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
Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg
The Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg is a medieval castle located in the commune of Orschwiller in the Bas-Rhin département of Alsace, Located in the Vosges mountains just west of Sélestat, situated in a strategic area on a rocky spur overlooking the Upper Rhine Plain, it was used by successive powers from the Middle Ages until the Thirty Years' War when it was abandoned. From 1900 to 1908 it was rebuilt at the behest of the German kaiser Wilhelm II. Today it is a major tourist site; the Buntsandstein rock was first mentioned as Stophanberch in a 774 deed issued by the Frankish king Charlemagne. Again certified in 854, it was a possession of the French Basilica of St Denis and the site of a monastery, it is not known. However, a Burg Staufen is documented in 1147, when the monks complained to King Louis VII of France about its unlawful construction by the Hohenstaufen Duke Frederick II of Swabia. Frederick's younger brother Conrad III had been elected King of the Romans in 1138, to be succeeded by Frederick's son Frederick Barbarossa in 1152, by 1192 the castle was called Kinzburg.
In the early thirteenth century, the fortification passed from the Hohenstaufen family to the dukes of Lorraine, who entrusted it to the local Rathsamhausen knightly family and the Lords of Hohenstein, who held the castle until the fifteenth century. As the Hohensteins allowed some robber barons to use the castle as a hideout, their behaviour began to exasperate the neighbouring rulers, in 1454 it was occupied by Elector Palatine Frederick I and in 1462 was set ablaze by the unified forces of the cities of Colmar and Basel. In 1479, the Habsburg emperor Frederick III granted the castle ruins in fief to the Counts of Thierstein, who rebuilt them with a defensive system suited to the new artillery of the time; when in 1517 the last Thierstein died, the castle became a reverted fief and again came into the possession of the Habsburg emperor of the day, Maximilian I. In 1633, during the Thirty Years' War in which Catholics forces fought Protestants, the Imperial castle was besieged by Protestant Swedish forces.
After a 52-day siege, the castle was looted by the Swedish troops. For several hundred years it was left unused, the ruins became overgrown by the forest. Various romantic poets and artists were inspired by the castle during this time; the ruins had been listed as a monument historique of the Second French Empire since 1862 and were purchased by the township of Sélestat three years later. After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 to 1871 the region was incorporated into the German Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine, in 1899 the citizens granted what was left of the castle to the German emperor Wilhelm II. Wilhelm wished to create a castle lauding the qualities of Alsace in the Middle Ages and more of German civilization stretching from Hohkönigsburg in the west to Marienburg Castle in the east, he hoped the restoration would reinforce the bond of Alsatians with Germany, as they had only been incorporated into the newly established German Empire. The management of the restoration of the fortifications was entrusted to the architect Bodo Ebhardt, a proven expert on the reconstruction of medieval castles.
Work proceeded from 1900 to 1908. On May 13, 1908, the restored Hohkönigsburg was inaugurated in the presence of the Emperor. In an elaborate re-enactment ceremony, a historic cortege entered the castle, under a torrential downpour. Ebhart's aim was to rebuild it, as it was on the eve of the Thirty Years' War, he relied on historical accounts but lacking information, he had to improvise some parts of the stronghold. For example, the Keep tower is now reckoned to be about 14 metres too tall. Wilhelm II, who visited the construction site via a specially built train station in nearby Saint-Hippolyte encouraged certain modifications that emphasised a Romantic nostalgia for Germanic civilization. For example, the main dining hall has a higher roof than it did at the time, links between the Hohenzollern family and the Habsburg rulers of the Holy Roman Empire are emphasized; the Emperor wanted to legitimise the House of Hohenzollern at the head of the Second Empire, to assure himself as worthy heir of the Hohenstaufens and the Habsburgs.
After World War I, the French state confiscated the castle in accordance with the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. It has been listed since 1862 and classified since 1993 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture. In 2007, ownership was transferred to the Bas-Rhin département. Today, it is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the region. For many years it was considered fashionable in France to sneer at the castle because of its links to the German emperor. Many considered it to be nothing more than a fairy tale castle similar to Neuschwanstein. However, in recent years many historians have established that, although it is not a accurate reconstruction, it is at least interesting for what it shows about Wilhelm II's romantic nationalist ideas of the past and the architect's work. Indeed, Bodo Ebhardt restored the castle following a close study of the remaining walls and other fortified castles built at the same period. Parts of the 1937 film La Grande Illusion by Jean Renoir were shot at Haut-Kœnigsbourg.
