Departments of France
In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, five are overseas departments, which are classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; each department is administered by an elected body called a departmental council. From 1800 to April 2015, these were called general councils; each council has a president. Their main areas of responsibility include the management of a number of social and welfare allowances, of junior high school buildings and technical staff, local roads and school and rural buses, a contribution to municipal infrastructures. Local services of the state administration are traditionally organised at departmental level, where the prefect represents the government; the departments were created in 1790 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces with a view to strengthen national unity.
All of them were named after physical geographical features, rather than after historical or cultural territories which could have their own loyalties. The division of France into departments was a project identified with the French revolutionary leader the Abbé Sieyès, although it had been discussed and written about by many politicians and thinkers; the earliest known suggestion of it is from 1764 in the writings of d'Argenson. They have inspired similar divisions in some of them former French colonies. Most French departments are assigned a two-digit number, the "Official Geographical Code", allocated by the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques. Overseas departments have a three-digit number; the number is used, for example, in the postal code, was until used for all vehicle registration plates. While residents use the numbers to refer to their own department or a neighbouring one, more distant departments are referred to by their names, as few people know the numbers of all the departments.
For example, inhabitants of Loiret might refer to their department as "the 45". In 2014, President François Hollande proposed to abolish departmental councils by 2020, which would have maintained the departments as administrative divisions, to transfer their powers to other levels of governance; this reform project has since been abandoned. The first French territorial departments were proposed in 1665 by Marc-René d'Argenson to serve as administrative areas purely for the Ponts et Chaussées infrastructure administration. Before the French Revolution, France gained territory through the annexation of a mosaic of independent entities. By the close of the Ancien Régime, it was organised into provinces. During the period of the Revolution, these were dissolved in order to weaken old loyalties; the modern departments, as all-purpose units of the government, were created on 4 March 1790 by the National Constituent Assembly to replace the provinces with what the Assembly deemed a more rational structure.
Their boundaries served two purposes: Boundaries were chosen to break up France's historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences and build a more homogeneous nation. Boundaries were set so that every settlement in the country was within a day's ride of the capital of a department; this was a security measure, intended to keep the entire national territory under close control. This measure was directly inspired by the Great Terror, during which the government had lost control of many rural areas far from any centre of government; the old nomenclature was avoided in naming the new departments. Most were named after other physical features. Paris was in the department of Seine. Savoy became the department of Mont-Blanc; the number of departments 83, had been increased to 130 by 1809 with the territorial gains of the Republic and of the First French Empire. Following Napoleon's defeats in 1814–1815, the Congress of Vienna returned France to its pre-war size and the number of departments was reduced to 86.
In 1860, France acquired the County of Nice and Savoy, which led to the creation of three new departments. Two were added from the new Savoyard territory, while the department of Alpes-Maritimes was created from Nice and a portion of the Var department; the 89 departments were given numbers based on the alphabetical order of their names. The department of Bas-Rhin and parts of Meurthe, Moselle and Haut-Rhin were ceded to the German Empire in 1871, following France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. A small part of Haut-Rhin became known as the Territoire de Belfort; when France regained the ceded departments after World War I, the Territoire de Belfort was not re-integrated into Haut-Rhin. In 1922, it became France's 90th department; the Lorraine departments were not changed back to their original boundaries, a new Moselle department was created in the regaine
Belmont is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Grand Est in northeastern France. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department INSEE commune file
Achenheim is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department and Grand Est region of north-eastern France. The village, in the arrondissement of Strasbourg and the canton of Lingolsheim lies close to the Canal de la Bruche and to the departemental road connecting Soultz-les-Bains to Strasbourg; the oldest traces of human habitation in Alsace – tools used by Homo erectus in the Paleolithic era some 700,000 years ago – have been found in loess deposits at Achenheim. In 1264 the village was burnt down by forces from Strasbourg during the war between the city and its bishop, Walter de Geroldseck. Canal de la Bruche Bruche River Communes of the Bas-Rhin department INSEE commune file
Grand Est Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine, is an administrative region in eastern France. It superseded three former administrative regions—Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine—on 1 January 2016, as a result of territorial reform, passed by the French legislature in 2014. Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine was a provisional name, created by hyphenating the merged regions in alphabetical order. France's Conseil d'État approved Grand Est as the new name of the region on 28 September 2016, effective 30 September 2016; the administrative capital and largest city is Strasbourg. The provisional name of the region was Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine, formed by combining the names of the three present regions—Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine—in alphabetical order with hyphens; the formula for the provisional name of the region was established by the territorial reform law and applied to all but one of the provisional names for new regions. The ACAL regional council, elected in December 2015, was given the task of choosing a name for the region and submitting it to the Conseil d'État—France's highest authority for administrative law—by 1 July 2016 for approval.
