Saint Roch or Rocco was a Catholic saint, a confessor whose death is commemorated on 16 August and 9 September in Italy. He may be called Rock in English, has the designation of St Rollox in Glasgow, said to be a corruption of St Roch's Loch, which referred to a small loch once near a chapel dedicated to St. Roch in 1506, he is a patron saint of dogs, falsely accused people and several other things. He is the patron saint of Parma. He's the patron of Casamassima, Cisterna di Latina and Palagiano, Italy. Saint Roch is known as "San Roque" in Spanish, including in many now-English-speaking areas, such as the Philippines. Saint Roch is given different names in various languages: (Arabic: روكز. According to his Acta and his vita in the Golden Legend, he was born at Montpellier, at that time "upon the border of France", as the Golden Legend has it, the son of the noble governor of that city, his birth was accounted a miracle, for his noble mother had been barren until she prayed to the Virgin Mary.
Miraculously marked from birth with a red cross on his breast that grew as he did, he early began to manifest strict asceticism and great devoutness. On the death of his parents in his twentieth year he distributed all his worldly goods among the poor like Francis of Assisi—though his father on his deathbed had ordained him governor of Montpellier—and set out as a mendicant pilgrim for Rome. Coming into Italy during an epidemic of plague, he was diligent in tending the sick in the public hospitals at Acquapendente, Rimini and Rome, is said to have effected many miraculous cures by prayer and the sign of the cross and the touch of his hand. At Rome, according to the Golden Legend he preserved the "cardinal of Angleria in Lombardy" by making the mark of the cross on his forehead, which miraculously remained. Ministering at Piacenza he himself fell ill, he was expelled from the town. Count Gothard, following his hunting dog that carried the bread, discovered Saint Roch and became his acolyte. On his return incognito to Montpellier he was arrested as a spy and thrown into prison, where he languished five years and died on 16 August 1327, without revealing his name, to avoid worldly glory.
After his death, according to the Golden Legend. And in that table was written that God had granted to him his prayer, to wit, that who that calleth meekly to S. Rocke he shall not be hurt with any hurt of pestilence The townspeople recognized him as well by his birthmark; the date asserted by Francesco Diedo for Saint Roch's death would precede the traumatic advent of the Black Death in Europe after long centuries of absence, for which a rich iconography of the plague, its victims and its protective saints was soon developed, in which the iconography of Roche finds its historical place: the topos did not exist. In contrast, however, St Roch of Montpellier cannot be dismissed based on dates of a specific plague event. In medieval times, the term "plague" was used to indicate a whole array of epidemics; the first literary account is an undated Acta, labeled, by comparison with the longer, elaborated accounts that were to follow, Acta Breviora, which relies entirely on standardized hagiographic topoi to celebrate and promote the cult of Roch.
The story that when the Council of Constance was threatened with plague in 1414, public processions and prayers for the intercession of Roch were ordered, the outbreak ceased, is provided by Francesco Diedo, the Venetian governor of Brescia, in his Vita Sancti Rochi, 1478. The cult of Roch gained momentum during the bubonic plague that passed through northern Italy in 1477–79. According to the doctoral thesis of history student Pierre Bolle in 2001, Saint Roch is a hagiographical doublet of a more ancient saint, Racho of Autun, Burgundy who died about 660. Racho was invoked for protection against storms and Bolle believes that his name was the basis of the name of this saint and of his patronage of plague-sufferers via a process of aphaeresis of the Old French word for a storm, tempeste, to -peste "plague"; this accords with the equilibrium of humours theory of medieval medicine of Western Europe that held that illness could be caused by corruption of the air. Gian Paolo Vico, of the Associazione San Rocco Italia, states that a prisoner of French origin, held there for five years died in Voghera, Italy during the night of 15–16 August between 1376 and 1379.
This prisoner had, according to some
Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette
Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, known in the United States as Lafayette, was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War, commanding American troops in several battles, including the Siege of Yorktown. After returning to France, he was a key figure in the French Revolution of 1789 and the July Revolution of 1830. Lafayette was born into a wealthy land-owning family in Chavaniac in the province of Auvergne in south central France, he followed the family's martial tradition and was commissioned an officer at age 13. He became convinced that the American cause was noble in its revolutionary war, he traveled to the New World seeking glory in it, he was made a major general at age 19, but he was not given American troops to command. He was wounded during the Battle of Brandywine but still managed to organize an orderly retreat, he served with distinction in the Battle of Rhode Island. In the middle of the war, he sailed for home to lobby for an increase in French support.