A copy of the castle has been built in the Berjaya Hills, 60 km north-east of Kuala Lumpur 3.404167°N 101.839155°E / 3.404167. A copy of the historic Alsatian city of Colmar is located next to it. List of castles in France Monique Fuchs and Bernhard M
Alsace is a cultural and historical region in eastern France, on the west bank of the upper Rhine next to Germany and Switzerland. From 1982 to 2016, Alsace was the smallest administrative région in metropolitan France, consisting of the Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin departments. Territorial reform passed by the French legislature in 2014 resulted in the merger of the Alsace administrative region with Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine to form Grand Est. Alsatian is an Alemannic dialect related to Swabian and Swiss German, although since World War II most Alsatians speak French. Internal and international migration since 1945 has changed the ethnolinguistic composition of Alsace. For more than 300 years, from the Thirty Years' War to World War II, the political status of Alsace was contested between France and various German states in wars and diplomatic conferences; the economic and cultural capital of Alsace, as well as its largest city, is Strasbourg. The city is the seat of bodies; the name "Alsace" can be traced to the Old High German Ali-saz or Elisaz, meaning "foreign domain".
An alternative explanation is from a Germanic Ell-sass, meaning "seated on the Ill", a river in Alsace. In prehistoric times, Alsace was inhabited by nomadic hunters. By 1500 BC, Celts began to settle in Alsace and cultivating the land, it should be noted that Alsace is a plain surrounded by the Vosges mountains and the Black Forest mountains. It creates Foehn winds which, along with natural irrigation, contributes to the fertility of the soil. In a world of agriculture, Alsace has always been a rich region which explains why it suffered so many invasions and annexations in its history. By 58 BC, the Romans had established Alsace as a center of viticulture. To protect this valued industry, the Romans built fortifications and military camps that evolved into various communities which have been inhabited continuously to the present day. While part of the Roman Empire, Alsace was part of Germania Superior. With the decline of the Roman Empire, Alsace became the territory of the Germanic Alemanni; the Alemanni were agricultural people, their Germanic language formed the basis of modern-day dialects spoken along the Upper Rhine.
Clovis and the Franks defeated the Alemanni during the 5th century AD, culminating with the Battle of Tolbiac, Alsace became part of the Kingdom of Austrasia. Under Clovis' Merovingian successors the inhabitants were Christianized. Alsace remained under Frankish control until the Frankish realm, following the Oaths of Strasbourg of 842, was formally dissolved in 843 at the Treaty of Verdun. Alsace formed part of the Middle Francia, ruled by the eldest grandson Lothar I. Lothar died early in 855 and his realm was divided into three parts; the part known as Lotharingia, or Lorraine, was given to Lothar's son. The rest was shared between Louis the German; the Kingdom of Lotharingia was short-lived, becoming the stem duchy of Lorraine in Eastern Francia after the Treaty of Ribemont in 880. Alsace was united with the other Alemanni east of the Rhine into the stem duchy of Swabia. At about this time, the surrounding areas experienced recurring fragmentation and reincorporations among a number of feudal secular and ecclesiastical lordships, a common process in the Holy Roman Empire.
Alsace experienced great prosperity during the 13th centuries under Hohenstaufen emperors. Frederick I set up Alsace as a province to be ruled by ministeriales, a non-noble class of civil servants; the idea was that such men would be more tractable and less to alienate the fief from the crown out of their own greed. The province had a central administration with its seat at Hagenau. Frederick II designated the Bishop of Strasbourg to administer Alsace, but the authority of the bishop was challenged by Count Rudolf of Habsburg, who received his rights from Frederick II's son Conrad IV. Strasbourg began to grow to become the commercially important town in the region. In 1262, after a long struggle with the ruling bishops, its citizens gained the status of free imperial city. A stop on the Paris-Vienna-Orient trade route, as well as a port on the Rhine route linking southern Germany and Switzerland to the Netherlands and Scandinavia, it became the political and economic center of the region. Cities such as Colmar and Hagenau began to grow in economic importance and gained a kind of autonomy within the "Décapole", a federation of ten free towns.
