Alexandre Gustave Eiffel was a French civil engineer. A graduate of École Centrale Paris, he made his name building various bridges for the French railway network, most famously the Garabit viaduct, he is best known for the world-famous Eiffel Tower, built for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris, his contribution to building the Statue of Liberty in New York. After his retirement from engineering, Eiffel focused on research into meteorology and aerodynamics, making significant contributions in both fields. Gustave Eiffel was born in Burgundy, France, in the city of Dijon, Côte-d'Or, the first child of Catherine-Mélanie and Alexandre Bönickhausen, he was a descendant of Jean-René Bönickhausen, who had emigrated from the German town of Marmagen and settled in Paris at the beginning of the 18th century. The family adopted the name Eiffel as a reference to the Eifel mountains in the region from which they had come. Although the family always used the name Eiffel, Gustave's name was registered at birth as Bonickhausen dit Eiffel, was not changed to Eiffel until 1880.
At the time of Gustave's birth, his father, an ex-soldier, was working as an administrator for the French Army. Due to his mother's business commitments, Gustave spent his childhood living with his grandmother, but remained close to his mother, to remain an influential figure until her death in 1878, his father, did not play a big part in young Eiffel's early life. The business was successful enough for Catherine Eiffel to sell it in 1843 and retire on the proceeds. Eiffel was not a studious child, thought his classes at the Lycée Royal in Dijon boring and a waste of time, although in his last two years, influenced by his teachers for history and literature, he began to study and he gained his baccalauréats in humanities and science. An important part in his education was played by his uncle, Jean-Baptiste Mollerat, who had invented a process for distilling vinegar and had a large chemical works near Dijon, one of his uncle's friends, the chemist Michel Perret. Both men spent a lot of time with the young Eiffel, teaching him about everything from chemistry and mining to theology and philosophy.
Eiffel went on to attend the Collège Sainte-Barbe in Paris, to prepare for the difficult entrance exams set by engineering colleges in France, qualified for entry to two of the most prestigious schools – École polytechnique and École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures – and entered the latter. During his second year he chose to specialize in chemistry, graduated ranking at 13th place out of 80 candidates in 1855; this is what is thought to be one of the things that led young Eiffel into his career of engineering. This was the year that Paris hosted the second World's Fair, Eiffel was bought a season ticket by his mother. After graduation, Eiffel had hoped to find work in his uncle's workshop in Dijon, but a family dispute made this impossible. After a few months working as an unpaid assistant to his brother-in-law, who managed a foundry, Eiffel approached the railway engineer Charles Nepveu, who gave Eiffel his first paid job as his private secretary. However, shortly afterwards Nepveu's company went bankrupt, but Nepveu found Eiffel a job designing a 22 m sheet iron bridge for the Saint Germaine railway.
Some of Nepveu's businesses were acquired by the Compagnie Belge de Matériels de Chemin de Fer: Nepveu was appointed the managing director of the two factories in Paris, offered Eiffel a job as head of the research department. In 1857 Nepveu negotiated a contract to build a railway bridge over the river Garonne at Bordeaux, connecting the Paris-Bordeaux line to the lines running to Sète and Bayonne, which involved the construction of a 500 m iron girder bridge supported by six pairs of masonry piers on the river bed; these were constructed with the aid of compressed air caissons and hydraulic rams, both innovative techniques at the time. Eiffel was given the responsibility of assembling the metalwork and took over the management of the entire project from Nepveu, who resigned in March 1860. Following the completion of the project on schedule Eiffel was appointed as the principal engineer of the Compagnie Belge, his work had gained the attention of several people who were to give him work, including Stanislas de la Roche Toulay, who had prepared the design for the metalwork of the Bordeaux bridge, Jean Baptiste Krantz and Wilhelm Nordling.
Further promotion within the company followed, but the business began to decline, in 1865 Eiffel, seeing no future there and set up as an independent consulting engineer. He was working independently on the construction of two railway stations, at Toulouse and Agen, in 1866 he was given a contract to oversee the construction of 33 locomotives for the Egyptian government, a profitable but undemanding job in the course of which he visited Egypt, where he visited the Suez Canal, being constructed by Ferdinand de Lesseps. At the same time he was employed by Jean-Baptiste Kranz to assist him in the design of the exhibition hall for the Exposition Universelle, to be held in 1867. Eiffel's principal job was to draw up the arch girders of the Galerie des Machines. In order to carry out this work and Henri Treca, the director of the Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers, conducted valuable research on the structural properties of cast iron, definitively establishing the modulus of elasticity applicable to compound castings.
