Amandus called Saint Amand, was a bishop of Tongeren-Maastricht and one of the great Christian missionaries of Flanders. He is venerated as a saint in France and Belgium; the chief source of details of his life is the Vita Sancti Amandi, an eighth-century text attributed to Beaudemond. The vita was expanded by abbot of Aumône. According to this biography, Amand was born in Lower Poitou, he was of noble birth but at the age of twenty, he became a monk on the Île d'Yeu, against the wishes of his family. From there he became a pupil of bishop Austregisilus. There he lived in solitude in a cell for fifteen years, living on no more than water. After a pilgrimage to Rome, he was made a missionary bishop in France in 628, without a fixed diocese. At the request of Clotaire II, he evangelized the pagan inhabitants of Ghent extending his field of operations to all of Flanders, he had little success, suffering persecution and undergoing great hardships. However, after performing a miracle the attitude of the people changed and he made many converts.
He founded a monastery at Elnon. Amandus was made a bishop in 628. Returning to France in 630, he angered Dagobert I by attempting to have the king amend his life. In spite of the intervention of Saint Acarius, Amand was expelled from the kingdom. Dagobert asked him to return and tutor the heir to the throne. Amand however declined. In 633, Amandus founded two monasteries in Ghent, his next missionary task was among the Slavic people of the Danube valley in present-day Slovakia but this was unsuccessful. Amand reported to the Pope. While returning to France, he is said to have calmed a storm at sea. In 639, he built an abbey near Tournay. From 647 till 650, Amand served as Bishop of Maastricht; the pope gave him some advice on how to deal with disobedient clerics and warned him about the Monothelite heresy, at that time prevalent in the East. Amand was commissioned by the pope to organize church councils in Neustria and Austrasia in order to pass on the various decrees from Rome; the bishops asked Amand to transmit the proceedings of the church councils to the pope.
He resigned. Around this time, Amand established contact with the family of Pepin of Landen and helped Gertrude of Nivelles and her mother Itta establishing the famous monastery of Nivelles. At the same time, he was now 70 years old, the inhabitants of the Basque country asked him to return to their country to evangelize, although 30 years earlier he had preached there in vain. Returning home, he founded several more monasteries in present-day Belgium with the help of king Dagobert. Amand died in Elnone Abbey at the age of ninety, his feast day is 6 February. Although revered in Flanders and Picardy, he is venerated in England, where at least one private chapel is dedicated to him. Saint Amand is the patron saint of all who produce beer: brewers and bartenders, he is the patron of vine growers and merchants, of Boy Scouts. Acta Sanctorum, Feb 1, 815-904 Krusch, B, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum merov. V, 395-485 Moreau, E de, Saint Amand An abbreviated version is Moreau, Saint Amand, le principal évangélisatur de la Belgique, 1942.
Moreau, E de, La Vita Amandi Prima et les Fondations monastiques de St Amand, Analecta Bollandiana lxvii, 447-64 Website of Saint-Amand-les-Eaux, with a good history section This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Campbell, Thomas Joseph. "St. Amandus". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. 1. New York: Robert Appleton
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
Nord (French department)
Nord is a department in the far north of France. It was created from the western halves of the historical counties of Flanders and Hainaut, the Bishopric of Cambrai; the modern coat of arms was inherited from the County of Flanders. Nord is the country's most populous department, it contains the metropolitan region of Lille, the fifth-largest urban area in France after Paris, Lyon and Toulouse. Within the department is located the part of France where the French Flemish dialect of Dutch is still spoken as a native language. Like Dutch, the dialect of Ch'ti is still spoken. Tribes of the Belgae, such as the Menapii and Nervii were the first peoples recorded in the area known as Nord. During the 4th and 5th Centuries, Roman rulers of Gallia Belgica secured the route from the major port of Bononia to Colonia, by co-opting Germanic peoples north-east of this corridor, such as the Tungri. In effect, the area known as Nord became an isogloss between the Germanic and Romance languages. Saxon colonisation of the region from the 5th to the 8th centuries shifted the isogloss further south so that, by the 9th century, most people north of Lille spoke a dialect of Old Dutch.