He was given senior positions in the Continental Army. In 1781, troops under his command in Virginia blocked forces led by Cornwallis until other American and French forces could position themselves for the decisive Siege of Yorktown. Lafayette returned to France and was appointed to the Assembly of Notables in 1787, convened in response to the fiscal crisis, he was elected a member of the Estates General of 1789, where representatives met from the three traditional orders of French society: the clergy, the nobility, the commoners. After forming the National Constituent Assembly, he helped to write the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen with Thomas Jefferson's assistance; this document was inspired by the United States Declaration of Independence and invoked natural law to establish basic principles of the democratic nation-state. He advocated the end of slavery, in keeping with the philosophy of natural liberty. After the storming of the Bastille, he was appointed commander-in-chief of France's National Guard and tried to steer a middle course through the years of revolution.
In August 1792, radical factions ordered his arrest, he fled into the Austrian Netherlands. He was spent more than five years in prison. Lafayette returned to France after Napoleon Bonaparte secured his release in 1797, though he refused to participate in Napoleon's government. After the Bourbon Restoration of 1814, he became a liberal member of the Chamber of Deputies, a position that he held for most of the remainder of his life. In 1824, President James Monroe invited him to the United States as the nation's guest, he visited all 24 states in the union and met a rapturous reception. During France's July Revolution of 1830, he declined an offer to become the French dictator. Instead, he supported Louis-Philippe as king, but turned against him when the monarch became autocratic, he is buried in Picpus Cemetery in Paris, under soil from Bunker Hill. He is sometimes known as "The Hero of the Two Worlds" for his accomplishments in the service of both France and the United States. Lafayette was born on 6 September 1757 to Michel Louis Christophe Roch Gilbert Paulette du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette, colonel of grenadiers, Marie Louise Jolie de La Rivière, at the château de Chavaniac, in Chavaniac-Lafayette, near Le Puy-en-Velay, in the province of Auvergne.
Lafayette's lineage was one of the oldest and most distinguished in Auvergne and in all of France. Males of the Lafayette family enjoyed a reputation for courage and chivalry and were noted for their contempt for danger. One of Lafayette's early ancestors, Gilbert de Lafayette III, a Marshal of France, had been a companion-at-arms of Joan of Arc's army during the Siege of Orléans in 1429. According to legend, another ancestor acquired the crown of thorns during the Sixth Crusade, his non-Lafayette ancestors are notable. Lafayette's paternal uncle Jacques-Roch died on 18 January 1734 while fighting the Austrians at Milan in the War of the Polish Succession. Lafayette's father died on the battlefield. On 1 August 1759, Michel de Lafayette was struck by a cannonball while fighting a British-led coalition at the Battle of Minden in Westphalia. Lafayette became marquis and Lord of Chavaniac. Devastated by the loss of her husband, she went to live in Paris with her father and grandfather, leaving Lafayette to be raised in Chavaniac-Lafayette by his paternal grandmother, Mme de Chavaniac, who had brought the château into the family with her dowry.
In 1768, when Lafayette was 11, he was summoned to Paris to live with his mother and great-grandfather at the comte's apartments in Luxembourg Palace. The boy was sent to school at the Collège du Plessis, part of the University of Paris, it was decided that he would carry on the family martial tradition; the comte, the boy's great-grandfather, enrolled the boy in a program to train future Musketeers. Lafayette's mother and great-grandfather died, on 3 and 24 April 1770 leaving Lafayette an income of 25,000 livres. Upon the death of an uncle, the 12-year-old Lafayette inherited a handsome yearly income of 120,000 livres. In May 1771, aged less than 14, Lafayette was commissioned an officer in the Musketeers, with the rank of sous-lieutenant, his duties, which included marching in military parades and pr
Frédéric François Chopin was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote for solo piano. He has maintained worldwide renown as a leading musician of his era, one whose "poetic genius was based on a professional technique, without equal in his generation."Chopin was born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin in the Duchy of Warsaw and grew up in Warsaw, which in 1815 became part of Congress Poland. A child prodigy, he completed his musical education and composed his earlier works in Warsaw before leaving Poland at the age of 20, less than a month before the outbreak of the November 1830 Uprising. At 21, he settled in Paris. Thereafter—in the last 18 years of his life—he gave only 30 public performances, preferring the more intimate atmosphere of the salon, he supported himself by selling his compositions and by giving piano lessons, for which he was in high demand. Chopin formed a friendship with Franz Liszt and was admired by many of his other musical contemporaries. In 1835, Chopin obtained French citizenship.
