The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history; the causes of the French Revolution are still debated among historians. Following the Seven Years' War and the American Revolution, the French government was in debt, it attempted to restore its financial status through unpopular taxation schemes, which were regressive.
Leading up to the Revolution, years of bad harvests worsened by deregulation of the grain industry and environmental problems inflamed popular resentment of the privileges enjoyed by the aristocracy and the Catholic clergy of the established church. Some historians hold something similar to what Thomas Jefferson proclaimed: that France had "been awakened by our Revolution." Demands for change were formulated in terms of Enlightenment ideals and contributed to the convocation of the Estates General in May 1789. During the first year of the Revolution, members of the Third Estate took control, the Bastille was attacked in July, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was passed in August, the Women's March on Versailles forced the royal court back to Paris in October. A central event of the first stage, in August 1789, was the abolition of feudalism and the old rules and privileges left over from the Ancien Régime; the next few years featured political struggles between various liberal assemblies and right-wing supporters of the monarchy intent on thwarting major reforms.
The Republic was proclaimed in September 1792 after the French victory at Valmy. In a momentous event that led to international condemnation, Louis XVI was executed in January 1793. External threats shaped the course of the Revolution; the Revolutionary Wars beginning in 1792 featured French victories that facilitated the conquest of the Italian Peninsula, the Low Countries and most territories west of the Rhine – achievements that had eluded previous French governments for centuries. Internally, popular agitation radicalised the Revolution culminating in the rise of Maximilien Robespierre and the Jacobins; the dictatorship imposed by the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror, from 1793 until 1794, established price controls on food and other items, abolished slavery in French colonies abroad, de-established the Catholic church and created a secular Republican calendar, religious leaders were expelled, the borders of the new republic were secured from its enemies. After the Thermidorian Reaction, an executive council known as the Directory assumed control of the French state in 1795.
They suspended elections, repudiated debts, persecuted the Catholic clergy, made significant military conquests abroad. Dogged by charges of corruption, the Directory collapsed in a coup led by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799. Napoleon, who became the hero of the Revolution through his popular military campaigns, established the Consulate and the First Empire, setting the stage for a wider array of global conflicts in the Napoleonic Wars; the modern era has unfolded in the shadow of the French Revolution. All future revolutionary movements looked back to the Revolution as their predecessor, its central phrases and cultural symbols, such as La Marseillaise and Liberté, fraternité, égalité, ou la mort, became the clarion call for other major upheavals in modern history, including the Russian Revolution over a century later. The values and institutions of the Revolution dominate French politics to this day; the Revolution resulted in the suppression of the feudal system, emancipation of the individual, a greater division of landed property, abolition of the privileges of noble birth, nominal establishment of equality among men.
The French Revolution differed from other revolutions in being not only national, for it intended to benefit all humanity. Globally, the Revolution accelerated the rise of democracies, it became the focal point for the development of most modern political ideologies, leading to the spread of liberalism, radicalism and secularism, among many others. The Revolution witnessed the birth of total war by organising the resources of France and the lives of its citizens towards the objective of military conquest; some of its central documents, such as the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, continued to inspire movements for abolitionism and universal suffrage in the next century. Historians have pointed to many events and factors within the Ancien Régime that led to the Revolution. Rising social and economic inequality, new political ideas emerging from the Enlightenment, economic mismanagement, environmental factors leading to agricultural failure, unmanageable national debt, political mismanagement on the part of King Louis XVI have all been cited as laying the groundwork for the Revolution.
Over the course of the 18th century, there emerged what the philosopher Jürgen Habermas called the idea of the "public sphere" in France and elsewhere
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in classical music, he remains one of the most recognised and influential of all composers, his best-known compositions include 9 symphonies. His career as a composer is conventionally divided into early and late periods. Beethoven was born in Bonn the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire, he displayed his musical talents at an early age and was taught by his father Johann van Beethoven and composer and conductor Christian Gottlob Neefe. At the age of 21 he moved to Vienna, where he began studying composition with Joseph Haydn and gained a reputation as a virtuoso pianist, he lived in Vienna until his death. By his late 20s his hearing began to deteriorate and by the last decade of his life he was completely deaf. In 1811 he continued to compose. Beethoven was the grandson of Ludwig van Beethoven, a musician from the town of Mechelen in the Austrian Duchy of Brabant who had moved to Bonn at the age of 21.
