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
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
The Saône is a river of eastern France. It is a right tributary of the Rhône, rising at Vioménil in the Vosges department and joining the Rhône in Lyon, just south of the Presqu'île; the name Saône derives from that of the Gallic river goddess Souconna, connected with a local Celtic tribe, the Sequanes. Monastic copyists progressively transformed Souconna to Saoconna, which gave rise to Saône; the other recorded ancient names for the river were Arar. The Saône rises at Vioménil at the foot of the cliff of the Faucilles in the Vosges at an elevation of 392 metres, flows into the Rhône at Lyon at an elevation of 158 metres, its length is 480 kilometres. Its largest tributary is the Doubs. In fact the Doubs' mean annual flow rate is stronger than that of the Petite Saône, 175 cubic metres per second compared to 160 cubic metres per second. Nonetheless the Saône has a larger watershed than the Doubs, at 11,500 square kilometres vs. 7,500 square kilometres. At 30,000 square kilometres the Saône has the largest watershed of any French river that does not flow directly into the sea, covering 1/18 of metropolitan France.
In pre-Roman times the river's name was a doubling of the Indo-European root ar. According to Caesar's Gallic Wars this doubling reflected the idea that it was difficult to identify the direction of the river due to its slow rate of flow, its current name came from a sacred spring, Sauc-Onna, located at Chalon, used by Roman legionnaries to refer to the entire river. Vosges: Darney, Monthureux-sur-Saône, Châtillon-sur-Saône Haute-Saône: Jonvelle, Jussey, Port-sur-Saône, Scey-sur-Saône, Gray Côte-d'Or: Auxonne, Saint-Jean-de-Losne, Seurre Saône-et-Loire: Verdun-sur-le-Doubs, Chalon-sur-Saône, Tournus, Mâcon, Crêches-sur-Saône Rhône: Belleville-sur-Saône, Villefranche-sur-Saône, Neuville-sur-Saône, Fontaines-sur-Saône, Caluire-et-Cuire, Lyon Ain: Thoissey, Jassans-Riottier, R indicates a right tributary, L indicates a left tributary; the Saône is navigable from its confluence with the Coney at Corre in the north of the département Haute-Saône all the way to its confluence with the Rhône at La Mulatière, in Lyon.
The navigable stretch is 367 kilometres long, of which 206 kilometres has been redeveloped to European high-capacity dimensions from Saint-Symphorien-sur-Saône to Lyon. It has 5 locks; the 161 km long part upstream from Saint-Symphorien-sur-Saône to Corre named Petite Saône, is navigable for Freycinet gauge ships and has 19 locks. The Saône is linked with the Loire by the Canal du Centre, with the Yonne by the Canal de Bourgogne, with the Marne by the Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne, with the Meuse by the Canal de l'Est, whose southern branch has been renamed the Canal des Vosges, with the Rhine by the Canal du Rhône au Rhin. All the canals are Freycinet gauge. Navigable are the small Canal de Pont-de-Vaux, the Seille, navigable in a 40-kilometre stretch up to Louhans, the lower part of the Doubs. None of these three connect the Saône to any other waterway; the lesser Saône has a tendency to flood, with a strong oceanic effect. The soils are not susceptible to much infiltration, so that they saturate which contributes to surface runoff.
The flow rate grows quickly, after receiving the waters of the Lanterne, the Saône becomes a powerful river. The mean annual flow rate, or discharge, of the Saône has been measured over 50 years at the Ray-sur-Saône hydrological station, situated about 30 kilometres after the Lanterne confluence between Port-sur-Saône and Gray; the figure is 59.7 cubic metres per second for a watershed area of 3,740 square kilometres, has an annual maximum of 64.5 cubic metres per second and a minimum of 54.8 cubic metres per second. The river exhibits seasonal variations in flow rate, with winter floods from 84 to 108 cubic metres per second from December to March inclusive, summer reductions in July/August/September falling to a monthly average of 16.9 cubic metres per second in August. The runoff curve number in the upper basin of the lesser Saône is 505 millimetres annually, cf. 687 millimetres for the Lanterne, an elevated figure resulting from the high rainfall in the Vosgian part of its watershed. The specific flow rate rises to 16.0 litres per second per square kilometre of watershed.
