Bastides are fortified new towns built in medieval Languedoc and Aquitaine during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, although some authorities count Mont-de-Marsan and Montauban, founded in 1144, as the first bastides. Some of the first bastides were built under Raymond VII of Toulouse to replace villages destroyed in the Albigensian Crusade, he encouraged the construction of others to colonize the wilderness of southwest France. 700 bastides were built between 1222 and 1372. The bastides were so successful against their opponents in the Hundred Years War that the English adopted them for themselves, first in France and in Wales. Bastides were developed in number under the terms of the Treaty of Paris, which permitted Raymond VII of Toulouse to build new towns in his shattered domains, though not to fortify them; when the Capetian Alphonse of Poitiers inherited, under a marriage stipulated by the treaty, this "bastide founder of unparalleled energy" consolidated his regional control in part through the founding of bastides.
Landowners supported development of the bastides in order to generate revenues from taxes on trade rather than tithes. Farmers who elected to move their families to bastides were no longer vassals of the local lord — they became free men; the new inhabitants were encouraged to cultivate the land around the bastide, which in turn attracted trade in the form of merchants and markets. The lord taxed dwellings in all trade in the market; the legal footing on which the bastides were set was that of paréage with the local ruling power, based on a formal written contractual agreement between the landholder and a count of Toulouse, a king of France, or a king of England. The landholder might be the abbot of a local monastery. Responsibilities and benefits were framed in a charter, which delineated the franchises and coutumes of the bastide. Feudal rights were invested in the sovereign, with the local lord retaining some duties as enforcer of local justice and intermediary between the new inhabitants— required to build houses within a specified time a year— and the representatives of the sovereign.
Residents were granted a houselot, a kitchen garden lot, a cultivable lot on the periphery of the bastide's lands. The bastide hall and the church were first constructed of wood. After the bastide was established, they were replaced by structures of stone. Scholarly debate has taken place over the exact definition of a bastide, they are now described as any town planned and built as a single unit, by a single founder. The majority of bastides were developed with a grid layout of intersecting streets, with wide thoroughfares that divide the town plan into insulae, or blocks, through which a narrow lane runs, they included a central market square surrounded by arcades through which the axes of thoroughfares pass, with a covered weighing and measuring area. The market square provides the module into which the bastide is subdivided; the Roman model, the castrum with its grid plan and central forum, was inescapable in a region where Roman planning precedents survived in medieval cities such as Béziers, Toulouse and Arles.
The region of the bastides had been one of the last outposts of Late Antiquity in the West. The main feature of all bastides is square, it was used for markets, but used for political and social gatherings. A typical square, can be found in Montauban. There is just one square. Saint-Lys and Albias are different because they have two squares, one for the market, one square for the church; the square is used to divide the city into quarters. It lies outside the main street which carried the traffic. There are three possible layouts: closed: The square does not touch any street; these are rare. Single-axis: These happen because of the single-axis design of the bastide. All roads are parallel. Here and there, there are alleys cut between the roads; the square is placed between two roads. These squares are 50 m to 55 m on each side. Grid-layout; the flattest place in the bastide was used for the square. Except in rare cases, the church was not on the central square, it was at an angle, faced the square diagonally.
One of the rare exceptions is Villefranche-de-Rouergue. There were clear rules; the front of the houses - the façades - had to line up. There had to be a small space between the houses; the different housing lots were all alike, 8 m by 24 m was a common size. There were only a limited number of lots; this varied between 10, several thousand The streets were 6 m – 10 m wide, so a chariot could pass through. They ran alongside the façades of the houses. Alleys run between streets, these are only 5 m – 6 m wide. Sometimes they are only 2 m – 2.5 m wide. In a bastide there were between one and eight streets; when bastides were founded most had no city walls or fortifications. This was because it was a peaceful time in history, walls were prohibited by the Treaty of Paris. Fortifications were added later; this was paid for either through a special tax, or carried out through a law that required that
Boulogne-Billancourt is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 8.2 km from the centre of Paris. Boulogne-Billancourt is a subprefecture of the Hauts-de-Seine department and the seat of the Arrondissement of Boulogne-Billancourt. With an average household income in 2013 of €47,592, nearly twice the French average of €25,548, Boulogne-Billancourt is one of the wealthiest cities in France. Boulogne-Billancourt is the most populous suburb of Paris and one of the most densely populated municipalities in Europe. An important industrial site, it has reconverted into business services and is now home to major communication companies headquartered in the Val de Seine business district; the original name of the commune was Boulogne-sur-Seine. Before the 14th century, Boulogne was a small village called Menuls-lès-Saint-Cloud. In the beginning of the 14th century, King Philip IV of France ordered the building in Menuls-lès-Saint-Cloud of a church dedicated to the virgin of the sanctuary of Boulogne-sur-Mer a famous pilgrimage center in northern France.