Ludwig was employed as a bass singer at the court of the Elector of Cologne rising to become, in 1761, Kapellmeister and thereafter the pre-eminent musician in Bonn. The portrait he commissioned of himself towards the end of his life remained displayed in his grandson's rooms as a talisman of his musical heritage. Ludwig had one son, who worked as a tenor in the same musical establishment and gave keyboard and violin lessons to supplement his income. Johann married Maria Magdalena Keverich in 1767. Beethoven was born of this marriage in Bonn. There is no authentic record of the date of his birth; as children of that era were traditionally baptised the day after birth in the Catholic Rhine country, it is known that Beethoven's family and his teacher Johann Albrechtsberger celebrated his birthday on 16 December, most scholars accept 16 December 1770 as his date of birth. Of the seven children born to Johann van Beethoven, only Ludwig, the second-born, two younger brothers survived infancy. Kaspar Anton Karl was born on 8 April 1774, Nikolaus Johann, the youngest, was born on 2 October 1776.
Beethoven's first music teacher was his father. He had other local teachers: the court organist Gilles van den Eeden, Tobias Friedrich Pfeiffer, Franz Rovantini. From the outset his tuition regime, which began in his fifth year, was harsh and intensive reducing him to tears, his musical talent was obvious at a young age. Johann, aware of Leopold Mozart's successes in this area, attempted to promote his son as a child prodigy, claiming that Beethoven was six on the posters for his first public performance in March 1778; some time after 1779, Beethoven began his studies with his most important teacher in Bonn, Christian Gottlob Neefe, appointed the Court's Organist in that year. Neefe taught him composition, by March 1783 had helped him write his first published composition: a set of keyboard variations. Beethoven soon began working with Neefe as assistant organist, at first unpaid, as a paid employee of the court chapel conducted by the Kapellmeister Andrea Luchesi, his first three piano sonatas, named "Kurfürst" for their dedication to the Elector Maximilian Friedrich, were published in 1783.
Maximilian Frederick noticed his talent early, subsidised and encouraged the young man's musical studies. Maximilian Frederick's successor as the Elector of Bonn was Maximilian Francis, the youngest son of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, he brought notable changes to Bonn. Echoing changes made in Vienna by his brother Joseph, he introduced reforms based on Enlightenment philosophy, with increased support for education and the arts; the teenage Beethoven was certainly influenced by these changes. He may have been influenced at this time by ideas prominent in freemasonry, as Neefe and others around Beethoven were members of the local chapter of the Order of the Illuminati. In December 1786, Beethoven travelled to Vienna, at his employer's expense, for the first time in the hope of studying with Mozart; the details of their relationship are uncertain, including whether they met. Having learned that his mother was ill, Beethoven returned to Bonn in May 1787, his mother died shortly thereafter, his father lapsed deeper into alcoholism.
As a result, he became responsible for the care of his two younger brothers, spent the next five years in Bonn. He was introduced in these years to several people. Franz Wegeler, a young medical student, intro
Adolphe Charles Adam was a French composer and music critic. A prolific composer of operas and ballets, he is best known today for his ballets Giselle and Le corsaire, his operas Le postillon de Lonjumeau, Le toréador and Si j'étais roi and his Christmas carol Minuit, chrétiens! set to different English lyrics and sung as "O Holy Night". Adam was a noted teacher, who taught other influential composers. Adolphe Adam was born in Paris, to Jean-Louis Adam, a prominent Alsatian composer, as well a professor at the Paris Conservatoire, his mother was the daughter of a physician. As a child, Adolphe Adam preferred to improvise music on his own rather than study music and truanted with writer Eugène Sue, something of a dunce in early years. Jean-Louis Adam was a pianist and teacher but was set against the idea of his son following in his footsteps. Adam was determined and studied and composed secretly under the tutelage of his older friend Ferdinand Hérold, a popular composer of the day; when Adam was 17, his father relented, he was permitted to study at the Paris Conservatoire—but only after he promised that he would learn music only as an amusement, not as a career.
He entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1821, where he studied organ and harmonium under the celebrated opera composer François-Adrien Boieldieu. Adam played the timpani in the orchestra of the Conservatoire. By age 20, he was writing songs for Paris vaudeville houses and playing in the orchestra at the Gymnasie Dramatique, where he became chorus master. Like many other French composers, he made a living by playing the organ. In 1825, he helped Boieldieu prepare parts for his opera La dame blanche and made a piano reduction of the score. Adam was able to travel through Europe with the money he made, he met Eugène Scribe, with whom he collaborated, in Geneva. By 1830, he had completed twenty-eight works for the theatre. Adam is best remembered for the ballet Giselle, he wrote several other ballets and 39 operas, including Le postillon de Lonjumeau and Si j'étais roi. After quarreling with the director of the Opéra, Adam invested his money and borrowed to open a fourth opera house in Paris: the Théâtre National.
It closed because of the Revolution of 1848, leaving Adam with massive debts. His efforts to extricate himself from these debts include a brief turn to journalism. From 1849 to his death in Paris, he taught composition at the Paris Conservatoire, his Christmas carol "Cantique de Noël", translated to English as "O Holy Night", is an international favorite, has been recorded. "Cantique de Noel" is based on a poem written by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure. Adam subsequently crafted a melody for the poem, translated into English by John Sullivan Dwight, a Boston music teacher and music journalist, as well as co-founder of The Harvard Music Society. Adam is buried in Montmartre Cemetery in Paris. List of operas by Adolphe Adam List of ballets by Adolphe Adam. Notes Citations Works by Adolphe Adam at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Adolphe Adam at Internet Archive Works by Adolphe Adam at LibriVox Creative Flute free sheet music by Adolphe Adam Free scores by Adam at the International Music Score Library Project Free scores by Adolphe Adam in the Choral Public Domain Library Adolphe Adam at AllMusic
Strasbourg Cathedral or the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg known as Strasbourg Minster, is a Catholic cathedral in Strasbourg, France. Although considerable parts of it are still in Romanesque architecture, it is considered to be among the finest examples of high, or late, Gothic architecture. Erwin von Steinbach is credited for major contributions from 1277 to his death in 1318. At 142 metres, it was the world's tallest building from 1647 to 1874, when it was surpassed by St. Nikolai's Church, Hamburg. Today it is the sixth-tallest church in the world and the highest extant structure built in the Middle Ages. Described by Victor Hugo as a "gigantic and delicate marvel", by Goethe as a "sublimely towering, wide-spreading tree of God", the cathedral is visible far across the plains of Alsace and can be seen from as far off as the Vosges Mountains or the Black Forest on the other side of the Rhine. Sandstone from the Vosges used in construction gives the cathedral its characteristic pink hue.
The construction, maintenance, of the cathedral is supervised by the "Foundation of Our Lady" since 1224. Archaeological excavations below and around the cathedral have been conducted in 1896–1897, 1907, 1923–1924, 1947–1948, between 1966 and 1972 and again between 2012 and 2014; the site of the current cathedral was used for several successive religious buildings, starting from the Argentoratum period, when a Roman sanctuary occupied the site up to the building, there today. It is known that a cathedral was erected by the bishop Saint Arbogast of the Strasbourg diocese at the end of the seventh century, on the base of a temple dedicated to the Virgin Mary, but nothing remains of it today. Strasbourg's previous cathedral, of which remains dating back to the late 4th century or early 5th century were unearthed in 1948 and 1956, was situated at the site of the current Église Saint-Étienne. In the eighth century, the first cathedral was replaced by a more important building that would be completed under the reign of Charlemagne.
Bishop Remigius von Straßburg wished to be buried in the crypt, according to his will dated 778. It was in this building that the Oaths of Strasbourg were pronounced in 842. Excavations revealed that this Carolingian cathedral had three apses. A poem described this cathedral as decorated with precious stones by the bishop Ratho; the basilica caught fire on multiple occasions, in 873, 1002, 1007. In 1015, bishop Werner von Habsburg laid the first stone of a new cathedral on the ruins of the Carolingian basilica, he constructed a cathedral in the Romanesque style of architecture. That cathedral burned to the ground in 1176 because at that time the naves were covered with a wooden framework. After that disaster, bishop Heinrich von Hasenburg decided to construct a new cathedral, to be more beautiful than that of Basel, just being finished. Construction of the new cathedral began on the foundations of the preceding structure, did not end until centuries later. Werner's cathedral's crypt, which had not burned, was expanded westwards.
