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
Yvelines is a department in the region of Île-de-France, France. Located west of Hauts-de-Seine, it had a population of 1,431,808 as of 2016, its main cities are Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Mantes-la-Jolie and Rambouillet. Yvelines was created from the western part of the former department of Seine-et-Oise on 1 January 1968 in accordance with a law passed on 10 January 1964 and a décret d'application from 26 February 1965, it inherited Seine-et-Oise's official number of 78. It gained the communes of Châteaufort and Toussus-le-Noble from the adjacent department of Essonne in 1969; the departmental capital, which grew up around Louis XIV's château, was the French capital for more than a century under the Ancien Régime and again between 1871 and 1879 during the early years of the Third Republic. Since the château has continued to welcome the French Parliament when it is called upon to sit in a congressional sitting in order to enact constitutional changes or to listen to a formal declaration by the president.
Yvelines is bordered by the departments of Val-d'Oise on the north, Hauts-de-Seine on the east, Essonne on the southeast, Eure-et-Loir on the southwest, Eure on the west. The eastern part of the department, as well as its northern part along the Seine, is part of the Paris metropolitan area, but the rest of the department is rural, much of it covered by the Forest of Rambouillet. Besides Versailles and the subprefectures of Mantes-la-Jolie and Saint-Germain-en-Laye, important cities include Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, Les Mureaux, Plaisir, Chatou, Le Chesnay, the new agglomeration community of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. Two regional parks can be found in Yvelines: the Park of the Haute Vallée de Chevreuse and part of the Park of Vexin Français. Yvelines is home to one of France's best known golf courses, La Tuilerie-Bignon, in the village of Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche. In French, a man from the Yvelines is called Yvelinois. Palace of Versailles Château de Breteuil Château du Haut-Buc Château de Dampierre Château de Maisons Château de Rambouillet Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye Château of Thoiry Château de Vaux-sur-Seine Château de Mauvières Château du Pont Château de Villette Château de Millemont Museum of National Antiques Museum of River and Canal Craft Horse-drawn Coach Museum Toy Museum Sheep Museum Cloth Museum of Jouy National Barn Museum of Port-Royal International Museum of Naive Art Musee Lambinet André Derain's house Elsa Triolet-Aragon's house Émile Zola's house Maurice Ravel's house/museum Ivan Turgenev House Alexandre Dumas, père's Château de Monte-Cristo Jean-Claude Richard's family estate Chèvreloup Arboretum Marly Estate Vaux-sur-Seine Castle Garden The King's Vegetable Garden Outdoor and entertainment base of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Former Prime Minister of France Michel Rocard, was an MP for the department in the French Socialist Party.
Marta de Cidrac Gérard Larcher Sophie Primas Alain Schmitz Michel Laugier Martin Lévrier Cantons of the Yvelines department Communes of the Yvelines department Arrondissements of the Yvelines department Prefecture of Yvelines General council of Yvelines History of Famous People and Yvelines
Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a commune in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France in north-central France. It is located in the western suburbs of 19.1 km from the centre of Paris. Inhabitants are called Saint-Germinois. With its elegant tree-lined streets it is one of the more affluent suburbs of Paris, combining both high-end leisure spots and exclusive residential neighborhoods. Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a sub-prefecture of the department; because it includes the National Forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, it covers 48 km2, making it the largest commune in the Yvelines. It occupies a large loop of the Seine. Saint-Germain-en-Laye lies at one of the western termini of Line A of the RER. Saint-Germain-en-Laye was founded in 1020 when King Robert the Pious founded a convent on the site of the present Church of Saint-Germain. In 1688, James II, King of England and VII of Scotland, exiled himself to the city after being deposed from the throne in what has become known as the Glorious Revolution, he spent the remainder of his days there, died on 16 September 1701.
