Asnières-sur-Seine is a commune in the northwestern suburbs of Paris, along the river Seine. It is located 7.9 km from the center of Paris. Asnières-sur-Seine was called Asnières. Asnières was recorded for the first time in a papal bull of 1158 as Asnerias, from Medieval Latin asinaria, meaning "donkey farm"; the poor soil of Asnières, where heather grew in Medieval times, was deemed only suitable for the breeding of donkeys. By the early 20th century it had become a favourite boating centre for Parisians, its industries included boat building. On 15 February 1968 the commune was renamed Asnières-sur-Seine, in order to distinguish it from other communes of France called Asnières. Asnières-sur-Seine is divided into two cantons: Asnières-sur-Seine-Nord: 43,453 inhabitants. Asnières-sur-Seine-Sud: 32,384 inhabitants. Different famous companies are located in Asnières: L'Oréal - cosmetics Lucas Lesieur Louis Vuitton - luxury productsThe Cimetière des Chiens is believed to be the first zoological necropolis in the world.
Public schools in the commune: 20 preschools 16 elementary schools 4 junior high schools: André Malraux, Auguste Renoir, François Truffaut, Voltaire Senior high schools: Lycée Auguste Renoir, Lycée professionnel de Prony, Institut départemental médico-éducatif Gustave BaguerPrivate schools: Institution Sainte-Geneviève Institution Saint-Joseph École catholique Sainte-Agnès University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle serves as the area university. In addition to the Courtilles ice rink, the town has ten gyms, six stadiums, a shooting range, two tennis clubs, a skate park, a Parisian boules court and a swimming pool; the Asnières Volley 92 plays at the Courtilles gymnasium. The city has a handball club in agreement with neighboring cities. For the 2017-2018 season, the first team evolves in Pool 2 in National 2; the city counts, with the Molosses, an American football club, created in 1992, evolving in Casque d'Or, 2-time vice-champion of France of D1. A full-contact club, known as ABC is managed by a coaching team composed with ex-France and European champions.
Around 100 members take part in trainings three times a Week. The judo and jujitsu club Arts Martiaux d'Asnières uses several of the town's gyms. Car traffic in Asnières is difficult. Most of the traffic is on the banks of the Seine around the city; the crossing of the Asnières bridge is painful during peak hours. The Grand rue Charles-de-Gaulle the Avenue d'Argenteuil are difficult to pass because serving Bois-Colombes and northern towns. Moreover, the city has few parking spaces, garages and private parking spaces are scarce and expensive. Between 2010 and 2013, there was a development plan to change the streets of the city being one-way and become practicable in both directions for bicycles. Asnières-sur-Seine is served by three stations on Paris Métro Line 13: Gabriel Péri, Les Agnettes and Asnières – Gennevilliers – Les Courtilles, terminus of the line; the tramway line 1 serves Asnières – Gennevilliers – Les Courtilles station, connecting to Noisy-le-Sec. It is served by Asnières-sur-Seine and Bois-Colombes stations on the Transilien Paris – Saint-Lazare suburban rail network.
Lines J and L can be used. A number of bus lines cross the town to connect it with its neighbours: lines 165, 175, 177, 276, 140. Bathers at Asnières by Georges-Pierre Seurat depicts a scene of 19th century leisure and developing industry in this suburb of Paris. In 1885 Seurat made Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte used a technique of placing colored dots on a work which led a movement called "Pointillism". Vincent van Gogh made a series of paintings of Asnières. Influenced by Impressionism and Pointillism, van Gogh modified his traditional style and used vivid color, shorter brushstrokes and perspective to engage the viewer, his views of the banks of the Seine are an important progression for his landscape paintings. In Asnières, within walking distance of Theo's flat in Montmartre, van Gogh painted parks, cafés, restaurants and the river; the old château was the death place of Anne Marie Victoire de Bourbon, daughter of Henri Jules de Bourbon and thus grand daughter of le Grand Condé, cousin to Louis XIV.