The church, meant to become a pilgrimage centre closer to Paris than the distant city of Boulogne-sur-Mer, was named Notre-Dame de Boulogne la Petite. The village of Menuls-lès-Saint-Cloud became known as Boulogne-la-Petite, as Boulogne-sur-Seine. In 1924, Boulogne-sur-Seine was renamed Boulogne-Billancourt to reflect the development of the industrial neighbourhood of Billancourt annexed in 1860; as for the name Billancourt, it was recorded for the first time in 1150 as Bullencort, sometimes spelled Bollencort. It comes from Medieval Latin cortem, accusative of cors, meaning "enclosure", "estate", suffixed to the Germanic patronym Buolo, thus having the meaning of "estate of Buolo". On 1 January 1860, the city of Paris was enlarged by annexing neighbouring communes. On that occasion, the communes of Auteuil and Passy were disbanded and divided between Boulogne-Billancourt and the city of Paris. Boulogne-sur-Seine received a small part of the territory of Passy, about half of the territory of Auteuil.
Some of the shooting events of the 1900 Summer Olympics took place in Boulogne-Billancourt. In 1929, the Bois de Boulogne, hitherto divided between the communes of Boulogne-Billancourt and Neuilly-sur-Seine, was annexed in its entirety by the city of Paris. On that occasion, Boulogne-Billancourt, to which most of the Bois de Boulogne belonged, lost about half of its territory. Boulogne-Billancourt is known for being the birthplace of three major French industries, it was the location, in 1906 for the first aircraft factory, that of Appareils d'Aviation Les Freres Voisin, followed by those of many other aviation pioneers, the tradition continues with several aviation related companies still operating in the area. The automobile industry had a large presence with Renault on Île Seguin, Salmson building both cars and aircraft engines; the French film industry started here and, from 1922 to 1992 it was the home of the Billancourt Studios, since becoming a major location for French film production.
It was used as the setting of the TV show Code Lyoko. The ecologic neighborhood of the Trapèze in Boulogne-Billancourt: the district stands on 74ha and will be able to contain up to 18000 inhabitants at the end of its construction. 65 % of the district's energy is brought by geothermal power, which freshens the buildings. Solar panels and a vegetable greenhouse were installed in the aim to link the district to sustainable energies. Bicycle and “soft” travels will of course be put first to reduce the pollution caused by cars, others vehicles which do not run on electricity; the Ambroise Paré Hospital is located in the city. With the city of Sèvres, Boulogne-Billancourt is part of the communauté d'agglomération Val de Seine. Boulogne-Billancourt is served by two stations on Paris Métro Line 10: Boulogne – Jean Jaurès and Boulogne – Pont de Saint-Cloud, it is served by three stations on Paris Métro Line 9: Marcel Sembat and Pont de Sèvres. Boulogne-Billancourt hosts the global headquarters of several multinational companies, including: Alcatel-Lucent Carrefour Française des Jeux Pika Édition Renault TF1 Vallourec YoplaitPrior to 2000 Schneider Electric's head office was in Boulogne-Billancourt.
The Musée Albert-Kahn at 14, rue du Port, Boulogne-Billancourt is a national museum and includes four hectares of gardens, joining together landscape scenes of various national traditions. The museum includes historic photographs and film; the Musée des Années Trente is a museum of industrial objects from the 1930s. See also: Enseignement à Boulogne-Billancourt The public collèges in the commune include Jacqueline-Auriol, Paul-Landowski, Jean-Renoir; the public high schools are the Lycée polyvalent Étienne-Jules-Marey. Prior to the September 1968 opening of Prévert, the first high school/sixth-form in Boulogne, an annex of Lycée La Fontaine served the city; the private school Groupe Scolaire Maïmonide Rambam covers maternelle through lycée. There is the private high school Notre-Dame; the latter's performance and ranking in Boulogne-Billancourt are given by its success of baccalaureate rate in different series. According to the ranking of L'Express in 2015, the national rank of Notre-Dame de Boulogne was 1
Dordogne is a department in Southwestern France, with its prefecture in Périgueux. The department is located in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine between the Loire Valley and the Pyrenees and is named after the river Dordogne that runs through it, it corresponds with the ancient county of Périgord. It had a population of 416,909 in 2013; the county of Périgord dates back to. It was home to four tribes; the name for "four tribes" in the Gaulish language was "Petrocore". The area became known as the county of Le Périgord and its inhabitants became known as the Périgordins. There are four Périgords in the Dordogne; the "Périgord Vert", with its main town of Nontron, consists of verdant valleys in a region crossed by many rivers and streams. The "Périgord Blanc", situated around the department's capital of Périgueux, is a region of limestone plateaux, wide valleys, meadows; the "Périgord Pourpre" with its capital of Bergerac, is a wine region. The "Périgord Noir" surrounding the administrative center of Sarlat, overlooks the valleys of the Vézère and the Dordogne, where the woods of oak and pine give it its name.
