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
Bas-Rhin is a department in Alsace, a part of the Grand Est super-region of France. The name means "Lower Rhine", geographically speaking it belongs to the Upper Rhine region, it is the more populous and densely populated of the two departments of the traditional Alsace region, with 1,121,407 inhabitants in 2016. The prefecture and the General Council are based in Strasbourg; the INSEE and Post Code is 67. The inhabitants of the department are known as Bas-Rhinoises; the Rhine has always been of great historical and economic importance to the area, it forms the eastern border of Bas-Rhin. The area is home to some of the foothills of the Vosges Mountains. To the north of Bas-Rhin lies the Palatinate forest in the German State of Rhineland-Palatinate, the German State of Baden-Württemberg lies to the east. To the south lies the department of Haut-Rhin, the town of Colmar and southern Alsace, to the west the department of Moselle. On its south-western corner, Bas-Rhin joins the department of Vosges.
The Bas-Rhin has a continental-type climate, characterised by cold, dry winters and hot, stormy summers, due to the western protection provided by the Vosges. The average annual temperature is 7 °C on high ground; the annual maximum temperature is high. The average rainfall is 700 mm per year. Established according to data from the Infoclimat station at Strasbourg-Entzheim, over the period from 1961 to 1990; this is the last French department to have kept the term Bas meaning "Lower" in its name. Other departments using this prefix preferred to change their names - e.g.: Basses-Pyrenees in 1969 became Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Basses-Alpes in 1970 became the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. The same phenomenon was observed for the inférieur departments such as Charente-Inférieure, Seine-Inférieure, Loire-Inférieure. Bas-Rhin is one of the original 83 departments created on 4 March 1790, during the French Revolution. On 14 January 1790 the National Constituent Assembly decreed: "- That Alsace be divided into two departments with Strasbourg and Colmar as their capitals.
In 1871 Bas-Rhin was annexed by Germany and became Bezirk Unterelsass in Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen. Strasbourg, the chef lieu of Bas-Rhin is the official seat of the European Parliament as well as of the Council of Europe; the demography of Bas-Rhin is characterized by high density and high population growth since the 1950s. In January 2014 Bas-Rhin had 1,112,815 inhabitants and was 18th by population at the national level. In fifteen years, from 1999 to 2014, its population grew by more than 86,000 people, or about 5,800 people per year, but this variation is differentiated among the 517 communes. The population density of Bas-Rhin is 234 inhabitants per square kilometre in 2014, more than twice the average in France, 112 in 2009; the first census was conducted in 1801 and this count, renewed every five years from 1821, provides precise information on the evolution of population in the department. With 540,213 inhabitants in 1831, the department represented 1.66% of the total French population, 32,569,000 inhabitants.
From 1831 to 1866, the department gained 48,757 people, an increase of 0.26% on average per year compared to the national average of 0.48% over the same period. Demographic change between the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and the First World War was higher than the national average. Over this period, the population increased by 100,532 inhabitants, an increase of 16.74%, compared to 10% nationally. The population increased by 9.23% between the two world wars from 1921 to 1936 compared to a national growth of 6.9%. Like other French departments, Bas-Rhin experienced a population boom after the Second World War, higher than the national level; the rate of population growth between 1946 and 2007 was 83.83%
Picardy is a historical territory and a former administrative region of France. Since 1 January 2016, it has been part of the new region of Hauts-de-France, it is located in the northern part of France. The historical province of Picardy stretched from north of Noyon to Calais, via the whole of the Somme department and the north of the Aisne department; the province of Artois separated Picardy from French Flanders. From the 5th century the area was part of the Frankish Empire, in the feudal period it encompassed the six countships of Boulogne, Ponthieu, Amiénois and Laonnois. According to the 843 Treaty of Verdun the region became part of West Francia, the Kingdom of France; the name "Picardy" was not used until the 13th century. During this time, the name applied to all lands where the Picard language was spoken, which included all the territories from Paris to the Netherlands. In the Latin Quarter of Paris, people identified a "Picard Nation" of students at Sorbonne University, most of whom came from Flanders.
During the Hundred Years' War, Picardy was the centre of the Jacquerie peasant revolt in 1358. From 1419 onwards, the Picardy counties were acquired by the Burgundian duke Philip the Good, confirmed by King Charles VII of France at the 1435 Congress of Arras. In 1477, King Louis XI of France occupied key towns in Picardy. By the end of 1477, Louis would control most of Artois. In the 16th century, the government of Picardy was created; this became a new administrative region of France, separate from what was defined as Picardy. The new Picardy included the Somme département, the northern half of the Aisne département, a small fringe in the north of the Oise département. In 1557, Picardy was invaded by Habsburg forces under the command of Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy. After a seventeen-day siege, St. Quentin would be ransacked, while Noyon would be burned by the Habsburg army. In the early 18th century, an infectious disease similar to English sweat originated from the region and spread across France.