After a failed engagement to Maria Wodzińska from 1836 to 1837, he maintained an troubled relationship with the French writer Amantine Dupin. A brief and unhappy visit to Majorca with Sand in 1838–39 would prove one of his most productive periods of composition. In his final years, he was supported financially by his admirer Jane Stirling, who arranged for him to visit Scotland in 1848. For most of his life, Chopin was in poor health, he died in Paris in 1849 at the age of 39 of pericarditis aggravated by tuberculosis. All of Chopin's compositions include the piano. Most are for solo piano, though he wrote two piano concertos, a few chamber pieces, some 19 songs set to Polish lyrics, his piano writing was technically demanding and expanded the limits of the instrument: his own performances were noted for their nuance and sensitivity. Chopin invented the concept of the instrumental ballade, his major piano works include mazurkas, nocturnes, polonaises, études, scherzos and sonatas, some published only posthumously.
Among the influences on his style of composition were Polish folk music, the classical tradition of J. S. Bach and Schubert, the atmosphere of the Paris salons of which he was a frequent guest, his innovations in style and musical form, his association of music with nationalism, were influential throughout and after the late Romantic period. Chopin's music, his status as one of music's earliest superstars, his association with political insurrection, his high-profile love-life, his early death have made him a leading symbol of the Romantic era, his works remain popular, he has been the subject of numerous films and biographies of varying historical fidelity. Fryderyk Chopin was born in Żelazowa Wola, 46 kilometres west of Warsaw, in what was the Duchy of Warsaw, a Polish state established by Napoleon; the parish baptismal record gives his birthday as 22 February 1810, cites his given names in the Latin form Fridericus Franciscus. However, the composer and his family used the birthdate 1 March, now accepted as the correct date.
Fryderyk's father, Nicolas Chopin, was a Frenchman from Lorraine who had emigrated to Poland in 1787 at the age of sixteen. Nicolas tutored children of the Polish aristocracy, in 1806 married Tekla Justyna Krzyżanowska, a poor relative of the Skarbeks, one of the families for whom he worked. Fryderyk was baptized on Easter Sunday, 23 April 1810, in the same church where his parents had married, in Brochów, his eighteen-year-old godfather, for whom he was named, was Fryderyk Skarbek, a pupil of Nicolas Chopin. Fryderyk was only son. Nicolas was devoted to his adopted homeland, insisted on the use of the Polish language in the household. In October 1810, six months after Fryderyk's birth, the family moved to Warsaw, where his father acquired a post teaching French at the Warsaw Lyceum housed in the Saxon Palace. Fryderyk lived with his family in the Palace grounds; the father played the violin. Chopin was of slight build, in early childhood was prone to illnesses. Fryderyk may have had some piano instruction from his mother, but his first professional music tutor, from 1816 to 1821, was the Czech pianist Wojciech Żywny.