The provisional name of the region was retired on 30 September 2016, when the new name of the region, Grand Est, took effect. In Alsace and in Lorraine, the new region has been called ALCA, for Alsace-Lorraine-Champagne-Ardennes, on the internet. Like the name Région Hauts-de-France, the name Région Grand Est contains no reference whatsoever to the area's history or identity, but describes its geographical location within metropolitan France. In a poll conducted in November 2014 by France 3 in Champagne-Ardenne, Grand Est and Austrasie were the top two names among 25 candidates and 4,701 votes. Grand Est topped a poll the following month conducted by L'Est Républicain, receiving 42% of 3,324 votes; the names which received a moderate amount of discussion were: Grand Est français, a term used to refer to the northeast quarter of Metropolitan France, although this term refers to a geographic region larger than just ACAL. The term has been used and topped the polls mentioned above. Grand Est Europe, a variant of Grand Est that alludes to the region being a gateway to Europe both through trade and since Strasbourg is home to several European institutions.
However, the name was mocked for. Austrasie, which refers to an historical region spanning parts of present-day northeast France, the Benelux, northwest Germany. Quatre frontières. Grand Est is the sixth-largest of the regions of France. Grand Est borders four countries—Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland—along its northern and eastern sides, it is the only French region to border more than two countries. To the west and south, it borders the French regions Hauts-de-France, Île-de-France, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. Grand Est contains ten departments: Ardennes, Bas-Rhin, Haute-Marne, Haut-Rhin, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Moselle, Vosges; the main ranges in the region include the Vosges to the Ardennes to the north. The region is bordered on the east by the Rhine. Other major rivers which flow through the region include the Meuse, Marne, Saône. Lakes in the region include lac de Gérardmer, lac de Longemer, lac de Retournemer, lac des Corbeaux, Lac de Bouzey, lac de Madine, étang du Stock and lac de Pierre-Percée.
Grand Est climate depends of the proximity of the sea. In Champagne and Western Lorraine, the climate is oceanic, with mild summers, but Moselle and Alsace climates are humid continental, characterized by cold winters with frequent days below the freezing point, hot summers, with many days with temperatures up to 32°C. Grand Est is the result of territorial reform legislation passed in 2014 by the French Parliament to reduce the number of regions in Metropolitan France—the part of France in continental Europe—from 22 to 13. ACAL is the merger of three regions: Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine; the merger has been, still is opposed by some groups in Alsace, a large majority of Alsatians. The territorial reform law allows new regions to choose the seat of the regional councils, but made Strasbourg the seat of the Grand Est regional council—a move to appease the region's politicians; the region has an official population of 5,555,186. The regional council has limited administrative authority concerning the promotion of the region's economy and financing educational and cultural activities.
The regional council has no legislative authority. The seat of the regional council will be Strasbourg; the regional council, elected in December 2015, is controlled by The Republicans. The elected inaugural president of the Grand Est Regional Council is Philippe Richert, the President of the Alsace Regional Council; the current president is Jean Rottner. The region has five tram networks: Strasbourg tramway Reims tramway Nancy Guided Light Transit Mulhouse tramway Saarbahn The region has four airports: EuroAirport Basel M
Aschbach is a French commune in the Bas-Rhin department in the Grand Est region of north-eastern France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Aschbachoises. Aschbach is located some 13 km south by south-east of Wissembourg and 8 km east of Soultz-sous-Forêts. Access to the commune is by the D245 road from Stundwiller in the south passing through the village and continuing north to Seebach. With exception of a small band of forest on the western border the commune is farmland; the Seebach river forms the eastern border of the commune as it flows south to join the Seltzbach at Buhl. An unnamed stream rises in the centre of the commune and flows south-east through the village to join the Seebach on the south-eastern border. In the 14th century Aschbach was the property of the Diocese of Speyer. Under the Ancien Régime Aschbach and Oberroedern formed the Superior Court with their church at Stundwiller; these three villages were merged in 1974 but Aschbach was separated again in 1988. According to the cadastral plan of 1839 there were buildings built close together and other places which were marshlands.