The Petrocores took part in the resistance against Rome. Concentrated in a few major sites are the vestiges of the Gallo-Roman period-–the gigantic ruined tower and arenas in Périgueux, the Périgord museum's archaeological collections, villa remains in Montcaret, the Roman tower of La Rigale Castle in Villetoureix; the earliest cluzeaux can be found throughout the Dordogne. These subterranean refuges and lookout huts were large enough to shelter entire local populations. According to Julius Caesar, the Gauls took refuge in these caves during the resistance. After Guienne province was transferred to the English Crown under the Plantagenets following the remarriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1152, Périgord passed by right to English suzerainty. Being situated at the boundaries of influence of the monarchies of France and England, it oscillated between the two dynasties for more than three hundred years of struggle until the end of the Hundred Years' War in 1453; the county had been torn apart and, as a consequence, that modeled its physiognomy.
During the calmer periods of the late 15th and early 16th centuries, the Castillon plain on the banks of the Dordogne saw a development in urban architecture. The finest Gothic and Renaissance residences were built in Périgueux and Sarlat. In the countryside, the nobility erected the majority of the more than 1200 chateaux and country houses. In the second half of the 16th century, the terrors of war again visited the area, as the attacks and fires of the Wars of Religion reached a rare degree of violence in Périgord. At the time, Bergerac was one of the most powerful Huguenot strongholds, along with La Rochelle. Following these wars, Périgord, fief of Henry of Navarre, was to return to the Crown for good and would continue to suffer from the sudden political changes of the French nation, from the Revolution to the tragic hours of the Resistance. We encounter the memory of the region's most important literary figures: Arnaut Daniel, Bertran de Born, Michel de Montaigne, Étienne de La Boétie, Brantôme, Maine de Biran, Eugene Le Roy, André Maurois.
A number of ruins have retained the memory of the tragedies. Several of the castles and châteaux are open to visitors. In addition to its castles, churches and cave fortresses, the Périgord region has preserved since centuries past a number of villages that still have their market halls, bories, churches and castles. Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère, Saint-Jean-de-Côle, La Roque-Gageac, many others contain important and visually interesting architectural examples; the old quarters of Périgueux or Bergerac have been developed into pedestrian areas. A number of small towns, such as Brantôme, Issigeac and Mareuil, have withstood the changes of modern times. A special mention should be made in this respect to its Black Périgord area. Dordogne is one of the original 83 departments created on 4 March 1790 during the French Revolution, it was created from the former province of the county of Périgord. Its borders continued to change over subsequent decades. In 1793 the communes of Boisseuilh, Coubjours, Génis, Saint-Cyr-les-Champagnes, Saint-Mesmin, Savignac, Saint-Trié and Teillots were transferred from Corrèze to Dordogne.
In 1794 Dordogne ceded Cavarc to Lot-et-Garonne. In 1794, Dordogne gained Parcoul from Charente-Inférieure. Following the restoration, in 1819, the commune of Bonrepos was suppressed and merged with the adjacent commune of Souillac in Lot. In 1870, shortly after France fought against Prussia in a war that the enemy was winning, a young aristocrat called Alain de Monéys was savagely tortured and burned by a crowd of between 300 and 800 people for two hours on 16 August in a public square in the village of Hautefaye in the north-west of the department. Details of the incident remain unclear: the leading participants appear to have been drunk, before the introduction of mass education most of the witnesses would have been unable to write down
The Renaissance is a period in European history, covering the span between the 14th and 17th centuries and marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity. The traditional view focuses more on the early modern aspects of the Renaissance and argues that it was a break from the past, but many historians today focus more on its medieval aspects and argue that it was an extension of the middle ages; the intellectual basis of the Renaissance was its version of humanism, derived from the concept of Roman Humanitas and the rediscovery of classical Greek philosophy, such as that of Protagoras, who said that "Man is the measure of all things." This new thinking became manifest in art, politics and literature. Early examples were the development of perspective in oil painting and the recycled knowledge of how to make concrete. Although the invention of metal movable type sped the dissemination of ideas from the 15th century, the changes of the Renaissance were not uniformly experienced across Europe: the first traces appear in Italy as early as the late 13th century, in particular with the writings of Dante and the paintings of Giotto.
