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
Wales is a country, part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Bristol Channel to the south, it had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2. Wales has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit; the country has a changeable, maritime climate. Welsh national identity emerged among the Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century; the whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party.
Welsh national feeling grew over the century. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, development of the mining and metallurgical industries transformed the country from an agricultural society into an industrial nation. Two-thirds of the population live in South Wales, including Cardiff, Swansea and the nearby valleys. Now that the country's traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales' economy depends on the public sector and service industries and tourism. Although Wales shares its political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, a majority of the population in most areas speaks English as a first language, the country has retained a distinct cultural identity and is bilingual. Over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west.
From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", in part due to the eisteddfod tradition. At many international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, Wales has its own national teams, though at the Olympic Games, Welsh athletes compete as part of a Great Britain team. Rugby union is seen as an expression of national consciousness; the English words "Wales" and "Welsh" derive from the same Germanic root, itself derived from the name of the Gaulish people known to the Romans as Volcae and which came to refer indiscriminately to all non-Germanic peoples. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Britons in particular, Wēalas when referring to their lands; the modern names for some Continental European lands and peoples have a similar etymology. In Britain, the words were not restricted to modern Wales or to the Welsh but were used to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons associated with the Britons, including other non-Germanic territories in Britain and places in Anglo-Saxon territory associated with Britons, as well as items associated with non-Germanic Europeans, such as the walnut.
The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales. These words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning "fellow-countrymen"; the use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era of the Welsh people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland. It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, different from other peoples. In particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage and language to the Welsh; the word came into use as a self-description before the 7th century. It is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan c. 633. In Welsh literature, the word Cymry was used throughout the Middle Ages to describe the Welsh, though the older, more generic term Brythoniaid continued to be used to describe any of the Britonnic peoples and was the more common literary term until c. 1200. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh.
Until c. 1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland. The Latinised forms of these names, Cambrian and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales and the Welsh people. Examples include the Cambrian Mountains, the newspaper Cambrian News, the organisations Cambrian Airways, Cambrian Railways, Cambrian Archaeological Association and the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art. Outside Wales, a related form survives as the name Cumbria in North West England, once a part of Yr Hen Ogledd; the Cumbric language, thought to
The term "Gallo-Roman" describes the Romanized culture of Gaul under the rule of the Roman Empire. This was characterized by the Gaulish adoption or adaptation of Roman morals and way of life in a uniquely Gaulish context; the well-studied meld of cultures in Gaul gives historians a model against which to compare and contrast parallel developments of Romanization in other, less-studied Roman provinces. Interpretatio romana offered Roman names for Gaulish deities such as the smith-god Gobannus, but of Celtic deities only the horse-patroness Epona penetrated Romanized cultures beyond the confines of Gaul; the barbarian invasions beginning in the early fifth century forced upon Gallo-Roman culture fundamental changes in politics, in the economic underpinning, in military organization. The Gothic settlement of 418 offered a double loyalty, as Western Roman authority disintegrated at Rome; the plight of the Romanized governing class is examined by R. W. Mathisen, the struggles of bishop Hilary of Arles by M. Heinzelmann.
Into the seventh century, Gallo-Roman culture would persist in the areas of Gallia Narbonensis that developed into Occitania, Cisalpine Gaul, Orléanais, to a lesser degree, Gallia Aquitania. The Romanized north of Gaul, once it had been occupied by the Franks, would develop into Merovingian culture instead. Roman life, centered on the public events and cultural responsibilities of urban life in the res publica and the sometimes luxurious life of the self-sufficient rural villa system, took longer to collapse in the Gallo-Roman regions, where the Visigoths inherited the status quo in 418. Gallo-Roman language persisted in the northeast into the Silva Carbonaria that formed an effective cultural barrier with the Franks to the north and east, in the northwest to the lower valley of the Loire, where Gallo-Roman culture interfaced with Frankish culture in a city like Tours and in the person of that Gallo-Roman bishop confronted with Merovingian royals, Gregory of Tours. Based on mutual intelligibility, David Dalby counts seven languages descended from Gallo-Romance: Gallo-Wallon, Franco-Provençal, Ladin and Lombard.