This has remained evident in the place names of the region. After the County of Flanders became part of France in the 9th century, the isogloss moved north and east. During the 14th Century, much of the area came under the control of the Duchy of Burgundy and in subsequent centuries was therefore part of the Habsburg Netherlands and the Spanish Netherlands. Areas that constituted Nord were ceded to France by treaties in 1659, 1668, 1678, becoming the Counties of Flanders and Hainaut, part of the Bishopric of Cambrai. On 4 March 1790, during the French Revolution, Nord became one of the original 83 departments created to replace the counties. Modern government policies making French the only official language have led to a decline in use of the Dutch West Flemish dialect. There are 20,000 speakers of a sub-dialect of West Flemish in the arrondissement of Dunkirk and it appears that this particular sub-dialect will be extinct within decades. There is, however. Nord is part of the current Hauts-de-France region and is surrounded by the French departments of Pas-de-Calais and Aisne, as well as by Belgium and the North Sea.
Situated in the north of the country along the western half of the Belgian frontier, the department is unusually long and narrow. Its principal city is Lille, which with nearby Roubaix and Villeneuve d'Ascq constitutes the center of a cluster of industrial and former mining towns totalling over a million inhabitants. Other important cities are Valenciennes and Dunkirk; the principal rivers are the following: Yser, Escaut, Sambre Nord is the most populated department, with a population of 2,617,939 and an area of 5,743 km². The President of the Departmental Council is the unaffiliated right-winger Jean-René Lecerf; the first President of the Fifth Republic, General Charles de Gaulle, was born in Lille in the department on 22 November 1890. At the forefront of France's 19th century industrialisation, the area suffered during World War I and now faces the economic and environmental problems associated with the decline of coal mining with its neighbours following the earlier decline of the Lille-Roubaix textile industry.
Until the department was dominated economically by coal mining, which extended through the heart of the department from neighbouring Artois into central Belgium. Cantons of the Nord department Communes of the Nord department Arrondissements of the Nord department French Flemish Université Lille Nord de France INSEE Prefecture website General Council website Nord at Curlie
Hauts-de-France, is a region of France created by the territorial reform of French Regions in 2014, from a merger of Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy. Its capital is Lille; the new region came into existence on 1 January 2016, after the regional elections in December 2015. France's Conseil d'État approved Hauts-de-France as the name of the region on 28 September 2016, effective 30 September 2016. With 6,009,976 inhabitants, a population of 189 inhabitants/km2, it represents the 3rd most populous region in France and the 2nd most densely populated in metropolitan France after Île-de-France; the region covers an area of more than 31,813 km2. It borders Normandy, Grand Est, Île-de-France and the United Kingdom via the English Channel; the region's interim name Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie was a hyphenated placename, created by hyphenating the merged regions' names—Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardie—in alphabetical order. On 14 March 2016, well ahead of the 1 July deadline, the Regional council decided on Hauts-de-France as the region's permanent name.
The provisional name of the region was retired on 30 September 2016, when the new name of the region, Hauts-de-France, took effect. The region borders Belgium to the northeast, the English Channel to the northwest, as well as the French regions of Grand Est to the southeast, Île-de-France to the south, Normandy to the southwest, it is connected to the United Kingdom via the Channel Tunnel. Hauts-de-France comprises five departments: Aisne, Oise, Pas-de-Calais, Somme. Lille Amiens Roubaix Tourcoing Dunkirk Calais Villeneuve-d'Ascq Saint-Quentin Beauvais Valenciennes The region was a pivotal center of mulquinerie Nord-Pas-de-Calais Picardy Regions of France Canadian National Vimy Memorial Battle of Vimy Ridge Regional Council of the Hauts-de-France Official website Merger of the regions - France 3
A priory is a monastery of men or women under religious vows, headed by a prior or prioress. Priories may be monasteries of monks or nuns. Houses of canons regular and canonesses regular use this term, the alternative being "canonry". In pre-Reformation England, if an abbey church was raised to cathedral status, the abbey became a Cathedral Priory; the bishop, in effect, took the place of the abbot, the monastery itself was headed by a prior. Priories first came to existence as subsidiaries to the Abbey of Cluny. Many new houses were called Priories; as such, the priory came to represent the Benedictine ideals espoused by the Cluniac reforms as smaller, lesser houses of Benedictines of Cluny. There were many conventual priories in Germany and Italy during the Middle Ages, in England all monasteries attached to cathedral churches were known as cathedral priories; the Benedictines and their offshoots, the Premonstratensians, the military orders distinguish between conventual and simple or obedientiary priories.
