Roubaix is a city in northern France, located in the Lille metropolitan area. It is a mono-industrial commune in the Nord department, which grew in the 19th century from its textile industries, with most of the same characteristic features as those of English and American boom towns; this former new town has faced many challenges linked to deindustrialisation such as urban decay, with their related economic and social implications, since its major industries fell into decline by the middle of the 1970s. Located to the northeast of Lille, adjacent to Tourcoing, Roubaix is the chef-lieu of two cantons and the third largest city in the French region of Hauts-de-France ranked by population with nearly 96,000 inhabitants. Together with the nearby cities of Lille, Villeneuve-d'Ascq and eighty-six other communes, Roubaix gives structure to a four-centred metropolitan area inhabited by more than 1.1 million people: the European Metropolis of Lille. To a greater extent, Roubaix is in the center of a vast conurbation formed with the Belgian cities of Mouscron and Tournai, which gave birth to the first European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation in January 2008, Lille–Kortrijk–Tournai with an aggregate over 2 million inhabitants.
Roubaix occupies a central position on the north-east slope of the Métropole Européenne de Lille: it is set on the eastern side of Lille and the southern side of Tourcoing, close to the Belgian border. As regards towns' boundaries, Roubaix is encompassed by seven cities which constitute its immediate neighbouring environment; these municipalities are namely: Tourcoing to the north and the northwest, Wattrelos to the northeast, Leers to the east, Lys-lez-Lannoy to the southeast, Hem to the south and Croix to the southwest and the west. Roubaix, alongside those municipalities and twenty-one other communes, belongs to the land of Ferrain, a little district of the former Castellany of Lille between the Lys and Escaut rivers; as the crow flies, the distance between Roubaix and the following cities is some odd: 16 kilometres to Tournai, 18 kilometres to Kortrijk, 84 kilometres to Brussels and 213 kilometres to Paris. The soft hollow plain, upon which Roubaix lies, stretches on an east-west oriented syncline axis which trends south to southeast towards the Paleozoic limestone of the Mélantois-Tournaisis faulted anticline.
This area consists predominantly of Holocene deposits of alluvial origin. It is low, with an elevation drop of only 35 m over its 13.23 square kilometres. The lowest altitude of this area stands at 17 m, while its highest altitude is 52 m meters above the sea level; the Trichon stream fed by waters of the Espierre stream used to flow through the rural landscape of Roubaix before the industrialisation process began to alter this area in the middle of the 19th century. From that century on, the ensuing industries, with their increasing needs for reliable supplies of goods and water, led to the building of an inland waterway connected upstream from the Deûle and downstream to the Marque and Espierre toward the Escaut, which linked directly Roubaix to Lille. Opened in 1877, the Canal de Roubaix crosses the town from its northern neighbourhoods to its eastern neighbourhoods and flows along the city's boundaries; the Canal de Roubaix closed after more than a century in use. Thank to the European funded project Blue Links, the waterway has been reopened to navigation since 2011.
Despite some American statements that weather conditions in Roubaix were bad during the 19th century, the area of the city is not known for undergoing unusual weather events. In regard to the town's geographical location and the results of the Météo-France's weather station of Lille-Lesquin, Roubaix is a temperate oceanic climate: while summer experiences mild temperatures, winter's temperatures may fall to below zero. Precipitation is infrequently intense; the current city's name is most derived from Frankish rausa "reed" and baki "brook". Thence the sense of Roubaix can find its origin on the banks of the three following historical brooks: Espierre and Favreuil; the place was mentioned for the first time in a Latinised form in the 9th century: Villa Rusbaci. Thereafter, the following names were in use: 1047 and 1106 Rubais, 1122 Rosbays, 1166 Rusbais, 1156 and 1202 Robais, 1223 Roubais. Over the span of centuries, the name evolved to Roubaix as shown on Mercator's map of Flanders published at Leuven in 1540.
Parallel to the official and usual name Roubaix, some translations are worth a mention. Firstly, though the city has never belonged to the Flemish-speaking area, the seldom-heard renderings Robeke and Roodebeeke are documented for Roubaix. Furthermore, the Dutch Language Union established Robaais as the city's proper Dutch name. Lastly, one can cite Rosbacum as the definite Latin transcription of Roubaix, in use since the 19th century, as recorded on dedication statements sealed in the first stones of the foundations of the City Hall laid in 1840 and the Church of Notre Dame laid in 1842. Inhabitants of Roubaix are known in English as "Roubaisians" and in French as Roubaisiens or in the feminine form Roubaisiennes natively called Roubaignos or in the feminine form Roubaignoses; the evolution of the number of inhabitants is known through the population censuses carried out in the town since 1793 and the research study of Louis-Edmond Marissal, Clerk of the Peace of the city, published in 1844.