As in much of Europe, the prosperity of Alsace came to an end in the 14th century by a series of harsh winters, bad harvests, the Black Death. These hardships were blamed on Jews, leading to the pogroms of 1336 and 1339. In 1349, Jews of Alsace were accused of poisoning the wells with plague, leading to the massacre of thousands of Jews during the Strasbourg pogrom. Jews were subsequently forbidden to settle in the town. An additional natural disaster was the Rhine rift earthquake of 1356, one of Europe's worst which made ruins of Basel. Prosperity returned to Alsace under Habsburg administration during the Renaissance. Holy Roman Empire central power had begun to decline following years of imperial adventures in Italian lands ceding hegemony in Western Europe to France, which had long since centralized power. France began an aggressive policy of expanding eastward, first to the riv
Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked wading birds with long, stout bills. They belong to the family called Ciconiidae, make up the order Ciconiiformes. Ciconiiformes included a number of other families, such as herons and ibises, but those families have been moved to other orders. Storks dwell in many regions and tend to live in drier habitats than the related herons and ibises. Bill-clattering is an important mode of communication at the nest. Many species are migratory. Most storks eat frogs, insects, small birds and small mammals. There are nineteen living species of storks in six genera. Various terms are used to refer to groups of storks, two used ones being a muster of storks and a phalanx of storks. Storks tend to use gliding flight, which conserves energy. Soaring requires thermal air currents. Ottomar Anschütz’s famous 1884 album of photographs of storks inspired the design of Otto Lilienthal's experimental gliders of the late nineteenth century. Storks are heavy, with wide wingspans: the marabou stork, with a wingspan of 3.2 m and weight up to 8 kg, joins the Andean condor in having the widest wingspan of all living land birds.
Their nests are very large and may be used for many years. Some nests have been known to grow to about three metres in depth. Storks were once thought to be monogamous, but this is only true, they may change mates after migrations, may migrate without a mate. Storks’ size, serial monogamy, faithfulness to an established nesting site contribute to their prominence in mythology and culture. Storks are large to large waterbirds, they range in size from the marabou, which stands 152 cm tall and can weigh 8.9 kg, to the Abdim's stork, only 75 cm high and only weighs 1.3 kg. Their shape is superficially similar to the herons, with long legs and necks, but they are heavier-set. There is some sexual dimorphism in size, with males being up to 15% bigger than females in some species, but no difference in appearance; the only difference is in the colour of the iris of the two species in the genus Ephippiorhynchus. The bills of the storks are large to large, vary between the genera; the shape of the bills is linked to the diet of the different species.
The large bills of the Ciconia storks are the least specialised. Larger are the massive and upturned bills of the Ephippiorhynchus and the jabiru; these have evolved to hunt for fish in shallow water. Larger still are the massive daggers of the two adjutants and marabou, which are used to feed on carrion and in defence against other scavengers, as well as for taking other prey; the long, ibis-like downcurved bills of the Mycteria storks have sensitive tips that allow them to detect prey by touch where cloudy conditions would not allow them to see it. The most specialised bills of any storks are those of the two openbills, which as their name suggested is open in the middle when their bill is closed; these bills have evolved to help openbills feed on aquatic snails. Although it is sometimes reported that storks lack syrinxes and are mute, they do have syrinxes, are capable of making some sounds, although they do not do so often; the syrinxes of the storks are "variably degenerate" however, the syringeal membranes of some species are found between tracheal rings or cartilage, an unusual arrangement shared with the ovenbirds.
The storks have a nearly cosmopolitan distribution, being absent from the poles, most of North America and large parts of Australia, The centres of stork diversity are in tropical Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, with eight and six breeding species respectively. Just three species are present in the New World: wood stork, maguari stork and jabiru, the tallest flying bird of the Americas. Two species and black stork, reach Europe and western temperate Asia, while one species, Oriental stork, reaches temperate areas of eastern Asia, one species, black-necked stork, is found in Australasia. Storks are more diverse and common in the tropics, the species that live in temperate climates for the most part migrate to avoid the worst of winter, they are diverse in their habitat requirements. Some species the Mycteria "wood storks" and Anastomus openbills, are dependent on water and aquatic prey, but many other species are far less dependent on this habitat type, although they will make use of it. Species like the marabou and Abdim's stork will be found foraging in open grasslands of savannah.
Preferred habitats include flooded grasslands, light woodland and paddyfields, wet meadows, river backwaters and ponds. Many species will select shallow pools when lakes or rivers are drying out, as they concentrate prey and make it harder for prey to escape. Less typical habitats include the dense temperate forests used by European black storks, or the rainforest habitat sought by Storm's stork in South East Asia, they avoid marine habitats, with the exception of the lesser adjutant, milky stork and wood stork, all of which forage in mangroves and estuarine mudflats. A number of species have adapted to modified human habitats, either for foraging or breeding. In the absence of persecution several species breed close to people, species such as the marabou and white stork will feed at landfill sites; the storks vary in their tendency towards migration. Temperate species like the white stork, black stork and Oriental stork
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
Austrasia was a territory which formed the northeastern section of the Merovingian Kingdom of the Franks during the 6th to 8th centuries. It was centred on the Meuse, Middle Rhine and the Moselle rivers, was the original territory of the Franks, including both the so-called Salians and Rhineland Franks, which Clovis I conquered after first taking control of the bordering part of Roman Gaul, now northern France, sometimes described in this period as Neustria. In AD 567, Austrasia became a separate kingdom within the Frankish kingdom and was ruled by Sigebert I. In the 7th and 8th centuries it was the powerbase from which the Carolingians mayors of the palace of Austrasia, took over the rule of all Franks, all of Gaul, most of Germany, Northern Italy. After this period of unification, the now larger Frankish empire was once again divided between eastern and western sub-kingdoms, with the new version of the eastern kingdom becoming the foundation of the Kingdom of Germany; the name Austrasia is not well attested in the Merovingian period.