Asnières was the birthplace of the cyclist Gaston Rivierre Henri Barbusse and writer of Under Fire. A street in the town was named after him; the violinist and teacher Marcel Chailley the violinist Maurice Hewitt the composer Ginette Keller the actor Frédéric Gorny the football player William Gallas the football player Axel Ngando The Franco-Irish composer and pianist George Alexandre O'Kelly died here in 1914. Communes of the Hauts-de-Seine department INSEE Asnières-sur-Seine official website
Créteil is a commune in the southeastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 11.5 km from the centre of Paris. Créteil is the préfecture of the Val-de-Marne department as well as the seat of the Arrondissement of Créteil; the city is, the seat of a Roman Catholic diocese and of one of France's 30 nationwide académies of the Ministry of National Education. The name Créteil was recorded for the first time as Cristoilum in the martyrology written by a monk named Usuard in 865; the name Cristoilum is made of the Celtic word ialo suffixed to a pre-Latin radical crist- whose meaning is still unclear. Some believe crist is a Celtic word meaning "ridge", a cognate of Latin crista and modern French crête, in which case the meaning of Cristoilum would be "clearing on the ridge" or "place on the ridge." A more traditional etymology was that crist referred to Jesus Christ, due to the ancient presence of Christianity in Créteil and the veneration of Saint Agoard and Saint Aglibert, martyred in Créteil around AD 400.
Créteil is a city in the south-eastern suburbs of Paris. It is watered by the Marne river which carries out its last loop before the junction with the Seine at the Charenton-le-Pont; the area is an alluvial plain eroded by the action of the Seine. Bordering communes include Maisons-Alfort, Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, Bonneuil-sur-Marne, Limeil-Brévannes, Choisy-le-Roi and Alfortville; the climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, there is adequate rainfall year-round. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Créteil has a marine west coast climate, abbreviated "Cfb" on climate maps; some rare flints from the Palaeolithic age are still being found in modern times in the area. It is, however, a two-ton, Neolithic-era polishing machine, the prehistoric pride of Créteil; the first documents referring to Créteil are from the Merovingian era, when it was known as Vicus Cristoilum' The name comes from the prefix crist and oilum. These two terms are thought to be Gallic: "clearing" for oilum and "ridge" for crist.
The "clearing" of the "ridge" of the Mont-Mesly is on the road connecting Paris and Sens. In 1406, the place name "Créteil" makes its appearance after successive deformations from Cristoill, Cresteul Creteuil. During the French Wars of Religion, the Huguenots plundered the church and burned the local charters. New disorders in 1648 forced the evacuation of the inhabitants of Créteil; the end of Louis XIV's reign was marked by a great food shortage throughout the whole of France after a terrible winter in 1709 that resulted in 69 recorded deaths in Créteil. Registers of grievances from the French Revolution in 1789 mention Créteil 15 times. At the beginning of the 18th century, construction of the first middle-class "Parisian" houses began. In 1814, the east of Créteil was taken by Russian troops; the bridge which spans the Marne between Creteil and Saint-Maur-des-Fossés was inaugurated on 9 April 1841, replacing an ancient ferry. The Franco-Prussian War of 1870 was cruel for Créteil; the borough was plundered and left in ruins by the Prussians, while the nearby battle of Mont-Mesly on 30 November 1870, left 179 dead.
Créteil gave up its pastoral character after World War II. The population subsequently rose from 13,800 in 1954 to 30,654 in 1962. In 1965, the city became a Préfecture of the new department of the Val-de-Marne. Créteil Lake began as a gravel quarry. Once the groundwater was reached, forming deep ponds, the quarry was abandoned and allowed to fill with water; the lake area is now a popular recreational site attracting fishermen, wind surfers, etc... As of 1 January 2006, 27 pharmacies, about 60 dentists, about 60 general practitioners, 10 pediatricians, a half-dozen ophthalmologists and dermatologists constitute the general medical staff of the city. Health facilities include: CHU Henri Mondor, a publicly owned hospital inaugurated on 2 December 1969. Conceived for 1,300 beds, its capacity today is 958 beds, it employs more than 3,000 people including more than 2,600 looking after patients. Its expenditure in 2004 was 241M€. Centre hospitalier intercommunal de Créteil, inaugurated on 3 November 1937.