From the 21st century, communes with more than 10,000 population have sample surveys held every year, unlike other municipalities that have a real
Rennes is a city in the east of Brittany in northwestern France at the confluence of the Ille and the Vilaine. Rennes is the capital of the region of Brittany, as well as the Ille-et-Vilaine department. Rennes's history goes back more than 2,000 years, at a time when it was a small Gallic village named Condate. Together with Vannes and Nantes, it was one of the major cities of the ancient Duchy of Brittany. From the early sixteenth century until the French Revolution, Rennes was a parliamentary and garrison city of the historic province of Brittany of the Kingdom of France. Since the 1950s, Rennes has grown in importance through rural flight and its modern industrial development automotive; the city developed extensive building plans to accommodate upwards of 200,000 inhabitants. During the 1980s, Rennes became one of the main centres in telecommunication and high technology industry, it is now a significant digital innovation centre in France. In 2015, the city was the tenth largest in France, with a metropolitan area of about 720,000 inhabitants.
With more than 66,000 students in 2016, it is the eighth-largest university campus of France. The inhabitants of Rennes are called Rennais in French. In 2018, L'Express named Rennes as "the most liveable city in France". Since 2015, Rennes is divided into 6 cantons: Canton of Rennes-1 Canton of Rennes-2 Canton of Rennes-3, which includes parts of Rennes but the commune of Chantepie Canton of Rennes-4 Canton of Rennes-5, which includes parts of Rennes but the commune of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande Canton of Rennes-6, which includes parts of Rennes but the commune of Pacé Rennes is divided into 12 quarters: Le Centre Thabor/Saint Hélier Bourg l'Évêque-Moulin du Comte Saint-Martin Maurepas-Patton-Bellangerais Jeanne d'Arc-Longs-Champs-Beaulieu Francisco Ferrer-Landry-Poterie Sud Gare Cleunay-Arsenal-Redon Villejean-Beauregard Le Blosne Bréquigny The current mayor of Rennes is Nathalie Appéré. A member of the Socialist Party, she replaced retiring Socialist incumbent Daniel Delaveau, in office from 2008 to 2014.
Edmond Hervé, Socialist mayor from 1977 to 2008. Among previous well-known mayors are: Jean Janvier, from 1908 to 1923; the mairie is right in the centre of Rennes. The French Prison Service operates the Centre pénitentiaire de Rennes, the largest women's prison in France; the ancient centre of the town is built on a hill, with the north side being more elevated than the south side. It is at the confluence of two rivers: the Vilaine. Rennes is located on 50 km from the English Channel. Rennes has the distinction of having a significant Green Belt around its ring road; this Green Belt is the rest of its urban area. Rennes features an oceanic climate. Precipitation in Rennes is less abundant than in the western parts of Brittany, reaching only half of the levels of, e.g. the city of Quimper, which makes rainfall in Rennes comparable to the levels of larger parts of western Germany. Sunshine hours range between 1,700 and 1,850 annually, about the amount of sunshine received by the city of Lausanne. In 2018, the inner population of the city was of 221,272 inhabitants, the Rennes intercommunal structure connecting Rennes with 42 nearby suburbs counted 450,593 inhabitants and the metropolitan area counted over 720,000 inhabitants.
Rennes has the second fastest-growing metropolitan area in France after Toulouse and before Montpellier and Nantes. The inhabitants of Rennes are called Rennais in French. Rennes is classified as a city of history; the historic centre is located on the former plan of the ramparts. There is a difference between the northern city centre and the southern city centre due to the 1720 fire, which destroyed most of the timber framed houses in the northern part of the city; the rebuilding was done on a grid plan. The southern part, the poorest at this time, was not rebuilt. Due to the presence of the parlement de Bretagne, many "hôtels particuliers" were built in the northern part, the richest in the 18th century. Most of the monuments historiques can be found there. Colourful traditional half-timbered houses are situated along the roads of Saint-Sauveur, Saint-Georges, de Saint-Malo, Saint-Guillaume, des Dames, du Chapitre, Saint-Michel, de la Psallette and around the plazas of Champ-Jacquet, des Lices, Saint-Anne and Rallier-du-Baty.