However, other definitions are far broader, variously encompassing the Rhaeto-Romance languages, Occitano-Romance languages, Gallo-Italic languages. Gaul was divided by Roman administration into three provinces, which were sub-divided in the third century reorganization under Diocletian, divided between two dioceses and Viennensis, under the Praetorian prefecture of Galliae. On the local level, it was composed of civitates which preserved, broadly speaking, the boundaries of the independent Gaulish tribes, organised in large part on village structures that retained some features in the Roman civic formulas that overlaid them. Over the course of the Roman period, an ever-increasing proportion of Gauls gained Roman citizenship. In 212 the Constitutio Antoniniana extended citizenship to all free-born men in the Roman Empire. During the Crisis of the Third Century, from 260 to 274, Gaul was subject to Alamanni raids because of the civil war. In reaction to local problems the Gallo-Romans appointed their own emperor Postumus.
The rule over Gaul and Hispania by Postumus and his successors is called The Gallic Empire although it was just one set of many usurpers who took over parts of the Roman Empire and tried to become emperor. The capital was Trier, used as the northern capital of the Roman Empire by many emperors; the Gallic Empire ended. The pre-Christian religious practices of Roman Gaul were characterized by syncretism of Graeco-Roman deities with their native Celtic, Basque or Germanic counterparts, many of which were of local significance. Assimilation was eased by interpreting indigenous gods in Roman terms, such as with Lenus Mars or Apollo Grannus. Otherwise, a Roman god might be paired with a native goddess, as with Rosmerta. In at least one case – that of the equine goddess Epona – a native Gallic goddess was adopted by Rome. Eastern mystery religions penetrated Gaul early on; these included the cults of Orpheus, Mithras and Isis. The imperial cult, centred on the numen of Augustus, came to play a prominent role in public religion in Gaul, most at the pan-Gaulish ceremony venerating Rome and Augustus at the Condate Altar near Lugdunum annually on 1 August.
Gregory of Tours recorded the tradition that after the persecution under the co-emperors Decius and Gratus, future pope Felix I sent seven missionaries to re-establish the broken and scattered Christian communities, Gatien to Tours, Trophimus to Arles, Paul to Narbonne, Saturninus to Toulouse, Denis to Paris, Martial to Limoges, Austromoine to Clermont. In the fifth and sixth centuries, Gallo-Roman Christian communities still consisted of independent churches in urban sites, each governed by a bishop; some of the communities had origins. The personal charisma of the bishop set the tone, as fifth-century allegiances, for pagans as well as Christians, switched from institutions to individuals: most Gallo-Roman bishops were drawn from the highest levels of society as appropriate non-military civil roads to advancement dwindled, they represented themselves as bulwarks of high literary standards and Roman traditions against the Vandal and Gothic interlopers. Bishops took on the duties of civil administrator after the contraction of the Roman imperial administration d
17th arrondissement of Paris
The 17th arrondissement of Paris is one of the 20 arrondissements of the capital city of France. In spoken French, this arrondissement is referred to as dix-septième; the arrondissement, known as Batignolles-Monceau, is situated on the right bank of the River Seine. The land area of this arrondissement is 5.669 km2. Situated on the right bank of the River Seine, this arrondissement is divided in 4 administrative districts: Ternes and Monceau in the southwestern part, two upper-class districts which are more Haussmannian in style; the town hall of the 17th arrondissement is on Rue des Batignolles. It is the only town hall of Paris to be located in a modern building; the original building was torn down in 1971 to make room for the current edifice. The 17th arrondissement hosts the Palais des Congrès of Paris, a large exhibition center with an associated high-rise hotel, the Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile, the largest in the city; the peak population of Paris's 17th arrondissement was reached in 1954, when it had 231,987 inhabitants.
Today, the arrondissement remains dense in population and business activity, with 160,860 inhabitants and 92,267 jobs as of the most recent census. The southwestern part of the arrondissement is dense in offices for services. Several big companies have their headquarters there; the head office of Dailymotion is located in the Immeuble Horizons 17. When it existed, Gaz de France had its head office in the 17th arrondissement. Batignolles and Épinettes, two former industrial areas, are now residential; the area around the avenue de Clichy, shared with the 8th, 9th and 18th arrondissement of Paris, is occupied by a lot of shops. This is the third biggest avenue of Paris in terms of sales. Arc de Triomphe Marché des Batignolles Marché Poncelet Rue de Levis Musée national Jean-Jacques Henner Palais des Congrès and Hôtel Concorde Lafayette Square des Batignolles Cité des Fleurs Place de Clichy Parc Clichy-Batignolles Square des Épinettes The Swedish school Svenska Skolan Paris is in the arrondissement.
