Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death in 1547. He was the son of Charles, Count of Angoulême, Louise of Savoy, he succeeded his father-in-law Louis XII, who died without a son. Francis was the ninth king from the House of Valois, the second from the Valois-Orléans branch, the first from the Valois-Orléans-Angoulême branch. A prodigious patron of the arts, he initiated the French Renaissance by attracting many Italian artists to work on the Château de Chambord, including Leonardo da Vinci, who brought the Mona Lisa with him, which Francis had acquired. Francis' reign saw important cultural changes with the rise of absolute monarchy in France, the spread of humanism and Protestantism, the beginning of French exploration of the New World. Jacques Cartier and others claimed lands in the Americas for France and paved the way for the expansion of the first French colonial empire. For his role in the development and promotion of a standardized French language, he became known as le Père et Restaurateur des Lettres.
He was known as François du Grand Nez, the Grand Colas, the Roi-Chevalier for his personal involvement in the wars against his great rival the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain Charles V. Following the policy of his predecessors, Francis continued the Italian Wars; the succession of Charles V to the Burgundian Netherlands, the throne of Spain, his subsequent election as Holy Roman Emperor, meant that France was geographically encircled by the Habsburg monarchy. In his struggle against Imperial hegemony, he sought the support of Henry VIII of England at the Field of the Cloth of Gold; when this was unsuccessful, he formed a Franco-Ottoman alliance with the Muslim sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, a controversial move for a Christian king at the time. Francis d'Orléans was born on 12 September 1494 at the Château de Cognac in the town of Cognac, which at that time lay in the province of Saintonge, a part of the Duchy of Aquitaine. Today the town lies in the department of Charente. Francis was the only son of Charles d'Orléans, Count of Angoulême, Louise of Savoy and a great-great-grandson of King Charles V of France.
His family was not expected to inherit the throne, as his third cousin King Charles VIII was still young at the time of his birth, as was his father's cousin the Duke of Orléans King Louis XII. However, Charles VIII died childless in 1498 and was succeeded by Louis XII, who himself had no male heir; the Salic Law prevailed in France, thus females were ineligible to inherit the throne. Therefore, the four-year-old Francis became the heir presumptive to the throne of France in 1498 and was vested with the title of Duke of Valois. In 1505, Louis XII, having fallen ill, ordered that his daughter Claude and Francis be married but only through an assembly of nobles were the two engaged. Claude was heiress to the Duchy of Brittany through Anne of Brittany. Following Anne's death, the marriage took place on 18 May 1514. On 1 January 1515, Louis died, Francis inherited the throne, he was crowned King of France in the Cathedral of Reims on 25 January 1515, with Claude as his queen consort. As Francis was receiving his education, ideas emerging from the Italian Renaissance were influential in France.
Some of his tutors, such as François Desmoulins de Rochefort and Christophe de Longueil, were attracted by these new ways of thinking and attempted to influence Francis. His academic education had been in arithmetic, grammar, reading and writing and he became proficient in Hebrew, Italian and Spanish. Francis came to learn chivalry and music and he loved archery, horseback riding, jousting, real tennis and wrestling, he ended up reading philosophy and theology and he was fascinated with art, literature and science. His mother, who had a high admiration for Italian Renaissance art, passed this interest on to her son. Although Francis did not receive a humanist education, he was more influenced by humanism than any previous French king. By the time he ascended the throne in 1515, the Renaissance had arrived in France, Francis became an enthusiastic patron of the arts. At the time of his accession, the royal palaces of France were ornamented with only a scattering of great paintings, not a single sculpture, either ancient or modern.