His elder sister Ludwika took lessons from Żywny, played duets with her brother. It became apparent that he was a child prodigy. By the age of seven Fryderyk had begun giving public concerts, in 1817 he composed two polonaises, in G minor and B-flat major, his next work, a polonaise in A-flat major of 1821, dedicated to Żywny, is his earliest surviving musical manuscript. In 1817 the Saxon Palace was requisitioned by Warsaw's Russian governor for military use, the Warsaw Lyceum was reestablished in the Kazimierz Palace. Fryderyk and his family moved to a building. During this period, Fryderyk was sometimes invited to the Belweder Palace as playmate to the son of the ruler of Russian Poland, Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich of Russia. Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, in his dramatic eclogue, "Nasze Przebiegi", attested to "little Chopin's" popularity. From September 1823 to 1826, Chopin
Charles Antoine Coysevox, was a French sculptor in the Baroque and Style Louis XIV, best known for his sculpture decorating the gardens and Palace of Versailles and his portrait busts. The name is pronounced quazevo. Coysevox was born 29 September 1640 in Lyon, he was the son of a sculptor, from a family which had emigrated from Franche-Comté, a Spanish possession at the time. He made his first work of sculpture of the Madonna when he was only seventeen, Coysevox came to Paris in 1657 and joined the workshop of the sculptor Louis Lerambert He trained himself further by making copies in marble of Roman sculptures, including a Venus de Medici and the Castor and Pollux. In 1666, he married Lerambert's niece, who died a year after the marriage. In 1679 he married Claude Bourdict. In 1667 he was commissioned by the bishop of Strasbourg, Cardinal Fürstenberg, to statuary for his château at Saverne. In 1671, after four years spent working at Saverne, he returned to Paris. In 1676, his bust of the king's painter Charles Le Brun gained him admission to the Académie Royale He became part of the extraordinary team of sculptors and decorators, under the control of Le Brun, who between 1677 and 1685 produced the decoration of the Palace and Gardens of Versailles.
Between 1701 and 1709, when Lojis XIV built a new Château de Marly, where he could escape from the crowds and ceremony at Versailles. He provided several works for that site, Coysevox rose in the artistic hierarchy, he became a professor at the Royal Academy in 1678, its director in 1702, with an annual pension of four thousand livres. In this position, he guided the training of a generation of French sculptors, including his nephews Nicolas Coustou and Guillaume Coustou, who became important figures French sculpture of the early 18th century. Coysevox died in Paris on 10 October 1720. A large part of his work is found at the Palace of Versailles. One of his most famous works is the large stucco medallion of Louis XIV found in the Salon of War in the Palace; the King is portrayed as a Roman Emperor on horseback, trampling his enemies, like a modern Caesar, gazing ahead to the future, as a figure of Victory offers him a crown of laurels. He executed the River Garonne at Versailles. Among his works from Marly are the Mercury and the equestrian Fame and four groups commissioned for the "river" in the château's park.
Models in weather-resistant stucco were set up in 1699, replaced by marbles when they were finished in 1705. The groups were seized as biens nationaux in 1796 and dispersed: the Seine and Marne went to Saint-Cloud, the Neptune and Amphitrite went to Brest in 1801. Besides the works given above, he carved about a dozen funeral monuments, including those to Colbert, to Cardinal Mazarin, to the painter Le Brun. Between 1708 and 1710 Coysevox produced three further sculptures for Marly, a Pan, flanked by a Flora and a Dryad. A finished terracotta bozzetto or reduction of the Dryad and dated 1709, is in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. For the facade of the dome of the royal chapel of Les Invalides, he sculpted a bust of Charlemagne, a pendant to the statue of Louis XI by another royal sculptor, Nicolas Coustou. On the upper level of the same chapel he made a group of statues illustrating The Cardinal Virtues. Coysevox sculpted portrait busts of many of the celebrated women of his age; the faces of his busts were considered remarkably accurate.
His subjects included Louis XV, at Versailles. Geese, Section on Baroque sculpture in L'Art Baroque - Architecture - Sculpture - Peinture, H. F. Ulmann, Cologne, 2015. L. Benoist, Coysevox 1930. François Souchal. Contains the latest, revised biography and list of works. Web Gallery of Art Art Renewal Center Louvre Database Insecula Catholic Encyclopedia article Antoine Coysevox in American public collections, on the French Sculpture Census website
The rue Saint-Honoré is a street in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France. It is named after the collegial Saint-Honoré church situated in ancient times within the cloisters of Saint-Honoré; the street, on which are located a number of museums and upscale boutiques, is near the Jardin des Tuileries and the Saint-Honoré market. Like many streets in the heart of Paris, the rue Saint-Honoré, as it is now known, was laid out as early as the Middle Ages or before; the street, at one time, continued beyond the former city walls into. This continuation was named the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré; the rue Saint-Honoré has been given the following names in its long history: The section between the rue de la Lingerie and the rue de la Tonnellerie was named the rue de la Chausseterie from 1300 to the 17th century. The section between the now extinct rue Tirechappe and the rue de l'Arbre Sec was named the rue du Chastiau Festu or du Château Fêtu; the section between the rue de l'Arbre Sec and the now defunct rue du Rempart was named the rue de la Croix du Trahoir, rue de la Croix du Tiroir or rue du Traihoir, du Traihouer, du Trayoir, du Trahoir, du Triouer, or du Trioir between the 13th and 14th centuries.
