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
Mauléon-Licharre or Mauléon is a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in southwestern France. It is the capital of the Soule historical Basque province, it is home to the espadrille and etorki cheese. Communes of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department INSEE commune file MAULE-LEXTARRE in the Bernardo Estornés Lasa - Auñamendi Encyclopedia Mauleon and the Medieval History of Navarre
Ainharp is a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in southwestern France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Ainharbars. Or Ainharbear. Ainharp is located some 50 km west by southwest of Pau, 15 km southeast of Saint-Palais, 10 km north-west of Mauleon-Licharre, it is part of the former province of Soule. The commune can be accessed by road D242 from Lohitzun-Oyhercq in the west passing through the village and continuing southeast to Mauleon-Licharre; the D344 road goes to the north from the village through the commune east to Espes-Undurein. The commune terrain is undulating of mixed forest. Located in the drainage basin of the Adour, the commune is the source of numerous streams including the Lagardoye which forms part of the south-eastern border, the Quihilleri which forms much of the western border, the Lafaure which forms much of the northern border; the commune name in Basque is Ainharbe. Jean-Baptiste Orpustan proposed two etymological interpretations: a meaning of "low heather" from ilharr meaning "heather" and -be or "height of the low rocks" from gain meaning "high" and har meaning "rock" that indicates the high position of the village on the left bank of the Saison.
The following table details the origins of the commune name and other names in the commune. Sources: Raymond: Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, 1863, on the page numbers indicated in the table. Orpustan: Jean-Baptiste Orpustan, New Basque ToponymyOrigins: Notaries: Notaries of Labastide-Villefranche Ohix:Contracts retained by Ohix, Notary of Soule Insinuations: Insinuations of the Diocese of Oloron Reformation: Reformation of Béarn Paul Raymond noted on page 4 of his 1863 dictionary that the commune was a former priory in the diocese of Oloron and that there was a hospital for pilgrims. List of Successive Mayors of Ainharp Mayors from 1929 Ainharp is a member of seven intercommunal structures: the community of communes of Soule-Xiberoa the association to support Basque culture the intercommunal association of the Valley the intercommunal association for the construction and operation of the CES of Mauleon the AEP association for Soule Country the remediation association for Soule Country the energy association of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques The activity is agricultural.
The town is part of the Appellation d'origine contrôlée zone of Ossau-iraty. The commune has a church which dates back to the 11th century and a Calvary-Bell Tower from the 17th century, its cemetery features Hilarri dating from the time of the bell tower. The village is located on a secondary road of the pilgrimage to Saint Jacques de Compostela which passes on the highway to Ports de Cize, the priory of Saint-Palais to Saint-Michel-le-Vieux which had a hospice for pilgrims called Benta to L'Hôpital-Saint-Blaise, Pagolle, Haux and Ordiarp; the commune has a primary school. Communes of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department Cantons of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department Arrondissements of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department AINHARBE in the Bernardo Estornés Lasa - Auñamendi Encyclopedia Ainharp on Lion1906 Ainharp on Google Maps Ainharp on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute website Ainharp on the 1750 Cassini Map Ainharp on the INSEE website INSEE
Soule is a former viscounty and French province and part of the present day Pyrénées-Atlantiques département. It is divided into two cantons of the arrondissement of Oloron-Sainte-Marie, a part of the canton of Saint Palais, its provincial capital is Mauléon, which fused with Licharre in 1841 to form "Mauléon-Licharre", but today is known as "Mauléon-Soule". Soule is the smallest province of the Basque Country, its population has been decreasing. The territory is named Xiberoa in Souletin Basque, Zuberoa in standard Basque, Sola in Gascon and Soule in French. Subola comes from the name the Romans gave to the Aquitani tribe that inhabited the region by the time of their arrival, the Suburates called Sibusates by Julius Caesar in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico and Sybillates by Pliny the Elder. Soule has been continuously inhabited since the last glaciation, there are several deposits from the neolithic as well as fifteen protohistoric settlements; the first text written in Soule dates from the 7th century.
