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
Nouvelle-Aquitaine is the largest administrative region in France, located in the southwest of the country. The region was created by the territorial reform of French Regions in 2014 through the merger of three regions: Aquitaine and Poitou-Charentes, it covers 84,061 km2 – or 1⁄8 of the country – and has 5,800,000 inhabitants.. The new region was established on 1 January 2016, following the regional elections in December 2015, it is the largest region in France by area, with a territory larger than that of Austria. Its largest city, together with its suburbs and satellite cities, forms the 7th-largest metropolitan area of France, with 850,000 inhabitants; the region has 25 major urban areas, among which the most important after Bordeaux are Bayonne, Poitiers, La Rochelle, as well as 11 major clusters. The growth of its population marked on the coast, makes this one of the most attractive areas economically in France. After Île-de-France, New Aquitaine is the premier French region in research and innovation, with five universities and several Grandes Ecoles.
The agricultural region of Europe with the greatest turnover, it is the French region with the most tourism jobs, as it has three of the four historic resorts on the French Atlantic coast:, as well as several ski resorts, is the fifth French region for business creation. Its economy is based on agriculture and viticulture, tourism, a powerful aerospace industry, digital economy and design and pharmaceutical industries, financial sector, industrial ceramics. Many companies specializing in surfing and related sports have located along the coast; the new region includes major parts of Southern France, marked by Basque, Oïl cultures. It is the "indirect successor" to medieval Aquitaine, extends over a large part of the former Duchy of Eleanor of Aquitaine; the region's interim name Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes was a hyphenated placename, known as ALPC, created by hyphenating the merged regions' names – Aquitaine and Poitou-Charentes – in alphabetical order. In June 2016, a working group headed by historian Anne-Marie Cocula, a former vice president of Aquitaine, proposed the name "Nouvelle Aquitaine".
The decision came after the popular favorite, "Aquitaine", faced resistance by regional politicians from Limousin and Poitou-Charentes. The other popular favorite, "Grande Aquitaine," was rejected for its connotation with a feeling of superiority. Alain Rousset, president of the region, concurred with the working group's conclusion, reaffirming that he considered the acronym "ALPC" no choice at all. For those deploring the loss of "Limousin" and "Poitou-Charentes", he noted that the predecessor region of Aquitaine subsumed the identities of the Périgord or the Pays Basque, which did not disappear during its 40 years of operation. On 27 June 2016, just a few days ahead of the 1 July deadline, the Regional council unanimously adopted Nouvelle-Aquitaine as the region's permanent name. France's Conseil d'État approved Nouvelle-Aquitaine as the new name of the region on 28 September 2016, effective two days later. For the recent history of each former administrative regions and departments before 2016, For the history of past entities covering much of the area of the region before the French revolution, At 84,061 square kilometers, the region Nouvelle-Aquitaine is larger than French Guiana, which makes it the largest region in France.
Nouvelle-Aquitaine is delimited by four other French regions, three autonomous communities in Spain to the south, the North Atlantic Ocean to the west. Nouvelle-Aquitaine comprises twelve departments: Charente, Charente-Maritime, Corrèze, Dordogne, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Deux-Sèvres and Haute-Vienne, its largest city and only metropolis is Bordeaux, in the heart of an urban agglomeration of nearly one million inhabitants. Taking into consideration the urban area, the new region is home to six of the fifty largest metropolitan areas of French territory: Bordeaux Bayonne Limoges Poitiers Pau La Rochelle. In addition, the region has a network of medium towns scattered throughout its territory, including: Angoulême Agen Brive-la-Gaillarde Niort Périgueux Bergerac Villeneuve-sur-Lot Dax Mont-de-Marsan The region covers a large part of the Aquitaine Basin and a small portion of the Paris Basin and the Limousin plate and the western part of the Pyrenees, it is part of five watersheds facing the Atlantic Ocean: Loire, Charente and Dordogne (and their extension, the
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
Medina del Campo
Medina del Campo is a town located in the province of Valladolid, Castile and León autonomous region, 45 km from Valladolid. It is the capital of a farming area, far away from the great economic centres. Medina del Campo grew in importance thanks to its fairs held during the 16th centuries; this helped with banking and the businesses of wool, books and an enormous variety of other goods. As the population increased, the town expanded outward toward the plain of Zapardiel brook. Since the Padilla Street became the business centre of Medina. In 1489 a great trade agreement, that would last for 96 years, united the kingdoms of Spain and England with the reduction of trade tariffs, the recognition of France as a common enemy, the marriage of Catherine of Aragon to King Henry VII's son, Prince Arthur - this was known as the Treaty of Medina del Campo. At the time of the Revolt of the Comuneros, Medina del Campo was a major town housing the royal artillery. A Royalist attempt to take possession of the artillery pieces led to heavy resistance culminating in the burning of the city.