The construction began with the choir and the north transept in a Romanesque style, reminiscent of and inspired by the Imperial Cathedrals in its monumentality and height. But in 1225, a team coming from Chartres revolutionized the construction by suggesting a Gothic architecture style; the parts of the nave, begun in Romanesque style were torn down and in order to find money to finish the nave, the Chapter resorted to Indulgences in 1253. The money was kept by the Œuvre Notre-Dame, which hired architects and stone workers; the influence of the Chartres masters was felt in the sculptures and statues: the "Pillar of Angels", a representation of the Last Judgment on a pillar in the southern transept, facing the Astronomical clock, owes to their expressive style. Like the city of Strasbourg, the cathedral connects German and French cultural influences, while the eastern structures, e.g. the choir and south portal, still have Romanesque features, with more emphasis placed on walls than on windows.
Above all, the famous west front, decorated with thousands of figures, is a masterpiece of the Gothic era. The tower is one of the first to rely on craftsmanship, with the final appearance being one with a high degree of linearity captured in stone. While previous façades were drawn prior to construction, Strasbourg has one of the earliest façades whose construction is inconceivable without prior drawing. Strasbourg and Cologne Cathedral together represent some of the earliest uses of architectural drawing; the work of Professor Robert O. Bork of the University of Iowa suggests that the design of the Strasbourg façade, while seeming random in its complexity, can be constructed using a series of rotated octagons; the north tower, completed in 1439, was the world's tallest building from 1647 until 1874. The planned south tower was never built and as a result, with its characteristic asymmetrical form, the cathedral is now the premier landmark of Alsace. One can see 30 kilometers from the observation level, which provides a view of the Rhine banks from the Vosges all the way to the Black Forest.
The octagonal tower as it can be seen is the combined work of architects Ulrich Ensingen and Johannes Hültz of Cologne. Ensingen worked on the cathedral from 1399 to 1419, Hültz from 1
Franz Xaver Richter
Franz Xaver Richter, known as François Xavier Richter in France was an Austro-Moravian singer, composer and music theoretician who spent most of his life first in Austria and in Mannheim and in Strasbourg, where he was music director of the cathedral. From 1783 on Haydn’s favourite pupil Ignaz Pleyel was his deputy at the cathedral; the most traditional of the first generation composers of the so-called Mannheim school, he was regarded in his day as a contrapuntist. As a composer he was at home in the concerto and the strict church style. Mozart heard a mass by Richter on his journey back from Paris to Salzburg in 1778 and called it charmingly written. Richter, as a contemporary engraving shows, must have been one of the first conductors to have conducted with a music sheet roll in his hand. Richter wrote chiefly symphonies, concertos for woodwinds, trumpet and church music, his masses receiving special praise, he was a man of a transitional period, his symphonies in a way constitute one of the missing links between the generation of Bach and Handel and the Viennese classic.
Although sometimes contrapuntal in a learned way, Richter’s orchestral works exhibit considerable drive and verve. Until a few years ago Richter "survived" with recordings of his trumpet concerto in D major but a number of chamber orchestras and ensembles have taken many of his pieces symphonies and concertos, into their repertoire. Franz Xaver Richter was born in Holleschau, now Holešov), although this is not certain. There is no record of his birth in the Holleschau church register. In his employment contract with the Prince Abbot of Kempten it says; the musicologist Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg has Richter being from Hungarian descent and on his Strasbourg death certificate it says: "ex Kratz oriundus". Although his whereabouts until 1740 are nowhere documented, it is clear that Richter got a thorough training in counterpoint and that this took place using the influential counterpoint treatise Gradus ad Parnassum by Johann Josef Fux. Richter’s lifelong mastery of the strict church style, evident in his liturgical works but shines through in his symphonies and chamber music, is testimony to his roots in the Austrian and south German Baroque music.
On April 2, 1740 Richter was appointed deputy Kapellmeister to the Prince-Abbot Anselm von Reichlin-Meldeg of Kempten in Allgäu. Reichlin Meldeg as Prince Abbot presided over the Fürststift Kempten, a large Benedictine Monastery in what is now south-western Bavaria; the monastery would have had a choir and a small orchestra, as well, but this must have been a small affair. Richter stayed in Kempten for six years but it is hard to imagine that a man of his education and talents would have liked the idea of spending the rest of his life in this scenically beautiful but otherwise parochial town. In February 1743 Richter married Maria Anna Josepha Moz, from Kempten. Twelve of Richter's symphonies for strings were published in Paris in the year 1744, it is assumed that Richter left Kempten before the death of Reichlin-Meldeg in December 1747. Just how much Richter must have disliked Kempten can be deduced from the fact that in 1747 his name appears among the court musicians of the Prince elector Charles Theodore in Mannheim – but not as music director or in any other leading function but as a simple singer.
