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
Asnières-la-Giraud is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of south-western France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Asnieroises. Asnières-la-Giraud is located 7 km south of Saint-Jean-d'Angély. Access to the commune is by the D150 road from Saint-Jean-d'Angély in the north which passes through the west of the commune and the village and continues to Saint-Hilaire-de-Villefranche; the D120 road from Saint-Jean-d'Angély passes through the east of the commune and continues to Sainte-Même. The D217 road continues west to Mazeray. Apart from the village there are the hamlets of La Touzetterie on the north-eastern border, Moulin de la Laigne, La Laigne, Le Plonget, La Giraud, La Rue d'Asnières, Le Puits d'Asnières, La Tranche in the south. There are some patches of forest but most of the commune is farmland; the Loubat river flows south through the commune west of the D150 and through the village before continuing south. Geologically it is a limestone plateau of the Tithonian period List of Successive Mayors The Taxation rates are: 6.28% for housing tax, 11.80% for developed land, 37% for undeveloped land, 8% business tax.
As the community of communes levies all four taxes: 2.46%, 5.50%, 11.91%, 3.82%, this gives a total, before the department and the region, of: 8.74% for housing tax, 17.30% for developed land, 48.91% for undeveloped land, 11.82% business tax. In 2010 the commune had 922 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 The population of the town is old; the ratio of persons above the age of 60 years is higher than the national average and the departmental average. Unlike national and departmental allocations, the male population of the town is greater than the female population. Percentage Distribution of Age Groups in Asnières-la-Giraud and Charente-Maritime Department in 2010 Sources: Evolution and Structure of the population of the Commune in 2010, INSEE.
Evolution and Structure of the population of the Department in 2010, INSEE. Asnières-la-Giraud has always been viticultural. There are many trades in the commune: a garage, a mechanically construction business, an Emmaus warehouse, activities linked to tourism with a hotel, a rural cottage, a Youth Hostel called Chantageasse; the vineyards are in the Appellation d'origine contrôlée region of Cognac: the Fins Bois cru. The Fontaines d'Asnières milk factory at 17 Rue de la Laiterie is registered as a historical monument. An old well The Church of Saint Medard Auguste Roy de Loulay, French politician born on 26 August 1818 at Asnières-la-Giraud. Communes of the Charente department Asnières-la-Giraud on Google Maps Asnières-la-Giraud on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute website Annieres on the 1750 Cassini Map Asnières-la-Giraud on the INSEE website INSEE
Aigrefeuille-d'Aunis is a French commune in the Charente-Maritime department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of south-western France. The inhabitants are known as Aigrefeuillaises. By population as well as by economic weight, it is the first city in the Community of Communes of Plaine d'Aunis and it is one of the three main urban centres of the Pays d'Aunis along with Surgères and Marans; the commune has been awarded one flower by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom. Aigrefeuille d'Aunis is a small town of 3,577 inhabitants, located in the northwest quarter of the department of Charente-Maritime, in the region of Aunis, 25 km east of La Rochelle, 22 km north of Rochefort and 15 km west of Surgères; the commune of Aigrefeuille d'Aunis is traversed south of the metropolitan area by the Highway D939 which connects La Rochelle to Périgueux, via Surgères and Angoulême. The commune is connected to Rochefort by the main road D5. Aigrefeuille d'Aunis is traversed in the south of the urban area by the Poitiers-La Rochelle railway line.
It was electrified in 1993 to allow passage of the TGV to La Rochelle Station. The commune of Aigrefeuille d'Aunis became an Urban Commune after the population census of 1982; this classification criterion was established by INSEE from the fact that the town has spread to several areas and villages which in the 19th century were separated from the main town. Thus, in his communal notice that he issued for Aigrefeuille, M. A. Gautier informed his contemporaries that the commune had ten villages and eight hamlets, besides the town, a situation that stood in 1839. Today, around Aigrefeuille the villages of La Taillee, Bois-Gaillard are clustered on the right bank of the Virson stream. On the left bank in the south-west is the large village of La Fragnée and on the right bank is the village of Le Pere. In the south, the village Le Grand Chemin establishes a connection between the urban residential area of Aigrefeuille, the industrial area of Fief-Girard, the station district along the Avenue d'Aunis, itself extended by the Grand Chemin.
