Nantes is a city in Loire-Atlantique on the Loire, 50 km from the Atlantic coast. The city is the sixth-largest in France, with a population of 303,382 in Nantes and a metropolitan area of nearly 950,000 inhabitants. With Saint-Nazaire, a seaport on the Loire estuary, Nantes forms the main north-western French metropolis, it is the administrative seat of the Loire-Atlantique department and the Pays de la Loire région, one of 18 regions of France. Nantes belongs and culturally to Brittany, a former duchy and province, its omission from the modern administrative region of Brittany is controversial. Nantes was identified during classical antiquity as a port on the Loire, it was the seat of a bishopric at the end of the Roman era before it was conquered by the Bretons in 851. Although Nantes was the primary residence of the 15th-century dukes of Brittany, Rennes became the provincial capital after the 1532 union of Brittany and France. During the 17th century, after the establishment of the French colonial empire, Nantes became the largest port in France and was responsible for nearly half of the 18th-century French Atlantic slave trade.
The French Revolution resulted in an economic decline, but Nantes developed robust industries after 1850. Deindustrialisation in the second half of the 20th century spurred the city to adopt a service economy. In 2012, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked Nantes as a Gamma world city, it is the fourth-highest-ranking city in France, after Paris and Marseille. The Gamma category includes cities such as Algiers, Porto and Leipzig. Nantes has been praised for its quality of life, it received the European Green Capital Award in 2013; the European Commission noted the city's efforts to reduce air pollution and CO2 emissions, its high-quality and well-managed public transport system and its biodiversity, with 3,366 hectares of green space and several protected Natura 2000 areas. Nantes is named after a tribe of Gaul, the Namnetes, who established a settlement between the end of the second century and the beginning of the first century BC on the north bank of the Loire near its confluence with the Erdre.
The origin of the name "Namnetes" is uncertain, but is thought to come from the Gaulish root *nant- or from Amnites, another tribal name meaning "men of the river". Its first recorded name was by the Greek writer Ptolemy, who referred to the settlement as Κονδηούινκον and Κονδιούινκον —which might be read as Κονδηούικον —in his treatise, Geography; the name was latinised during the Gallo-Roman period as Condevincum, Condevicnum and Condivincum. Although its origins are unclear, "Condevincum" seems to be related to the Gaulish word condate "confluence"; the Namnete root of the city's name was introduced at the end of the Roman period, when it became known as Portus Namnetum "port of the Namnetes" and civitas Namnetum "city of the Namnetes". Like other cities in the region, its name was replaced during the fourth century with a Gaulish one. Nantes' name continued to evolve, becoming Nanetiæ and Namnetis during the fifth century and Nantes after the sixth via syncope. "Nantes" is pronounced, the city's inhabitants are known as Nantais.
In Gallo, the oïl language traditionally spoken in the region around Nantes, the city is spelled "Naunnt" or "Nantt". Gallo pronunciation is identical to French. In Breton, Nantes is known as Naoned or an Naoned, the latter of, less common and reflects the more-frequent use of articles in Breton toponyms than in French ones. Nantes' historical nickname was "Venice of the West", a reference to the many quays and river channels in the old town before they were filled in during the 1920s and 1930s; the city is known as la Cité des Ducs "city of the dukes " for its castle and former role as a ducal residence. The first inhabitants of what is now Nantes settled during the Bronze Age than in the surrounding regions, its first inhabitants were attracted by small iron and tin deposits in the region's subsoil. The area exported tin, mined in Piriac, as far as Ireland. After about 1,000 years of trading, local industry appeared around 900 BC. Nantes may have been the major Gaulish settlement of Corbilo, on the Loire estuary, mentioned by the Greek historians Strabo and Polybius.