Between the 17th century and the 19th century further decline set in. Adding to the growth were the strong commercial sector, such as the furniture trade or the opening of shops on Sundays, proximity of quality wines with the Denominación de Origen of Rueda. All the buildings of artistic interest date from the 16th century; these buildings were promoted by rich merchant bankers who prospered thanks to the General Fair of the Spanish Kingdom held in Medina del Campo during the 15th and 16th centuries. The Museum of the Fairs was created to exhibit items connected to this open market, it is a popular visitor attraction; the word "Medina" which means "city" in Arabic. Medina del Campo was founded on the hill called La Mota in the 11th century, in the same place where the Castle is, remains of a wall still survive. At the moment, the Mota hill is a suburban area, however in the Middle Ages it was the town centre. In addition, this hill has archaeological remains such as a stronghold, a medieval village and a Celtic walled settlement dated from the 4th century BC.
The word Mota refers to an artificial hill built to defend the castle better. The Mota fortress had a military function and it was a royal dungeon, among its most notorious prisoners being Cesare Borgia; the castle was built between 15th century. It has a moat with its own drawbridge, an outer curtain wall, an inner curtain wall surrounding a large courtyard, a great square tower; the castle was restored after the Spanish Civil War. It was the first monumental building in Medina designated as a Heritage Site. Medina was a walled village, its stronghold was a important building around the town to protect the people from attacks; the walls date from the 11th century, they were enlarged three times, as the population was growing. At present, there are only remains; this church was built beside the wall gate of the old town, opposite the original city hall, which no longer exists. Its entrance hall was the meeting point of the council; the oldest part of the church is of Mudéjar–Gothic style. The greater chapel has large dimensions, with Gothic ribbed vault roof and an interesting altarpiece dated from the 16th century.
In the choir, in the west facade, we can admire the magnificent baroque organ, dated from the 18th century, a restored masterpiece. This is an ancient market-hall, in Spanish called Mercado de Abastos, on the left bank of the Zapardiel brook, was built under the Catholic Monarchs in 1500 in Renaissance style. In the reign of Philip II, it was used for the sale of meat to the population, it is the only historic building of this type in the world still used for its original purpose. This lane connects the Main Square with St. Michael's Bridge; this street was named in honour of Don Juan de Padilla, a communard leader of the Castilians in the 16th century. Padilla Street was the downtown area where numerous banks and jewellery shops settled, some of them still mains. Whereas the financiers settled in Padilla Street, the other merchants were distributed in the Main Square according to Ordenanzas de Feriantes; this building is built over five elegant arcades with long balcony. It was established in the 17th century in order to keep the "Peso Real" and to guarantee the official weights and measures.
This mansion was the residence of the royal family in the time of Fairs. In this palace many historical incidents happened during the 15th Centuries; the most important episode was the will and death of Isabel la Católica, 26 November 1504. The Palace was started in the 14th century and was enlarged both by Don Fernando de Antequera, as well as by the Re
Vienne is a department in the French region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. It takes its name from the river Vienne. Established on March 4, 1790 during the French Revolution, Vienne is one of the original 83 departments, it was created from parts of the former provinces of Poitou and Berry, the latter being a part of the Duchy of Aquitaine until the 15th century. The original Acadians, who settled in and around what is now Nova Scotia, left Vienne for North America after 1604. Kennedy argues that the emigrants carried to Canada social structure, they were frontier peoples. They emphasized trading for a profit, they were politically active. Édith Cresson, France's first woman Prime Minister from 1991-1992, was a deputy for the department. It has three arrondissements: Poitiers, the prefecture, the subprefectures Châtellerault and Montmorillon; the capital Poitiers is the see of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Poitiers, which pastorally serves the department. The most famous tourist sites include the Futuroscope theme park, the Abbey Church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, a UNESCO world heritage site, the animal parks of Monkey's Valley in Romagne & the Crocodile Planet in Civaux.