Capacity of reception of 530 in-patients as against 264 in 1937. The construction of this establishment was decided in 1932 by grouping the communes of the Bonneuil-sur-Marne and Joinville-le-Pont within an inter-communal syndicate. Saint-Maur-des-Fossés joined this syndicate later. A number of the hospital personnel were religious sisters. In 2004, 38,037 hospitalizations were listed, with 2,551 childbirths and 12,838 surgical interventions. ] It employs 2,000 people with about 1,600 of them caring for patients in medical or other capacities. Centre de Transfusion sanguine; the Blood Transfusion Centre of Creteil is run by the inter-communal Hospital. This service treats from 600 to 1,000 requests per day. Albert Chenevier Hospital. A publicly owned hospital, with a 463-bed capacity. There are 118 beds in the psychiatric ward. Public schools: 24 preschools 24 elementary schools Eight junior high schools: Clément Guyard, Victor Hugo, Louis Issaurat, Amédée Laplace, Louis Pasteur, Albert Schweitzer, Simone-de-Beauvoir Four high schools: Lycée Léon Blum, Lycée Édouard Branly, Lycée Gutenberg, Lycée Antoine de Saint-ExuperyPrivate schools: Ozar Hatorah De Maillé Lycée général et technologique de l'ensemble Sainte-Marie Lycée d'enseignement supé
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
Aulnay-sous-Bois is a commune in the Seine-Saint-Denis department in the Île-de-France region in the north-eastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 13.9 km from the Kilometre zero. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Aulnaysiennes; the commune has been awarded four flowers by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom. Aulnay-sous-Bois is located in the Paris area and is 19 km north-east of Notre-Dame Cathedral, 1 km east of Le Bourget Airport, 5 km south-west of Charles de Gaulle Airport; the commune stretches over a length of 6.5 km from north to south and a width ranging from 1.4 to 4.3 km from east to west and covers an area of 1,620 hectares. The town is surrounded by the A3 autoroute in the west. Route nationale 2 passes through the heart of the commune from west to east with the N370 coming from the south-east along the eastern border to join the N2; the D44 passes through from north-west to south-east and the D115 from Bobigny in the south-west passes through the centre and continues to Villepinte in the east.
The Ourcq Canal passes through the south-eastern end, adjacent to Livry-Gargan. Distribution of urban zones is: Residential: 44% Industrial: 30% Housing Estates: 11% Natural areas: 15% The north of Aulnay-sous-Bois consists of large housing estates, industrial areas, parks: The Rose des Vents The Etangs The Merisier The City of Emmaus Balagny La Garenne Ambourget Savigny The Gros Saule The central area, called the district of Vieux Pays, is older with its Church of Saint-Sulpice built in the 12th century and its farm, it includes La Roseraie, Maximilien Robespierre, Le Vieux Pays, Tour Eiffel, Hotel de Ville. The south, across the railway line, is residential in nature, it is bordered by the Canal de l'Ourcq. It includes Chanteloup, Central Station, Pont de l'Union, Nonneville; when the construction of Clos Saint-Lazare at Stains ended, urbanization of the northern districts of Aulnay-sous-Bois began. The idea was to create an area of factories, it was on this basis that the area of Rose des Vents was built in 1969 in the northern part of Aulnay-sous-Bois.
This "Great Housing Estate" was built on former agricultural land. Its mission was to provide shelter for workers and managers for a new Citroën plant to be located a few hundred metres away. Beyond the Rose des Vents, known as the City of 3000, all of the housing estates in the northern districts total 6,500 housing units including 745 detached houses. 24,000 people, or 30% of the population of Aulnay-sous-Bois, are housed on 4% of the territory. The city is served by: Autoroutes: A1, A3, A104 National Roads: N2 and N370 Departmental Routes: D115, D44, D40, D401 The commune is traversed by the main railway line from Paris to Soissons and Hirson which serves the Aulnay-sous-Bois railway station where all buses and semi-direct services of and the Transilien Paris to Crépy-en-Valois stop and it is the terminus of the line; the station has a ride with a parking fee. Since November 2006, the classic commuter train the Ligne des Coquetiers between Aulnay-sous-Bois to Bondy has been replaced by a Tram-train that takes the same route and allows connection to the and.
