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
Berstett is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Grand Est in northeastern France. In 1972, the communes of Berstett, Gimbrett and Rumersheim were merged into the present commune. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department Community of Communes of the Kochersberg Kochersberg INSEE commune file Official site
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
Beinheim is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Grand Est in the Alsace region of northeastern France. Beinheim lies on the A35 autoroute between Seltz, it is about 50 kilometres north near the German border. In 884, Beinheim belonged to the Abbey of Honau, is mentioned as such in a document of Charles the Fat; as a former landgrave city with a castle, by the 15th century, Beinheim was no longer head of the Riet. In 1255, Beinheim belonged to the baron of Fleckenstein, who sold it to the margrave of Bade in 1402 or 1404; the margrave introduced religious reform, which did not gain much of a hold. In 1497 the margrave sold Beinheim to the Count Palatine. In 1557 the count sold it back to the margrave, who maintained possession until the French Revolution; the castle was demolished in 1687. Bernard Hentsch was elected mayor in 2001 and has held the position since re-elected most in 2014. Beinheim has 19 municipal councillors. Census data has been collected since 1793. Since 2009, the populations of French communes are published yearly through a census based on annual data collection from all the communal territories over a period of five years.
For communes of under 10 000 inhabitants, census inquiries are made of the entire population every five years, with the populations of intermediate years extrapolated or interpolated. For the commune, the first exhaustive census under the new system was taken in 2006. Jean Adam Schramm French lieutenant-general during the Revolution and Empire was born and died in Beinheim. François Bracci French international association football player was born on 31 October, 1951 in Beinheim. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department INSEE commune file
Asswiller 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 Asswilleroises; the commune has been awarded one flower by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom. Asswiller is in the Northern Vosges Regional Natural Park some 27 km south-east of Sarralbe and 38 km south-west of Bitche. Access to the commune is by the D9 road from Durstel in the north-west passing through the heart of the commune and the village and continuing south-east to Petersbach; the D309 road goes south-west from the village to Drulingen. There is a large forest in the west with strips of forest along the borders with the remainder of the commune farmland; the Isch forms the south-western boundary of the commune as it flows west to join the Sarre west of Wolfskirchen. The Ottwillergraben forms the eastern border of the commune as it flows north to join the Eichel at Tieffenbach.
718: Asco vilare 1793: Asveiller 1801: AsswilerIn German the commune name is Aßweiler. Asswiller was a small lordship dependent on the Counts of La Petite-Pierre; when the Count palatine of Bavaria, Georg Johann I of Bavaria, took possession of the county, he granted Asswiller as a hereditary fief to the Dalheim family, who were soon succeeded by the Steinkallenfels family: senior officials of the palatine counts. These Protestant lords introduced the Reformation and remained in Asswiller from the 16th century to 1819. In 1789 Asswiller belonged to the Lord of Carbiston who had acquired it in 1771 by marriage with the heiress of the Steincallenfels family. After the French Revolution Asswiller was attached to France in 1793 by decree of the National Convention which overrode the rights of princes holding possessions. List of Successive Mayors In 2010 the commune had 285 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 Many buildings and structures in Asswiller are registered as historical monuments: A Farmhouse at 2 Rue du Cimetière A Chateau at 6 Rue de Drulingen The Town Hall/School at 10 Rue de Durstel A Farmhouse at 18 Rue de Durstel A Courthouse at 2 Rue de Durstel A Farmhouse at 26 Rue de Durstel A Farmhouse at 5 Rue de Durstel A Farmhouse at 5 Bis Rue de Durstel A Farmhouse at 14 Rue de Petersbach A Farmhouse at 8 Rue de Petersbach A Mill called Jaegermuhle Several religious buildings and structures are registered as historical monuments: A Cemetery at Rue du Cimetière A Protestant Church at Rue de Durstel A Protestant Presbytery at 4 Rue de Durstel A Lutheran Church at Rue de l'Eglise The Cemetery contains two items that are registered as historical objects: The Rauscher family tomb 3 SculpturesThe Lutheran Church contains two items that are registered as historical objects: The Furniture in the church The Organ Communes of the Bas-Rhin department Asswiller on the old IGN website Asswiller on Lion1906 Asweiller on the 1750 Cassini Map Asswiller on the INSEE website INSEE
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
Betschdorf is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Grand Est in northeastern France. It is located about 45 km north-northeast of Strasbourg on the northern edge of the Forêt de Haguenau, the largest undivided forest in France. Betschdorf is a center of craft pottery manufacture salt-glazed stoneware; the vicinity has been inhabited since neolithic times. In 1912, stelae dedicated to the Roman gods Mars and Diana were discovered in the municipal forest. A document dated 733 refers to a place called Batenondovilla near modern Betschdorf; the 7th-9th century Traditiones Wizenburgenses, chronicles of the Benedictine monastery of Wissembourg, mention a donation by Helphant of Batanesheim, grandson of Battacho. Mention of twin villages begins in the early 14th century. A 1363 document is the first to use the names Niederbetschdorf; the two villages formed part of a district called the Hattgau, which became property of the count of Hanau in 1480. His successors, the counts of Hanau-Lichtenberg, retained property rights after the area fell under French control via the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, were inherited by the landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt in 1736.
The area remained German-speaking and Lutheran under Bourbon rule. The development of Betschdorf as a pottery making center dates from the period 1706-1717, when immigrants from the Rhineland began making stoneware in Oberbetschdorf; the French Revolution caused an exodus of potters to Germany, but the First Empire brought a return and a business boom. During this period the potters formed a business district along the Rue de Potiers; the two Betschdorfs passed into German hands after the Franco-Prussian War. French markets dried up, once again the pottery business went into decline. Back in France after World War I, the housewares pottery business ran into stiff competition from high-volume industrial producers. Local potters began a transition to more decorated art pottery, still in the city's traditional blue and gray colors; this is their primary market today. In 1971, following an act of the French Parliament to provide incentives for the merger of communes, the villages of Oberbetschdorf and Niederbetschdorf merged, ending nearly 750 years of separate existence.
The following year, the nearby villages of Kuhlendorf and Schwabwiller merged into Betschdorf. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department INSEE commune file betschdorf.com - Tourism & economic development site Betschdorf: The Community and Its History Betschdorf: Discover history and pictures of the village