It was called Picardy sweat. Sugar beet was introduced by Napoleon I during the Napoleonic Wars in the 19th century, in order to counter the United Kingdom, which had seized the sugar islands possessed by France in the Caribbean; the sugar industry has continued to play a prominent role in the economy of the region. One of the most significant historical events to occur in Picardy was the series of battles fought along the Somme during World War I. From September 1914 to August 1918, four major battles, including the Battle of the Somme, were fought by British and German forces in the fields of Northern Picardy. In 2009, the Regional Committee for local government reform proposed to reduce the number of French regions and cancel additions of new regions in the near future. Picardy would have disappeared, each department would have joined a nearby region; the Oise would have been incorporated in the Île-de-France, the Somme would have been incorporated in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Aisne would have been incorporated in the Champagne-Ardenne.
The vast majority of Picards were opposed to this proposal, it was scrapped in 2010. Today, the modern region of Picardy no longer includes the coastline from Berck to Calais, via Boulogne, now in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, but does incorporate the pays of Beauvaisis, Noyonnais, Soissonnais, among other departments of France; the older definition of Picardy survives in the name of the Picard language, which applies not only to the dialects of Picardy proper, but to the Romance dialects spoken in the Nord-Pas de Calais région, north of Picardy proper, parts of the Belgian province of Hainaut. Between the 1990 and 1999 censuses, the population of Oise increased 0.61% per year, while the Aisne department lost inhabitants, the Somme grew with a 0.16% growth per year. Today, 41.3% of the population of Picardy live inside the Oise department. Picardy stretches from the long sand beaches of the Somme estuary in the west to the vast forests and pastures of the Thiérache in the east and down to the châteaux of Chantilly or Pierrefonds near the Paris Area and vineyards of the border with Champagne to the south.
The president of the regional council is Claude Gewerc, a Socialist in office since 2004. That year he defeated longtime UDF incumbent Gilles de Robien. Since 2008, the mayor of the city of Amiens, the regional capital, has been Socialist Gilles Demailly, he defeated longtime mayor Gilles de Robien of the New Centre party. The region of Picardy has a strong and proud cultural identity; the Picard cultural heritage includes some of the most extraordinary Gothic churches, distinctive local cuisine and traditional games and sports, such as the longue paume, as well as danses picardes and its own bagpipes, called the pipasso. The villages of Picardy have a distinct character, with their houses made of red bricks accented with a "lace" of white bricks. A minority of people still speak the Picard language, one of the languages of France, spoken in Artois. "P'tit quinquin", a Picard song, is a symbol of the local culture
Albé is a commune in the Bas Rhin département in Alsace in north-eastern France. It is located 2 km northeast of Villé, on the left bank of the river Giessen close to the valley of Erlenbach, from which it derives its name. To the North and West it is bounded by mountains leading to the communes of Breitenbach. To the East is the peak of Ungersberg. Numerous streams flow from this mounting and the buttresses of the Champ du Feu to the north, which merge to form the brook of the Erlenberg; this river flowed down the main street of the village, but has now been covered. The village is at 300 m altitude; until 1867 the village was known by its German name Erlenbach. The name Albé was formally adopted in 1919. Under Louis XIV it was awarded a coat of arms emblazoned "Azure, three chevrons Argent"; the Azure suggests the river and the three chevrons a narrow boxed valley. The village is first mentioned in 1303 as a possession of the Habsburg Empire. A growth in the population, as a result of an expansion in farming and forestry led to the demands by the abbot of Honcourt for the construction of a church, begun by 1342.
From the 13th to the 15th century, the area was occupied by various armies loyal to the German Emperor or the Pope. The nearby camp of Armagnacs, stationed in Châtenois, may have plundered Albé and other villages in the region. During the Easter of 1525, the peasantry of Albé took part in a revolt and the Abbeys of Honcourt and Baumgarten were destroyed; the revolt was crushed by troops from Lorraine on 20 May 1525, Albé was named by the Lord of Ensisheim as among those responsible for the sacking of the abbeys, liable for reprisal. Fire spread through the village in 1575 resulting in the destruction of the church; the town suffered again during the Thirty Years War. After attempting to resist Swedish troops, the town was laid waste. After the war, the town grew again and there was an influx of people from many different backgrounds, who brought with them their architectural traditions. A century of peace brought prosperity based again on viticulture, during the 18th century many grand lintel frame houses were built.