In the Southeast of the conurbation and separated by the small rustic wooded valley of Virson, the residential areas have spread around the ancient village of L'Angle and have merged with the villages of Bois-Gaillard and La Taillée. To the northeast of Aigrefeuille is the village of Frace, which gave its name to the lake submerged by two major urban housing estates. Away from the central urban area, in the south-east, is another large village called La Planterie; the latter is located between Puydrouard, a large village in the neighbouring commune of Forges, the conurbation of Aigrefeuille d'Aunis. At the northern edge of the commune and straddling the commune boundary, there is a small area called Panonnière, it is located on a small hill facing the small neighbouring commune of Virson. Just west of the commune and adjacent to Croix-Chapeau, is the former NATO military hospital complex of, closed in 1967 and since has been transformed into a business area: the Grands Champs zone, which extends over 56 hectares.
Six communes have boundaries with the Aigrefeuille d'Aunis, all these communes are located in the department of Charente-Maritime. The three major cities closest to Aigrefeuille d'Aunis are to the west: La Rochelle, south: Rochefort, east: Surgères all the cities of Aunis are located in the northwest of the Charente-Maritime; the extent of the communal, with a total area of 1676 hectares, is within the limestone plain of Aunis, located to the north of the Little Flanders marsh, a part of the Rochefort marshes. The entire commune of Aigrefeuille d'Aunis is located on Jurassic sediments, which cover the entire plain of Aunis and extend into Angoumois north of the Charente river. Late Jurassic Limestone and marl outcrops appear on the surface of the hilly part of the commune, while in the small depression which corresponds to the upstream part of the valley of Virson, are deposits from the Quaternary period; these are sedimentary deposits of fluvio-marine origin from the Flandrian transgression which were covered by further formations peat, due to congestion and stagnation of watercourses.
There are many peat bogs east of the communal territory extending into the neighbouring commune of Forges. The town has little relief with the average altitude being 25 metres – ranging from the lowest point of 12 metres at Lake Frace, to the highest point of 38 metres at the small hill, between the site of Pannonière and the low hills in the commune of Saint-Christophe, north of Aigrefeuille d'Aunis. All of the commune is located in a flat area, with wide horizons, yielding a landscape based on the open field system characteristic of farming in Europe. Aigrefeuille d'Aunis is located in the heart of the cereal plain of Aunis, reminiscent of Beauce; the commune is still quite wooded in parts – e.g. the leisure site at Lake Frace, the wooded banks of the Virson stream between the villages of La Fragnée and Le Pere, the tourist site of La Taillée. The city of Aigrefeuille d'Aunis occupies a depression which in medieval times was a floodplain, formed of marshes and peat conducive to forests composed of trees that prefer a damp environment.
The commune is traversed in its entire length from south-west to north-east by the branches of a small stream, the Virson. This continues its course towards the north-east of the plain of Aunis and swollen by waters of several other streams, becomes a small watercourse in the eponymous village of Virson and joined on its left side by the Curé, a small
Antezant-la-Chapelle is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in southwestern France. The river Boutonne forms most of the commune's eastern border. Communes of the Charente-Maritime department INSEE
Nantes is a city in Loire-Atlantique on the Loire, 50 km from the Atlantic coast. The city is the sixth-largest in France, with a population of 303,382 in Nantes and a metropolitan area of nearly 950,000 inhabitants. With Saint-Nazaire, a seaport on the Loire estuary, Nantes forms the main north-western French metropolis, it is the administrative seat of the Loire-Atlantique department and the Pays de la Loire région, one of 18 regions of France. Nantes belongs and culturally to Brittany, a former duchy and province, its omission from the modern administrative region of Brittany is controversial. Nantes was identified during classical antiquity as a port on the Loire, it was the seat of a bishopric at the end of the Roman era before it was conquered by the Bretons in 851. Although Nantes was the primary residence of the 15th-century dukes of Brittany, Rennes became the provincial capital after the 1532 union of Brittany and France. During the 17th century, after the establishment of the French colonial empire, Nantes became the largest port in France and was responsible for nearly half of the 18th-century French Atlantic slave trade.