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Ambès is a commune in the Gironde department in southwestern France. It is located at the point, the Bec d'Ambès, where the rivers Garonne and Dordogne meet to form the Gironde estuary. Communes of the Gironde department INSEE
Henry II of England
Henry II known as Henry Curtmantle, Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, ruled as King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, Count of Anjou and Nantes, Lord of Ireland. Before he was 40 he controlled England, large parts of Wales, the eastern half of Ireland and the western half of France—an area that would come to be called the Angevin Empire. Henry was the son of daughter of Henry I of England, he became involved by the age of 14 in his mother's efforts to claim the throne of England occupied by Stephen of Blois, was made Duke of Normandy at 17. He inherited Anjou in 1151 and shortly afterwards became the Duke of Aquitaine by marrying Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose marriage to Louis VII of France had been annulled. Stephen agreed to a peace treaty after Henry's military expedition to England in 1153, Henry inherited the kingdom on Stephen's death a year later. Henry was an energetic and sometimes ruthless ruler, driven by a desire to restore the lands and privileges of his grandfather Henry I.
During the early years of his reign the younger Henry restored the royal administration in England, re-established hegemony over Wales and gained full control over his lands in Anjou and Touraine. Henry's desire to reform the relationship with the Church led to conflict with his former friend Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury; this controversy lasted for much of the 1160s and resulted in Becket's murder in 1170. Henry soon came into conflict with Louis VII and the two rulers fought what has been termed a "cold war" over several decades. Henry expanded his empire at Louis' expense, taking Brittany and pushing east into central France and south into Toulouse. Henry and Eleanor had eight children -- five sons. Three of his sons would be king, though Henry the Young King was named his father's co-ruler rather than a stand-alone king; as the sons grew up, tensions over the future inheritance of the empire began to emerge, encouraged by Louis and his son King Philip II. In 1173 Henry's heir apparent, "Young Henry", rebelled in protest.
France, Brittany and Boulogne allied themselves with the rebels. The Great Revolt was only defeated by Henry's vigorous military action and talented local commanders, many of them "new men" appointed for their loyalty and administrative skills. Young Henry and Geoffrey revolted again in 1183; the Norman invasion of Ireland provided lands for his youngest son John, but Henry struggled to find ways to satisfy all his sons' desires for land and immediate power. By 1189, Young Henry and Geoffrey were dead, Philip played on Richard's fears that Henry II would make John king, leading to a final rebellion. Decisively defeated by Philip and Richard and suffering from a bleeding ulcer, Henry retreated to Chinon castle in Anjou, he was succeeded by Richard. Henry's empire collapsed during the reign of his youngest son, John. Many of the changes Henry introduced during his long rule, had long-term consequences. Henry's legal changes are considered to have laid the basis for the English Common Law, while his intervention in Brittany and Scotland shaped the development of their societies and governmental systems.
Historical interpretations of Henry's reign have changed over time. In the 18th century, scholars argued that Henry was a driving force in the creation of a genuinely English monarchy and a unified Britain. During the Victorian expansion of the British Empire, historians were keenly interested in the formation of Henry's own empire, but they expressed concern over his private life and treatment of Becket. Late-20th-century historians have combined British and French historical accounts of Henry, challenging earlier Anglocentric interpretations of his reign. Henry was born in France at Le Mans on 5 March 1133, the eldest child of the Empress Matilda and her second husband, Geoffrey the Fair, Count of Anjou; the French county of Anjou was formed in the 10th century and the Angevin rulers attempted for several centuries to extend their influence and power across France through careful marriages and political alliances. In theory, the county answered to the French king, but royal power over Anjou weakened during the 11th century and the county became autonomous.