Two branches are planned: the first to Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil on the Gargan heights. Between September 2009 to January 2011, the Aulnay-sous-Bois station has had work done to allow access to all platforms for disabled persons including: the development of four lifts, the rehabilitation of the railway station and underpasses, the installation of new lighting. Aulnay-sous-Bois station is served by bus routes: RATP 251 TRA 605 607a 613 614 615 616a 616b 617 618 627 637 680 Autobus du Fort 702 CIF 15 RATP N140Villepinte Station is located halfway between Aulnay-sous-Bois and Villepinte and it provides access to the district of Rose des Vents. Villepinte station is served by buses: TRA 609 615 617 642 683 In 2023 a station on line 16 in the Grand Paris Express project is planned north of the commune on the embankment of the former N2 road, its platforms will be at a depth of 15 metres. The city is served by various bus networks: RATP 148 251 350 TRA 605 607a 607b 609 610 613 614 615 616a 616b 617 618 627 634 637 680 683 684 686 Autobus du Fort 702 CIF 1 15 32A 43 44 45 93 100 RATP N42 N140In the medium term, it is proposed the creation of a "transverse" line by merging TRA 614 627 637 lines.
In addition, it is planned to create a circular line to connect different parts of the city to avoid "reloading" for trips between all economic areas of the city and its public facilities. There is a taxi rank at Aulnay-sous-Bois station. Aulnay-sous-Bois is located 5 km from Charles de Gaulle Airport; the airport can be reached by the A1 and A3 autoroutes. "Aulnay" is a common French toponym and may derive from the Medieval Latin alnetum meaning "alder grove" after the alder trees which covered Aulnay-sous-Bois in ancient times. An alternative derivation is th
Drancy is a commune in the northeastern suburbs of Paris in the Seine-Saint-Denis department in northern France. It is located 10.8 km from the center of Paris. The name Drancy comes from Medieval Latin Derenciacum, before that Terentiacum, meaning "estate of Terentius", a Gallo-Roman landowner. In the 17th century, Drancy was divided into two distinct villages: Drancy le Grand and le Petit Drancy; the quarter "Village Parisien" is built on the old location of the hamlet of Groslay, surrounded by the forest of Bondy — hence the name of rue des Bois de Groslay. The end of nineteenth century was marked by the industrialisation and by the development of rail transports. During the Franco-Prussian war, Le Bourget was the site of an important battle and the castle of Ladoucette in Drancy was destroyed. During the second world war, Drancy was the site of the Drancy internment camp where Jews and others were held before being shipped to the Nazi concentration camps. In 1976, the Memorial to the Deportation at Drancy was created by sculptor Shlomo Selinger to commemorate the French Jews imprisoned in the camp.
Data climate for Le Bourget 1971-2000 Drancy's buildings are too diverse to be characterised by any particular architectural style. Some of them with a style Art Nouveau are typical of the 20th centuries. There are a garden city; the parc de Ladoucette is the only park of Drancy. It contains a small educational farm and the castle of Ladoucette; the castle was built in 1533 by Pierre Séguier. In the 19th century, the castle was the property of the senator Charles-Loetitia de Ladoucette. In 1874 his wife, la Baronne de Ladoucette and her body was placed in the Mausoleum de la Baronne de Ladoucette. Today she is buried in the Parisian cemetery. Part of the commune forms the canton of Drancy; the other part belongs to the canton of Le Blanc-Mesnil. Drancy is in Zone 3 of the Carte orange; the city is served by Le Bourget station and by Drancy station on Paris RER line B. Le Bourget station is situated near Drancy; the RER B is one of the five lines in the RER Rapid transit system serving its suburbs. Drancy is served by the Paris Tramway Line 1 with five stops and by twelve buses.