Goat cheese making is an important industry of Vienne. Vienne has a partnership relationship with: Communes of the Vienne department Cantons of the Vienne department Arrondissements of the Vienne department Anjou wine French Vienne Tourism Agency General Council website
Étienne de Vignolles, called La Hire, was a French military commander during the Hundred Years' War. One explanation for his nickname of La Hire would be that the English had nicknamed him "the Hire-God". Alternatively, his name may come from the French "hedgehog" because he had a prickly disposition. La Hire joined Charles VII in 1418. Although not a noble, La Hire was regarded a capable military leader as well as an accomplished rider. Three years in 1421 he fought at the Battle of Baugé. Along with Jean de Dunois, La Hire was involved in scouting and skirmishing in the countryside as far north as Paris. In 1427, both La Hire and Dunois relieved the siege of Montargis, he was a close comrade of Joan of Arc. He was one of the few military leaders who believed in her and the inspiration she brought, he fought alongside her at Orleans. At the Battle of Patay, La Hire won a great victory for France. La Hire was known for praying before going into battle, something that could be attributed to Joan's influence.
In 1430, La Hire captured the English held fortification of Château Gaillard. He was imprisoned in Dourdan in the spring of 1431, he won the Battle of Gerberoy in 1435 and was made Captain General of Normandy in 1438. His last two major military engagements occurred in 1440 at Pontoise where he assisted Dunois to capture it from the English, he died at Montauban on 11 January 1443, of an unknown illness. He held the titles of chatelain of Longueville. In French tradition, "La Hire" is used as a nickname for the knave of hearts, his name remains a byword for a choleric disposition. La Hire is a minor figure in the "Catherine" novels of Juliette Benzoni. In Cecil B. DeMille's film Joan the Woman, La Hire was played by Hobart Bosworth. In the French film La Merveilleuse Vie de Jeanne d'Arc, he was played by Fernand Mailly. La Hire was played by veteran John Ford "stock company" member Ward Bond in Victor Fleming's classic 1948 Technicolor film Joan of Arc, which starred Ingrid Bergman. In Otto Preminger's 1957 version of Saint Joan, La Hire was portrayed by Patrick Barr.
On British television, in the BBC's Play of the Month version of Saint Joan, La Hire was portrayed by Jack Watson. In the USA, Hallmark Hall of Fame did two versions of the story - The Lark, La Hire being played by Bruce Gordon, Saint Joan, in which the character was played by Dana Elcar. In the two-part French film Jeanne la Pucelle, La Hire was portrayed by Stephane Boucher. In the television miniseries Joan of Arc, La Hire was played by Peter Strauss. In 1999, La Hire appeared in the feature film The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, portrayed by actor Richard Ridings. In the Czech musical Johanna z Arku, La Hire was portrayed by Petr Kolar. La Hire appears in Age of Empires II in the Joan of Arc campaign. A powerful "Champion"-class infantry unit, he is portrayed as an insane and psychotic Hulk-like brute that refers to himself in the third person, his remarks include "La Hire wishes to kill something", "The blood on La Hire's sword is dry", "La Hire's sword is not bloody enough!". La Hire is featured as a character in the tactical roleplaying video game Jeanne d'Arc.
In the game, La Hire is depicted as an axe-wielding lion beastman warrior and mercenary, known for his overwhelming strength and a fiery temperament. In Wars and Warriors: Joan of Arc, La Hire is a playable character, portrayed as a giant with stunning strength, he fights with a massive club. In Armored Core: For Answer, one of the featured mechs is designated TYPE-LAHIRE. La Hire is a character in Koei's Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War. Siege of Orléans Battle of Jargeau Battle of Meung-sur-Loire Battle of Beaugency Companions of Joan of Arc
Antran is a commune in the Vienne department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in western France. Communes of the Vienne department INSEE