Conventual priories are those autonomous houses which have no abbots, either because the canonically required number of twelve monks has not yet been reached, or for some other reason. Simple or obedientiary priories are dependencies of abbeys, their superior, subject to the abbot in everything, is called a "prior". These monasteries are satellites of the mother abbey; the Cluniac order is notable for being organised on this obedientiary principle, with a single abbot at the Abbey of Cluny, all other houses dependent priories. Priory is used to refer to the geographic headquarters of several commanderies of knights. Media related to Priories at Wikimedia Commons
A casino is a facility which houses and accommodates certain types of gambling activities. The industry that deals in casinos is called the gaming industry. Casinos are most built near or combined with hotels, retail shopping, cruise ships or other tourist attractions. There is much debate over whether the social and economic consequences of casino gambling outweigh the initial revenue that may be generated; some casinos are known for hosting live entertainment events, such as stand-up comedy and sporting events. The term "casino" is a confusing linguistic false friend for translators. Casino is of Italian origin; the term casino may mean summerhouse, or social club. During the 19th century, the term casino came to include other public buildings where pleasurable activities took place. In modern-day Italian a casino is either a brothel, a mess, or a noisy environment, while a gaming house is spelt casinò, with an accent. Not all casinos were used for gaming; the Catalina Casino, a famous landmark overlooking Avalon Harbor on Santa Catalina Island, has never been used for traditional games of chance, which were outlawed in California by the time it was built.
The Copenhagen Casino was a theatre, known for the mass public meetings held in its hall during the 1848 Revolution, which made Denmark a constitutional monarchy. Until 1937, it was a well-known Danish theatre; the Hanko Casino in Hanko, Finland—one of that town's most conspicuous landmarks—was never used for gambling. Rather, it was a banquet hall for the Russian nobility which frequented this spa resort in the late 19th century and is now used as a restaurant. In military and non-military usage in German and Spanish, a casino or kasino is an officers' mess; the precise origin of gambling is unknown. It is believed that gambling in some form or another has been seen in every society in history. From the Ancient Greeks and Romans to Napoleon's France and Elizabethan England, much of history is filled with stories of entertainment based on games of chance; the first known European gambling house, not called a casino although meeting the modern definition, was the Ridotto, established in Venice, Italy in 1638 by the Great Council of Venice to provide controlled gambling during the carnival season.
It was closed in 1774. In American history, early gambling establishments were known as saloons; the creation and importance of saloons was influenced by four major cities: New Orleans, St. Louis and San Francisco, it was in the saloons that travelers could find people to talk to, drink with, gamble with. During the early 20th century in America, gambling became outlawed and banned by state legislation and social reformers of the time. However, in 1931, gambling was legalized throughout the state of Nevada. America's first legalized casinos were set up in those places. In 1976 New Jersey allowed gambling in Atlantic City, now America's second largest gambling city. Most jurisdictions worldwide have a minimum gambling age. Customers gamble by playing games of chance, in some cases with an element of skill, such as craps, baccarat and video poker. Most games played have mathematically determined odds that ensure the house has at all times an overall advantage over the players; this can be expressed more by the notion of expected value, uniformly negative.
This advantage is called the house edge. In games such as poker where players play against each other, the house takes a commission called the rake. Casinos sometimes give out complimentary comps to gamblers. Payout is the percentage of funds returned to players. Casinos in the United States say that a player staking money won from the casino is playing with the house's money. Video Lottery Machines have become one of the most popular forms of gambling in casinos; as of 2011 investigative reports have started calling into question whether the modern-day slot-machine is addictive. Casino design—regarded as a psychological exercise—is an intricate process that involves optimising floor plan, décor and atmospherics to encourage gambling. Factors influencing gambling tendencies include sound and lighting. Natasha Dow Schüll, an anthropologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, highlights the decision of the audio directors at Silicon Gaming to make its slot machines resonate in "the universally pleasant tone of C, sampling existing casino soundscapes to create a sound that would please but not clash".
Dr Alan Hirsch, founder of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, studied the impact of certain scents on gamblers, discerning that a pleasant albeit unidentifiable odour released by Las Vegas slot machines generated about 50% more in daily revenue. He suggested. Casino designer Roger Thomas is credited with implementing a successful, disruptive design for the Las Vegas Wynn Resorts casinos in 2008, he broke casino design convention by introducing natural sunlight and flora to appeal to women. Thomas put in skylights and antique clocks, defying the commonplace notion that a casino should be a timeless space; the following li