17th arrondissement travel guide from Wikivoyage
Electronics comprises the physics, engineering and applications that deal with the emission and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. The identification of the electron in 1897, along with the invention of the vacuum tube, which could amplify and rectify small electrical signals, inaugurated the field of electronics and the electron age. Electronics deals with electrical circuits that involve active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, diodes, integrated circuits and sensors, associated passive electrical components, interconnection technologies. Electronic devices contain circuitry consisting or of active semiconductors supplemented with passive elements; the nonlinear behaviour of active components and their ability to control electron flows makes amplification of weak signals possible. Electronics is used in information processing, telecommunication, signal processing; the ability of electronic devices to act as switches makes digital information-processing possible. Interconnection technologies such as circuit boards, electronics packaging technology, other varied forms of communication infrastructure complete circuit functionality and transform the mixed electronic components into a regular working system, called an electronic system.
An electronic system may be a component of a standalone device. Electrical and electromechanical science and technology deals with the generation, switching and conversion of electrical energy to and from other energy forms; this distinction started around 1906 with the invention by Lee De Forest of the triode, which made electrical amplification of weak radio signals and audio signals possible with a non-mechanical device. Until 1950 this field was called "radio technology" because its principal application was the design and theory of radio transmitters and vacuum tubes; as of 2018 most electronic devices use semiconductor components to perform electron control. The study of semiconductor devices and related technology is considered a branch of solid-state physics, whereas the design and construction of electronic circuits to solve practical problems come under electronics engineering; this article focuses on engineering aspects of electronics. Digital electronics Analogue electronics Microelectronics Circuit design Integrated circuits Power electronics Optoelectronics Semiconductor devices Embedded systems An electronic component is any physical entity in an electronic system used to affect the electrons or their associated fields in a manner consistent with the intended function of the electronic system.
Components are intended to be connected together by being soldered to a printed circuit board, to create an electronic circuit with a particular function. Components may be packaged singly, or in more complex groups as integrated circuits; some common electronic components are capacitors, resistors, transistors, etc. Components are categorized as active or passive. Vacuum tubes were among the earliest electronic components, they were solely responsible for the electronics revolution of the first half of the twentieth century. They allowed for vastly more complicated systems and gave us radio, phonographs, long-distance telephony and much more, they played a leading role in the field of microwave and high power transmission as well as television receivers until the middle of the 1980s. Since that time, solid-state devices have all but taken over. Vacuum tubes are still used in some specialist applications such as high power RF amplifiers, cathode ray tubes, specialist audio equipment, guitar amplifiers and some microwave devices.
In April 1955, the IBM 608 was the first IBM product to use transistor circuits without any vacuum tubes and is believed to be the first all-transistorized calculator to be manufactured for the commercial market. The 608 contained more than 3,000 germanium transistors. Thomas J. Watson Jr. ordered all future IBM products to use transistors in their design. From that time on transistors were exclusively used for computer logic and peripherals. Circuits and components can be divided into two groups: digital. A particular device may consist of circuitry that has a mix of the two types. Most analog electronic appliances, such as radio receivers, are constructed from combinations of a few types of basic circuits. Analog circuits use a continuous range of voltage or current as opposed to discrete levels as in digital circuits; the number of different analog circuits so far devised is huge because a'circuit' can be defined as anything from a single component, to systems containing thousands of components.
