Albiac is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France. Communes of the Haute-Garonne department INSEE
Ausseing is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France. Communes of the Haute-Garonne department INSEE
Avignonet-Lauragais is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France. In 1242 Avignonet-Lauragais was the site of a massacre of Inquisitors by members of a heretical garrison at the Castle of Montségur; the massacre led to the Siege of Montségur. Communes of the Haute-Garonne department INSEE
Aussonne is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France. Communes of the Haute-Garonne department INSEE
Aurin is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France. Communes of the Haute-Garonne department INSEE
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
Aurignac is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France on the edge of the Pyrénées. It was the seat of the former canton of Aurignac, composed of 19 communes, it is part of the ancient region known as the Comminges. The town of Aurignac is located 60 km southwest of Toulouse and is, on average, 400m above sea level, it is in the region of rolling hills known as the Petites Pyrénées and is dominated by a ridge-shaped hill upon which the old town is built with the remains of a 13th-century castle at the top. Aurignac is best known for the 1860 discovery, by Édouard Lartet, of prehistoric remains at the Abri préhistorique d'Aurignac, which led to the definition of the Aurignacian culture, an important phase in human prehistory. Evidence of early modern humans has been found in Africa as far back as 160,000 years ago; when they came to Europe, about 45,000 years ago, their culture appears to have flourished with major advances in the use of tools and the development of figurative art.
The Aurignacian culture has been called the first modern humans in Europe. The origins of the town are not defined, although the 1957 discovery of the remains of a Roman habitation, with a well-preserved bath-house, 2.5 km from the present-day town suggests that the area was inhabited during the Gallo-Roman period. In 777 a Benedictine priory was founded in Aurignac as a dependency of the Abbey of Saint Tiberi in the diocese of Agde; the first known official record is regarding Roger d'Aurignac, the Seigneur of the town. In 1234, Bernard V, Count of Comminges, received the territory from his mother. By 1240, he had built a castle on the hill. Between the 14th and 17th centuries, Aurignac was one of the more important towns of the Comminges, with over 40 communes in its dependence, an important centre of commerce, based on the production of pottery and leather and holding frequent markets and fairs. During the French wars of religion the Comminges remained Catholic and Aurignac became an important military centre.
Its population was recorded as 2,500 in 1699. Henry IV ordered the destruction of the castle in the early 17th century and, although it was still inhabited in 1627, it fell into disuse not long afterwards; the old part of the town is centred on the remains of the castle dating from the 13th century, including the church, a well-restored keep, towers and the parts of the ramparts, some of which have been incorporated into houses. Extending down the hill is the 14th/15th century area originally walled; the church of St-Pierre aux Liens dates from the 13th century, although there is a papal bull record of a church in Aurignac in 1120. The body of the church is original, but the building has been restored several times during its history; the main restoration in 1791 added the ornate entrance from the 16th-century chapel of St Michel, demolished during the revolution. The church contains a chapel of the Penitents Bleus, a civil religious organisation that played a major role in the community from the 17th to 19th centuries.
In 1968, a museum of prehistory was established in the town to house a collection of Aurignacian artifacts from the local site and others in France and abroad. The poor standard of accommodation for the museum resulted in its closure in 2006. However, in 2014 a larger museum was opened in a purpose-designed building containing a larger display of artifacts and information; the commune has, for its size, a large number of shops and local businesses, including a quarry and small-scale commercial enterprises. Aurignac has a gendarmerie, La Poste and two schools: primary and secondary, which serve the canton and some other surrounding communes; the town has a hotel, cafe, a brasserie, a gym, a gastronomic restaurant. The leisure centre has a football field. There are a number of festivals during the year, most notably the three-day summer festival in August which includes a fairground, communal outdoor dining and a number of live bands and performers in the main square. Aurignac is on the GR86, one of the less well-known Grande Randonnée, running from Toulouse to Bagnères-de-Luchon.
Communes of the Haute-Garonne department Cave of Aurignac INSEE Office de Tourisme d'Aurignac Terres d'Aurignac, L'Histoire au Coeur de la Nature https://web.archive.org/web/20120211100049/http://www.cc-canton-aurignac.fr/bienvenue http://www.annuaire-mairie.fr/mairie-aurignac.html Aurignac la medievale, Association de Sauvegarde de Vieil Aurignac, 2009 Concise_Britannica:_Aurignacian Encyclopædia Britannica Aurignacian, The First Modern Humans http://lithiccastinglab.com/gallery-pages/2002marchaurignacianpage1.htm History of the Keep - Notice erected by the Mairie of Aurignac Aurignac, Histoire et Monuments, A. Algans, private publication Eglise St-Pierre aux Lien, Office de Tourisme du Canton d'Aurignac Aurignac Village - Diagnostic Patrimonial, Julien Foltran, Service de Connaissance de Patrimoine, 2011