During Francis' reign, the magnificent art collection of the French kings, which can still be seen at the Louvre Palace, was begun. Francis patronized many great artists of his time, including Leonardo da Vinci. While da Vinci painted little during his years in France, he brought with him many of his greatest works, including the Mona Lisa, these remained in France after his death. Other major artists to receive Francis' patronage included the goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini and the painters Rosso Fiorentino, Giulio Romano, Primaticcio, all of whom were employed in decorating Francis' various palaces, he invited the noted architect Sebastiano Serlio, who enjoyed a fruitful late career in France. Francis commissioned a number of agents in Italy to procure notable works of art and ship them to France. Francis was renowned as a man of letters; when Francis comes up in a conversation among characters in Baldassare Castiglione's Book of the Courtie
A motorcycle called a bike, motorbike, or cycle, is a two- or three-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycle design varies to suit a range of different purposes: long distance travel, cruising, sport including racing, off-road riding. Motorcycling is riding a motorcycle and related social activity such as joining a motorcycle club and attending motorcycle rallies. In 1894, Hildebrand & Wolfmüller became the first series production motorcycle, the first to be called a motorcycle. In 2014, the three top motorcycle producers globally by volume were Honda and Hero MotoCorp. In developing countries, motorcycles are considered utilitarian due to lower prices and greater fuel economy. Of all the motorcycles in the world, 58% are in the Asia-Pacific and Southern and Eastern Asia regions, excluding car-centric Japan. According to the US Department of Transportation the number of fatalities per vehicle mile traveled was 37 times higher for motorcycles than for cars; the term motorcycle has different legal definitions depending on jurisdiction.
There are three major types of motorcycle: street, off-road, dual purpose. Within these types, there are many sub-types of motorcycles for different purposes. There is a racing counterpart to each type, such as road racing and street bikes, or motocross and dirt bikes. Street bikes include cruisers, sportbikes and mopeds, many other types. Off-road motorcycles include many types designed for dirt-oriented racing classes such as motocross and are not street legal in most areas. Dual purpose machines like the dual-sport style are made to go off-road but include features to make them legal and comfortable on the street as well; each configuration offers either specialised advantage or broad capability, each design creates a different riding posture. In some countries the use of pillions is restricted; the first internal combustion, petroleum fueled. It was designed and built by the German inventors Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in Bad Cannstatt, Germany in 1885; this vehicle was unlike either the safety bicycles or the boneshaker bicycles of the era in that it had zero degrees of steering axis angle and no fork offset, thus did not use the principles of bicycle and motorcycle dynamics developed nearly 70 years earlier.
Instead, it relied on two outrigger wheels to remain upright while turning. The inventors called their invention the Reitwagen, it was designed as an expedient testbed for their new engine, rather than a true prototype vehicle. The first commercial design for a self-propelled cycle was a three-wheel design called the Butler Petrol Cycle, conceived of Edward Butler in England in 1884, he exhibited his plans for the vehicle at the Stanley Cycle Show in London in 1884. The vehicle was built by the Merryweather Fire Engine company in Greenwich, in 1888; the Butler Petrol Cycle was a three-wheeled vehicle, with the rear wheel directly driven by a 5⁄8 hp, 40 cc displacement, 2 1⁄4 in × 5 in bore × stroke, flat twin four-stroke engine equipped with rotary valves and a float-fed carburettor and Ackermann steering, all of which were state of the art at the time. Starting was by compressed air; the engine was liquid-cooled, with a radiator over the rear driving wheel. Speed was controlled by means of a throttle valve lever.
No braking system was fitted. The driver was seated between the front wheels, it wasn't, however, a success, as Butler failed to find sufficient financial backing. Many authorities have excluded steam powered, electric motorcycles or diesel-powered two-wheelers from the definition of a'motorcycle', credit the Daimler Reitwagen as the world's first motorcycle. Given the rapid rise in use of electric motorcycles worldwide, defining only internal-combustion powered two-wheelers as'motorcycles' is problematic. If a two-wheeled vehicle with steam propulsion is considered a motorcycle the first motorcycles built seem to be the French Michaux-Perreaux steam velocipede which patent application was filled in December 1868, constructed around the same time as the American Roper steam velocipede, built by Sylvester H. Roper Roxbury, Massachusetts. Who demonstrated his machine at fairs and circuses in the eastern U. S. in 1867, Roper built about 10 steam cars and cycles from the 1860s until his death in 1896.