The section between the now extinct rue du Rempart and the rue Royale was known successively as the chemin de Clichy, grand chemin Saint-Honoré, chaussée Saint-Honoré, grand chemin de la porte Saint-Honoré, chemin Royal, nouvelle rue Saint-Louis, grand rue Saint-Louis, rue Neuve-Saint-Louis, grande rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, chaussée Saint-Honoré, rue Neuve-Saint-Honoré In 1966, the part between the Palais-Royal, Théâtre Français, place André Malraux was given the name place Colette. On 8 September 1429, Jeanne d'Arc was wounded at the Porte Saint-Honoré in her unsuccessful attack on Paris, at the time when it was held by the English. In 1631, the old Porte Saint-Honoré, across from the rue de Richelieu, was torn down and replaced, facing the rue Royale. In 1670, the northern fortifications of Paris were demolished and the street was called the boulevard Saint-Honoré, traversing from the rue Saint-Antoine to the rue Saint-Martin. Number 9: 14 May 1610, King Henry IV of France was assassinated by Catholic zealot François Ravaillac.
Number 92: 15 January 1611, the playwright known as Molière was born. Number 129 was where Louis Gaston Hebert, one of the founding pioneers of Canada, was born and lived prior to his journey with his wife and three children to New France in 1620. Number 145: The Oratoire du Louvre Protestant church. Numbers 146, 148, 150: The remains of King Philip II are entombed. Number 182: The Immeuble des Bons-Enfants, arm of the French Ministry of Culture was built between 2000 and 2004; the façade facing the street, clad with an ornamental metallic net, is the work of Léon Vaudoyer. Executing architects were Frédéric Druot. Number 204: The Palais-Royal, built in 1629 by Cardinal Richelieu, is now the seat of the Comédie-Française number 211: The former Hôtel de Noailles Bertin, built in 1715 by Pierre Cailleteau dit Lassurance on the site of the former Hôtel Pussort, of which some parts still exist, surrounded by buildings of the Hôtel Saint-James et Albany. Between numbers 229 and 235: Former Couvent des Feuillants or Les Feuillants Convent where gathered the right-wing dissidents from the "Society of Friends of the Constitution", supporters of a Constitutional Monarchy, including La Fayette, Alexandre-Théodore-Victor, comte de Lameth and Théodore de Lameth.
Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette and their family were imprisoned there during three days after the Insurrection of 10 August. Banker Claude Perier fitted out his town house in the estate. Number 239: Hôtel Costes numbers 263 and 265: Église Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption de Paris number 273: During the French Revolution, Sieyès lived at this address. Number 284: Église Saint-Roch number 398: Maximilien de Robespierre was sheltered by Maurice Duplay; the cart which took Robespierre to the guillotine on the place de la Concorde on 28 July 1794 made a stop in front of this house. Bernard Stéphane and Franz-Olivier Giesbert. Petite et Grande Histoire des rues de Paris. Paris: Albin Michel, 2000. ISBN 2-226-10879-3. ISBN 978-2-226-10879-1 Bernard-Claude Galey. Origines surprenantes des noms de villages, des noms des rues de Paris et de villes de province. Paris: Le Cherche Midi, 2004. ISBN 2-7491-0192-1. ISBN 978-2-7491-0192-7. Anne Thorval. Promenades sur les lieux de l'histoire: D'Henri IV à Mai 68, les rues de Paris racontent l'histoire de France.