The maximum instantaneous recorded flow rate was 930 cubic metres per second on December 19, 1982. The greater Saône is formed by the confluence of the Doubs and the lesser Saône at Verdun-sur-le-Doubs; the Doubs brings a mean annual flow rate of 175 cubic metres per second, the lesser Saône, 160 cubic metres per second. The greater Saône has only modest tributaries which have little effect on floods or other hydrological properties, it flows in a vast plain 3 kilometres wide as far as Lyon in the basin of the former Bressan lake. The slope is gradual, without hydraulic projects up to the north of Chalon aimed at guaranteeing a deep navigation channel, overflows would b
The Rhône is one of the major rivers of Europe and has twice the average discharge of the Loire, rising in the Rhône Glacier in the Swiss Alps at the far eastern end of the Swiss canton of Valais, passing through Lake Geneva and running through southeastern France. At Arles, near its mouth on the Mediterranean Sea, the river divides into two branches, known as the Great Rhône and the Little Rhône; the resulting delta constitutes the Camargue region. The name Rhone continues the name Latin: Rhodanus in Greco-Roman geography; the Gaulish name of the river was *Rodonos or *Rotonos. The Greco-Roman as well as the reconstructed Gaulish name is masculine; this form survives in the Spanish/Portuguese and Italian namesakes, el/o Ródano and il Rodano, respectively. German has adopted the French name but given it the feminine gender; the original German adoption of the Latin name was masculine, der Rotten. In French, the adjective derived from the river is rhodanien, as in le sillon rhodanien, the name of the long, straight Saône and Rhône river valleys, a deep cleft running due south to the Mediterranean and separating the Alps from the Massif Central.
Before railroads and highways were developed, the Rhône was an important inland trade and transportation route, connecting the cities of Arles, Valence and Lyon to the Mediterranean ports of Fos-sur-Mer, Marseille and Sète. Travelling down the Rhône by barge would take three weeks. By motorized vessel, the trip now takes only three days; the Rhône is classified as a Class V waterway for the 325 km long section from the mouth of the Saône at Lyon to the sea at Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône. Upstream from Lyon, a 149 km section of the Rhône was made navigable for small ships up to Seyssel; as of 2017, the part between Lyon and Sault-Brénaz is closed for navigation. The Saône, canalized, connects the Rhône ports to the cities of Villefranche-sur-Saône, Mâcon and Chalon-sur-Saône. Smaller vessels can travel further northwest and northeast via the Centre-Loire-Briare and Loing Canals to the Seine, via the Canal de la Marne à la Saône to the Marne, via the Canal des Vosges to the Moselle and via the Canal du Rhône au Rhin to the Rhine.
The Rhône is infamous for its strong current when the river carries large quantities of water: current speeds up to 10 kilometres per hour are sometimes reached in the stretch below the last lock at Vallabrègues and in the narrow first diversion canal south of Lyon. The 12 locks are operated daily from 5:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. All operation is centrally controlled from one control centre at Châteauneuf. Commercial barges may navigate during the night hours by authorisation; the Rhône rises as an effluent of the Rhône Glacier in the Valais, in the Swiss Alps, at an altitude of 2,208 metres. From there it flows south through Gletsch and the Goms, the uppermost, valley region of the Valais before Brig. Shortly before reaching Brig, it receives the waters of the Massa from the Aletsch Glacier, it flows onward through the valley which bears its name and runs in a westerly direction about thirty kilometers to Leuk southwest about fifty kilometers to Martigny. Down as far as Brig, the Rhône is a torrent.
Between Brig and Martigny, it collects waters from the valleys of the Pennine Alps to the south, whose rivers originate from the large glaciers of the massifs of Monte Rosa and Grand Combin. At Martigny, where it receives the waters of the Drance on its left bank, the Rhône makes a strong turn towards the north. Heading toward Lake Geneva, the valley narrows, a feature that has long given the Rhône valley strategic importance for the control of the Alpine passes; the Rhône marks the boundary between the cantons of Valais and Vaud, separating the Valais Chablais and Chablais Vaudois. It enters Lake Geneva near Le Bouveret. On a portion of its extent Lake Geneva marks the border between Switzerland. On the left bank of Lake Geneva the river receives the river Morge; this river marks the border between Switzerland. The Morge enters Lake Geneva at a village on both sides of the border. Between Évian-les-Bains and Thonon-les-Bains the Dranse enters the lakewhere it left a quite large delta. On the right bank of the lake the Rhône receives the Veveyse, the Venoge, the Aubonne and the Morges besides others.