The Parlement de Bretagne is the most famous 17th century building in Rennes. It was rebuilt after a terrible fire in 1994 that may have been caused by a flare fired by a protester during a demonstration, it houses the Rennes Court of Appeal. The plaza around is built on the classical architecture. On the west, the Place de la Mairie: City Hall OperaOn the east, at the end of the Rue Saint-Georges with traditional half-timbered houses: 1920s Saint George Municipal Pool, with mosaics Saint George Palace, its gardenOn the south-east: Saint-Germain square Saint-Germain Church Saint-Germai
A hem in sewing is a garment finishing method, where the edge of a piece of cloth is folded narrowly and sewn to prevent unravelling of the fabric. There are many different styles of hems of varying complexities; the most common hem folds up a cut edge, folds it up again, sew it down. The style of hemming thus encloses the cut edge in cloth, so that it cannot unravel. Other hem styles use fewer folds. One of the simplest hems encloses the edge of cloth with a stitch without any folds at all, using a method called an overcast stitch, although an overcast stitch may be used to finish a folded "plain hem" as well. There are hems that do not call for sewing, instead using iron-on materials, plastic clips, or other fasteners; these threadless hems are not common, are used only on a temporary basis. The hem may be sewn down with a line of invisible stitches or blind stitch, or sewn down by a sewing machine; the term hem is extended to other cloth treatments that prevent unraveling. Hems can be serged, hand rolled and sewn down with tiny stitches, pinked with pinking shears, covered with binding, or made with many other inventive treatments.
Most haute couture hems are sewn by hand. Decorative embroidery embellishment is sometimes referred to as a hem-stitch design. Hems of different depths may have a particular style to achieve, which requires more or less fabric depending upon the style. A handkerchief-style edge requires a hem allowance of a quarter inch. A typical skirt or pant hem may be 5-7.6 cm. The hem's depth affects the way. Heavier fabric requires a shorter hem. An interface fabric sewn to the fabric in the hem has a useful function in some hem styles. A bias strip is sometimes used as a hem interface; this reduce wrinkling. The hem stitches that are used for hand-sewn hems include: pick stitch. Sewing machines can make a stitch that appears nearly invisible by using a blind-stitch setting and a blind stitch foot. Blind-stitches are used to finish hems of applique designs on fabric. Modern sewing machines designed for home use can make many decorative or functional stitches, so the number of possible hem treatments is large.
These home-use machines can sew a reasonable facsimile of a hem-stitch, though the stitches will be larger and more visible. Clothing factories and professional tailors use a "blind hemmer", or hemming machine, which sews an invisible stitch and accurately. A blind hemmer sews a chain stitch, using a bent needle, which can be set enough to sew through one and a half thicknesses of the hemmed fabric. A rolled hem presser foot on a sewing machine enables quick and easy hemming by home sewers. Heavy material with deep hems may be hemmed with what is called a dressmaker's hem—an extra line of loose running stitch is added in the middle of the hem, so that all the weight of the cloth does not hang from one line of stitching. Hem repair tape is available as an alternative solution to sewing a broken hem. To affect a fix, the hem repair tape is laid around the inside of the hem, it is ironed with a hot iron. The heat causes the tape to bond the two surfaces together. Hemline
Reactions to the 2005 French riots
The 2005 French riots led to a domestic and international response. Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, who has advocated a tough approach to crime and restoring law and order, was a major probable contender for the 2007 presidential election. Success or failure on his part in quelling violence in suburban ghettos may thus have had far-ranging implications. Any action by Sarkozy was to be attacked by the political opposition, as well as by members of his Union for a Popular Movement political coalition who expect to run for the presidency. Le Monde, in a 5 November editorial reminisced about the "catastrophic" elections of 2002 where right-wing candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen managed to enter the second round of voting, showing concern that a similar situation might arise in the upcoming elections as a backlash to the riots. After the fourth night of riots, Sarkozy declared a zero tolerance policy towards urban violence and announced that 17 companies of riot police and 7 mobile police squadrons would be stationed in contentious Paris neighborhoods.
Sarkozy has said that he believes that some of the violence may be at the instigation of organized gangs. "... All of this doesn't appear to us to be spontaneous", he said. Undercover police officers were sent to identify "gang leaders, drug traffickers and big shots." Sarkozy's approach was criticized by left-wing politicians who called for greater public funding for housing and job creation, refraining from "dangerous demagoguery". Sarkozy was further criticized. During his visit to Clichy-sous-Bois, the Interior Minister was to meet with the families of the two youths killed, but when a tear gas grenade was thrown into the Clichy mosque, the families pulled out of the meeting. Bouna Traoré's brother Siyakah said, "There is no way we're going to see Sarkozy, incompetent. What happened in the mosque is disrespectful." The families met Prime minister Dominique de Villepin on 3 November. The left-wing newspaper Libération cited the exasperation of suburb youth at the harassment by the police and Interior Minister Sarkozy.