The school was built in 1833, an oratory at a place called Kreutzfeld dates to 1864, the church was built in 1871. The village suffered terrible damage in the Second World War and reconstruction gave the village a new look with a larger and more open built-up area; the presbytery was built in 1950. List of Successive Mayors In 2010 the commune had 667 inhabitants; the evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger towns that have a sample survey every year. Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 Aschbach has four registrations as historical monuments; these are: Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception Farmhouse at 19 Grand Rue House and Farms The Village The Church of the Immaculate Conception has many items which are registered as historical objects. These are: 2 Monstrances Monstrance Cross: Christ on the cross Painting: Saint Joseph with the child Jesus 10 Statues of Saints Pulpit, 2 Confessionals, Baptismal fonts 3 Altars, 3 Tabernacles, 3 Retables, church stall, half-height panelling Furniture in the Church Wayside cross: Christ on the cross at Hohlacker Inside the Church Communes of the Bas-Rhin department Aschbach, Bas-Rhin on Lion1906 Aschbach on the National Geographical Institute website Aschbach on Google Maps Aschbach on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute website Asbach on the 1750 Cassini Map Aschbach on the INSEE website INSEE
Baldenheim is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in the Alsace region of north-eastern France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Baldenheimoises; the commune has been awarded two flowers by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom. Baldenheim is located in the Canton of Marckolsheim and the Arrondissement of Sélestat-Erstein in the centre of the Alsace region on the alluvial plain of the Rhine, 45 km south of Strasbourg, 26 km north by north-east of Colmar and 8 km east of Sélestat. Access to the commune is by the D605 from Hessenheim in the south which passes through the village and continues north to Muttersholtz; the D209 comes from Schwobsheim in the east and passes through the village continuing west to join the D21 near the commune border. The D208 goes south-west from the village to Mussig; the commune is part of the Ried Natural Region. The water table is only 1.50 metres below the surface on average. Water gives rise to waterways.
The Ill river flows calmly across the plain. Like all the rivers in Vosges it is subject to an oceanic regime, characterized by high winter waters and low summer waters, contrary to the Rhine; the last catastrophic flood occurred in May 1983. The climate is of semi-continental type with about 600 mm of rain per year. Temperature differences are marked: summers can be hot and the winters harsh; the commune outside the urban area has five distinct types of landscape: Suburban Village: orchards and gardens, Rural Open Spaces: fields and woods, Wetland: the Black Ried, Banks of the Ill: the Grey Ried, Forested areas. About 80% of the utilized agricultural area is cultivated; the Ill, the Blind and numerous streams flow north though the commune all merging with the Ill which joins the Rhine at Plobsheim. Bandenheim, 1182 There is a Merovingian and Carolingian Cemetery with a hundred graves which attest to the ancient occupation of the commune. Most of the tombs are shallow and contained no ornaments with disturbed skeletons indicating plundering long ago.
Another group of burials are deeper and contained rich ornaments (brooches in bronze and silver partitioned with garnet, glass beads, glass paste necklaces, amber necklaces, other objects from the second half of the 6th century and the second third of the 7th century. The ornaments collected from Baldenheim are from a time period between 550 and 650. Baldenheim appeared in a document from the second half of the 7th century in the form of Baldenheim Villa; the name of this village, according to legend, is. He refused to retrieve it saying B'haltene; the village adopted this onomatopoeia. But the name Baldenheim does appear in the 9th century; the Protestant Reformation was introduced in 1576. A castle was built in 1740 and destroyed in 1821; the Simultaneau in 1843 provoked a violent conflict between the two religious communities. In the 19th century there was significant growth in weaving and there were 150 weavers in the commune. In the last third of the 19th century, the cooperative movement developed in the commune.
A savings bank was founded in 1890 and a dairy cooperative operated until 1981. In 1324 the village belonged to the Duchy of Württemberg, it had given in fief to the Rathsamhausen zum Stein family. Upon the extinction of this noble family, Louis XIV gave it to the engineer of Chamlay, leaving it for him to pay tribute to the Duke of Württemberg who, at the death of the commander of Chamlay passed the fief to the family of Sandersleben-Coligny. Before the French Revolution it was owned by the Waldner Freundstein family whose castle was demolished in 1820. From the 19th century home weaving occupied a important place in the local economy. Baldenheim is known for its festival of "Pfingstpflitteri", held for the tenth time in 1999. In July 1902 Oscar Pfiffer discovered some objects in his field at Lange Gasse. A more thorough search uncovered other Merovingian objects. A study published in 1907 by R. Henning made Baldenheim the eponymous site for this type of helmet with thirty examples identified at this time.