The French revolution brought a mixture of fear and hope, the town preserves a tree of freedom, a lime planted in 1795 in the village square. The church had been enlarged in 1752, by 1802 the village had a full-time vicar and obtained the status of parish. At the end of the 19th century the farmland was becoming exhausted and the spread of phylloxera gravely affected the town and the population shrank. Coal mines are operating in the village; the town is principally known for its wine, it is the only town in the valley to produce its own vin d'Alsace. The vineyards are on sunny slopes; the vineyards now cover about 15 hectares, this area is expected to increase as hillsides are improved for the purpose. Most of the grapes are processed locally; the forest surrounding the town is held in common, though some is managed for chestnuts and fuel. There is little industry in Albé, cottage industries such as weaving are not significant; however the production of brandy has taken place on a commercial scale.
The Maison du Val de Villé is a local museum, housed in the former mairie. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department INSEE commune file
Altenheim is a French commune in the Bas-Rhin department in the Grand Est region of north-eastern France. It should not be confused with the German town of the same name, Neuried, in the state of Baden-Württemberg; the inhabitants of the commune are known as Altenheimois or Altenheimoises Altenheim is located some 10 km east by south-east of Saverne and 30 km north-west of Strasbourg. It can be accessed from five directions: from Furchhausen in the west by road D230, from Dettwiller in the north by road D112, from Littenheim in the east by road D151, from Saessolsheim in the south-east by road D230, from Wolschheim in the south by road D112. All these roads intersect in the village; the commune consists of farmland other than the village. The only waterway in the commune is the Drusenbach crossing the south-western corner and two small tributaries of this stream in the north of the commune. On 21 January 1945, an American B-17 bomber,the "Princess Pat" was hit by flak returning from a mission to Heilbronn and landed on its belly near the D230 road between Altenheim and Furchhausen.
List of Successive Mayors of Altenheim In 2009, the commune had 226 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known through the population censuses conducted in the town since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of municipalities 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 commune has a large number of buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments: A House A House A House A House A House A House A House A House A Napoleanic Banc-Reposoir The Village Houses The commune has several religious buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments: A Wayside Cross at R. D. 112 A Wayside Cross at R. D. 112 / R. D. 151 A Wayside Cross at R. D. 112 A Wayside Cross at R. D. 112 A Wayside Cross at R. D. 230 A Wayside Cross at R. D. 230 A Wayside Cross at R. D. 230 The Chapel of la-Fête-Dieu The Church of Saint Lambert.
The Church contains many items that are registered as historical objects: A Funeral Monument of Marie-rose Schmitt and family A Funeral Monument of Maria Diss and Jean-Michel Klein A Funeral Monument of Marie-Odile Debs A Funeral Monument A Chalice with Paten A Statue: Saint Lambert A Neo-Gothic Chalice A Cross: Christ on the Cross 2 Confessionals A Baptismal font A Tabernacle A Monumental Cross A Cemetery Cross Communes of the Bas-Rhin department Altenheim on the old IGN website Altenheim on Lion1906 Altenheim on Google Maps Altenheim on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute website Altenheim on the 1750 Cassini Map Altenheim on the INSEE website INSEE
Balbronn is a French commune in the Bas-Rhin department in the Grand Est region of north-eastern France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Balbronnaises. Balbronn is located 8 km south-west of Wasselonne. Access to the commune is by the D75 road from Westhoffen in the north which passes through the village and continues west through the commune south-west to Oberhaslach; the D275 goes from the village south-east to Bergbieten. The commune is farmland but with large forests north of the D75 in the west of the commune. Le Schleithal river flows south through the forests in the west and continues south through the commune to join the Bruche at Dinsheim-sur-Bruche; the Niedermattgraben rises near the village and flows south-east to join the Kehlbach east of Bergbieten. In his chronicle, Hertzog describes Balbronn as a Staettlin; the church is old. Inside it is a headstone from 1574 containing the remains of Jean de Mittelhausen and his wife Barbe Hufel. In the forests in the west of Balbronn there was once a village called Elbersforst, in a large clearing in the forest where there is now the Auberge d'Elemerforst.