Lake Geneva ends in Geneva. The average discharge from Lake Geneva is 251 cubic metres per second. In Geneva, the Rhône receives the waters of the Arve from the Mont Blanc. After a course of 290 kilometres the Rhône leaves Switzerland and enters the southern Jura Mountains, it turns toward the south past the Bourget Lake which it is connected by the Savières channel. At Lyon, the biggest city along its course, the Rhône meets its biggest tributary, the Saône; the Saône carries 400 cubic metres per the Rhône itself 600 cubic metres per second. From the confluence, the Rhône follows the southbound
Vaulx-en-Velin is a commune in the Metropolis of Lyon in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in eastern France. It is the third-largest suburb of the city of Lyon, is located to its northeast, on the Rhône River. Metro line A Tram T3 Several buses lines from Transports en commun lyonnais Rhônexpress Marie-Frederique Ayissi, basketball player Nathalie Arthaud, candidate for the 2012 presidential election, was one of the municipal councillors Corinne Vigreux, business executive, co-founder of TomTom Khal Torabully, director Communes of the Metropolis of Lyon Official website
Subprefectures in France
In France, a subprefecture is the administrative center of a departmental arrondissement that does not contain the prefecture for its department. The term applies to the building that houses the administrative headquarters for an arrondissement; the civil servant in charge of a subprefecture is the subprefect, assisted by a general secretary. Between May 1982 and February 1988, subprefects were known instead by the title commissaire adjoint de la République. Where the administration of an arrondissement is carried out from a prefecture, the general secretary to the prefect carries out duties equivalent to those of the subprefect; the municipal arrondissements of Paris and Marseille are divisions of the city rather than the prefecture, so are not arrondissements in the same sense. List of subprefectures of France List of arrondissements of France
An estuary is a enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, with a free connection to the open sea. Estuaries form a transition zone between river environments and maritime environments, they are subject both to marine influences—such as tides and the influx of saline water—and to riverine influences—such as flows of fresh water and sediment. The mixing of sea water and fresh water provide high levels of nutrients both in the water column and in sediment, making estuaries among the most productive natural habitats in the world. Most existing estuaries formed during the Holocene epoch with the flooding of river-eroded or glacially scoured valleys when the sea level began to rise about 10,000–12,000 years ago. Estuaries are classified according to their geomorphological features or to water-circulation patterns, they can have many different names, such as bays, lagoons, inlets, or sounds, although some of these water bodies do not meet the above definition of an estuary and may be saline.
The banks of many estuaries are amongst the most populated areas of the world, with about 60% of the world's population living along estuaries and the coast. As a result, many estuaries suffer degradation from a variety of factors including: sedimentation from soil erosion from deforestation and other poor farming practices; the word "estuary" is derived from the Latin word aestuarium meaning tidal inlet of the sea, which in itself is derived from the term aestus, meaning tide. There have been many definitions proposed to describe an estuary; the most accepted definition is: "a semi-enclosed coastal body of water, which has a free connection with the open sea, within which sea water is measurably diluted with freshwater derived from land drainage". However, this definition excludes a number of coastal water bodies such as coastal lagoons and brackish seas. A more comprehensive definition of an estuary is "a semi-enclosed body of water connected to the sea as far as the tidal limit or the salt intrusion limit and receiving freshwater runoff.
This broad definition includes fjords, river mouths, tidal creeks. An estuary is a dynamic ecosystem having a connection to the open sea through which the sea water enters with the rhythm of the tides; the sea water entering the estuary streams. The pattern of dilution varies between different estuaries and depends on the volume of fresh water, the tidal range, the extent of evaporation of the water in the estuary. Drowned river valleys are known as coastal plain estuaries. In places where the sea level is rising relative to the land, sea water progressively penetrates into river valleys and the topography of the estuary remains similar to that of a river valley; this is the most common type of estuary in temperate climates. Well-studied estuaries include the Severn Estuary in the United Kingdom and the Ems Dollard along the Dutch-German border; the width-to-depth ratio of these estuaries is large, appearing wedge-shaped in the inner part and broadening and deepening seaward. Water depths exceed 30 m.
Examples of this type of estuary in the U. S. are the Hudson River, Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay along the Mid-Atlantic coast, Galveston Bay and Tampa Bay along the Gulf Coast. Bar-built estuaries are found in place where the deposition of sediment has kept pace with rising sea level so that the estuaries are shallow and separated from the sea by sand spits or barrier islands, they are common in tropical and subtropical locations. These estuaries are semi-isolated from ocean waters by barrier beaches. Formation of barrier beaches encloses the estuary, with only narrow inlets allowing contact with the ocean waters. Bar-built estuaries develop on sloping plains located along tectonically stable edges of continents and marginal sea coasts, they are extensive along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the U. S. in areas with active coastal deposition of sediments and where tidal ranges are less than 4 m. The barrier beaches that enclose bar-built estuaries have been developed in several ways: building up of offshore bars by wave action, in which sand from the sea floor is deposited in elongated bars parallel to the shoreline, reworking of sediment discharge from rivers by wave and wind action into beaches, overwash flats, dunes, engulfment of mainland beach ridges due to sea level rise and resulting in the breaching of the ridges and flooding of the coastal lowlands, forming shallow lagoons, elongation of barrier spits from the erosion of headlands due to the action of longshore currents, with the spits growing in the direction of the littoral drift.
Barrier beaches form in shallow water and are parallel to the shoreline, resulting in long, narrow estuaries. The average water depth is less than 5 m, exceeds 10 m. Examples of bar-built estuaries are Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. Fjords were formed where pleistocene glaciers deepened and widened existing river valleys so that they become U-shaped in cross s