Richter preferred being one among many in Mannheim to acting deputy Kapellmeister in a small town like Kempten. Because of his old fashioned reactionary music style Richter was not popular in Mannheim; the title awarded to him in 1768 as Cammercompositeur seems to have been an honorary one. He was more successful as a composer of sacred music and as music theoretician. In 1748 the Elector commissioned him to compose an oratorio for Good Friday, La deposizione dalla croce, it is sometimes concluded that this oratorio was not a success as there was only one performance and Richter was never commissioned to write another one. Richter was a respected teacher of composition. Between 1761 and 1767 he wrote a treatise on composition, based on Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum – the only representative of the Mannheim School to do so; the lengthy work in three tomes is dedicated to Charles Theodore. Among his more notable pupils were Joseph Martin Kraus Carl Stamitz and Ferdinand Fränzl. After 1768 Richter's name disappears from the lists of court singers.
During his Mannheim years Richter made tours to the Oettingen-Wallerstein court in 1754 and to France, the Netherlands and England where his compositions found a ready market with publishers. It seems clear from Richter’s compositions that he did not fit in at the Mannheim court. Whereas his colleagues in the orchestra were interested in lively, homophonic music that focused on drive and sparkling orchestral effects gained from stock devices, rooted in the Austrian Baroque tradition, wrote music, in a way reminiscent of Handel and his teacher Fux. Thus, when in 1769 an opening at Strasbourg's cathedral became known Richter seems to have applied right away. In April 1769 he succeeded Joseph Garnier as Kapellmeister at Strasbourg Cathedral, where both his performing and composing a
Esterháza is a palace in Fertőd, built by Prince Nikolaus Esterházy. Sometimes called the "Hungarian Versailles", it is Hungary's grandest Rococo edifice. Esterháza was not the ancestral home of the Esterházy family. Miklós Esterházy began his plans for a new palace not long after he became reigning prince in 1762 on the death of his brother Paul Anton. Before this time, Nikolaus was accustomed to spending much of his time at a hunting lodge called Süttör, built in the same location around 1720 with a design by Anton Erhard Martinelli; the hunting lodge was the nucleus. The first architect to work on the project was Johann Ferdinand Mödlhammer, succeeded in 1765 by Melchior Hefele. While the palace is compared to Versailles, which the Prince had visited in 1764 when he visited Paris, H. C. Robbins Landon claims that a more direct influence can be found in "Austrian prototypes Schönbrunn palace in Vienna." The palace cost the Prince the sum of 13 million Austro-Hungarian gulden, a figure that Robbins Landon terms "astronomical".
Eszterháza was first inhabited in 1766. The opera house was completed in 1768, the marionette theater in 1773; the fountain in front of the palace was not completed until 1784, at which point the Prince considered his project complete. Nikolaus Esterházy died in 1790. Neither his son Anton, who inherited the Esterházy lands, nor any of his successors had any interest in living in the isolated palace; the palace was built near the south shore of the Neusiedler See, on swampy land, a health hazard at the time. Robbins Landon notes that "it was a eccentric idea on the part of Prince Nicolaus to choose it as the site for a large castle; the castle's existence was to prove'mind over matter'". The palace has 126 rooms. Of particular note is the Banquet Room which has on its ceiling a painting of Apollo in his Chariot; the large library holds 22,000 volumes and is graced with the letter'E', standing for the family surname. The largest room is the grotto-like Sala Terrana, inspired by the fashionable Italianate style.
