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
The Barrage Vauban, or Vauban Dam, is a bridge and defensive work erected in the 17th century on the River Ill in the city of Strasbourg in France. At that time, it was known as the Great Lock, although it does not function as a navigation lock in the modern sense of the word. Today it serves to display sculptures and has a viewing terrace on its roof, with views of the earlier Ponts Couverts bridges and Petite France quarter, it has been classified as a Monument historique since 1971. The barrage was constructed from 1686 to 1690 in pink Vosges sandstone by the French Engineer Jacques Tarade according to plans by Vauban; the principal defensive function of the barrage was to enable, in the event of an attack, the raising the level of the River Ill and thus the flooding of all the lands south of the city, making them impassable to the enemy. This defensive measure was deployed in 1870, when Strasbourg was besieged by Prussian forces during the Franco-Prussian War, resulted in the complete flooding of the northern part of the suburb of Neudorf.
The barrage is 120 metres in length. Within the structure an enclosed corridor links the two banks and a lapidarium serves to display ancient plaster casts and copies of statues and gargoyles from Strasbourg Cathedral and Palais Rohan. Three of the arches are raised to permit navigation, the corridor is carried across these by drawbridges; the roof was rebuilt in 1965-66. Admission to the barrage and terrace is free, they are open daily from 09:00 to 19:30; the Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and the Commanderie Saint-Jean, now home to the prestigious École Nationale d'Administration, are both adjacent to the northern end of the barrage. The headquarters of the Bas-Rhin department is by the southern end. Barrage Vauban on archi-wiki.org
Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Grand Est region of France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department. In 2016, the city proper had 279,284 inhabitants and both the Eurométropole de Strasbourg and the Arrondissement of Strasbourg had 491,409 inhabitants. Strasbourg's metropolitan area had a population of 785,839 in 2015, making it the ninth largest metro area in France and home to 13% of the Grand Est region's inhabitants; the transnational Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau had a population of 915,000 inhabitants in 2014. Strasbourg is one of the de facto capitals of the European Union, as it is the seat of several European institutions, such as the Council of Europe and the Eurocorps, as well as the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman of the European Union; the city is the seat of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine and the International Institute of Human Rights.
Strasbourg's historic city centre, the Grande Île, was classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, the first time such an honour was placed on an entire city centre. Strasbourg is immersed in Franco-German culture and although violently disputed throughout history, has been a cultural bridge between France and Germany for centuries through the University of Strasbourg the second largest in France, the coexistence of Catholic and Protestant culture, it is home to the largest Islamic place of worship in France, the Strasbourg Grand Mosque. Economically, Strasbourg is an important centre of manufacturing and engineering, as well as a hub of road and river transportation; the port of Strasbourg is the second largest on the Rhine after Germany. Before the 5th century, the city was known as Argantorati, a Celtic Gaulish name Latinized first as Argentorate, as Argentoratum; that Gaulish name is a compound of -rati, the Gaulish word for fortified enclosures, cognate to the Old Irish ráth, arganto-, the Gaulish word for silver, but any precious metal gold, suggesting either a fortified enclosure located by a river gold mining site, or hoarding gold mined in the nearby rivers.
After the 5th century, the city became known by a different name Gallicized as Strasbourg. That name is of Germanic origin and means "Town of roads"; the modern Stras- is cognate to the German Straße and English street, all of which are derived from Latin strata, while -bourg is cognate to the German Burg and English borough, all of which are derived from Proto-Germanic *burgz. Gregory of Tours was the first to mention the name change: in the tenth book of his History of the Franks written shortly after 590 he said that Egidius, Bishop of Reims, accused of plotting against King Childebert II of Austrasia in favor of his uncle King Chilperic I of Neustria, was tried by a synod of Austrasian bishops in Metz in November 590, found guilty and removed from the priesthood taken "ad Argentoratensem urbem, quam nunc Strateburgum vocant", where he was exiled. Strasbourg is situated at the eastern border of France with Germany; this border is formed by the Rhine, which forms the eastern border of the modern city, facing across the river to the German town Kehl.
