Departments of France
In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, five are overseas departments, which are classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; each department is administered by an elected body called a departmental council. From 1800 to April 2015, these were called general councils; each council has a president. Their main areas of responsibility include the management of a number of social and welfare allowances, of junior high school buildings and technical staff, local roads and school and rural buses, a contribution to municipal infrastructures. Local services of the state administration are traditionally organised at departmental level, where the prefect represents the government; the departments were created in 1790 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces with a view to strengthen national unity.
All of them were named after physical geographical features, rather than after historical or cultural territories which could have their own loyalties. The division of France into departments was a project identified with the French revolutionary leader the Abbé Sieyès, although it had been discussed and written about by many politicians and thinkers; the earliest known suggestion of it is from 1764 in the writings of d'Argenson. They have inspired similar divisions in some of them former French colonies. Most French departments are assigned a two-digit number, the "Official Geographical Code", allocated by the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques. Overseas departments have a three-digit number; the number is used, for example, in the postal code, was until used for all vehicle registration plates. While residents use the numbers to refer to their own department or a neighbouring one, more distant departments are referred to by their names, as few people know the numbers of all the departments.
For example, inhabitants of Loiret might refer to their department as "the 45". In 2014, President François Hollande proposed to abolish departmental councils by 2020, which would have maintained the departments as administrative divisions, to transfer their powers to other levels of governance; this reform project has since been abandoned. The first French territorial departments were proposed in 1665 by Marc-René d'Argenson to serve as administrative areas purely for the Ponts et Chaussées infrastructure administration. Before the French Revolution, France gained territory through the annexation of a mosaic of independent entities. By the close of the Ancien Régime, it was organised into provinces. During the period of the Revolution, these were dissolved in order to weaken old loyalties; the modern departments, as all-purpose units of the government, were created on 4 March 1790 by the National Constituent Assembly to replace the provinces with what the Assembly deemed a more rational structure.
Their boundaries served two purposes: Boundaries were chosen to break up France's historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences and build a more homogeneous nation. Boundaries were set so that every settlement in the country was within a day's ride of the capital of a department; this was a security measure, intended to keep the entire national territory under close control. This measure was directly inspired by the Great Terror, during which the government had lost control of many rural areas far from any centre of government; the old nomenclature was avoided in naming the new departments. Most were named after other physical features. Paris was in the department of Seine. Savoy became the department of Mont-Blanc; the number of departments 83, had been increased to 130 by 1809 with the territorial gains of the Republic and of the First French Empire. Following Napoleon's defeats in 1814–1815, the Congress of Vienna returned France to its pre-war size and the number of departments was reduced to 86.
In 1860, France acquired the County of Nice and Savoy, which led to the creation of three new departments. Two were added from the new Savoyard territory, while the department of Alpes-Maritimes was created from Nice and a portion of the Var department; the 89 departments were given numbers based on the alphabetical order of their names. The department of Bas-Rhin and parts of Meurthe, Moselle and Haut-Rhin were ceded to the German Empire in 1871, following France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. A small part of Haut-Rhin became known as the Territoire de Belfort; when France regained the ceded departments after World War I, the Territoire de Belfort was not re-integrated into Haut-Rhin. In 1922, it became France's 90th department; the Lorraine departments were not changed back to their original boundaries, a new Moselle department was created in the regaine
Artolsheim is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Alsace in northeastern France. Artolsheim has the distinction of being further from the sea than any other place in France; the Gulf of Genoa and the mouth of the River Scheldt are both 430 kilometres away. Employment opportunities in the village are limited; the traditional economic focus of the region is Sélestat some fifteen kilometres to the west. The river crossing of Marckolsheim with its associated locks and hydro-electric power station offer employment opportunities: many low-paid seasonal jobs are provided by the Europa-Park'theme park'. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department INSEE commune file