On the ceiling are dancing Angels who hold wreaths of flowers in the shape of an'E'. From 1766 to 1790, the estate was the home of the celebrated composer Joseph Haydn, where he lived in a four-room flat in a large two-storey building housing servants' quarters, separate from the palace. Haydn wrote the majority of his symphonies for the Prince's orchestra. Eszterháza had two opera houses, the main theatre seating 400 and a marionette theatre; the palace was geographically isolated, a factor which led to loneliness and tedium among the musicians. This is seen in some of Haydn's letters, as well as in the famous tale of the Farewell Symphony. Buildings inspired by Versailles House of Esterházy Schloss Esterházy List of residences of Joseph Haydn Robbins Landon, H. C. and David Wyn Jones Haydn: His Life and Music. Thames and Hudson. Webster, James "Joseph Haydn", article in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Official English-language site for Esterházy-kastély is www.esterhazy-palace.com/en/home.html On Haydn’s Trail: Eszterháza Palace, by the Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art & Architecture
Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Grand Est region of France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department. In 2016, the city proper had 279,284 inhabitants and both the Eurométropole de Strasbourg and the Arrondissement of Strasbourg had 491,409 inhabitants. Strasbourg's metropolitan area had a population of 785,839 in 2015, making it the ninth largest metro area in France and home to 13% of the Grand Est region's inhabitants; the transnational Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau had a population of 915,000 inhabitants in 2014. Strasbourg is one of the de facto capitals of the European Union, as it is the seat of several European institutions, such as the Council of Europe and the Eurocorps, as well as the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman of the European Union; the city is the seat of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine and the International Institute of Human Rights.
Strasbourg's historic city centre, the Grande Île, was classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, the first time such an honour was placed on an entire city centre. Strasbourg is immersed in Franco-German culture and although violently disputed throughout history, has been a cultural bridge between France and Germany for centuries through the University of Strasbourg the second largest in France, the coexistence of Catholic and Protestant culture, it is home to the largest Islamic place of worship in France, the Strasbourg Grand Mosque. Economically, Strasbourg is an important centre of manufacturing and engineering, as well as a hub of road and river transportation; the port of Strasbourg is the second largest on the Rhine after Germany. Before the 5th century, the city was known as Argantorati, a Celtic Gaulish name Latinized first as Argentorate, as Argentoratum; that Gaulish name is a compound of -rati, the Gaulish word for fortified enclosures, cognate to the Old Irish ráth, arganto-, the Gaulish word for silver, but any precious metal gold, suggesting either a fortified enclosure located by a river gold mining site, or hoarding gold mined in the nearby rivers.
After the 5th century, the city became known by a different name Gallicized as Strasbourg. That name is of Germanic origin and means "Town of roads"; the modern Stras- is cognate to the German Straße and English street, all of which are derived from Latin strata, while -bourg is cognate to the German Burg and English borough, all of which are derived from Proto-Germanic *burgz. Gregory of Tours was the first to mention the name change: in the tenth book of his History of the Franks written shortly after 590 he said that Egidius, Bishop of Reims, accused of plotting against King Childebert II of Austrasia in favor of his uncle King Chilperic I of Neustria, was tried by a synod of Austrasian bishops in Metz in November 590, found guilty and removed from the priesthood taken "ad Argentoratensem urbem, quam nunc Strateburgum vocant", where he was exiled. Strasbourg is situated at the eastern border of France with Germany; this border is formed by the Rhine, which forms the eastern border of the modern city, facing across the river to the German town Kehl.
The historic core of Strasbourg however lies on the Grande Île in the river Ill, which here flows parallel to, 4 kilometres from, the Rhine. The natural courses of the two rivers join some distance downstream of Strasbourg, although several artificial waterways now connect them within the city; the city lies in the Upper Rhine Plain, at between 132 metres and 151 metres above sea level, with the upland areas of the Vosges Mountains some 20 km to the west and the Black Forest 25 km to the east. This section of the Rhine valley is a major axis of north–south travel, with river traffic on the Rhine itself, major roads and railways paralleling it on both banks; the city is some 397 kilometres east of Paris. The mouth of the Rhine lies 450 kilometres to the north, or 650 kilometres as the river flows, whilst the head of navigation in Basel is some 100 kilometres to the south, or 150 kilometres by river. In spite of its position far inland, Strasbourg's climate is classified as oceanic, but a "semicontinental" climate with some degree of maritime influence in relation to the mild patterns of Western and Southern France.
The city has warm sunny summers and cool, overcast winters. Precipitation is elevated from mid-spring to the end of summer, but remains constant throughout the year, totaling 631.4 mm annually. On average, snow falls 30 days per year; the highest temperature recorded was 38.5 °C in August 2003, during the 2003 European heat wave. The lowest temperature eve