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
Andrein is a French commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of south-western France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Andreinais or Andreinaises Andrein is a béarnaise commune located on the left bank of the Gave d'Oloron 5 kilometres east of Sauveterre-de-Béarn and some 16 km south-west of Orthez. Access to the commune is by road D27 from Sauveterre-de-Bearn passing through the commune and the village and continuing east to Laàs; the D23 road from Burgaronne to L'Hôpital-d'Orion passes through the north of the commune. The commune is mixed farmland. Located in the Drainage basin of the Adour, the southern border of the commune is formed by the Gave d'Oloron. Numerous streams flow south through the commune to the Gave d'Oloron including the Malourau and the Lourou which forms the eastern border; the northern border is formed by the Arrec Heurre which flows west to join the Gave d'Oleron east of Abitain. The commune name in Béarnese dialect and in Gascon Occitan is Andrenh.
Brigitte Jobbé-Duval indicated that the name came from the family name Andréas with the suffix -enh. She mentioned that the villagers were once called "cherry eaters"; the following table details the origins of the commune name and other names in the commune. Sources: Raymond: Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, 1863, on the page numbers indicated in the table. Origins: Census: Census of Béarn Reformation: Reformation of Béarn Insinuations: Insinuations of the Diocese of Oloron Navarrenx: Notaries of Navarrenx Denombrement: Denombremont of Andrein Paul Raymond on page 6 of his 1863 dictionary noted that the commune had a Lay Abbey, a vassal of the Viscounts of Béarn. In 1385 Andrein depended on the bailiwick of Sauveterre. List of Successive Mayors The commune is part of five intercommunal structures: the inter-communal centre for Social Action of Sauveterre-de-Béarn; the evolution of the number of inhabitants is known through the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793.
From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger towns that have a sample survey every year. Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 Economic activity is agricultural; the town is part of the Appellation d'origine contrôlée zone of Ossau-iraty. The Touron de Larochelle is 195 metres high. Emmanuel Berl, born 2 August 1892 in Vésinet and died 21 September 1976 in Paris, was a journalist and French essayist. In 1920 he married Jacqueline Bordes in Andrein. Arthur Hugenschmidt stayed in Andein in 1928 and 1929 with the Countess of Viforano according to correspondence from the Presidency of the Republic. Communes of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department Andrein on Lion1906 Andrein on Google Maps Andrein on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute website Andrein on the 1750 Cassini Map Andrein on the INSEE website INSEE
Accous is a Béarnais French commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in southwestern France. Accous is located some 30 km south of Oloron-Sainte-Marie in the Aspe Valley, one of the three valleys of the High-Béarn, the other valleys being the Ossau Valley in the east and Barétous valley in the west. From the Spanish border on its southern edge, it stretches along Le Labadie river to the point where it joins the Gave d'Aspe. From this river junction, the Gave d'Aspe forms the western border of the rest of the commune which extends a further 10 kilometres to the east with the Lac du Montagnon at the northeastern edge; the commune is accessed from the north by the E7 motorway. This highway follows the western border of the commune along the Gave d'Aspe crosses the narrow neck of the commune before continuing to the Spanish border near Candanchu. To access Accous village it is necessary to follow one of a number of country roads - the Daban Athas road being the most direct.
Apart from country roads within the commune there is no other road access. The commune is traversed by some tributaries of the Gave d'Oloron, the Besse stream and the Gave d'Aspe, as well as tributaries of the latter such as the Gave Lescun and the Berthe; the Cotcharas stream and its tributary, the Congaets stream flow in the territory of Accous, as tributaries of the Gave d'Aydius, the Gave de Bouren and the Sahun stream. Accous is dominated by the Poey, a conical hill covered with ferns; the Poey is made of ophites. These green and harsh volcanic rocks from the Triassic belong to dolerites, they have resisted the erosion of torrential rivers. This is the reason; the name Accous appears in the following forms: Aspa Luca Achoss and Achost Acos Aquos d'Aspe Aquos Abadie de Cos Sanctus Martinus de Acous Acous. The name of the commune in Gascon is Acós. Brigitte Jobbé-Duval hypothesises that Accous originated from Acca or Acco, a woman's name mentioned in the inscriptions of Spain; the name Appatie came from the Lay Abbey of Jouers throygh corruption of the word Abbadie.