Prior to the French Revolution in 1789, it had been a royal town and the Château de Saint-Germain the residence of numerous French monarchs. The old château was constructed in 1348 by King Charles V on the foundations of an old castle dating from 1238 in the time of Saint Louis. Francis I was responsible for its subsequent restoration. In 1862, Napoleon III set up the Musée des Antiquités Nationales in the erstwhile royal château; this museum has exhibits ranging from Paleolithic to Celtic times. The "Dame de Brassempouy" sculpted on a mammoth's ivory tusk around 23,000 years ago is the most famous exhibit in the museum. Kings Henry IV and Louis XIII left their mark on the town. Louis XIV was born in the château, established Saint-Germain-en-Laye as his principal residence from 1661 to 1681. Louis XIV turned over the château to James VII & II of Scotland and England after his exile from Britain after the Glorious Revolution in 1688. James lived in the Château for 13 years, his daughter Louisa Maria Stuart was born in exile here in 1692.
James II is buried in the Church of Saint-Germain. Saint-Germain-en-Laye is famous for its 2.4-kilometre long stone terrace built by André Le Nôtre from 1669 to 1673. The terrace provides a view over the valley of the Seine and, in the distance, Paris. During the French Revolution, the name was changed along with many other places whose names held connotations of religion or royalty. Temporarily, Saint-Germain-en-Laye became Montagne-du-Bon-Air. During his reign, Napoleon I established his cavalry officers training school in the Château-Vieux; the Treaty of Saint-Germain was signed in 1919 and was applied on 16 July 1920. The treaty registered the breakup of the Habsburg empire, which recognized the independence of Czechoslovakia, Poland and the Kingdom of the Serbs and Slovenes. During the occupation from 1940 to 1944, the town was the headquarters of the German Army. On 1 January 2019, the former commune Fourqueux was merged into Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Saint-Germain-en-Laye is served by Saint-Germain-en-Laye station on Paris RER line A.
It is served by two stations on the Transilien Paris – Saint-Lazare suburban rail line: Saint-Germain – Bel-Air – Fourqueux and Saint-Germain – Grande Ceinture. Saint-Germain-en-Laye is served by Achères – Grand Cormier station on Paris RER line A and on the Transilien Paris – Saint-Lazare suburban rail line; this station is located in the middle of the Forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, far away from the urbanized part of the commune. Saint-Germain-en-Laye has a proud footballing history. From 1904 to 1970 it was represented by Stade Saint-Germain which, following a 1970 merger with Paris FC, became Paris Saint-Germain, or Paris SG, now PSG for short, they are a top-flight football team who have won one C2 cup. PSG are the highest ranking team in France. From 1904 to 1974, "Le Camp des Loges" was the main stadium, they are now, based in Paris – but continue to train in their original stadium. In 2011, Paris Saint-Germain was bought by the Qatar Investment Authority, bringing greater financial means.
There is one main sporting facility in Saint-Germain-en-Laye: the Stade Municipal Georges Lefèvre. It covers over 12 hectares and contains: – 5 football pitches – 3 stands – 1 athletic track – 22 tennis courts – 1 clubhouse – 1 multibeach terrain Capcom Entertainment France, a Capcom subsidiary, has its head office in Saint-Germain-en-Laye; as of 2016 the schools in this commune had 20,581 students, with 7,300 of them living in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. There is a high ratio of overall students to town inhabitants; the municipal nursery and primary schools have 3,549 students. 1,026 students attend private schools in the commune. 522 students attend primary divisions. As of 2016 the municipality operates nine primary schools; the Lycée International de Saint Germain-en-Laye, a public school, is in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. It includes a section for Japanese students, the Japanese Ministry of Education, Sports and Technology lists that program in its group of European hoshuko. Other public high schools: Lycée Jeanne-d'Albret Lycée technologique Léonard-de-Vinci Lycée technologique Jean-Baptiste-Poquelin lycée agricole et horticole de Saint-Germain-ChambourcyPrivate schools include: Collège et Lycée Notre-Dame École Saint-
Île-de-France called the région parisienne, contains the city of Paris, is the most populous of the 18 regions of France. It covers 12,012 square kilometres, or two percent of the national territory, has official estimated population of 12,213,364 as of January 1, 2019, or 18.2% of the population of France. The region accounts for nearly 30 percent of the French Gross Domestic Product; the region is made up of eight administrative departments: Paris, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Seine-et-Marne, Val-de-Marne, Val-d'Oise and Yvelines. It was created as the "District of the Paris Region" in 1961 renamed in 1976 after the historic province of Île-de-France, when its status was aligned with the other French administrative regions created in 1972. Residents are sometimes referred to an administrative word created in the 1980s; the GDP of the region in 2016 was €681 billion. It has the highest per-capita GDP among regions in France and the third-highest of regions in the European Union. In 2018 all of the twenty-eight French companies listed in the Fortune Global 500 had their headquarters in the Paris region.