In 1894, Hildebrand & Wolfmüller became the first series production motorcycle, the first to be called a motorcycle. Excelsior Motor Company a bicycle manufacturing company based in Coventry, began production of their first motorcycle model in 1896; the first production motorcycle in the US was the Orient-Aster, built by Charles Metz in 1898 at his factory in Waltham, Massachusetts. In the early period of motorcycle history, many producers of bicycles adapted their designs to accommodate the new internal combustion engine; as the engines became more powerful and designs outgrew the bicycle origins, the number of motorcycle producers increased. Many of the nineteenth century inventors who worked on early motorcycles moved on to other inventions. Daimler and Roper, for example, both went on to develop automobiles. At the turn of the 19th century the first major mass-production firms were set up. In 1898, Triumph Motorcycles in England began producing motorbikes, by 1903 it was producing over 500 bikes.
Other British firms were Royal Enfield and Birmingham Small Arms Company who
Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain; the United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered; the communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France. Communes vary in size and area, from large sprawling cities with millions of inhabitants like Paris, to small hamlets with only a handful of inhabitants. Communes are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes, the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers.
Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy. A commune is city, or other municipality. "Commune" in English has a historical bias, implies an association with socialist political movements or philosophies, collectivist lifestyles, or particular history. There is nothing intrinsically different between commune in French; the French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, for a large gathering of people sharing a common life. As of January 2015, there were 36,681 communes in France, 36,552 of them in metropolitan France and 129 of them overseas; this is a higher total than that of any other European country, because French communes still reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution. The whole territory of the French Republic is divided into communes.
This is unlike some other countries, such as the United States, where unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority can be found. There are only a few exceptions: COM of Saint-Martin, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. COM of Wallis and Futuna, which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. COM of Saint Barthélemy, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe region. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. Furthermore, two regions without permanent habitation have no communes: TOM of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 was 14.88 square kilometres. The median area of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was smaller, at 10.73 square kilometres. The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than that of most European countries. In Italy, the median area of communes is 22 km2. Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France; the communes of France's overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards. They group into the same commune several villages or towns with sizeable distances among them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes; the median population of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. Again this is a small number, here France stands apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries; this small median population of French communes can be compared with Italy, where the median population of communes in 2001 was 2,343 inhabitants, Belgium, or Spain.
The median population given here should not hide the fact that there are pronounced differences in size between French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a hamlet of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a few hundred inhabitants. In metropolitan France just over 50 percent of the 36,683 communes have fewer than 500 inhabitants a
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was Holy Roman Emperor, King of Spain and ruler of the Spanish Empire, Archduke of Austria, ruler of the Habsburg Netherlands. The Spanish conquest of the Aztecs and Incas, the German colonisation of Venezuela both occurred during his reign. Charles V revitalized the medieval concept of the universal monarchy of Charlemagne and travelled from city to city, with no single fixed capital: overall he spent 28 years in the Habsburg Netherlands, 18 years in Spain and 9 years in Germany. After four decades of incessant warfare with the Kingdom of France, the Ottoman Empire, the Protestants, Charles V abandoned his multi-national project with a series of abdications between 1554 and 1556 in favor of his son Philip II of Spain and brother Ferdinand I of Austria; the personal union of his European and American territories, spanning over nearly 4 million square kilometres, was the first collection of realms to be defined as "the empire on which the sun never sets". Charles was the heir of three of Europe's leading dynasties: Valois of Burgundy, Habsburg of Austria, Trastámara of Spain.
As heir to the House of Burgundy, he inherited areas in the Netherlands and around the eastern border of France. As the head of the House of Habsburg, he inherited Austria and other lands in central Europe, was elected to succeed his grandfather, Maximilian I, as Holy Roman Emperor; as a grandson of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, both from the Spanish House of Trastámara he inherited the Crown of Castile, developing a nascent empire in the Americas and Asia, the Crown of Aragon, which included a Mediterranean empire extending to southern Italy. Charles was the first king to rule Castile and Aragon in his own right, as a result he is referred to as the first king of Spain; the personal union under Charles of the Holy Roman Empire with the Spanish Empire was the closest Europe has come to a universal monarchy since the time of Charlemagne in the 9th century. Because of widespread fears that his vast inheritance would lead to the realisation of a universal monarchy and that he was trying to create a European hegemony, Charles was the object of hostility from many enemies.
