallia Narbonensis; the area became a Roman province in 121 BC under the name Gallia Transalpina. The name distinguished it from Cisalpine Gaul on the near side of the Alps to Rome.
In 40 BC, during the Second Triumvirate, Lepidus was given responsibility for Narbonese Gaul, while Mark Antony was given the balance of Gaul. The area was ravaged by barbarian invasions in the last years of the Roman Empire, Galla Narbonensis and surrounding areas were incorporated into the Visigothic Kingdom between 462 and 477 AD, permanently ending the political control of Rome. After the Gothic takeover, the Visigothic dominions were known as Septimania; the king of the Visigoths, Alaric I was killed at the Battle of Vouillé in 507, a battle won by Clovis I and Velay came under Frankish rule. On Clovis' death in 511, his kingdom was divided among his four sons, Velay was included in the part of the king of Austrasia part of the French kingdom; these subdivisions were united under the auspices of his longest surviving son Chlothar I, only to be split again under his four sons at his death. It was reunited once more under Chlothar II who became the sole ruler of the Frankish people in 613.
In about 928, the area became a fiefdom of the Count of Toulouse, came under the control of the Count of Poitiers. In 1137, Eleanor of Aquitaine succeeded to the Duchy of Aquitaine and her marriage to Henry, Duke of Normandy, who became Henry II of England, brought Auvergne under English rule. By the end of the thirteenth century the area was known as the Dauphiné d’Auvergne. Haute-Loire is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790, by order of the National Constituent Assembly; the new departments were to be uniformly administered and equal to one another in size and population. Haute-Loire was formed from parts of the former provinces of Auvergne and Lyonnais. Two thirds of the department, centred on Le Puy-en-Velay, used to be part of the former province of Languedoc and is known as Velay; the geographical distance from Toulouse had allowed this region to enjoy a great deal of autonomy. Haute-Loire is a department in south central France and is part of the region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.
The capital and largest town in the department is Le Puy-en-Velay. To the north of Haute-Loire lie Puy-de-Dôme and Loire, to the east lies Ardèche, to the south lies Lozère and to the west lies Cantal; the river Loire rises in the southern part of the department and flows northwards, creating a wide valley. On either side of this lie ranges of mountains in the Massif Central; the north part of the department is part of the Livradois-Forez Regional Natural Park, a protected area of traditionally-farmed agricultural land and woodland, covering a total area of 297,000 hectares. The department has four mountain ranges running south; these are the Haut-Vivarais and its continuation, the Boutières range, the Massif du Meygal, the Velay Mountains and the Margeride Mountains. The highest point of the department is the Mont Mézenc and its average elevation is 719 m; the two-thirds of the area is over 800 m and the lowest point is 393 m. Velay has been associated with the traditional region of Vivarais, now part of Ardèche.
The two regions share a common dialect, similar to that spoken in Provence, the reason being associated with the trade links between the two regions. Claude-Jean Allouez was born in Saint-Didier-en-Velay, he was a Jesuit missionary and explorer in North America, said to have converted ten thousand Native Americans. The town of Allouez, Wisconsin is named after him; the de Polignac family has its historic seat in the department, various descendants of General Lafayette were senators for this region in the nineteenth century. The black metal band Peste Noire comes from the city La Chaise-Dieu; the department is popular with tourists. Le Puy-en-Velay has a historic cathedral at which pilgrims gather before starting their journey to Santiago de Compostela; the cathedral has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998, as part of the "Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France". Another site of pilgrimage is at Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe, a twelfth century chapel on top of a rocky pinnacle approached by a flight of 268 steps.
Cantons of the Haute-Loire department Communes of the Haute-Loire department Arrondissements of the Haute-Loire department Prefecture website Regional council website Haute-Loire at Curlie Tourist website The Haut-Allier Website concerned with the western half of the Haute Loire which follows the unknown Allier valley and gorges Regordane Info Independent
Araules is a commune in the Haute-Loire department in south-central France. Communes of the Haute-Loire department INSEE statistics
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
Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette
Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, known in the United States as Lafayette, was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War, commanding American troops in several battles, including the Siege of Yorktown. After returning to France, he was a key figure in the French Revolution of 1789 and the July Revolution of 1830. Lafayette was born into a wealthy land-owning family in Chavaniac in the province of Auvergne in south central France, he followed the family's martial tradition and was commissioned an officer at age 13. He became convinced that the American cause was noble in its revolutionary war, he traveled to the New World seeking glory in it, he was made a major general at age 19, but he was not given American troops to command. He was wounded during the Battle of Brandywine but still managed to organize an orderly retreat, he served with distinction in the Battle of Rhode Island. In the middle of the war, he sailed for home to lobby for an increase in French support.