A plaque indicates. Stones from the old village can still be seen above the restaurant patio; these are the old foundations of several buildings of what was called Elbersforst. Since 2007 this medieval town has been the subject of archaeological excavations. Elbersforst was part of Westhoffen. List of Successive Mayors; 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 communes that have a sample survey every year. Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 The commune has many buildings and sites that are registered as historical monuments: A Jewish House at 47-48 Rue Balbach Farmhouses A Chateau at Rue du Chateau The Town Hall/School at 63 Place de la Mairie A Protestant School at 170 Place du Pasteur-Albert-Kiefer A Merchant's House at 29 Rue des Tonneliers A Forester's House at Elmersforst The commune has several religious buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments: A Synagogue at Rue des Femmes A Protestant Presbytery 173 Rue du Fossé.
The Presbytery contains 2 communion ewers. A Protestant Church at Place du Pasteur-Albert-Kiefer The Parish Church of Saint-Catherine at Rue de Westhoffen The church contains many items that are registered as historical objects: The Furniture in the Church A Chalice with Paten and Spoon A Painting: Saint Catherine A Eucharistic Cabinet A Baptismal font The main Altar 3 Stained glass windows A Monumental Cross The Interdenominational Cemetery at Rue de Westhoffen The Church and Cemetery of Balbronn; the Cemetery contains a Cemetery Cross, registered as an historical object. Louis Albert Kiefer, pastor from 1873 to 1913, the date of his death, author of the book: Die geschichte balbronn, 1894. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department Balbronn on the old National Geographic website Regional Directorate of the Environment, Sustainable development, Lodgings website Balbronn official website Balbronn on Lion1906 Balbronn on Google Maps Balbronn on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute website Balbronn on the 1750 Cassini Map Balbronn on the INSEE website INSEE
Asswiller is a French commune in the Bas-Rhin department in the Grand Est region of north-eastern France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Asswilleroises; the commune has been awarded one flower by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom. Asswiller is in the Northern Vosges Regional Natural Park some 27 km south-east of Sarralbe and 38 km south-west of Bitche. Access to the commune is by the D9 road from Durstel in the north-west passing through the heart of the commune and the village and continuing south-east to Petersbach; the D309 road goes south-west from the village to Drulingen. There is a large forest in the west with strips of forest along the borders with the remainder of the commune farmland; the Isch forms the south-western boundary of the commune as it flows west to join the Sarre west of Wolfskirchen. The Ottwillergraben forms the eastern border of the commune as it flows north to join the Eichel at Tieffenbach.
718: Asco vilare 1793: Asveiller 1801: AsswilerIn German the commune name is Aßweiler. Asswiller was a small lordship dependent on the Counts of La Petite-Pierre; when the Count palatine of Bavaria, Georg Johann I of Bavaria, took possession of the county, he granted Asswiller as a hereditary fief to the Dalheim family, who were soon succeeded by the Steinkallenfels family: senior officials of the palatine counts. These Protestant lords introduced the Reformation and remained in Asswiller from the 16th century to 1819. In 1789 Asswiller belonged to the Lord of Carbiston who had acquired it in 1771 by marriage with the heiress of the Steincallenfels family. After the French Revolution Asswiller was attached to France in 1793 by decree of the National Convention which overrode the rights of princes holding possessions. List of Successive Mayors In 2010 the commune had 285 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 Many buildings and structures in Asswiller are registered as historical monuments: A Farmhouse at 2 Rue du Cimetière A Chateau at 6 Rue de Drulingen The Town Hall/School at 10 Rue de Durstel A Farmhouse at 18 Rue de Durstel A Courthouse at 2 Rue de Durstel A Farmhouse at 26 Rue de Durstel A Farmhouse at 5 Rue de Durstel A Farmhouse at 5 Bis Rue de Durstel A Farmhouse at 14 Rue de Petersbach A Farmhouse at 8 Rue de Petersbach A Mill called Jaegermuhle Several religious buildings and structures are registered as historical monuments: A Cemetery at Rue du Cimetière A Protestant Church at Rue de Durstel A Protestant Presbytery at 4 Rue de Durstel A Lutheran Church at Rue de l'Eglise The Cemetery contains two items that are registered as historical objects: The Rauscher family tomb 3 SculpturesThe Lutheran Church contains two items that are registered as historical objects: The Furniture in the church The Organ Communes of the Bas-Rhin department Asswiller on the old IGN website Asswiller on Lion1906 Asweiller on the 1750 Cassini Map Asswiller on the INSEE website INSEE