Besides the landmarks of Paris, the region has many important historic sites, including the Palace of Versailles and the Palace of Fontainebleau, as well as the most-visited tourist attraction in France, Disneyland Paris. Although the modern name Île-de-France means "Island of France", the etymology is in fact unclear; the "island" may refer to the land between the rivers Oise and Seine, or it may have been a reference to the Île de la Cité, where the French royal palace and cathedral were located. The Île-de-France was inhabited by the Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the area's major north–south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité; the Parisii minted their own coins for that purpose. The Romans began their settlement on Paris's Left Bank, it became a prosperous city with a forum, temples, an amphitheatre. Christianity was introduced in the middle of the 3rd century AD by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris: according to legend, when he refused to renounce his faith before the Roman occupiers, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as Mons Martyrum "Montmartre", from where he walked headless to the north of the city.
As the Frankish domination of Gaul began, there was a gradual immigration by the Franks to Paris and the Parisian Francien dialects were born. Fortification of the Île-de-la-Citie failed to avert sacking by Vikings in 845, but Paris's strategic importance—with its bridges preventing ships from passing—was established by successful defence in the Siege of Paris. In 987, Hugh Capet, Count of Paris and Duke of the Franks, was elected King of the Franks. Under the rule of the Capetian kings, Paris became the largest and most prosperous city in France; the Kings of France enjoyed getting away from Paris and hunting in the game-filled forests of the region. They built palatial hunting lodges, most notably Palace of Fontainebleau and the Palace of Versailles. From the time of Louis XIV until the French Revolution, Versailles was the official residence of the Kings and the seat of the French government; the Ile-de-France became the term used for the territory of Paris and the surrounding province, administered directly by the King.
During the French Revolution, the royal provinces were abolished and divided into departments, the city and region were governed directly by the national government. In the period after World War II, as Paris faced a major housing shortage, hundreds of massive apartment blocks for low-income residents were built around the edges of Paris. In the 1950s and the 1960s, Many thousands of immigrants settled in the communes bordering the city. In 1959, under President Charles De Gaulle, a new region was created out of six departments, which corresponded with the historic region, with the name District de la région de Paris. On 6 May 1976, as part of the process of regionalisation, the district was reconstituted and increased administrative and political powers and renamed the Île-de-France region. Île-de-France has a land area of 12,011 km2. It is composed of eight départements centered on Paris. Around the département of Paris, urbanization fills a first concentric ring of three departments known as the petite couronne, extends into a second outer ring of four départements known as the grande couronne.
The former département of Seine, abolished in 1968, included the city proper and parts of the petite couronne. The petite couronne consists of the départements of Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, the grande couronne of those of Seine-et-Marne, Yvelines and Val-d'Oise. Politically, the region is divided into 8 départements, 25 arrondissements, 155 cantons and 1 276 communes, out of the total of 35 416 in metropolitan France, The outer parts of the Ile-de-France remain rural. Agriculture land and natu
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
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