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
Charency-Vezin is a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in north-eastern France. Communes of the Meurthe-et-Moselle department
Font-de-Gaume is a cave near Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil in the Dordogne départment of south-west France. The cave contains prehistoric polychrome cave paintings and engravings dating to the Magdalenian period. Discovered in 1901, more than 200 images have been identified in Font-de-Gaume; the paintings were discovered by Denis Peyrony, a local schoolmaster, on 12 September 1901. The cave had been known to the general public before this, but the significance of the paintings had not been recognised. Four days earlier Peyrony had visited the cave at Les Combarelles, a short distance away, with the archaeologist Henri Breuil, where he saw its prehistoric engravings; the paintings in the cave at Font-de-Gaume were the first to be discovered in the Périgord province. Prehistoric people living in the Dordogne Valley first settled in the mouth of Font-de-Gaume around 25,000 BC; the cave mouth was inhabited at least sporadically for the next several thousand years. However, after the original prehistoric inhabitants left, the cave was forgotten until the nineteenth century when local people again began to visit the cave.
The paintings date from around 17,000 BC, during the Magdalenian period. Many of the cave's paintings have been discovered in recent decades; the cave's most famous painting, a frieze of five bison, was discovered accidentally in 1966 while scientists were cleaning the cave. As of 2007, Font-de-Gaume was the only site in France with polychrome cave paintings, still open to the public. To date, 230 figures have been recorded in the cave, it is thought that more are still to be revealed. Font-de-Gaume holds over 200 polychrome paintings; these engravings are considered the best examples of polychrome painting other than Lascaux, now closed to the public. The rock art in Font-de-Gaume includes depictions of more than 80 bison 40 horses, more than 20 mammoths. In August 1919, the poet T. S. Eliot visited Périgueux; as part of his walking tour, he explored the already famous Font-de-Gaume cave. List of Stone Age art Art of Massimo. "Tradition in 1919: Pound and the'historical method'". In Cianci, Giovanni.
T. S. Eliot and the Concept of Tradition. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-88002-2. Bahn, Paul. Cave Art: a Guide to Decorated Ice Age Caves of Europe. Frances Lincoln Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7112-2655-5. Daubisse, Paulette; the Font-de-Gaume Cave. Périgueux: Pierre Fanlac. ISBN 978-2-86577-149-3. Osborn, Henry Fairfield. Men of the Old Stone Age: Their Environment and Art. Charles Scribners & Sons. Fiche technique des Monuments Nationaux sur la Grotte de Font de Gaume Photo du site du Ministère de la Culture
Gaume Natural Park
Gaume Natural Park is a natural park situated in Gaume, in the Province of Luxembourg, Belgium. It was created on 18 December 2014 by the Walloon government. Covering 58104 ha, it is composed of several municipalities: Aubange, Florenville, Meix-devant-Virton, Rouvroy, Saint-Léger and Virton; the natural Park aims to value its natural and human resources. It should improve social quality of life in the villages, it makes it easier for information to coordinate initiatives, federate actions. It should make it possible for young peoples to have to possibility to live and work in Gaume, by using the know how of the region, it helps the project managers in their steps, give advice. It looks forward to sensitize inhabitants to their natural and other treasures. Official website