His reign was dominated by war by three major simultaneous prolonged conflicts: the Italian Wars with France, the struggle to halt the Turkish advance into Europe, the conflict with the German princes resulting from the Protestant Reformation. The French wars fought in Italy, lasted for most of his reign. Enormously expensive, they led to the development of the Tercios; the struggle with the Ottoman Empire was fought in the Mediterranean. The Turkish advance was halted at the Siege of Vienna in 1529, a lengthy war of attrition, conducted on Charles' behalf by his younger brother Ferdinand, continued for the rest of Charles's reign. In the Mediterranean, although there were some successes, he was unable to prevent the Ottomans' increasing naval dominance and the piratical activity of the Barbary pirates. Charles opposed the Reformation, in Germany he was in conflict with Protestant nobles who were motivated by both religious and political opposition to him, he could not prevent the spread of Protestantism and was forced to concede the Peace of Augsburg of 1555, which divided Germany along denominational lines.
While Charles did not concern himself with rebellions, he was quick to put down three dangerous rebellions. Once the rebellions were quelled the essential Castilian and Burgundian territories remained loyal to Charles throughout his rule. Charles's Spanish dominions were the chief source of his power and wealth, they became important as his reign progressed. In the Americas, Charles sanctioned the conquest by Castilian conquistadores of the Aztec and Inca empires. Castilian control was extended across much of Central America; the resulting vast expansion of territory and the flows of South American silver to Castile had profound long term effects on Spain. Charles was only 56 when he abdicated, but after 40 years of active rule he was physically exhausted and sought the peace of a monastery, where he died at the age of 58; the Holy Roman Empire passed to his younger brother Ferdinand, archduke of Austria, while the Spanish Empire, including the possessions in the Netherlands and Italy, was inherited by Charles's son Philip II of Spain.
The two empires would remain allies until the extinction of the male line of the Spanish branch of the Habsburgs in 1700. Charles was born in 1500 as the eldest son of Philip the Handsome and Joanna of Castile at the Prinsenhof in the Flemish city of Ghent, part of the Habsburg Netherlands; the culture and courtly life of the Burgundian Low Countries were an important influence in his early life. He was tutored by William de Croÿ, by Adrian of Utrecht. Charles became a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece in his infancy and became its grand master. Founded by the Burgundian Philip the Good in 1430, the order emphasised the ideals of the medieval knights and the desire for Christian unity to fight the infidel, it played an important part in the development of Charles' beliefs and he is seen in portraits without its insignia prominently displayed. It is said that Charles spoke several vernacular languages: he was f
Provence is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône River to the west to the Italian border to the east, is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It corresponds with the modern administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, includes the départements of Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and parts of Alpes-Maritimes and Vaucluse; the largest city of the region is Marseille. The Romans made the region the first Roman province beyond the Alps and called it Provincia Romana, which evolved into the present name; until 1481 it was ruled by the Counts of Provence from their capital in Aix-en-Provence became a province of the Kings of France. While it has been part of France for more than five hundred years, it still retains a distinct cultural and linguistic identity in the interior of the region; the coast of Provence has some of the earliest known sites of human habitation in Europe. Primitive stone tools dating back 1 to 1.05 million years BC have been found in the Grotte du Vallonnet near Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, between Monaco and Menton.