The historic core of Strasbourg however lies on the Grande Île in the river Ill, which here flows parallel to, 4 kilometres from, the Rhine. The natural courses of the two rivers join some distance downstream of Strasbourg, although several artificial waterways now connect them within the city; the city lies in the Upper Rhine Plain, at between 132 metres and 151 metres above sea level, with the upland areas of the Vosges Mountains some 20 km to the west and the Black Forest 25 km to the east. This section of the Rhine valley is a major axis of north–south travel, with river traffic on the Rhine itself, major roads and railways paralleling it on both banks; the city is some 397 kilometres east of Paris. The mouth of the Rhine lies 450 kilometres to the north, or 650 kilometres as the river flows, whilst the head of navigation in Basel is some 100 kilometres to the south, or 150 kilometres by river. In spite of its position far inland, Strasbourg's climate is classified as oceanic, but a "semicontinental" climate with some degree of maritime influence in relation to the mild patterns of Western and Southern France.
The city has warm sunny summers and cool, overcast winters. Precipitation is elevated from mid-spring to the end of summer, but remains constant throughout the year, totaling 631.4 mm annually. On average, snow falls 30 days per year; the highest temperature recorded was 38.5 °C in August 2003, during the 2003 European heat wave. The lowest temperature eve
Bas-Rhin is a department in Alsace, a part of the Grand Est super-region of France. The name means "Lower Rhine", geographically speaking it belongs to the Upper Rhine region, it is the more populous and densely populated of the two departments of the traditional Alsace region, with 1,121,407 inhabitants in 2016. The prefecture and the General Council are based in Strasbourg; the INSEE and Post Code is 67. The inhabitants of the department are known as Bas-Rhinoises; the Rhine has always been of great historical and economic importance to the area, it forms the eastern border of Bas-Rhin. The area is home to some of the foothills of the Vosges Mountains. To the north of Bas-Rhin lies the Palatinate forest in the German State of Rhineland-Palatinate, the German State of Baden-Württemberg lies to the east. To the south lies the department of Haut-Rhin, the town of Colmar and southern Alsace, to the west the department of Moselle. On its south-western corner, Bas-Rhin joins the department of Vosges.
The Bas-Rhin has a continental-type climate, characterised by cold, dry winters and hot, stormy summers, due to the western protection provided by the Vosges. The average annual temperature is 7 °C on high ground; the annual maximum temperature is high. The average rainfall is 700 mm per year. Established according to data from the Infoclimat station at Strasbourg-Entzheim, over the period from 1961 to 1990; this is the last French department to have kept the term Bas meaning "Lower" in its name. Other departments using this prefix preferred to change their names - e.g.: Basses-Pyrenees in 1969 became Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Basses-Alpes in 1970 became the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. The same phenomenon was observed for the inférieur departments such as Charente-Inférieure, Seine-Inférieure, Loire-Inférieure. Bas-Rhin is one of the original 83 departments created on 4 March 1790, during the French Revolution. On 14 January 1790 the National Constituent Assembly decreed: "- That Alsace be divided into two departments with Strasbourg and Colmar as their capitals.
In 1871 Bas-Rhin was annexed by Germany and became Bezirk Unterelsass in Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen. Strasbourg, the chef lieu of Bas-Rhin is the official seat of the European Parliament as well as of the Council of Europe; the demography of Bas-Rhin is characterized by high density and high population growth since the 1950s. In January 2014 Bas-Rhin had 1,112,815 inhabitants and was 18th by population at the national level. In fifteen years, from 1999 to 2014, its population grew by more than 86,000 people, or about 5,800 people per year, but this variation is differentiated among the 517 communes. The population density of Bas-Rhin is 234 inhabitants per square kilometre in 2014, more than twice the average in France, 112 in 2009; the first census was conducted in 1801 and this count, renewed every five years from 1821, provides precise information on the evolution of population in the department. With 540,213 inhabitants in 1831, the department represented 1.66% of the total French population, 32,569,000 inhabitants.