Its history from the seventh century to the Roman conquest in the first century BC is poorly documented, there is no evidence of a city in the area before the reign of Tiberius in the first century AD. During the Gaulish period it was the capital of the Namnetes people, who were allied with the Veneti in a territory extending to the northern bank of the Loire. Rivals in the area included the Pictones, who controlled the area south of the Loire in the city of Ratiatum until the end of the second century AD. Ratiatum, founded under Augustus, developed more than Nantes and was a major port in the region. Nantes began to grow; because tradesmen favoured inland roads rather than Atlantic routes, Nantes never became a large city under Roman occupa
The Nantes-Brest canal is a French canal which links the two seaports of Nantes and Brest through inland Brittany. It was built in the early 19th century, its total length as built was 385 km with 238 locks. Brittany started developing its waterway network in 1538 when it decided to improve navigation on the River Vilaine; the project for a canal throughout the province was conceived by an'inland navigation commission' convened in 1783. When Brest was blockaded by the English fleet Napoleon I of France decided to build the canal to provide a safe inland link between the two largest military ports of the French Atlantic front. Building started in 1811, Napoleon III of France presided over the canal's opening in 1858; this was the most ambitious canal project completed in France, 360km long with 238 locks. The canal was closed as a through route in 1920, when a section was submerged by Guerlédan dam, a short distance west of the junction with the canalised river Blavet at Pontivy; the entire length of waterway west of Guerlédan was closed in 1957, the 21km length from Pontivy to Guerlédan subsequently fell into disuse.
At the same time, the disappearance of all commercial traffic resulted in the gradual silting up of the canal section between Rohan and Pontivy. The canal has been revived and ownership has been transferred from the State to Brittany Region, except for the short length in Pays de la Loire Region. Navigation is no longer possible between Goariva. Guerlédan reservoir flooded the canal over a length of 10 km including 17 locks. However, a length of 15 km with 10 locks has been restored upstream of Guerlédan reservoir to the heritage site of La Pitié Chapel, creating a navigation 25 km long, a public consultation was held in 2017 with a view to lifting the ban on thermal engines on this section. Three separate navigable sections are thus presented in the route below. Pontivy to Nantes 206 km via 107 locks PK 2 Nantes PK 15 Sucé-sur-Erdre PK 21 Left turn onto the Erdre River at Nort-sur-Erdre PK 42.5 La Chevallerais PK 50 Blain PK 95 Redon PK 132 Malestroit PK 157.5 Josselin PK 182 Rohan PK 191.3 Saint-Gonnery begins the 5 km summit level PK 205.9 Pontivy, junction with the river Blavet.
Navigation interrupted from Pontivy to Guerlédan dam PK 226.8 Guerlédan dam PK 252.4 La Pitié PK 81 Goariva PK 73 Port-de-Carhaix, end of canal section, navigation enters canalized river Hyères PK 63 Maison du Canal at confluence of Hyères and Aulne rivers PK 43.5 Chateauneuf-du-Faou PK 0 Châteaulin PK 0 Châteaulin PK 29 Landévennec. PK 32.5 Mouth of Aulne River PK 51 Roadstead of Brest Brest Harbor, Brest Bay List of canals in France Canal de Nantes à Brest with information on places and moorings on the canal, by the author of Inland Waterways of France, Imray Navigation details for 80 French rivers and canals
Loire-Atlantique is a department in Pays de la Loire on the west coast of France named after the Loire River and the Atlantic Ocean. Loire-Atlantique is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790, it was named Loire-Inférieure, but its name was changed in 1957 to Loire-Atlantique. The area is part of the historical Duchy of Brittany, contains what many people still consider to be Brittany's capital, Nantes. However, during World War Two, the Vichy Government set up a system of regional prefectures where Loire-Atlantique was excluded from the Region of Brittany and united with neighbouring French departments, under the lead of Angers. After the war these administrative changes were re-implemented in the 1955 boundary changes intended to optimise the management of the regions. There has since been a series of campaigns reflecting a strong local mood to have the department reintegrated with Brittany. Loire-Atlantique is part of the current region of Pays-de-la-Loire and is surrounded by the department of Morbihan, Ille-et-Vilaine, Maine-et-Loire, Vendée, with the Atlantic on the west.