He was given senior positions in the Continental Army. In 1781, troops under his command in Virginia blocked forces led by Cornwallis until other American and French forces could position themselves for the decisive Siege of Yorktown. Lafayette returned to France and was appointed to the Assembly of Notables in 1787, convened in response to the fiscal crisis, he was elected a member of the Estates General of 1789, where representatives met from the three traditional orders of French society: the clergy, the nobility, the commoners. After forming the National Constituent Assembly, he helped to write the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen with Thomas Jefferson's assistance; this document was inspired by the United States Declaration of Independence and invoked natural law to establish basic principles of the democratic nation-state. He advocated the end of slavery, in keeping with the philosophy of natural liberty. After the storming of the Bastille, he was appointed commander-in-chief of France's National Guard and tried to steer a middle course through the years of revolution.
In August 1792, radical factions ordered his arrest, he fled into the Austrian Netherlands. He was spent more than five years in prison. Lafayette returned to France after Napoleon Bonaparte secured his release in 1797, though he refused to participate in Napoleon's government. After the Bourbon Restoration of 1814, he became a liberal member of the Chamber of Deputies, a position that he held for most of the remainder of his life. In 1824, President James Monroe invited him to the United States as the nation's guest, he visited all 24 states in the union and met a rapturous reception. During France's July Revolution of 1830, he declined an offer to become the French dictator. Instead, he supported Louis-Philippe as king, but turned against him when the monarch became autocratic, he is buried in Picpus Cemetery in Paris, under soil from Bunker Hill. He is sometimes known as "The Hero of the Two Worlds" for his accomplishments in the service of both France and the United States. Lafayette was born on 6 September 1757 to Michel Louis Christophe Roch Gilbert Paulette du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette, colonel of grenadiers, Marie Louise Jolie de La Rivière, at the château de Chavaniac, in Chavaniac-Lafayette, near Le Puy-en-Velay, in the province of Auvergne.
Lafayette's lineage was one of the oldest and most distinguished in Auvergne and in all of France. Males of the Lafayette family enjoyed a reputation for courage and chivalry and were noted for their contempt for danger. One of Lafayette's early ancestors, Gilbert de Lafayette III, a Marshal of France, had been a companion-at-arms of Joan of Arc's army during the Siege of Orléans in 1429. According to legend, another ancestor acquired the crown of thorns during the Sixth Crusade, his non-Lafayette ancestors are notable. Lafayette's paternal uncle Jacques-Roch died on 18 January 1734 while fighting the Austrians at Milan in the War of the Polish Succession. Lafayette's father died on the battlefield. On 1 August 1759, Michel de Lafayette was struck by a cannonball while fighting a British-led coalition at the Battle of Minden in Westphalia. Lafayette became marquis and Lord of Chavaniac. Devastated by the loss of her husband, she went to live in Paris with her father and grandfather, leaving Lafayette to be raised in Chavaniac-Lafayette by his paternal grandmother, Mme de Chavaniac, who had brought the château into the family with her dowry.
In 1768, when Lafayette was 11, he was summoned to Paris to live with his mother and great-grandfather at the comte's apartments in Luxembourg Palace. The boy was sent to school at the Collège du Plessis, part of the University of Paris, it was decided that he would carry on the family martial tradition; the comte, the boy's great-grandfather, enrolled the boy in a program to train future Musketeers. Lafayette's mother and great-grandfather died, on 3 and 24 April 1770 leaving Lafayette an income of 25,000 livres. Upon the death of an uncle, the 12-year-old Lafayette inherited a handsome yearly income of 120,000 livres. In May 1771, aged less than 14, Lafayette was commissioned an officer in the Musketeers, with the rank of sous-lieutenant, his duties, which included marching in military parades and pr
Bessamorel is a commune in the Haute-Loire department in south-central France. Communes of the Haute-Loire department INSEE statistics