The French Revolution resulted in an economic decline, but Nantes developed robust industries after 1850. Deindustrialisation in the second half of the 20th century spurred the city to adopt a service economy. In 2012, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked Nantes as a Gamma world city, it is the fourth-highest-ranking city in France, after Paris and Marseille. The Gamma category includes cities such as Algiers, Porto and Leipzig. Nantes has been praised for its quality of life, it received the European Green Capital Award in 2013; the European Commission noted the city's efforts to reduce air pollution and CO2 emissions, its high-quality and well-managed public transport system and its biodiversity, with 3,366 hectares of green space and several protected Natura 2000 areas. Nantes is named after a tribe of Gaul, the Namnetes, who established a settlement between the end of the second century and the beginning of the first century BC on the north bank of the Loire near its confluence with the Erdre.
The origin of the name "Namnetes" is uncertain, but is thought to come from the Gaulish root *nant- or from Amnites, another tribal name meaning "men of the river". Its first recorded name was by the Greek writer Ptolemy, who referred to the settlement as Κονδηούινκον and Κονδιούινκον —which might be read as Κονδηούικον —in his treatise, Geography; the name was latinised during the Gallo-Roman period as Condevincum, Condevicnum and Condivincum. Although its origins are unclear, "Condevincum" seems to be related to the Gaulish word condate "confluence"; the Namnete root of the city's name was introduced at the end of the Roman period, when it became known as Portus Namnetum "port of the Namnetes" and civitas Namnetum "city of the Namnetes". Like other cities in the region, its name was replaced during the fourth century with a Gaulish one. Nantes' name continued to evolve, becoming Nanetiæ and Namnetis during the fifth century and Nantes after the sixth via syncope. "Nantes" is pronounced, the city's inhabitants are known as Nantais.
In Gallo, the oïl language traditionally spoken in the region around Nantes, the city is spelled "Naunnt" or "Nantt". Gallo pronunciation is identical to French. In Breton, Nantes is known as Naoned or an Naoned, the latter of, less common and reflects the more-frequent use of articles in Breton toponyms than in French ones. Nantes' historical nickname was "Venice of the West", a reference to the many quays and river channels in the old town before they were filled in during the 1920s and 1930s; the city is known as la Cité des Ducs "city of the dukes " for its castle and former role as a ducal residence. The first inhabitants of what is now Nantes settled during the Bronze Age than in the surrounding regions, its first inhabitants were attracted by small iron and tin deposits in the region's subsoil. The area exported tin, mined in Piriac, as far as Ireland. After about 1,000 years of trading, local industry appeared around 900 BC. Nantes may have been the major Gaulish settlement of Corbilo, on the Loire estuary, mentioned by the Greek historians Strabo and Polybius.
Its history from the seventh century to the Roman conquest in the first century BC is poorly documented, there is no evidence of a city in the area before the reign of Tiberius in the first century AD. During the Gaulish period it was the capital of the Namnetes people, who were allied with the Veneti in a territory extending to the northern bank of the Loire. Rivals in the area included the Pictones, who controlled the area south of the Loire in the city of Ratiatum until the end of the second century AD. Ratiatum, founded under Augustus, developed more than Nantes and was a major port in the region. Nantes began to grow; because tradesmen favoured inland roads rather than Atlantic routes, Nantes never became a large city under Roman occupa
Arces identified under the name Arces-sur-Gironde, is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in southwestern France. Its residents are referred to as Arcillonnes; the small village is situated on the fringes of the côte de Beauté connected with the nearby capital of the Royan hinterland canton, which hosts the area's largest concentration of businesses and commerce. The expansion of rural urbanization and the proximity of the commune to local tourist attractions, such as the bastide of Talmont-sur-Gironde, explains the recent development of the commune, with a population increase of 485 in 1990 to 622 in 2007; the commune is a part of the framework of the Communauté d'agglomération Royan Atlantique, with 72,136 inhabitants. The village centre, with flowery alleys of roses, is concentrated around a small, prominent knoll with marshes and fields; the Romanesque Church of Saint Pierre, an ancient fixture on the Way of Saint James, is a dominant feature of the village. The commune of Arces is situated in the southwest department of Charente-Maritime, along the côte de Beauté.