Upper Brittany's indigenous language is a romance language related to French. The number of Gallo language speakers has been in steady decline since the early 20th century; the language is neither official nor taught in secondary education. In the south of the département, the local language was Poitevin dialect; the Breton language, a Celtic language, native to Lower Brittany, was spoken in the western area of Loire-Atlantique, up to 1920 in Batz-sur-Mer. This area has a rather Breton toponymy: for instance, Guérande originates from the Breton Gwenn Rann; the folklore and musical traditions of eastern or Upper Brittany are similar to those of western or Lower Brittany. The département operates the Lila network of interurban buses, which link its villages and cities; the urban areas of Nantes and Saint-Nazaire operate their own urban transport networks, known as Tan and Stran respectively. By rail, the regional trains and buses of the TER Pays de la Loire link major towns and cities of the Pays de la Loire and adjoining regions, including those of the département.
Nantes is on the TGV network, with high speed trains running to Paris by the LGV Atlantique in just over 2 hours. Nantes Atlantique Airport, located 8 km to the southwest of the city of Nantes, serves the département and surrounding areas, it is the biggest airport in northwestern France, linking with several French, North African and European cities, as well as Montreal in Canada. Cantons of the Loire-Atlantique department Communes of the Loire-Atlantique department Arrondissements of the Loire-Atlantique department La Baule - Guérande Peninsula Brittany portal Prefecture General council Loire Atlantic Tourism
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
A river is a natural flowing watercourse freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reaching another body of water. Small rivers can be referred to using names such as stream, brook and rill. There are no official definitions for the generic term river as applied to geographic features, although in some countries or communities a stream is defined by its size. Many names for small rivers are specific to geographic location. Sometimes a river is defined as being larger than a creek, but not always: the language is vague. Rivers are part of the hydrological cycle. Potamology is the scientific study of rivers, while limnology is the study of inland waters in general. Most of the major cities of the world are situated on the banks of rivers, as they are, or were, used as a source of water, for obtaining food, for transport, as borders, as a defensive measure, as a source of hydropower to drive machinery, for bathing, as a means of disposing of waste.
A river begins at a source, follows a path called a course, ends at a mouth or mouths. The water in a river is confined to a channel, made up of a stream bed between banks. In larger rivers there is also a wider floodplain shaped by flood-waters over-topping the channel. Floodplains may be wide in relation to the size of the river channel; this distinction between river channel and floodplain can be blurred in urban areas where the floodplain of a river channel can become developed by housing and industry. Rivers can flow down mountains, through valleys or along plains, can create canyons or gorges; the term upriver refers to the direction towards the source of the river, i.e. against the direction of flow. The term downriver describes the direction towards the mouth of the river, in which the current flows; the term left bank refers to the left bank in the direction of right bank to the right. The river channel contains a single stream of water, but some rivers flow as several interconnecting streams of water, producing a braided river.
Extensive braided rivers are now found in only a few regions worldwide, such as the South Island of New Zealand. They occur on peneplains and some of the larger river deltas. Anastamosing rivers are quite rare, they have multiple sinuous channels carrying large volumes of sediment. There are rare cases of river bifurcation in which a river divides and the resultant flows ending in different seas. An example is the bifurcation of Nerodime River in Kosovo. A river flowing in its channel is a source of energy which acts on the river channel to change its shape and form. In 1757, the German hydrologist Albert Brahms empirically observed that the submerged weight of objects that may be carried away by a river is proportional to the sixth power of the river flow speed; this formulation is sometimes called Airy's law. Thus, if the speed of flow is doubled, the flow would dislodge objects with 64 times as much submerged weight. In mountainous torrential zones this can be seen as erosion channels through hard rocks and the creation of sands and gravels from the destruction of larger rocks.
A river valley, created from a U-shaped glaciated valley, can easily be identified by the V-shaped channel that it has carved. In the middle reaches where a river flows over flatter land, meanders may form through erosion of the river banks and deposition on the inside of bends. Sometimes the river will cut off a loop, shortening the channel and forming an oxbow lake or billabong. Rivers that carry large amounts of sediment may develop conspicuous deltas at their mouths. Rivers whose mouths are in saline tidal waters may form estuaries. Throughout the course of the river, the total volume of water transported downstream will be a combination of the free water flow together with a substantial volume flowing through sub-surface rocks and gravels that underlie the river and its floodplain. For many rivers in large valleys, this unseen component of flow may exceed the visible flow. Most but not all rivers flow on the surface. Subterranean rivers flow underground in caverns; such rivers are found in regions with limestone geologic formations.