From 1831 to 1866, the department gained 48,757 people, an increase of 0.26% on average per year compared to the national average of 0.48% over the same period. Demographic change between the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and the First World War was higher than the national average. Over this period, the population increased by 100,532 inhabitants, an increase of 16.74%, compared to 10% nationally. The population increased by 9.23% between the two world wars from 1921 to 1936 compared to a national growth of 6.9%. Like other French departments, Bas-Rhin experienced a population boom after the Second World War, higher than the national level; the rate of population growth between 1946 and 2007 was 83.83%
Petite France, Strasbourg
La Petite France is a historic quarter of the city of Strasbourg in eastern France. It is located at the western end of the Grande Île, which contains the historical centre of the city. At Petite France, the River Ill splits up into a number of channels that cascade through an area that was, in the Middle Ages, home to the city's tanners and fishermen, is now one of Strasbourg's main tourist attractions. Petite France forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Grande Île, designated in 1988. Just upstream of Petite France, the River Ill flows through the Barrage Vauban, a defensive structure built at the end of the 17th century. Downstream of this, the river splits into the Canal du Faux-Rempart, which flows to the north of the Grande Île, four channels which flow through the Petite France quarter before reuniting in the main channel of the river, flowing to the south of the Grande Île; these four channels are spanned by the Ponts Couverts, an earlier defensive structure of three bridges and four towers that, despite its name, has not been covered since the 18th century.
Downstream of the Ponts Couverts, the four channels flow through an area of half-timbered buildings which, together with the narrow lanes and footbridges that connect them date from the 16th and 17th centuries. The sloping roofs of many of the buildings include open lofts. Three of the four channels flowing through the quarter run over weirs that once drove mills and other industries, whilst the northernmost channel is navigable; this passes through a lock and the Pont du Faisan swing bridge in the centre of the quarter, is used by passenger trip boats. On the north bank of the Ill at the heart of the quarter is the Maison des Tanneurs, home of the Tanner's Guild, Place Benjamin-Zix. From this square lead several streets, including the Rue du Bain-aux-Plantes and the Rue des Dentelles lined by half-timbered houses. To the east these lead to the Saint-Thomas church, the city’s main Lutheran church, to the west back to the Pont Couverts and to the Saint-Pierre-le-Vieux church two churches in the same building.
The name Petite-France was not given for architectural reasons. It comes from the "hospice of the syphilitic", built in the late fifteenth century on this island, to cure persons with syphilis called Franzosenkrankheit in German
Wenceslaus Hollar, one of the most prolific and accomplished graphic artists of the 17th century, was Bohemian, noted for his engravings and etchings. He is known by speakers of German as Wenzel Hollar and by Czech speakers as Václav Hollar Czech:, he was born in Prague, died in London, was buried at St Margaret's Church, Westminster. After his family was ruined by the Sack of Prague in the Thirty Years' War, the young Hollar, destined for the legal profession, decided to become an artist; the earliest of his works that have come down to us are dated 1625 and 1626. In 1627 he was in Frankfurt. In 1630 he lived in Strasbourg and Koblenz, where Hollar portrayed the towns and landscapes of the Middle Rhine Valley. In 1633 he moved to Cologne, it was in 1636 that he attracted the notice of the famous nobleman and art collector Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel on a diplomatic mission to the imperial court of Emperor Ferdinand II. Employed as a draftsman, he travelled with Arundel to Prague. In Cologne in 1635, Hollar published his first book.
In 1637 he went with Arundel to England. Though he remained an artist in service of Lord Arundel, he seems not to have worked for him, after the earl's death in Padua in 1646, Hollar earned his living by working for various authors and publishers, afterwards his primary means of distribution. After Lord Arundel's death in 1646 at the request of Hendrik van der Borcht, he etched a commemorative print done after a design by Cornelius Schut in Arundel's honour, dedicated to his widow Aletheia. Arundel is seated in melancholy mode on his tomb in front of an obelisk, surrounded by works of art and their personifications. In 1745, George Vertue paid homage to their association in the vignette he published on page one of his Description of the Works of the Ingenious Delineator and Engraver Wenceslaus Hollar, it featured a bust of Arundel in front of a pyramid, symbolizing immortality, surrounded by illustrated books and the instruments of Hollar's trade. During his first year in England he created "View of Greenwich" issued by Peter Stent, the print-seller.