Paris: Paragamme, 2004. ISBN 2-84096-323-X. ISBN 978-2-84096-323-3
François de Créquy
François de Blanchefort de Créquy Marquis de Marines was a 17th century French noble and soldier, who served in the wars of Louis XIV. François de Blanchefort de Créquy, 2 October 1629 to 3 February 1687, was the youngest of three sons born to Charles de Blanchefort, Anne Grimoard du Roure, his eldest brother Charles, was a close advisor to Louis XIV, whose wife was chief Lady-in-waiting to Queen Maria Theresa. The middle brother Alphonse became the 6th duke of Lesdiguières in 1703 but was less successful than his siblings. François was born in Poix-de-Picardie but the de Créquys spelt'Créqui', were distributed throughout Northern France, including branches in Bernieulles and Heilly; the family came from Créquy, in Artois, part of the French-speaking Southern Spanish Netherlands until annexed by France in 1659. His grandfather, Charles I de Blanchefort, was a trusted advisor to Louis XIII and Marshal of France, who commanded French troops at the 1636 victory of Tornavento. In 1657, François married Catherine de Rougé.
His aunt, Madeleine de Créquy, was grandmother of François, duc de Villeroy, French commander in Flanders from 1701 to 1708 during the War of the Spanish Succession. In the first half of the 17th century, France was threatened externally. At home, the French Wars of Religion that had ended with the 1590 Edict of Nantes flared up again in a series of domestic Huguenot rebellions in the 1620s; the accession of the five year old Louis XIV in 1643 caused a power struggle between his regents, headed by his mother, Anne of Austria and Cardinal Mazarin, opposed by regional magnates like Condé. This resulted in the 1648-1653 civil war known as the Fronde, he commanded the French right wing under Turenne at the Battle of the Dunes, a decisive victory that led to the 1659 Treaty of the Pyrenees. In the 1667-1668 War of Devolution, France over-ran Franche-Comté and much of the Spanish Netherlands, they inflicted nearly 2,000 casualties, with Louis looking on. However, the Dutch preferred a weak Spain as a neighbour in the Spanish Netherlands, to a strong and ambitious France.
Angered by what he viewed as ingratitude for previous French support against Spain, Louis made preparations to invade the Netherlands. When Louis decided to occupy the strategic Duchy of Lorraine in August 1670, de Créquy commanded the invasion force. However, his career was brought to a halt in April 1672, when Louis appointed Turenne general en chef or senior commander of French forces in the Netherlands. Bellefonds and Humières expressed their admiration for Turenne but refused to be subordinate to him and were banished to their estates; the Franco-Dutch War began in May 1672, when the French over-ran much of the Dutch Republic and seemed to have achieved an overwhelming victory. By late July, the Dutch position had stabilised and they gained the support of Brandenburg-Prussia, Emperor Leopold and Charles II of Spain. With new fronts opening in Spain and the Rhineland, French troops withdrew from the Dutch Republic by the end of 1673, retaining only Grave and Maastricht. Along with Bellefonds and Humières, de Créquy returned to service in 1673 but his attempt to relieve Trier was defeated at Konzer Brücke in August 1675.
He entered the city to organise the defence but the garrison was mutinous, forcing him to surrender the town in September when he was taken prisoner. This was viewed as a humiliation and cost him the support of both Louis and Louvois, the Minister of War. Following the death of Turenne and Condé's retirement in 1675, de Créquy was given a new command but despite subsequent success, the earlier defeats affected Louis' confidence in him. Although an minor defeat, Konzer Brücke rankled and was mentioned in the eulogy delivered at Louis' funeral in 1715. With peace negotiations nearing completion at Nijmegen, Louis planned a short campaign to strengthen his position in the Spanish Netherlands, while remaining on the defensive elsewhere. De Créquy was instructed not to seek battle and ensure the retention of Freiburg, threatened by an Imperial army of 30,000 under Charles of Lorraine. With the advantage of superior logistics, in early July he inflicted heavy casualties on an Imperial detachment at Rheinfelden, before out manoeuvring the main force at the Battle of Ortenbach.
Charles retreated to Electoral Palatinate and de Créquy completed the campaign by capturing Kehl and its bridge over the Rhine, which were instrumental in securing Strasbourg, annexed by France in 1681. He oversaw the Bombardment of Luxembourg from 1681 to 1682.