The territory was inhabited in the Middle Paleolithic. At the end of the Neolithic the population had extended and assimilated knowledge from other peoples. There are protohistoric settlements that show a simple material life and a lifestyle dominated by migration. Rests of coins and other monetary artifacts have been found, proving the existence of an exchange economy in Soule, which likely worked as an access point between Aquitaine—Novempopulania—in the north and the southern side of the Pyrenees. At the time of the Roman arrival in the 1st century, Soule was inhabited by an Aquitani tribe named Suburates, who spoke the Aquitanian language; as with other peoples in Aquitaine, the Romans had a somewhat important influence in the territory, although Soule kept its language and culture and was unimportant during the times of the Roman Empire, due to its isolation. The only evidence of Roman influence in Soule exists in Tardets. Soule is first mentioned as a territory in a text from the 7th Century.
In 636 the Frankish army led by the Duke Arembert was ambushed and defeated by the Basques in a place named "vallis subola". This valley is included in the territory of the "Wascones", whicn included intermittently lands to either side of the western and central Pyrenees, it was referred to as Gascony. The region of Soule may have developed a primeval political structure before the 11th century with a strong influence of the Kingdom of Pamplona, established in the year 824. However, it would be in 1023 when Sancho VI Duke of Gascony would name Guillaume Fort as first Viscount of Soule, his descendants would inherit the title for around two centuries. The Viscounts of Soule had their base in the fortress of Mauléon, a strategic region that controlled the pass from Aquitaine to the Iberian peninsula; the viscounts of Soule took advantage of their territory. Despite being small in size, it held a strategic position between the Kingdom of Navarre to the south and the Duchy of Aquitaine to the north.
In the year 1152 Eleanor of Aquitaine married Henry II of England, thus the Duchy of Aquitaine joined the Crown of England. In 1261, after ten years of conflict, the last viscount of Soule, Auger III, surrendered the castle of Mauléon to Edward I of England, as a result the territory of Soule was administered by the crown of England. At this time the current network of roads between the Souletin villages was constructed; the English Soule was under direct authority of the Duke of Aquitaine, the King of England. Control over the territory was delegated to a lord, who kept the castle of Mauléon and collected the taxes; the lord of Soule had fourteen captains, of whom only one was English, the rest being either locally-born or Gascons. The ex-viscount Auger III allied with the Kingdom of Navarre, taking advantage of the war between Philip IV, king of Navarre, Edward I of England, retook his fortress at Mauléon in 1295, but he was forced to hand it back after Aquitaine was formally declared English is 1303.
The Hundred Years' War kept. In 1449, an army led by Gaston IV, the Count of Foix and Viscount of Béarn, took possession of the castle in the name of the French king ending the English presence in Soule. In the mid 15th century, Soule recognizes the King of France as its own, with the Basque district becoming the smallest province and exclave of the kingdom and the most distant from the centre of power, Paris, it came to be surrounded by the sovereign Kingdom of Navarre on the south and west and the independent principality of Viscounty of Béarn on the east. In 1511, King Francis I of France urged the Souletins to set down their institutional and legal framework on paper, which they did in Bearnese, the administrative written language up to that point. In 1539, an amendment to their region specific laws went on to be written in French, the new official language as decreed by King Francis I. Despite numbering more than fifty towns and villages, Soule was populated by fewer than 4,000 people; the only town was Mauléon, with a population totalling fewer than 350 people.
As of 1512, given its proximity to France and its particular geographic situation surrounde
Esquiule is a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in south-western France. It is located in the former province of Béarn, it stands out as an outpost of the Basque area of Soule, the village being Basque speaking. It has played host to the carnivalesque performances known as maskaradak and its inhabitants arranged and performed one traditional theatre piece of Soule under the title Madalena de Jaureguiberry in 2000. Communes of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department INSEE commune file ESKIULA in the Bernardo Estornés Lasa - Auñamendi Encyclopedia
Viodos-Abense-de-Bas is a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in south-western France. It is located in the former province of Soule; the steeple of the church is a trinitarian one. The lands of the commune are watered by the Season, which flows into the Gave of Oloron, by its tributary, the brook Borlaas; the municipality of Viodos-Abense-de-Bas consists of eight districts: Bürgüa. The activity is focused on agriculture. Communes of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department INSEE commune file BILDOZE-ONIZEPEA in the Bernardo Estornés Lasa - Auñamendi Encyclopedia
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