A part of Southern France, or Le Midi, or more along the mid-Atlantic. The commune belongs to two large geographic, French regions: the Great West and the Ground Southwest. Administratively, the commune belongs to the arrondissement of Saintes, it is 3.9 kilometres south-east of Cozes, 7.1 kilometres east of Meschers-sur-Gironde, 12.4 kilometres south-east of Saint-Georges-de-Didonne 14.1 kilometres south-east of Saujon, 15.6 kilometres south-east of Royan, 27.6 kilometres south-west of Saintes, 44 kilometres south by south-east of Rochefort, 71.2 kilometres south of La Rochelle, 82.1 kilometres north of Bordeaux. The commune is a stop on the Grand Randonnée GR 360. Access to the commune is by the D114 road from Cozes in the north-east which passes through the commune and the village and continues to Barzan in the south; the D244 from Semussac in the north-west passes through the village and continues to Épargnes in the south-east. The D114E9 passes from the village south-west to Talmont-sur-Gironde.
The D145 passes through the commune near the coast. The commune is farmland with small areas of forest; the population is centred around the town. The main hamlets are Liboulas, Brézillas, Maine-Moutard, it is spread along the D244, called the Route de l'Estuaire. In the south of the commune, in the middle of marshlands, is a place called les Mottes Gachins. In the west of the commune are the Barrails marshes which are dotted with many channels flowing to the Gironde estuary; the main ones are the Ruisseau de Bardécille, which marks the border with Semussac commune, in the east the Desir, a stream which crosses the Lorivaux area. Most of the commune is located on a rolling plateau formed of layers of limestone dating from the Cretaceous period. To the west the marsh consists of much more recent alluvium. Part of the commune consists of a succession of hills overlooking the Gironde estuary, which dominate a vast prairie wetland that extends west to Talmont-sur-Gironde and Meschers-sur-Gironde; the northwest of the commune retains some traces of the original forest that stretched to Chenac in Gallo-Roman times.
These meagre woodlands lie north of the hamlet of Maine-Moutard and around the hamlet of Breuil. The town itself is located at the foot of a limestone hill; the village takes its name from the Latin Arcis, which means a fortified place. In 1170 it was shown under the name Villa de Arcis in the cartulary of Vaux, before becoming Arx during part of the Middle Ages. Although remains of cut and polished flint have been found in the commune which attest to human occupation from the Neolithic period, the village seems to have been founded in Roman times, it seems that the promontory overlooking the village was the location of a Roman camp situated on a Roman road which linked the Santones capital of Mediolanum Santonum to the port of Novioregum, a few kilometres to the east. Only traces of this period, such as the remains of pottery, terra cotta, amphoras, have been found in the surrounding fields. In the 11th century Arces was a small village with a church dedicated to Saint Martin. Between 1083 and 1091 Arnaud de Gammon from the House of Mortagne founded the Abbey of Vaux which gave him all the rights and privileges of the parish of Arces.
The monks installed two priories in Arces: one near the church of Saint Martin and the second in the hamlet of Loriveau. Of the latter there remains a bridge built over the Désir stream. During this period the economy was based on cereals, the salt marshes along the Gironde, timber. Arces became a stage on the Way of Saint James to Santiago de Compostela, as many pilgrims went to Talmont-sur-Gironde to cross the Gironde. In 1151 Benoît de Mortagne invaded the village and attempted to monopolize the land and privileges of the priory of Saint-Martin. Threatened with excommunication, he was forced to retire and promise to respect the rights of the abbot; the parish depended for a long time two-thirds on the Barony of Cozes and the remaining third on the Lordship of Talmont. Conflicts between the lords and the villagers seem to have been commonplace. In 1661 Mademoiselle d'Orleans, purchaser of the Barony of Cozes, required new Corvées or unpaid labour from the residents but was dismissed by the Parliament of Bordeaux.