The declaration of a pupil's parent that "Torching a school is unacceptable, but the one who put on the fire is Sarkozy" was reported throughout the French press, including in the conservative newspaper Le Figaro. Azouz Begag, delegate minister for the promotion of equal opportunity, made several declarations about the recent unrest, opposing himself to Interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy for the latter's use of "imprecise, warlike semantics", which he says cannot help bring back calm in the affected areas. On November 5, Paris prosecutor Yves Bot told Europe 1 radio that "This is done in a way that gives every appearance of being coordinated." Some Aulnay-sous-Bois residents, as reported by Reuters, suspect that the riots were linked to the drug trade or coordination by Islamic fundamentalists. Meanwhile, other Aulnay-sous-Bois residents interviewed considered this unjustified. Jérémie Garrigues, 19, doubted. "If those kids had been organized, they would have done much worse -- they would have used guns and bombs against the town hall and the prefecture", he argued.
"Those are all politicians' theories", remarked an Algerian woman named Samia, whose main concern was how frightened her children were by the unrest. "We live here in reality." Jean-Marie Huet, director of criminal affairs and graces, after visiting an artisanal factory of molotov cocktails, said that "this is not spontaneous trouble anymore". No one has yet established that there should be any sort of underground organisation". Muslim leaders of African and Arab communities in France have issued a fatwa, or religious order, against the riots, without many effects. "It is forbidden for any Muslim... to take part in any action that strikes blindly at private or public property or that could threaten the lives of others", said the fatwa by the controversial Union of Islamic Organisations of France, favored by Nicolas Sarkozy. The BBC reports that French society's negative perceptions of Islam and of immigrants have alienated some French Muslims and may have been a factor in the causes of the riots.
The BBC questioned whether such alarm is justified, citing that France's Muslim ghettos are not hotbeds of separatism and that "the suburbs are full of people desperate to integrate into the wider society." Upon his nomination as Interior Minister, populist hardliner Nicolas Sarkozy promised to lead both a strict policy of zero tolerance against underground crime, promote law and order, to promote social integration of the rejected. His actions are criticised because of his use of television and the media. This, along with the relaxing of rules allowing the deportation of foreign offenders, his declarations of support for positive discrimination and the participation of legal immigrants in local elections, has angered some suburban residents. However, Nicolas Sarkozy was the one to propose to expel all foreigners involved in the riots, which amounted to reinstate the "double penalty", a decision, criticized, for example by NGO SOS Racisme. On Wednesday, October 19, Sarkozy announced a crackdown on urban violence and black marketeers, ordering specially trained police to tackle 25 neighbourhoods across the country.
Sarkozy went there and declared he wanted to "clean out the
2005 French riots
The 2005 French riots was a three-week period of riots in the suburbs of Paris and other French cities, in October and November 2005. These riots involved youth of African, North African, French heritage in violent attacks, the burning of cars and public buildings; the unrest started on 27 October at Clichy-sous-Bois, where police were investigating a reported break-in at a building site, a group of local youths scattered in order to avoid interrogation. Three of them hid in an electricity substation where two died from electrocution, resulting in a power blackout; the incident ignited rising tensions about youth unemployment and police harassment in the poorer housing estates, there followed three weeks of rioting throughout France. A state of emergency was declared on 8 November extended for three weeks; the riots resulted in more than 8,000 vehicles being burned by the rioters and more than 2,760 individuals arrested. Citing two police investigations, The New York Times reported that the incident began at 17:20 on Thursday, 27 October 2005 in Clichy-sous-Bois when police were called to a construction site to investigate a possible break-in.
Three teenagers, chased by the police, climbed a wall to hide in a power substation. Six youths were detained by 17:50. During questioning at the police station in Livry-Gargan at 18:12, blackouts occurred at the station and in nearby areas; the police said that these were caused by the electrocution of two boys, Zyed Benna and Bouna Traoré. The New York Times wrote: According to statements by Mr. Altun, who remains hospitalized with injuries, a group of ten or so friends had been playing football on a nearby field and were returning home when they saw the police patrol, they all fled in different directions to avoid the lengthy questioning that youths in the housing projects say they face from the police. They say they are required to present identity papers and can be held as long as four hours at the police station, sometimes their parents must come before the police will release them. There is controversy over whether the teens were being chased; the local prosecutor, François Molins, said that although they believed so, the police were after other suspects attempting to avoid an identity check.