More sophisticated tools, worked on both sides of the stone and dating to 600,000 BC, were found in the Cave of Escale at Saint Estėve-Janson, tools from 400,000 BC and some of the first fireplaces in Europe were found at Terra Amata in Nice. Tools dating to the Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic were discovered in the Observatory Cave, in the Jardin Exotique of Monaco; the Paleolithic period in Provence saw great changes in the climate. Two ice ages came and went, the sea level changed dramatically. At the beginning of the Paleolithic, the sea level in western Provence was 150 meters higher than today. By the end of the Paleolithic, it had dropped to 100 to 150 metres below the sea level today; the cave dwellings of the early inhabitants of Provence were flooded by the rising sea or left far from the sea and swept away by erosion. The changes in the sea level led to one of the most remarkable discoveries of signs of early man in Provence. In 1985, a diver named Henri Cosquer discovered the mouth of a submarine cave 37 metres below the surface of the Calanque de Morgiou near Marseille.
The entrance led to a cave above sea level. Inside, the walls of the Cosquer Cave are decorated with drawings of bison, auks and outlines of human hands, dating to between 27,000 and 19,000 BC; the end of the Paleolithic and beginning of the Neolithic period saw the sea settle at its present level, a warming of the climate and the retreat of the forests. The disappearance of the forests and the deer and other hunted game meant that the inhabitants of Provence had to survive on rabbits and wild sheep. In about 6000 BC, the Castelnovian people, living around Châteauneuf-les-Martigues, were among the first people in Europe to domesticate wild sheep, to cease moving from place to place. Once they settled in one place they were able to develop new industries. Inspired by pottery from the eastern Mediterranean, in about 6000 BC they created the first pottery made in France. Around 6000 BC, a wave of new settlers from the east, the Chasséens, arrived in Provence, they were farmers and warriors, displaced the earlier pastoral people from their lands.
They were followed about 2500 BC by another wave of people farmers, known as the Courronniens, who arrived by sea and settled along the coast of what is now the Bouches-du-Rhône. Traces of these early civilisations can be found in many parts of Provence. A Neolithic site dating to about 6,000 BC was discovered in Marseille near the Saint-Charles railway station, and a dolmen from the Bronze Age can be found near Draguignan. Between the 10th and 4th century BC, the Ligures were found in Provence from Massilia as far as modern Liguria, they were of uncertain origin. Strabo distinctly states they were not of a different race from the Gauls, they did not have their own alphabet, but their language remains in place names in Provence ending in the suffixes -asc, -osc. -inc, -ates, -auni. The ancient geographer Posidonios wrote of them: "Their country is dry; the soil is so rocky. The men compensate for the lack of wheat by hunting... They climb the mountains like goats." They were warlike. Traces of the Ligures remain today in the dolmens and other megaliths found in eastern Provence, in the primitive stone shelters called'Bories' found in the Luberon and Comtat, in the rock carvings in the Valley of Marvels near Mont Bégo in the Alpes-Maritimes, at an altitude of 2,000 meters.
Between the 8th and 5th centuries BC, tribes of Celtic peoples coming from Central Europe began moving into Provence. They had weapons made of iron, which allowed them to defeat the local tribes, who were still armed with bronze weapons. One tribe, called the Segobriga, settled near modern-day Marseille; the Caturiges and Cavares settled to the west of the Durance river. Celts and Ligurians spread throughout the area and the Celto-Ligures shared the territory of Provence, each tribe in its own alpine valley or settlement along a river, each with its own king and dynasty, they built hilltop forts and settlements given the Latin name oppida. Today the traces 165 oppida are found in the Var, as many as 285 in the Alp
Savoy is a cultural region in Central Europe. It comprises the territory of the Western Alps between Lake Geneva in the north and Dauphiné in the south; the historical land of Savoy emerged as the feudal territory of the House of Savoy during the 11th to 14th centuries. The historical territory is shared among the modern countries of France and Switzerland. Installed by Rudolph III, King of Burgundy in 1003, the House of Savoy became the longest surviving royal house in Europe, it ruled the County of Savoy to 1416 and the Duchy of Savoy from 1416 to 1860. The territory of Savoy was annexed to France in 1792 under the French First Republic, before being returned to the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1815. Savoy, along with the county of Nice, was annexed to France by a plebiscite, under the Second French Empire in 1860, as part of a political agreement brokered between the French emperor Napoleon III and King Victor Emmanuel II of the Kingdom of Sardinia that began the final steps in the process of unification of Italy.