Bellefosse is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Grand Est in northeastern France and culturally part of Alsace. The village is located on a mountain terrace on the west slope of the Champ du Feu in the Bruche Valley, it is dominated by the ruins of the Château de la Roche towering above it. 1434: Belfus 1534: Belfuss 1578: Belfos 1584: Belfuß 1782: Belfus 1793: Bellefosse 1915-1918: SchöngrundOriginating from the celtic words bill and fois. Bellefosse is part of the old Ban de la Roche fief; the village's name is formalized as Belfus in 1434. It is composed under the name of belfos then. On the 1st April 1974, it fuses with Waldersbach and Belmont to form the commune of Ban-de-Roche, in reference to the historical fief, Fouday is added to the commune in 1975. On the 1st January 1992, the commune of Bellefosse is reestablished; the heraldics of Bellefosse are blazzoned as followed: « Azure with one golden chevron followed by three silver cramps set in pale.» Communes of the Bas-Rhin department INSEE commune file
Achenheim is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department and Grand Est region of north-eastern France. The village, in the arrondissement of Strasbourg and the canton of Lingolsheim lies close to the Canal de la Bruche and to the departemental road connecting Soultz-les-Bains to Strasbourg; the oldest traces of human habitation in Alsace – tools used by Homo erectus in the Paleolithic era some 700,000 years ago – have been found in loess deposits at Achenheim. In 1264 the village was burnt down by forces from Strasbourg during the war between the city and its bishop, Walter de Geroldseck. Canal de la Bruche Bruche River Communes of the Bas-Rhin department INSEE commune file
Andlau is a French commune in the Bas-Rhin department in the Alsace region of northeastern France. The village owes its origin to Andlau Abbey, founded in 880 by Richardis, the empress of Charles the Fat. Andlau has been a wine-growing traveler destination since its earliest days; the inhabitants of the commune are known as Andlaviens or AndlaviennesThe commune has been awarded two flowers by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom. Andlau is located some 40 km south by 20 km north of Selestat, it is a small town in the Canton of Barr located in the valley of the Andlau river in the foothills of the Vosges Mountains. The surroundings of Andlau town are the Vosges, including a summit, the Stosskopf, which attains a height of 700 metres; the surrounding communes include Mittelbergheim to the north-east, Eichhoffen to the east, Bernardvillé to the south, Le Hohwald to the north-west and Barr. The commune has an area of 23.69 km² and its highest point is towards the northern tip of Niederberg and rises to 807 metres.
Access to the commune is by the D62 road from Exit 13 on the A35 autoroute which goes west to the town. There is the D425 from just north of Eichhoffen going west to the village continuing west to Le Hohwald. West of the town the commune is forested with an extensive network of forest roads. East of the town there is a small area of farmland; the Andlau River: a small river which rises in the Vosges Mountains near the Champ du Feu, a mountain situated at the eastern end of the Ban-de-la-Roche. It flows from west to east through Andlau, Saint-Pierre, Zellwiller, Hindisheim and Fegersheim empties into the Ill downstream of Ill commune. Further upstream the waters of the Valff and the Kirneck used to power 60 mills and other factories until the 19th century, its course is about 45 km. Andelaha Andelelaha Andeloïa Andeloha Andelow Andeloa Andelow Andelach Andlau is a distortion of the word Andelaha from Andelaw or Andlaw. Andelaha could come from the original name of the river of which there are traces in old maps drawn in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The Andlau River is 42.8 km long and flows from the Champ du Feu to the Ill and is the origin of the name of the town. On 30 July 1857 Andlau was called Andlau-au-Val to distinguish it from that of Andelot in Haute-Marne. At the beginning of the 20th century the name became Andlau; the village undoubtedly existed in Gallo-Roman times. The village developed around the abbey of nuns founded in 880 AD by Richarde de Souabe, daughter of the Count of Alsace, known as Erchangar. Sainte Richarde the wife of Emperor Charles the Fat, grandson of Louis the Pious; the abbey was placed in Saint-Sauveur following the rule of Saint Benedict and received the protection of the Pope. It was allowed to raise money until 1004, it subsequently received many privileges. The Emperor Charles IV, in confirming it in 1347, declared the abbey free of all charges and contributions and granted to the abbess Adelaide de Geroldseck, her successors, the title of Princess of the Empire; the exact date of its secularization is not known but it is believed that it took place between the 12th and 14th centuries.