The Paris Métro is a rapid transit system in the Paris metropolitan area, France. A symbol of the city, it is known for its density within the city limits, uniform architecture and unique entrances influenced by Art Nouveau, it is underground and 214 kilometres long. It has 302 stations. There are 16 lines, numbered 1 to 14 with two lines, 3bis and 7bis, which are named because they started out as branches of lines 3 and 7. Lines are identified on maps by number and colour, direction of travel is indicated by the terminus, it is the second busiest metro system in Europe, after the Moscow Metro, the tenth-busiest in the world. It carried 1.520 billion passengers in 2015, 4.16 million passengers a day, which amounts to 20% of the overall traffic in Paris. It is one of the densest metro systems in the world, with 245 stations within the 86.9 km2 of the city of Paris. Châtelet – Les Halles, with five Métro lines, three RER commuter rail and platforms up to 800 m apart, is one of the world's largest metro stations.
However, the system has poor disabled accessibility, because most stations were built well before this became a consideration. The first line opened without ceremony on 19 July 1900, during the World's Fair; the system expanded until the First World War and the core was complete by the 1920s. Extensions into suburbs and Line 11 were built in the 1930s; the network reached saturation after World War II with new trains to allow higher traffic, but further improvements have been limited by the design of the network and in particular the short distances between stations. Besides the Métro, central Paris and its urban area are served by the RER, developed beginning in the 1960s, several tramway lines, Transilien suburban trains and two VAL lines, serving Charles De Gaulle and Orly airports. In the late 1990s, the automated line 14 was built to relieve RER line A. Métro is the abbreviated name of the company that operated most of the network: La Compagnie du chemin de fer métropolitain de Paris, shortened to "Le Métropolitain".
It was abbreviated to métro, which became a common word to designate all rapid transit systems in France and in many cities elsewhere. The Métro is operated by the Régie autonome des transports parisiens, a public transport authority that operates part of the RER network, bus services, light rail lines and many bus routes; the name métro was adopted in many languages, making it the most used word for a urban transit system. It is possible that "Compagnie du chemin de fer métropolitain" was copied from the name of London's pioneering underground railway company, the Metropolitan Railway, in business for 40 years prior to the inauguration of Paris's first line. By 1845, Paris and the railway companies were thinking about an urban railway system to link inner districts of the city; the railway companies and the French government wanted to extend main-line railways into a new underground network, whereas the Parisians favoured a new and independent network and feared national takeover of any system it built.
The disagreement lasted from 1856 to 1890. Meanwhile, the population became traffic congestion grew massively; the deadlock gave the city the chance to enforce its vision. Prior to 1845, the urban transport network consisted of a large number of omnibus lines, consolidated by the French government into a regulated system with fixed and unconflicting routes and schedules; the first concrete proposal for an urban rail system in Paris was put forward by civil engineer Florence de Kérizouet. This plan called for a surface cable car system. In 1855, civil engineers Edouard Brame and Eugène Flachat proposed an underground freight urban railroad, due to the high rate of accidents on surface rail lines. On 19 November 1871 the General Council of the Seine commissioned a team of 40 engineers to plan an urban rail network; this team proposed a network with a pattern of routes "resembling a cross enclosed in a circle" with axial routes following large boulevards. On 11 May 1872 the Council endorsed the plan.
After this point, a serious debate occurred over whether the new system should consist of elevated lines or of underground lines. The underground option emerged as the preferred solution because of the high cost of buying land for rights-of-way in central Paris required for elevated lines, estimated at 70,000 francs per metre of line for a 20-metre-wide railroad; the last remaining hurdle was the city's concern about national interference in its urban rail system. The city commissioned renowned engineer Jean-Baptiste Berlier, who designed Paris' postal network of pneumatic tubes, to design and plan its rail system in the early 1890s. Berlier recommended a special track gauge of 1,300 mm to protect the system from national takeover, which inflamed the issue substantially; the issue was settled when the Minister of Public Works begrudgingly recognized the city's right to build a local system on 22 November 1895, by the city's secret designing of the trains and tunnels to be too narrow for main-line trains, while adopting standard gauge as a compromise with the state.
On 20 April 1896, Par