Henry's mother was King of England and Duke of Normandy. She was born into a powerful ruling class of Normans, who traditionally owned extensive estates in both England and Normandy, her first husband had been the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V. After her father's death in 1135, Matilda hoped to claim the English throne, but instead her cousin Stephen of Blois was crowned king and recognised as the Duke of Normandy, resulting in civil war between their rival supporters. Geoffrey took advantage of the confusion to attack the Duchy of Normandy but played no direct role in the English conflict, leaving this to Matilda and her half-brother, Robert of Gloucester; the war, termed the Anarchy by Victorian historians, degenerated into stalemate. Henry spent some of his earliest years in his mother's household, accompanied Matilda to Normandy in the late 1130s. Henry's childhood from the age of seven, was spent in Anjou, where he was educated by Peter of Saintes, a noted grammarian of the day. In late 1142, Geoffrey decided t
Château des Quat'Sos
The Château des Quat'Sos is a château in La Réole, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France. The name is of Gascon origin, describing the identical appearance of the four corner towers, the "Four Sisters"; the castle is located on the promontory overlooking the confluence of the Garonne and the tributary Charros. In 1224, permission was granted by King Louis VIII of France to build a castle; the castle was completed by King Henry III of England, while Duke of Aquitaine, to defend the English Duchy of Gascony. During the Hundred Years' War, the castle was fiercely disputed between French. Mérimée PA00083694, Ministère français de la Culture
Arès is a commune in the Gironde department in southwestern France. Communes of the Gironde department Pilgrims of Arès INSEE
Cardinal Armand Jean du Plessis, 1st Duke of Richelieu and Fronsac referred to as Cardinal Richelieu, was a French clergyman and statesman. He was consecrated as a bishop in 1607 and was appointed Foreign Secretary in 1616. Richelieu soon rose in both the Catholic Church and the French government, becoming a cardinal in 1622, King Louis XIII's chief minister in 1624, he remained in office until his death in 1642. Cardinal de Richelieu was known by the title of the king's "Chief Minister" or "First Minister", he sought to crush domestic factions. By restraining the power of the nobility, he transformed France into a centralized state, his chief foreign policy objective was to check the power of the Austro-Spanish Habsburg dynasty, to ensure French dominance in the Thirty Years' War that engulfed Europe. Although he was a cardinal, he did not hesitate to make alliances with Protestant rulers in an attempt to achieve his goals. While a powerful political figure, events like the Day of the Dupes show that in fact he much depended on the king's confidence to keep this power.
As alumnus of the University of Paris and headmaster of the College of Sorbonne, he renovated and extended the institution. Richelieu was famous for his patronage of the arts. Richelieu is known by the sobriquet l'Éminence rouge, from the red shade of a cardinal's clerical dress and the style "eminence" as a cardinal; as an advocate for Samuel de Champlain and of the retention of New France, he founded the Compagnie des Cent-Associés and saw the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye return Quebec City to French rule under Champlain, after the settlement had been taken by the Kirkes in 1629. This in part allowed the colony to develop into the heartland of Francophone culture in North America. Richelieu has been depicted in popular fiction most notably as a leading character in Alexandre Dumas's novel The Three Musketeers and its numerous film adaptations. Born in Paris, Armand du Plessis was the fourth of five children and the last of three sons: he was delicate from childhood, suffered frequent bouts of ill-health throughout his life.
His family was somewhat prominent, belonging to the lesser nobility of Poitou: his father, François du Plessis, seigneur de Richelieu, was a soldier and courtier who served as the Grand Provost of France, his mother, Susanne de La Porte, was the daughter of a famous jurist. When he was five years old, his father died fighting in the French Wars of Religion, leaving the family in debt. At the age of nine, young Richelieu was sent to the College of Navarre in Paris to study philosophy. Thereafter, he began to train for a military career, his private life seems to have been typical of a young officer of the era: in 1605, aged twenty, he was treated by Théodore de Mayerne for gonorrhea. Henry III had rewarded Richelieu's father for his participation in the Wars of Religion by granting his family the bishopric of Luçon; the family appropriated most of the revenues of the bishopric for private use. To protect the important source of revenue, Richelieu's mother proposed to make her second son, the bishop of Luçon.
Alphonse, who had no desire to become a bishop, became instead a Carthusian monk. Thus, it became necessary, he threw himself into studying for his new post. In 1606 Henry IV nominated Richelieu to become Bishop of Luçon; as Richelieu had not yet reached the canonical minimum age, it was necessary that he journey to Rome for a special dispensation from the Pope. This secured, Richelieu was consecrated bishop in April 1607. Soon after he returned to his diocese in 1608, Richelieu was heralded as a reformer, he became the first bishop in France to implement the institutional reforms prescribed by the Council of Trent between 1545 and 1563. At about this time, Richelieu became a friend of François Leclerc du Tremblay, a Capuchin friar, who would become a close confidant; because of his closeness to Richelieu, the grey colour of his robes, Father Joseph was nicknamed l'Éminence grise. Richelieu used him as an agent during diplomatic negotiations. In 1614, the clergymen of Poitou asked Richelieu to be one of their representatives to the States-General.