Several noble houses seem to have existed under the old regime: the Logis du Breuil, the Chateau of Theon, that of Conteneuil are still visible. In the 17th century the Dame de Theon became famous for her hatred of the Calvinists who she persecuted. Th
Charente-Maritime is a department on the southwestern coast of France named after the Charente River. A part of Saintonge and Aunis, Charente-Inférieure was one of the 83 original departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. On 4 September 1941, it was renamed Charente-Maritime; when first created, the commune of Saintes was assigned as the prefecture of the department. This changed in 1810 when Napoleon passed an imperial decree which moved the prefecture to La Rochelle. During World War II, the department was invaded by the German army and became part of occupied France. To provide defence against a possible beach landing, the Organisation Todt constructed a number of sea defences in the area. Defences such as pillboxes are noticeable on the beaches of the presqu'île d'Arvert and the island of Oléron. At the end of the war there were only two pockets of German resistance: La Rochelle, in the north and Royan in the south. Despite being completely destroyed during an RAF bombing raid on 5 January 1945, the town of Royan wasn't liberated by the French resistance until April of the same year.
La Rochelle was captured on 9 May 1945. Charente-Maritime is part of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine administrative region, it has a land area of 6864 km² and 628,733 inhabitants as of 2012. The important rivers are the Charente and its tributaries, the Boutonne and the Seugne, along with the Sèvre Niortaise, the Seudre, the Garonne, in its downstream part, the estuary of the Gironde; the department includes the islands of Île de Ré, Île d'Aix, Ile d'Oléron, Île Madame. The department forms the northern part of the Aquitaine Basin, it is separated from the Massif Armoricain by the Marais Poitevin to the north-west and from the Parisian basin by the Seuil du Poitou to the north-east. The highest point in the department is in the woods of Chantemerlière, near the commune of Contré in the north-east, rises to 173 m. Charente-Maritime is surrounded by the departments of Gironde, Deux-Sèvres and Vendée; the climate is mild and sunny, with less than 900 mm of precipitation per year and with insolation being remarkably high, in fact, the highest in Western France including southernmost sea resorts such as Biarritz.
Average extreme temperatures vary from 38 °C in summer to−5 °C in winter. The economy of Charente-Maritime is based on three major sectors: tourism, maritime industry, manufacturing. Cognac and pineau are two of the major agricultural products with maize and sunflowers being the others. During the summer months, families flock from all over Europe to bask in the sun and enjoy the local seafood. Royan, popular for its extensive beaches and attractions, is one of the most famous seaside resort of atlantic coast. Charente-Maritime is the headquarters of the major oyster producer Marennes-Oléron. Oysters cultivated here are shipped across Europe. Rochefort is a shipbuilding site and has been a major French naval base since 1665. La Rochelle is a seat of major French industry. Just outside the city is a factory for the French engineering giant Alstom, where the TGV, the cars for the Paris and other metros are manufactured, it is a popular venue for tourism, with its picturesque medieval city walls. The inhabitants of the department are called Charentais-Maritimes.
The President of the General Council is Dominique Bussereau of the Union for a Popular Movement. Popular destinations include, La Rochelle, Saintes, St Jean d'Angely, Rochefort, Île d'Aix, Île de Ré and Île d'Oléron; the department is served by the TGV at La Rochelle. It can be reached by motorway by the A10 and A837. Cantons of the Charente-Maritime department Communes of the Charente-Maritime department Arrondissements of the Charente-Maritime department Éclade des Moules "Charente-Inférieure". Encyclopædia Britannica. 5. 1911. Charente Maritime website News Charente Maritime Official Tourism Guide of Charente-Maritime Official Tourism Guide of Charente-Maritime Charente Maritime News Zoo de la Palmyre Ile d'Oléron Ile de ré Tourisme Ile de re