As a cultural movement, the Renaissance encompassed innovative flowering of Latin and vernacular literatures, beginning with the 14th-century resurgence of learning based on classical sources, which contemporaries credited to Petrarch. In politics, the Renaissance contributed to the development of the customs and conventions of diplomacy, in science to an increased reliance on observation and inductive reasoning. Although the Renaissance saw revolutions in many intellectual pursuits, as well as social and political upheaval, it is best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who inspired the term "Renaissance man"; the Renaissance began in the 14th century in Italy. Various theories have been proposed to account for its origins and characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors including the social and civic peculiarities of Florence at the time: its political structure, the patronage of its dominant family, the Medici, the migration of Greek scholars and texts to Italy following the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.
Other major centres were northern Italian city-states such as Venice, Milan and Rome during the Renaissance Papacy. The Renaissance has a long and complex historiography, and, in line with general scepticism of discrete periodizations, there has been much debate among historians reacting to the 19th-century glorification of the "Renaissance" and individual culture heroes as "Renaissance men", questioning the usefulness of Renaissance as a term and as a historical delineation; the art historian Erwin Panofsky observed of this resistance to the concept of "Renaissance": It is no accident that the factuality of the Italian Renaissance has been most vigorously questioned by those who are not obliged to take a professional interest in the aesthetic aspects of civilization – historians of economic and social developments and religious situations, most natural science – but only exceptionally by students of literature and hardly by historians of Art. Some observers have called into question whether the Renaissance was a cultural "advance" from the Middle Ages, instead seeing it as a period of pessimism and nostalgia for classical antiquity, while social and economic historians of the longue durée, have instead focused on the continuity between the two eras, which are linked, as Panofsky observed, "by a thousand ties".
The word Renaissance meaning "Rebirth", first appeared in English in the 1830s. The word occurs in Jules Michelet's 1855 work, Histoire de France; the word Renaissance has been extended to other historical and cultural movements, such as the Carolingian Renaissance and the Renaissance of the 12th century. The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. Beginning in Italy, spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence was felt in literature, art, politics, science and other aspects of intellectual inquiry. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, searched for realism and human emotion in art. Renaissance humanists such as Poggio Bracciolini sought out in Europe's monastic libraries the Latin literary and oratorical texts of Antiquity, while the Fall of Constantinople generated a wave of émigré Greek scholars bringing precious manuscripts in ancient Greek, many of which had fallen into obscurity in the West.
It is in their new focus on literary and historical texts that Renaissance scholars differed so markedly from the medieval scholars of the Renaissance of the 12th century, who had focused on studying Greek and Arabic works of natural sciences and mathematics, rather than on such cultural texts. In the revival of neo-Platonism Renaissance humanists did not reject Christianity. However, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion, reflected in many other areas of cultural life. In addition, many Greek Christian works, including the Greek New Testament, were brought back from Byzantium to Western Europe and engaged Western scholars for the first time since late antiquity; this new engagement with Greek Christian works, the return to the original Greek of the Ne
Richard I of England
Richard I was King of England from 1189 until his death. He ruled as Duke of Normandy and Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Poitiers, Anjou and Nantes, was overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period, he was the third of five sons of Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine. He was known as Richard Cœur de Lion or Richard the Lionheart because of his reputation as a great military leader and warrior, he was known in Occitan as: Oc e No, because of his reputation for terseness. By the age of 16, Richard had taken command of his own army, putting down rebellions in Poitou against his father. Richard was a central Christian commander during the Third Crusade, leading the campaign after the departure of Philip II of France and achieving considerable victories against his Muslim counterpart, although he did not retake Jerusalem from Saladin. Richard spoke both Occitan, he was born in England. Following his accession, he spent little time as little as six months, in England. Most of his life as king was spent on Crusade, in captivity, or defending his lands in France.