In addition to the charter from Emperor Charles IV many other anterior and posterior diplomas were granted to the abbey to confirm the privileges it had obtained or to give it new ones. The recipients were required to demonstrate sixteen Quarters of nobility without misalliance and the most illustrious families of Alsace and Germany vied for the honour of admitting their girls, they were not subject to a vow and could, when they wished, return to their families and marry. This abbey received from its inception an illustration that contributed to its prosperity and its status, it is known that the Emperor Charles the Fat was too weak to govern the vast empire, reunited under him by the death of his two brothers left in the care of the Empress Richarde, his wife. She had to advise Bishop of Vercelli. Courtiers, jealous of the authority of the bishop and the confidence, accorded him by the Empress, long meditated his ruin and found a way to turn the heart of the weak monarch to jealousy which piety, the eminent qualities of his wife, twenty-five years of happy marriage were powerless to stop.
Liutward was expelled from the court and the repudiated Empress retired to the monastery of Andlau. The legend of Saint Richarde was that she suffered the ordeal of fire and, dressed in a shirt coated with wax, was set fire in four places, she was not burned by the flames which were miraculously extinguished. In any case it was in this monastery that the wife of Charles the Fat ended her days in prayer and good works, she found a source of consolation in letters in which she wrote with great distinction several beautiful poems which have been preserved until now where she writes of her resignation and the purity of her soul. She was buried in a side chapel of the Andlau church. A century and a half she was canonized by Pope Leo IX, in Alsace, his homeland, came to bless Andlau's new church built by the Abbess Mathilde, sister of Emperor Henry III; the first references to the house of Andlau are in the 12th century which makes this family one of the oldest lines in France. The Andlau line forms 0.5% of the French nobility and their origins date back to the late Middle Ages so are considered old nobility – distinguished nobility or ancient nobility.
The nobles of Andlau may have given their name to the town. According to some sources, the Andlau family
Aschbach 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 Aschbachoises. Aschbach is located some 13 km south by south-east of Wissembourg and 8 km east of Soultz-sous-Forêts. Access to the commune is by the D245 road from Stundwiller in the south passing through the village and continuing north to Seebach. With exception of a small band of forest on the western border the commune is farmland; the Seebach river forms the eastern border of the commune as it flows south to join the Seltzbach at Buhl. An unnamed stream rises in the centre of the commune and flows south-east through the village to join the Seebach on the south-eastern border. In the 14th century Aschbach was the property of the Diocese of Speyer. Under the Ancien Régime Aschbach and Oberroedern formed the Superior Court with their church at Stundwiller; these three villages were merged in 1974 but Aschbach was separated again in 1988. According to the cadastral plan of 1839 there were buildings built close together and other places which were marshlands.
The school was built in 1833, an oratory at a place called Kreutzfeld dates to 1864, the church was built in 1871. The village suffered terrible damage in the Second World War and reconstruction gave the village a new look with a larger and more open built-up area; the presbytery was built in 1950. List of Successive Mayors In 2010 the commune had 667 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 Aschbach has four registrations as historical monuments; these are: Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception Farmhouse at 19 Grand Rue House and Farms The Village The Church of the Immaculate Conception has many items which are registered as historical objects. These are: 2 Monstrances Monstrance Cross: Christ on the cross Painting: Saint Joseph with the child Jesus 10 Statues of Saints Pulpit, 2 Confessionals, Baptismal fonts 3 Altars, 3 Tabernacles, 3 Retables, church stall, half-height panelling Furniture in the Church Wayside cross: Christ on the cross at Hohlacker Inside the Church Communes of the Bas-Rhin department Aschbach, Bas-Rhin on Lion1906 Aschbach on the National Geographical Institute website Aschbach on Google Maps Aschbach on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute website Asbach on the 1750 Cassini Map Aschbach on the INSEE website INSEE
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