By the RER B, Drancy is near many parisian railway stations, Gare du Nord is now just 10 minutes away, gare Saint-Lazare and gare de Lyon can be reached in 30 minutes. Charles de Gaulle Airport can be reached in 30 minutes too. Drancy is served by the A86 motorway. Schools: 17 public preschools 19 public elementary schools Six public junior high schools: Paul Bert, Anatole France, Paul Langevin, Pierre Samard One private junior high school, Collège Saint-Germain Two public senior high schools/sixth-form colleges: Lycée Eugène Delacroix and Lycée Paul le Rolland Drancy is twinned with: Willenhall Eisenhüttenstadt Gorée Communes of the Seine-Saint-Denis department INSEE Official website
Nanterre is a commune in the Hauts-de-Seine department, the western suburbs of Paris. It is located some 11 km north-west of the centre of Paris. Nanterre serves as both the capital of the Hauts-de-Seine department and seat of the eponymous arrondissement; the eastern part of Nanterre, bordering the communes of Courbevoie and Puteaux, contains a small part of the La Défense business district of Paris and some of the tallest buildings in the Paris region. Because the headquarters of many major corporations are located in La Défense, the court of Nanterre is well known in the media for the number of high-profile lawsuits and trials that take place in it; the city of Nanterre includes the Paris West University Nanterre La Défense, one of the largest universities in the Paris region. The name of Nanterre originated before the Roman conquest of Gaul; the Romans recorded the name as Nemetodorum. It is composed of the Celtic word nemeto meaning "shrine" or "sacred place" and the Celtic word duron "hard, enduring".
The sacred place referred to is believed to have been a famous shrine. Inhabitants of Nanterre are called Nanterriens, they are called "Nanterroises" and "Nanterrois". The sacred shrine of antiquity, referred to etymologically had been placed by tradition in Mont-Valérien. However, archeological discoveries made between 1994 and 2005 found a Gallic necropolis, dated to the third century BC, call into debate both the exact location of the pre-Roman capital of the Parisii and the initial site of Lutetia, the Roman era Paris; the large necropolis, as well as working people's homes from some time in the ancient era, is near the bank of the Seine, in the northwest of Nanterre, might be the sacred place, being referred to etymologically. Lutetia is mentioned by Julius Caesar in 50 BCE, reporting an assembly in Lutetia in 53 BC between himself, commander of the Roman Legions, local Gallic leaders. Although this had been thought to be Île de la Cité since Caesar mentions an island, the river at Nanterre follows two channels around an island.
In 52 BC, the Parisii took up arms with the Gallic war leader Vercingetorix, were defeated by Titus Labienus, one of Caesar's legates. Caesar mentions in his Commentarii that the Parisii destroyed the bridges and set fire to Lutetia before the arrival of the Roman forces; the archeological work in Nanterre has suggested over 15 hectares of pre-Roman or Roman era construction. These archeologic findings may be an indication that Nanterre was the closest pre-Roman settlement to the City's modern centre. Sainte Genevieve, patron saint of Paris, was born in Nanterre ca. 419–422. On 27 March 2002, Richard Durn, a disgruntled local activist and killed eight town councilors and 14 others were wounded in what the French press dubbed the Nanterre massacre. On 28 March, the murderer killed himself by jumping from the 4th floor of the Quai des orfèvres, in Paris, while he was questioned by two policemen about the reason for his killing in the Nanterre City Hall. Nanterre is divided into two cantons: Canton of Nanterre-1 Canton of Nanterre-2 Nanterre is served by three stations on RER line A: Nanterre – Préfecture, Nanterre – Université, Nanterre – Ville.
Nanterre – Université station is an interchange station on the Transilien Paris – Saint-Lazare suburban rail line. Société Générale has its headquarters in the Tours Société Générale in La Nanterre; the company moved into the building in 1995. Faurecia, the sixth-largest automotive parts supplier, has its headquarters in Nanterre. Groupe du Louvre and subsidiary Louvre Hôtels have their head office in Village 5 in La Défense and Nanterre. Senior high schools include: Lycée Joliot-Curie de Nanterre Lycée professionnel Louise-Michel Lycée professionnel Paul-Langevin Lycée professionnel Claude-Chappe The basketball club Nanterre 92 plays at Palais des Sports Maurice Thorez; the rugby union club Racing 92 opened the new Paris La Défense Arena in October 2017 and played their first game in the new facility in December 2017. It has a capacity of 32,000 for 40,000 for concerts; the venue opened as U Arena, but received its current name in June 2018 through a sponsorship deal with Paris La Défense, the company that manages the La Défense business district.
Nanterre is twinned with: La Défense business district. List of tallest structures in Paris Communes of the Hauts-de-Seine department INSEE Official website Université Paris 10 Nanterre Nanterre students News coverage of March 2006 University occupation Pictures of Nanterre Nanterre Cathedral gallery of pictures
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