Rather than regarding his kingdom as a responsibility requiring his presence as ruler, he has been perceived as preferring to use it as a source of revenue to support his armies. He was seen as a pious hero by his subjects, he remains one of the few kings of England remembered by his epithet, rather than regnal number, is an enduring iconic figure both in England and in France. Richard was born on 8 September 1157 at Beaumont Palace, in Oxford, son of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, he was a younger brother of Count William IX of Poitiers, Henry the Young King and Duchess Matilda of Saxony. As the third legitimate son of King Henry II, he was not expected to ascend to the throne, he was an elder brother of Duke Geoffrey II of Brittany. Richard was the younger maternal half-brother of Countess Marie of Champagne and Countess Alix of Blois; the eldest son of Henry II and Eleanor, died in 1156, before Richard's birth. Richard is depicted as having been the favourite son of his mother, his father was great-grandson of William the Conqueror.
Contemporary historian Ralph of Diceto traced his family's lineage through Matilda of Scotland to the Anglo-Saxon kings of England and Alfred the Great, from there legend linked them to Noah and Woden. According to Angevin family tradition, there was even'infernal blood' in their ancestry, with a claimed descent from the fairy, or female demon, Melusine. While his father visited his lands from Scotland to France, Richard spent his childhood in England, his first recorded visit to the European continent was in May 1165, when his mother took him to Normandy. His wet nurse was Hodierna of St Albans. Little is known about Richard's education. Although he was born in Oxford and brought up in England up to his eighth year, it is not known to what extent he used or understood English. During his captivity, English prejudice against foreigners was used in a calculated way by his brother John to help destroy the authority of Richard's chancellor, William Longchamp, a Norman. One of the specific charges laid against Longchamp, by John's supporter Hugh, Bishop of Coventry, was that he could not speak English.
This indicates that by the late 12th century a knowledge of English was expected of those in positions of authority in England. Richard was said to be attractive. According to Clifford Brewer, he was 6 feet 5 inches, though, unverifiable since his remains have been lost since at least the French Revolution. John, his youngest brother, was known to be 5 feet 5 inches; the Itinerarium peregrinorum et gesta regis Ricardi, a Latin prose narrative of the Third Crusade, states that: "He was tall, of elegant build. He had long arms suited to wielding a sword, his long legs matched the rest of his body". From an early age, Richard showed significant political and military ability, becoming noted for his chivalry and courage as he fought to control the rebellious nobles of his own territory, his elder brother Henry the Young King was crowned king of England during his father's lifetime. Marriage alliances were common among medieval royalty: they led to political alliances and peace treaties and allowed families to stake claims of succession on each other's lands.
In March 1159 it was arranged that Richard would marry one of the daughters of Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona. Henry the Young King was married to Margaret, daughter of Louis VII of France, on 2 November 1160. Despite this alliance between the Plantagenets and the Capetians, the dynasty on the French throne, the two houses were sometimes in conflict. In 1168, the intercession of Pope Alexander III was necessary to secure a truce between them. Henry II had conquered Brittany and taken control of Gisors and the Vexin, part of Margaret's dowry. Early in the 1160s there had been suggestions Richard should marry Alys, Countess of the Vexin, fourth daughter of Louis VII
Lot-et-Garonne is a department in the southwest of France named after the Lot and Garonne rivers. Lot-et-Garonne is one of the original eighty-three departments created on March 4, 1790, as a result of the French Revolution, it was created from part of the province of Gascony. Several of the original southeastern cantons in the arrondissements of Agen and Villeneuve-sur-Lot were separated from it in 1808 to become a part of the newly created department of Tarn-et-Garonne. Lot-et-Garonne is part of the current region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and is surrounded by the departments of Lot, Tarn-et-Garonne, Landes and Dordogne; the north of the department is composed of limestone hills. Between Lot and Garonne, there is a plateau carved by many valleys. In the west of the department, the Landes forest is planted in sand. It's composed of maritime pines. Between the forest and Agen, there is the Albret, a hilly country. Food-processing and pharmaceuticals are all major industries of the department; the inhabitants of the department are called Lot-et-Garonnais.
Cantons of the Lot-et-Garonne department Communes of the Lot-et-Garonne department Arrondissements of the Lot-et-Garonne department Roman Catholic Diocese of Agen Prefecture website General Council website Lot-et-Garonne at Curlie Chamber of Commerce and Industry website
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