It is a latinisation of an Old Frankish name recorded first by Gregory of Tours in c. AD 580 and by Aimoin of Fleury in c. AD 1000; as with the name Austria, it contains the word for "east", i.e. meaning "eastern land" to designate the original territory of the Franks in contrast to Neustria, the "western land" in northern Gaul conquered by Clovis I in the wake of the Battle of Soissons of 486. Austrasia was centered on the Middle Rhine, including the basins of the Moselle and Main, the Meuse rivers, it bordered on Frisia and Saxony to the north, Thuringia to the east and Burgundy to the south and to Neustria to the southwest. The exact boundary between Merovingian Neustria and Austrasia is unclear with respect to areas such as the medieval County of Flanders, County of Brabant, County of Hainaut, areas to the south of these. Metz served as the Austrasian capital, although some Austrasian kings ruled from Reims and Cologne. Other important cities included Verdun and Speyer. Fulda monastery was founded in eastern Austrasia in the final decade of the Merovingian period.
In the High Middle Ages, its territory became divided among the duchies of Lotharingia and Franconia in Germany, with some western portions including Reims and Rethel passing to France. Its exact boundaries were somewhat fluid over the history of the Frankish sub-kingdoms, but Austrasia can be taken to correspond to the territory of present-day Luxembourg, parts of eastern Belgium, north-eastern France, west-central Germany and the southern Netherlands. After the death of the Frankish king Clovis I in 511, his four sons partitioned his kingdom amongst themselves, with Theuderic I receiving the lands that were to become Austrasia. Descended from Theuderic, a line of kings ruled Austrasia until 555, when it was united with the other Frankish kingdoms of Chlothar I, who inherited all the Frankish realms by 558, he redivided the Frankish territory amongst his four sons, but the four kingdoms coalesced into three on the death of Charibert I in 567: Austrasia under Sigebert I, Neustria under Chilperic I, Burgundy under Guntram.
These three kingdoms defined the political division of Francia until the rise of the Carolingians and thereafter. From 567 to the death of Sigbert II in 613, Neustria and Austrasia fought each other constantly, with Burgundy playing the peacemaker between them; these struggles reached their climax in the wars between Brunhilda and Fredegund, queens of Austrasia and Neustria. In 613, a rebellion by the nobility against Brunhilda saw her betrayed and handed over to her nephew and foe in Neustria, Chlothar II. Chlothar took control of the other two kingdoms and set up a united Frankish kingdom with its capital in Paris. During this period the first majores domus or mayors of the palace appeared; these officials acted as mediators between king and people in each realm. The first Austrasian mayors came from the Pippinid family, which experienced a slow but steady ascent until it displaced the Merovingians on the throne. In 623, the Austrasians asked Chlothar II for a king of their own and he appointed his son Dagobert I to rule over them with Pepin of Landen as regent.
Dagobert's government in Austrasia was admired. In 629, he inherited Burgundy. Austrasia was again neglected until, in 633, the people demanded the king's son as their own king again. Dagobert sent his elder son Sigebert III to Austrasia. Historians categorise Sigebert as the first roi fainéant or do-nothing king of the Merovingian dynasty, his court was dominated by the mayors. In 657, the mayor Grimoald the Elder succeeded in putting his son Childebert the Adopted on the throne, where he remained until 662. Thereafter, Austrasia was predominantly the kingdom of the Arnulfing mayors of the palace and their base of power. With the Battle of Tertry in 687, Pepin of Heristal defeated the Neustrian king Theuderic III and established his mayoralty over all the Frankish kingdoms; this was regarded by contemporaries as the beginning of his "reign". It signalled the dominance of Austrasia over Neustria, which would last until the end of the Merovingian era. In 718, Charles Martel, with Austrasian support in his war against Neustria—each territory struggling to unite Francia under their hegemony—appointed Chlothar IV to rule in Austrasia.
This was the last Frankish ruler. In 719, Francia was united permanently under Austrasian hegemony. Under the Carolingians and subsequently, Austrasia is sometimes used as a denominat
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%