Nearly 3 feet long, he received thirty shillings for the plate, a small fraction of its present value. Afterwards he fixed the price of his work at fourpence an hour, measured his time by a sand-glass. On July 4, 1641 Hollar married a lady-in-waiting to the Countess of Norfolk, her name was Tracy. Arundel had left England by 1642, Hollar passed into the service of the Duke of York, taking with him his young family, he continued to produce works prolifically throughout the English Civil War, but it adversely affected his income. With other royalist artists, notably Inigo Jones and William Faithorne the engraver, he stood the long and eventful siege of Basing House, as there were some hundred plates from his hand dated during the years 1643 and 1644 he must have turned his enforced leisure to good purpose. An etching dated 1643 and entitled civilis seditio epitomizes the war with a snake with a head at each end pulling in opposite directions in front of the Giza pyramids and sphinx. Hollar took his setting symbolizing longer term values, directly from an engraving published in George Sandys' Relation of a Journey begun An.
Dom 1610. Hollar joined the Royalist Regiment and was captured by parliamentary forces in 1645 during the siege of Basing House. After a short time he managed to escape. In Antwerp in 1646, he again met with the Earl of Arundel. During this period of the unrest of the Civil Wars, he worked in Antwerp, where he produced many of his most renowned works, including Dutch cityscapes, depictions of nature, his "muffs" and "shells". In 1652 he returned to London, lived for a time with Faithorne near Temple Bar. In the following years, many books were published which he illustrated: Ogilby's Virgil and Homer, Stapylton's Juvenal, Dugdale's Warwickshire, St Paul's and Monasticon. However, his work for the booksellers was poorly paid, Hollar's commissions declined as the Court no longer purchased his works after the Restoration. During this time he lost his young son, reputed to have artistic ability, to the plague. After the Great Fire of London he produced some of his famous "Views of London". During his return to England a desperate and successful engagement was fought by his ship, the Mary Rose, under Captain John Kempthorne, against seven Algerian men-of-war.
He lived eight years after his return, still producing illustrations for booksellers, continuing to produce well-regarded works until his death, for example a large plate of Edinburgh dated 1670. He died in extreme poverty, his last recorded words being a request to the bailiffs that they would not carry away the bed on which he was dying. Hollar is interred in St Margaret's Church in Westminster. Hollar was one of the best and most prolific artists of his time, his work includes 3000 etchings. Hollar produced a variety of works, his architectural drawings, such
The Ill is a river in Alsace, in north-eastern France. It is western, tributary of the Rhine, it starts down from its source near the village of Winkel, in the Jura mountains, with a resurgence near Ligsdorf, turns around Ferrette on its east side, runs northward through Alsace, flowing parallel to the Rhine. Taking apart the Largue coming from the Jura mountains near Illfurth, it receives several tributaries from the west bank Vosges mountains after passing through Altkirch: the Doller in Mulhouse, the Thur near Ensisheim, the Lauch in Colmar, the Fecht in Illhaeusern, the Giessen in Sélestat, the Andlau near Fegersheim, the Ehn near Geispolsheim, the Bruche next to Strasbourg and the Souffel upstream from La Wantzenau before meeting with the Rhine downstream from Gambsheim's lock; as the Ill nears the city of Mulhouse, most of its flow is diverted into a discharge channel leading to the Doller, protecting the historical center of the town from floods. Flowing through the city of Strasbourg, the river forms part of the 17th-century fortifications and passes through a series of locks and channels in the picturesque old town, including the Petite France quarter, where its waters were once used to power mills and tanneries.
One of these channels is the Canal du Faux-Rempart that, together with the main channel of the Ill, surrounds the Grande Île or historic centre of Strasbourg. The Ill is navigable from a junction with the Canal de la Marne au Rhin for a distance of just under 10 kilometres upstream to a head of navigation at Nachtweid; this stretch of river passes through the centre of Strasbourg, makes connection with the Canal du Faux-Rempart, the Canal du Rhone au Rhine and the, no longer navigable, Canal de la Bruche. There is a single lock, in the Petite France quarter of central Strasbourg. Navigation through the section of the central part of this section, through Petite France, is restricted to small pleasure craft in the downstream direction only. Passenger trip boats use this section in the opposite direction, completing their loop via the Canal du Faux-Rempart, closed to all other traffic. Other stretches of the Ill, downstream of the Canal de la Marne au Rhin to the confluence with the Rhine, upstream of Nachtweid, are not navigable by powered craft, although they may be used by canoes and similar craft.
Http://www.geoportail.fr The Ill at the Sandre database