There, he was a vigorous advocate of the Church, arguing that it should be exempt from taxes and that bishops should have more political power. He was the most prominent clergyman to support the adoption of the decrees of the Council of Trent throughout France. At the end of the assembly, the First Estate chose him to deliver the address enumerating its petitions and decisions. Soon after the dissolution of the Estates-General, Richelieu entered the service of King Louis XIII's wife, Anne of Austria, as her almoner. Richelieu advanced politically by faithfully serving the Queen-Mother's favourite, Concino Concini, the most powerful minister in the kingdom. In 1616, Richelieu was made Secretary of State, was given responsibility for foreign affairs. Like Concini, the Bishop was one of the closest advisors of Louis XIII
The Benedictines the Order of Saint Benedict, are a monastic Catholic religious order of monks and nuns that follow the Rule of Saint Benedict. They are sometimes called the Black Monks, in reference to the colour of the members' religious habits. Despite being called an order, the Benedictines do not operate under a single hierarchy but are instead organised as a collection of independent monastic communities, with each community within the order maintaining its own autonomy. Unlike other religious orders, the Benedictines do not have a superior general or motherhouse with universal jurisdiction. Instead, the order is represented internationally by the Benedictine Confederation, an organisation, set up in 1893 to represent the order's shared interests; the monastery at Subiaco in Italy, established by Saint Benedict of Nursia c. 529, was the first of the dozen monasteries he founded. He founded the Abbey of Monte Cassino. There is no evidence, that he intended to found an order and the Rule of Saint Benedict presupposes the autonomy of each community.
When Monte Cassino was sacked by the Lombards about the year 580, the monks fled to Rome, it seems probable that this constituted an important factor in the diffusion of a knowledge of Benedictine monasticism. It was from the monastery of St. Andrew in Rome that Augustine, the prior, his forty companions set forth in 595 on their mission for the evangelization of England. At various stopping places during the journey, the monks left behind them traditions concerning their rule and form of life, also some copies of the Rule. Lérins Abbey, for instance, founded by Honoratus in 375 received its first knowledge of the Benedictine Rule from the visit of St. Augustine and his companions in 596. Gregory of Tours says that at Ainay Abbey, in the sixth century, the monks "followed the rules of Basil, Cassian and other fathers and using whatever seemed proper to the conditions of time and place", doubtless the same liberty was taken with the Benedictine Rule when it reached them. In Gaul and Switzerland, it supplemented the much stricter Irish or Celtic Rule introduced by Columbanus and others.
In many monasteries it entirely displaced the earlier codes. By the ninth century, the Benedictine had become the standard form of monastic life throughout the whole of Western Europe, excepting Scotland and Ireland, where the Celtic observance still prevailed for another century or two. Through the work of Benedict of Aniane, it became the rule of choice for monasteries throughout the Carolingian empire. Monastic scriptoria flourished from the ninth through the twelfth centuries. Sacred Scripture was always at the heart of every monastic scriptorium; as a general rule those of the monks who possessed skill as writers made this their chief, if not their sole active work. An anonymous writer of the ninth or tenth century speaks of six hours a day as the usual task of a scribe, which would absorb all the time available for active work in the day of a medieval monk. In the Middle Ages monasteries were founded by the nobility. Cluny Abbey was founded by William I, Duke of Aquitaine in 910; the abbey was noted for its strict adherence to the Rule of St. Benedict.
The abbot of Cluny was the superior of all the daughter houses, through appointed priors. One of the earliest reforms of Benedictine practice was that initiated in 980 by Romuald, who founded the Camaldolese community; the dominance of the Benedictine monastic way of life began to decline towards the end of the twelfth century, which saw the rise of the Franciscans and Dominicans. Benedictines took a fourth vow of "stability". Not being bound by location, the mendicants were better able to respond to an "urban" environment; this decline was further exacerbated by the practice of appointing a commendatory abbot, a lay person, appointed by a noble to oversee and to protect the goods of the monastery. Oftentimes, this resulted in the appropriation of the assets of monasteries at the expense of the community which they were intended to support; the English Benedictine Congregation is the oldest of the nineteen Benedictine congregations. Augustine of Canterbury and his monks established the first English Benedictine monastery at Canterbury soon after their arrival in 597.
Other foundations followed. Through the influence of Wilfrid, Benedict Biscop, Dunstan, the Benedictine Rule spread with extraordinary rapidity, in the North it was adopted in most of the monasteries, founded by the Celtic missionaries from Iona. Many of the episcopal sees of England were founded and governed by the Benedictines, no fewer than nine of the old cathedrals were served by the black monks of the priories attached to them. Monasteries served as places of refuge for the weak and homeless; the monks studied the healing properties of plants and minerals to alleviate the sufferings of the sick. Germany was evangelized by English Benedictines. Willibrord and Boniface preached there in the seventh and eighth centuries and founded several abbeys. In the English Reformation, all monasteries were dissolved and their lands confiscated by the Crown, forcing their Catholic members to flee into exile on the Continent. During the 19th century they were able to return to England, including to Selby Abbey in Yorkshire, one of the few great monastic churches to survive the Dissolution.
St. Mildred's Priory, on the Isle of Thanet, was built in 1027 on the site of an abbey founded in 670 by the daughter of the first Christian King of Kent; the priory is home to a community of Benedictine nuns. Five of