Note that in the Aspe Valley the voiceless consonants of Latin are preserved. This fief was a vassal of the Viscounts of Béarn. Le Bois d'Arapoup is attested in 1863 in the Topographical Dictionary. Aület is mentioned in the form Aulet in 1863 by the Topographical Dictionary. Lhers is cited in the dictionary; the name La Berthe, a tributary of the Gave d'Aspe, is cited in the dictionary of 1863. Despourrins is mentioned in 1863 in the Topographical Dictionary as a name taken from the poet Cyprien Despourrins, buried there. Izaure was a farm mentioned by Paul Raymond with the spellings: Usaure, Ixaure and Isaure. Jouers /juèrs/ was Joertz a metathesis of a Basque word Oïhartz a derivative of Oihan meaning'forest', it is found in the spelling Joers Jouers, again Joers. The Col de Lourtica is the name of a hill between the communes of Aydius. Saint-Christau was a chapel, mentioned by the dictionary of 1863. Tillabé was a place in Accous reported by the dictionary in 1863 and mentioned in the 18th century 2 in the form Le Tillaber.
Paul Raymond said that Tillabé "was the place of meeting of the aldermen of the Aspe valley". Paul Raymond noted that the commune had a vassal of the Viscounts of Béarn. In 1385, there were 74 "fires". Accous was the capital of the Aspe valley. List of Successive Mayors of Accous The town is part of five inter-communal organisations: the community of communes of the Aspe Valley the Energy union in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques the Television union of Oloron - Aspe Valley the inter-communal union to aid education in the Aspe Valley the joint union of Upper-Béarn. Accous has twinning associations with: Valle de Hecho since 1978. Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 The economy of the town is oriented toward agriculture and animal husbandry; the cheese-making farms are one of the resources of the commune, part of the Appellation d'origine contrôlée zone designation of Ossau-iraty. The Toyal plant, located at the edge of the commune, provides income to Accous through business tax, making of it the richest communes in the valley.
This activity has created hundreds of jobs in the valley. The 2006 INSEE classification, indicated that the median household incomes for each municipality with more than 50 households ranked Accous at 24495, for an average income per household of €14,199. Accous has a number of old farms registered as historical monuments; these are: House at Rue de Baix House 1 at Rue de Haut House 2 at Rue de Haut House at Rue Madrih The Accous railway station on the Pau to Canfranc line has been closed to traffic since 1970. The eco-museum of the Aspe valley is located in an old cheese fa
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
Aramits is a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of south-western France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Aramitsiennes. Aramits is located in part of the Barétous valley, the westernmost of the three main valleys of Béarn crossing the Pyrenees, it is located 3 km north of Arette. Access is by the D919 road from Ance in the north-east to the village continuing to Lanne-en-Baretous in the south-west. There are the minor roads D659 from the village north to join the D159 on the northern border and the D133 which goes south from the village to Arette. Bus route 848 of the Inter-urban network of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, which connects La Pierre Saint-Martin to Oloron-Sainte-Marie, has a stop in Aramits. Located in the drainage basin of the Adour, the commune is bisected from south-west to north-east by: Le Vert a tributary of the Gave d'Oloron which gathers many tributaries of its own in the commune including the Aurone, the Lancy, the Littos, the Talou Gros, by the arrècs of Bugalaran, Bitole and Labaigt.
The tributaries of the Joos: the Arriou de Sulu and the Bouhatéko erreka flow through the commune. The commune name in béarnais is Aràmits. For Brigitte Jobbé-Duval, the origin of the name is from the Basque aran and -itz giving "place of valleys" or "confluence", it would indicate that the inhabitants were once nicknamed grenouilles - a name for the inhabitants of wetlands). The following table details the origins of the commune name and other names in the commune. Sources: Raymond: Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, 1863, on the page numbers indicated in the table. Grosclaude: Toponymic Dictionary of communes, Béarn, 2006 Cassini: Cassini Map from 1750Origins: Ossau: Titles of the Ossau Valley Luntz: Insinuations: Insinuations of the Diocese of Oloron Aspe: Titles of the Aspe Valley Census: Census of Béarn Cour Majour: Regulations of the Cour Majour Military: Military Inspection of Béarn Paul Raymond on page 7 of his 1863 dictionary that Aramits is the former capital of the Barétous valley and that there were two Lay Abbeys, vassals of the Viscounts of Béarn: The Abadie-Susan and Abadie-Jusan.
He further noted that in 1385 there were 52 fires at Aramits and it depended on the bailiwick of Oloron. Shortly before, the priest of Aramits played the role of mediator in conflicts between the Navarrese and the Bearnese which gave birth to the treaty called the Junta de Roncal, leading to the yearly tribute of the three cows paid by Aramits to Isaba. In 1790, the Canton of Aramits included Esquiule. On 13 March 2000 Aramits was hit by an earthquake of magnitude 4.2. List of Successive Mayors Aramits is part of five inter-communal structures: The Community of communes of the Barétous Valley. In 2009 the commune had 677 inhabitants; the evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger towns that have a sample survey every year. Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 The economy of the town is oriented toward agriculture and livestock.