The Baldenheim Helmet is now on display at the Museum of Archaeology in Strasbourg. List of Successive Mayors In 2010 the commune had 1,150 inhabitants; the evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger communes that have a sample survey every year. Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 The ratio of active population to total population of the commune has grown above the cantonal average. There is evidence that unemployment has decreased. Fruit and vegetables and plants are cultivated in the commune and there are a dozen pig farmers; the number of farms has decreased but orchards are still important and Baldenheim is known for its "white apples of Baldenheim". The village enjoys a high level of economic activity and expansion. There are 440 jobs available in the commune to over 1000 inhabitants.
The commune has many buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments: Farmhouses Other sites of interestThe Town Hall is on the former location of the communal school which existed from 1600 which for a long time provided separate courses for Cathol
Barembach is a French commune in the Bas-Rhin department in the Grand Est region of north-eastern France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Barembachoises. Barembach is located in a valley perpendicular to the Bruche valley some 25 km west by south-west of Illkirch and 30 km north-west of Sélestat at 350 metres above sea level; the Barembach Forest covers most of the commune with several summits including Pépinière, Barraque des Bœufs, Ordon Saxe, Haut de la Brûlée. Access to the commune is by the D204 road from Grendelbruch in the north-east which passes through the north-eastern corner of the commune and continues to Schirmeck. Access to the village is by the D193; the D1420 from Muhlbach-sur-Bruche in the north-east passes along the northern border as it goes south-west to Fouday. The Barembach river rises in the south-east of the commune and flows north-west to join the Bruche just north-west of the commune; the Bornichon river rises in the south of the commune and flows north to join the Barembach at the village.
Barembach was destroyed in 1875 by a violent fire. After the reconstruction of the village immediately after the disaster, the economy first restarted with livestock and forestry. There were mills and sawmills producing galoshes which changed to weaving. An enterprise was set up by Camille Glaszmann; the company was continued by Mecatherm who extended the buildings. Shortly before Liberation the village was the headquarters of Marshal Jean de Lattre de Tassigny and served as a springboard to free the region. Barembach included part of the commune of Rothau on the north shore of the Rothaine. Barembach appears as the same on the 1790 version; the name Barembach originated from the German Bach meaning "stream" and Bär meaning "bear". List of Successive Mayors In 2010 the commune had 868 inhabitants; the evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger communes that have a sample survey every year.
Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 The commune has many buildings and sites that are registered as historical monuments: Houses and Farmhouses The War Memorial at Route du Maréchal-De-Lattre-de-Tassigny A School at 14 Rue Principale The Town Hall / School at 15 Rue Principale The Town Hall / School contains several items that are registered as historical objects: A Heating Stove A Monumental Cross: Christ on the Cross and the Virgin and child The commune has several religious buildings and sites that are registered as historical monuments: The Barembach Cemetery on the D204 The Cemetery contains several items that are registered as historical objects: A Cemetery Cross Funeral Monuments The Schirmeck Cemetery at Rue du Douar The Cemetery contains many items that are registered as historical objects: Funeral Monuments Funeral Crosses A Monumental Cross A Monumental Cross: Christ on the Cross A Cemetery Cross: Christ on the Cross The Chartier Family Funeral Chapel on the D204 The Vogt Family Funeral Chapel at Rue du Douar The Church of Saint-Georges at Place de l'Eglise The Church contains several items that are registered as historical objects: A Chalice with Paten A Monstrance The Furniture in the Church The Church Organ A Presbytery at 16 Rue du Presbytère 3 Wayside Crosses are registered as historical objects.
Marshal Jean de Lattre de Tassigny had his headquarters in the village. The street from the cemetery to the church bears his name. There is a monument to him on this street near the church. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department "Barembach", in The Upper Valley of the Bruche, Alsace Heritage, General Inventory of Monuments and artistic riches of France, Éditions Lieux Dits, Lyon, 2005, p. 38-39, ISBN 978-2-914528-13-9 Barembach official website