Analog circuits are sometimes called linear circuits although many non-linear effects are used in analog circuits such as mixers, etc. Good examples of analog circuits include vacuum tube and transistor amplifiers, operational amplifiers and oscillators. One finds modern circuits that are analog; these days analog circuitry may use digital or microprocessor techniques to improve performance. This type of circuit is called "mixed signal" rather than analog or digital. Sometimes it may be difficult to differentiate between analog and digital circuits as they have elements of both linear and non-linear
Cosmetics are substances or products used to enhance or alter the appearance of the face or fragrance and texture of the body. Many cosmetics are designed for use of applying to the face and body, they are mixtures of chemical compounds. Cosmetics applied to the face to enhance its appearance are called make-up or makeup. Common make-up items include: lipstick, eye shadow, foundation and contour. Whereas other common cosmetics can include skin cleansers, body lotions and conditioner, hairstyling products and cologne. In the U. S. the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates cosmetics, defines cosmetics as "intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body's structure or functions". This broad definition includes any material intended for use as a component of a cosmetic product; the FDA excludes pure soap from this category. The word cosmetics derives from the Greek κοσμητικὴ τέχνη, meaning "technique of dress and ornament", from κοσμητικός, "skilled in ordering or arranging" and that from κόσμος, meaning amongst others "order" and "ornament".
Cosmetics have been in use for thousands of years. The absence of regulation of the manufacture and use of cosmetics has led to negative side effects, deformities and death through the ages. Examples are the prevalent use of ceruse, to cover the face during the Renaissance, blindness caused by the mascara Lash Lure during the early 20th century. Egyptian men and women used makeup to enhance their appearance, they were fond of eyeliner and eye-shadows in dark colors including blue and black. Ancient Sumerian men and women were the first to invent and wear lipstick, about 5,000 years ago, they crushed gemstones and used them to decorate their faces on the lips and around the eyes. Around 3000 BC to 1500 BC, women in the ancient Indus Valley Civilization applied red tinted lipstick to their lips for face decoration. Ancient Egyptians extracted red dye from fucus-algin, 0.01% iodine, some bromine mannite, but this dye resulted in serious illness. Lipsticks with shimmering effects were made using a pearlescent substance found in fish scales.
Six thousand year old relics of the hollowed out tombs of the Ancient Egyptian pharaohs are discovered. According to one source, early major developments include: Kohl used by ancient Egypt as a protectant of the eye. Castor oil used by ancient Egypt as a protective balm. Skin creams made of beeswax, olive oil, rose water, described by Romans. Vaseline and lanolin in the nineteenth century; the Ancient Greeks used cosmetics as the Ancient Romans did. Cosmetics are mentioned in the Old Testament, such as in 2 Kings 9:30, where Jezebel painted her eyelids—approximately 840 BC—and in the book of Esther, where beauty treatments are described. One of the most popular traditional Chinese medicines is the fungus Tremella fuciformis, used as a beauty product by women in China and Japan; the fungus increases moisture retention in the skin and prevents senile degradation of micro-blood vessels in the skin, reducing wrinkles and smoothing fine lines. Other anti-aging effects come from increasing the presence of superoxide dismutase in the brain and liver.
Tremella fuciformis is known in Chinese medicine for nourishing the lungs. In the Middle Ages, it seemed natural that the face should be whitened and the cheeks rouged. During the sixteenth century, the personal attributes of the women who used make-up created a demand for the product among the upper class. Cosmetic use was frowned upon at many points in Western history. For example, in the 19th century, Queen Victoria publicly declared make-up improper and acceptable only for use by actors. Many women in the 19th century liked to be thought of as fragile ladies, they emphasized their delicacy and femininity. They aimed always to look interesting. Sometimes ladies discreetly used a little rouge on the cheeks and used "belladonna" to dilate their eyes so it would make them stand out more. Make-up was frowned upon in general during the 1870s when social etiquette became more rigid. Teachers and clergywomen were forbidden from the use of cosmetic products. During the 19th century, there was a high number of incidences of lead-poisoning because of the fashion for red and white lead makeup and powder.
This led to swelling and inflammation of the eyes, weakened tooth enamel, caused the skin to blacken. Heavy use was known to lead to death. However, in the second part of the 19th century, great advances were made in chemistry from the chemical fragrances that enabled a much easier production of cosmetic products, it was acceptable for actresses in the 1800s to use makeup, famous beauties such as Sarah Bernhardt and Lillie Langtry could be powdered. Most cosmetic products available were still either chemically dubious or found in the kitchen amid food coloring and beetroot. By the middle of the 20th century, cosmetics were in widespread use by women in nearly all industrial societies around the world. In 1968 at the feminist Miss America protest, protestors symbolically threw a number of feminine products into a "Freedom Trash Can." This included cosmetics, which were among items the protestors called "instruments of female torture" and accouterments of what they perceived to be enforced femininity.
As of 2016, the world's
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