Subglacial streams are the braided rivers that flow at the beds of glaciers and ice sheets, permitting meltwater to be discharged at the front of the glacier. Because of the gradient in pressure due to the overlying weight of the glacier, such streams can flow uphill. An intermittent river only flows and can be dry for several years at a time; these rivers are found in regions with limited or variable rainfall, or can occur because of geologic conditions such as a permeable river bed. Some ephemeral rivers flow during the summer months but not in the winter; such rivers are fed from chalk aquifers which recharge from winter rainfall. In England these rivers are called bournes and give their name to places such as Bournemouth and Eastbourne. In humid regions, the location where flow begins in the smallest tributary streams moves upstream in response to precipitation and downstream in its absence or when active summer vegetation diverts water for evapotrans
Departments of France
In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, five are overseas departments, which are classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; each department is administered by an elected body called a departmental council. From 1800 to April 2015, these were called general councils; each council has a president. Their main areas of responsibility include the management of a number of social and welfare allowances, of junior high school buildings and technical staff, local roads and school and rural buses, a contribution to municipal infrastructures. Local services of the state administration are traditionally organised at departmental level, where the prefect represents the government; the departments were created in 1790 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces with a view to strengthen national unity.
All of them were named after physical geographical features, rather than after historical or cultural territories which could have their own loyalties. The division of France into departments was a project identified with the French revolutionary leader the Abbé Sieyès, although it had been discussed and written about by many politicians and thinkers; the earliest known suggestion of it is from 1764 in the writings of d'Argenson. They have inspired similar divisions in some of them former French colonies. Most French departments are assigned a two-digit number, the "Official Geographical Code", allocated by the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques. Overseas departments have a three-digit number; the number is used, for example, in the postal code, was until used for all vehicle registration plates. While residents use the numbers to refer to their own department or a neighbouring one, more distant departments are referred to by their names, as few people know the numbers of all the departments.
For example, inhabitants of Loiret might refer to their department as "the 45". In 2014, President François Hollande proposed to abolish departmental councils by 2020, which would have maintained the departments as administrative divisions, to transfer their powers to other levels of governance; this reform project has since been abandoned. The first French territorial departments were proposed in 1665 by Marc-René d'Argenson to serve as administrative areas purely for the Ponts et Chaussées infrastructure administration. Before the French Revolution, France gained territory through the annexation of a mosaic of independent entities. By the close of the Ancien Régime, it was organised into provinces. During the period of the Revolution, these were dissolved in order to weaken old loyalties; the modern departments, as all-purpose units of the government, were created on 4 March 1790 by the National Constituent Assembly to replace the provinces with what the Assembly deemed a more rational structure.
Their boundaries served two purposes: Boundaries were chosen to break up France's historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences and build a more homogeneous nation. Boundaries were set so that every settlement in the country was within a day's ride of the capital of a department; this was a security measure, intended to keep the entire national territory under close control. This measure was directly inspired by the Great Terror, during which the government had lost control of many rural areas far from any centre of government; the old nomenclature was avoided in naming the new departments. Most were named after other physical features. Paris was in the department of Seine. Savoy became the department of Mont-Blanc; the number of departments 83, had been increased to 130 by 1809 with the territorial gains of the Republic and of the First French Empire. Following Napoleon's defeats in 1814–1815, the Congress of Vienna returned France to its pre-war size and the number of departments was reduced to 86.
In 1860, France acquired the County of Nice and Savoy, which led to the creation of three new departments. Two were added from the new Savoyard territory, while the department of Alpes-Maritimes was created from Nice and a portion of the Var department; the 89 departments were given numbers based on the alphabetical order of their names. The department of Bas-Rhin and parts of Meurthe, Moselle and Haut-Rhin were ceded to the German Empire in 1871, following France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. A small part of Haut-Rhin became known as the Territoire de Belfort; when France regained the ceded departments after World War I, the Territoire de Belfort was not re-integrated into Haut-Rhin. In 1922, it became France's 90th department; the Lorraine departments were not changed back to their original boundaries, a new Moselle department was created in the regaine
Riaillé is a commune in the Loire-Atlantique department in western France. Communes of the Loire-Atlantique department