It is part of the Appellation d'origine contrôlée zone designation of Ossau-iraty. The Parish church of Saint-Vincent is registered as an historical monument, it was a former Lay Abbey with the remains of a portal from the 17th century but the old church was demolished in 1880. The new Romanesque-Byzantine style church was built from 1884 to 1886; the Sommet de Souek is 623 metres high The Soum d'Unars is 604 metres The Barrat de Sottou is 556 metres. The commune has a primary school. Rugby Union: the Entente Aramits plays in Fédérale 2. Pierre Capdevielle played there from 1985 to 1994. Henri d'Aramitz lived in the commune, he was the son of Charles Aramitz and a sergeant in the company of musketeers, the inspiration for Aramis in the novels The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After and The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas. Communes of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department Aramits Official web site Aramits on Lion1906 Aramits on Google Maps Aramits on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute website Aramits on the 1750 Cassini Map Aramits on the INSEE website INSEE
Ance Féas is a commune in the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, southwestern France. The municipality was established on 1 January 2017 by merger of the former communes of Féas and Ance. Communes of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department
Agnos is a French commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in southwestern France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Agnosiens or Agnosiennes Agnos is located just 2 km south of Oloron-Sainte-Marie and some 25 km southwest of Pau, it can be accessed on the D155 road from Bidos in the northeast coming southwest to the village continuing southeast to Gurmençon. The D555 road passes through the commune from the north and joins the D155 northeast of the village; the commune is mixed farmland and forests with the forests scattered throughout the commune. Located in the Adour basin, the Mielle river flows from south of the commune forming part of the southern border continuing north through the village and together with several tributaries rising in the commune joins the Gave d'Oloron north of Oloron-Sainte-Marie; the commune name in béarnais is Anhos. Michel Grosclaude suggested that Agnos came from a Latin man's name Annius with an Aqitaine suffix -ossum the whole meaning "domain of Annius".
The following table details the origins of the commune name and other names in the commune. Sources: Raymond: Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, 1863, on the page numbers indicated in the table. Grosclaude: Toponymic Dictionary of communes, Béarn, 2006 Cassini: Cassini Map from 1750Origins: Fors de Béarn Census: Census of Béarn Reformation: Reformation of Béarn Paul Raymond noted on page 3 of his 1863 dictionary that in 1385 Agnos had seventeen fires and depended on the bailiwick of Oloron; the commune was merged with Gurmençon on 1 February 1973 to form the commune called Val-du-Gave d'Aspe. It was restored to its previous status on 1 January 1983. List of Successive Mayors of Agnos The town is part of five inter-communal organisations: the Community of communes of Piedmont Oloronais the SIVU to limit floods in Agnos the AEP Union for Agnos-Gurmençon the Inter-communal Union for Sanitisation for the Aspe gateway the energy union for Pyrénées-Atlantiques Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 Agnos is part of the urban area of Oloron-Sainte-Marie.
The activity of the commune is agricultural. The town is part of the Appellation d'origine contrôlée of ossau-iraty; the 2006 classification by INSEE showed the median household incomes for each commune with more than 50 households. It classed Agnos at the rank of 6,323, for an average income of €18,420; the Church has a Trinitarian steeple. It contains many items which are registered as historical objects: An Altar 6 Candlesticks A Cross A Tabernacle A Chalice A Ciborium A Retable The Forests of Bugangue and Labaigt are inter-association woods managed by the National Office of Forests which provide valuable shelter for preserving local flora and fauna. Many species are protected. An arboretum is a result of collaboration with the ONF; the Mielle, a small stream that rises in Agnos, is listed in the Natura 2000 program for three rare species: white-clawed crayfish, European pond turtles, the rare European mink which does not exist anywhere in France except in the south-west. The Pyrenees are rich in scenery and the village of Agnos is the starting point of one of the most attractive routes for cycling across the foothills: From Agnos to Mail Arrouil and back in a variety of environments, rocks, meadows with views of the Pyrenees.
This route, like many others, is managed by the local hiking plan of the Community of communes of Piémont Oloronais. AssociationsThe model aircraft club welcomes its members in the Sayette neighborhood. EducationThe town has a primary school. Multi-Media LibraryThe Multi-media library project of the CCPO identified the municipal library of Agnos as a relay point. Sports and sports equipmentThe basketball club merged with that of Asasp in 2006 to form BCHB. Catherine Capdevielle, born in 1938 in Agnos, is an athlete specialising in ordeal sprinting. Cantons of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department Communes of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department Arrondissements of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department Agnos Town Hall website Agnos official website Community of communes of Piémont oloronais website Agnos on Lion1906 Agnos on the 1750 Cassini Map Agnos on the INSEE website INSEE