Victor Emmanuel's dynasty, the House of Savoy, retained its Italian lands of Piedmont and Liguria and became the ruling dynasty of Italy. In modern France, Savoy is part of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. Following its annexation to France in 1860, the territory of Savoy was divided administratively into two separate departments and Haute-Savoie; the traditional capital remains Chambéry, on the rivers Leysse and Albane, hosting the castle of the House of Savoy and the Savoyard senate. The state included six districts: Savoie Propre, sometimes known as Ducal Savoy Chablais Faucigny Tarentaise Maurienne Genevois The County and Duchy of Savoy incorporated Turin and other territories in Piedmont, a region in northwestern Italy that borders Savoy, which were possessions of the House of Savoy; the capital of the Duchy remained at the traditional Savoyard capital of Chambéry until 1563, when it was moved to Turin. The region was occupied by the Allobroges, a Gaulish people that the Roman Republic subdued in 121 BC.
The name Savoy stems from the Late Latin Sapaudia. The word is ultimately from Gaulish -- sapin itself is a blend of Gaulish sappos and Latin pinus, it is first recorded in Ammianus Marcellinus. According to the Chronica Gallica of 452, it was separated from the rest of Burgundian territories in 443, after the Burgundian defeat by Flavius Aetius. By the 8th century, the territory that would become known as Savoy was part of Francia, at the division of Francia at the Treaty of Verdun in 843, it became part of the short-lived kingdom of Middle Francia. After only 12 years, at the death of Lothair I in 855, Middle Francia was divided into Lotharingia north of the Alps, Italy south of the Alps, the parts of Burgundy in the Western Alps, inherited by Charles of Provence; this latter territory comprised what would become known as Provence. From the 10th to 14th century, parts of what would become Savoy remained within the Kingdom of Arles. Beginning in the 11th century, the gradual rise to power of the House of Savoy is reflected in the increasing territory of their County of Savoy between 1003 and 1416.
The County of Savoy was detached de jure from the Kingdom of Arles by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor in 1361. It acquired the County of Nice in 1388, in 1401 added the County of Geneva, the area of Geneva except for the city proper, ruled by its prince-bishop, nominally under the duke's rule: the bishops of Geneva, by unspoken agreement, came from the House of Savoy. On 19 February 1416 Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, made the County of Savoy an independent duchy, with Amadeus VIII as the first duke. Straddling the Alps, Savoy lay within two competing spheres of influence, a French sphere and a North Italian one. At the time of the Renaissance, Savoy showed only modest development, its towns were small. Savoy derived its subsistence from agriculture; the geographic location of Savoy was of military importance. During the interminable wars between France and Spain over the control of northern Italy, Savoy was important to France because it provided access to Italy. Savoy was important to Spain because it served as a buffer between France and the Spanish held lands in Italy.
In 1563 Emmanuel Philibert moved the capital from Chambéry to Turin, less vulnerable to French interference. Vaud was annexed by Bern in 1536, Savoy ceded Vaud to Bern in the Treaty of Lausanne of 30 October 1564. In 1714, as a consequence of the War of the Spanish Succession, Savoy was technically subsumed into the Kingdom of Sicily the Kingdom of Sardinia from 1720. While the heads of the House of Savoy were known as the Kings of Sardinia, Turin remained their capital. Savoy was occupied by French revolutionary forces between 1792 and 1815; the region was first added to the département of Mont-Blanc in 1798 was divided between the départements of Mont-Blanc and Léman In 1801, Savoy left the Holy Roman Empire. On 13 September 1793 the combined forces of Savoy and Aosta Valley fought against and lost to the occupying French forces at the Battle of Méribel. Two-thirds of Savoy was restored to the Kingdom of Sardinia in the First Restoration of 1814 following Napoleon's abdication.
Alpes-de-Haute-Provence is a department in Southeastern France, located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. Part of the province of Provence, it had a population of 161,916 in 2013, its main cities are Digne-les-Bains, Sisteron, Barcelonnette and Forcalquier. Inhabitants of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence are called the Bas-Alpins or Bas-Alpines referring to the department of Basses-Alpes, the former name of the department until 1970. Bounded in the east by Italy, the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department is surrounded by the departments of Alpes-Maritimes, Vaucluse, Drôme, Hautes-Alpes, it can be divided into three zones depending on the terrain, climate and economy: the plateaux and valleys of Haute-Provence, which comprise one-third of the area but two thirds of the population and the most important cities of the department with all of the economic activity apart from mountain tourism. The valley of the Durance, the artery of the department, cuts the rest of the department into two halves: the Lower Alps: an intermediate mountain area with valleys and remote villages the High Alps: including the valleys of Ubaye and the high Verdon where the economy is built around mountain tourism.
In the Haute-Ubaye, the mountain peaks exceed 3000 m above sea level and all the passes are close to or above 2000 m in altitude. In this part of the department is one of the highest roads in Europe: the main road D64 reaches an altitude of 2802 m near the Col de la Bonette and connects the region of Barcelonnette to the Tinée and Vésubie valleys; the relief of the land compartmentalises the region: the enclosed valleys are difficult to access so dividing the country into as many local areas which communicate little with the outside. In 1877, 55 communes only had access to trails or mule paths; the seismic hazard is moderate to medium with different faults such as the Durance located in the department. The main cities are Manosque, Digne-les-Bains, Sisteron, Château-Arnoux-Saint-Auban, Forcalquier, Les Mées, Villeneuve, Sainte-Tulle, Gréoux-les-Bains and Castellane; the main river is the Durance. It is in the Durance valley that the most important traffic routes are found: the A51 autoroute and the railway main line.
All of the department is in the watershed of the Durance except for the extreme south-east which are drained by the Var. The main tributaries of the Durance in the department are the Ubaye, the Bléone, the Asse, the Verdon on the left bank, the Buëch, the Jabron, the Largue on the right bank; the Durance and its tributaries have a torrential character, with a transition between the snow regime of the high valleys and the mediterranean rainfall regime in the lower mountains and below. The summer low water levels are severe and violent floods occur when heavy rains fall, in autumn; the Durance, Verdon, Bléone and Buëch have had the construction of several dams and the diversion of parts of the river for irrigation and power generation in the 20th century. The climate of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department is a Mediterranean climate degrading by altitude and latitude. In fact, while in the lower valleys and flat lands of Haute-Provence an inland Mediterranean climate prevails, by contrast in the hills it is more mixed with the valley of the Ubaye characteristic of the inner Alps, with a marked continentality: winters are harsh with stormy summers.
In between, the two influences mingle in the area of the Lower Alps. The characteristics of both climate trends are found throughout the department to a greater or lesser extent: dry air and little fog infrequent rainfall but heavy frequent thunderstorms in the mountains in summer High sunshine hours in all seasons high thermal amplitudes and annual fresh and bright winters hot summers tempered by altitude. Haute-Provence is therefore interesting for European astronomers looking for a cloudy night sky and untouched by light pollution. Many amateur observatories have been built and the Observatoire de Haute-Provence is one of the largest observatories in continental Europe, it is an active astronomy research centre. Alpes-de-Haute-Provence is subdivided into 15 cantons and 198 communes; the population was once evenly distributed in the territory, including in the mountainous areas where mountain agriculture was well developed. From the middle of the 19th century, however, it began to decline due to a strong rural exodus.
There were more than 150,000 inhabitants in 1850 but it fell to less than 100,000 after the First World War. It was not until 1960 that the trend changed upwards quite from less than 90,000 in 1954 to nearly 140,000 in 1999 and 153,000 in 2005. However, if this figure is close to the number of inhabitants the department had 150 years earlier, the distribution and activity of the population are different; the population is now concentrated in the valley of the Durance and the South West of the department, agriculture employs less than before. Services tourism and local services, is now the main industry; the department has never developed: in 1870 there were 27 small mines. According to the general census of the population, 32.8% of available housing in the department are second homes. The department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence is one of the least densely popu