This event ignited pre-existing tensions. Protesters told The Associated Press the unrest was an expression of frustration with high unemployment and police harassment and brutality. "People are joining together to say we've had enough", said one protester. "We live in ghettos. Everyone lives in fear." The rioters' suburbs are home to a large North African, immigrant population adding religious tensions, which some commentators believed contribute further to such frustrations and the racism against Muslims after the September 11 attacks and the Iraq War of the Bush administration. However, according to Pascal Mailhos, head of the Renseignements Généraux radical Islamism or Islamic terrorism had no influence over the 2005 civil unrest in France. While tension had been building among the juvenile population in France, action was not taken until the reopening of schools in Autumn, since most of the French population is on holiday during the late summer months. However, on 27 October 2005, in Clichy-sous-Bois, late in the afternoon, about ten Clichois came back on foot from the stadium, where they spent the afternoon playing football.
Along the way, they walked near a big building site. A local resident reported an attempted robbery near the construction site to police which sent a car; the national police tried to arrest six French youths of African or North African origin: four in the Vincent Auriol park and two others in the cemetery which adjoins the electrical substation EDF where three others who escaped took refuge – Bouna Traoré, Zyed Benna, Muhittin Altun. Trying to hide in the electrical substation, Bouna Traoré and Zyed Benna died by electrocution; the third, Muhittin Altun, was burned, but recovered and returned to the district. Shortly after this incident, riots began. Confined to the Paris area, the unrest subsequently spread to other areas of the Île-de-France région, spread through the outskirts of France's urban areas affecting some rural areas. After 3 November it spread to other cities in France, affecting all 15 of the large aires urbaines in the country. Thousands of vehicles were burned, at least one person was killed by the rioters.
Close to 2900 rioters were arrested. On 8 November, President Jacques Chirac declared a state of emergency, effective at midnight. Despite the new regulations, riots continued, though on a reduced scale, the following two nights, again worsened the third night. On 9 November and the morning of 10 November a school was burned in Belfort, there was violence in Toulouse, Strasbourg and Lyon. On 10 November and the morning of 11 November, violence increased overnight in the Paris region, there were still a number of police wounded across the country. According to the Interior Minister, violence and attacks on police worsened on the 11th and morning of the 12th, there were further attacks on electricity substations, causing a blackout in the northern part of Amiens. Rioting took place in the city center of Lyon on Saturday, 12 November, as young people attacked cars and threw rocks at riot police who responded with tear gas; that night, a nursery school was torched in the southern town of Carpentras.
On the night of th
Alpes-Maritimes is a department of France located in the extreme southeast corner of the country, near the border with Italy and on the Mediterranean coast. Part of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, it had a population of 1,080,771 in 2013, it has become in recent years one of the world's most attractive destinations, featuring cities such as Nice, Cannes and Grasse, numerous alpine ski resorts. Alpes-Maritimes entirely surrounds Monaco; the department's inhabitants are called Maralpines. The Alpes-Maritimes department is surrounded by the departments of Var in the southwest, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in the northwest and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it surrounds the Principality of Monaco on the west and east. Its topography is mixed; as its name suggests, most of the department is a constituent part of the overall topographic Alps – including the Maritime Alps – but it has the distinction of being a coastal district with its Mediterranean coast. The coastal area and densely populated, includes all the cities in an continuous conurbation from Cannes to Menton, while the larger but sparsely populated mountainous area is rural with the exception of the three large resorts of Valberg and Isola 2000.
The highest point of the department is the Cime du Gélas on the Franco-Italian border which dominates the Vallée des Merveilles further east. In fact the summit of Monte Argentera is higher at 3297 m above sea level but it is located in Italian territory. There is Mount Mounier which dominates the south of the vast Dôme de Barrot, formed of a mass of more than 900 m thick red mudstones indented by the gorges of Daluis and Cians. Except in winter, four passes allow passage to the north of the Mercantour/Argentera mountain range whose imposing 62 km long barrier covered in winter snow, visible from the coast. From the west the Route des Grandes Alpes enters the Cayolle Pass first on the way to the Alps and the sources of the Var in the commune of Entraunes; the route follows the Col de la Bonette – the highest pass in Europe at 2715 m – to connect to the valley of the Tinée the Ubaye. Further east, the Lombard pass above Isola 2000 allows access to the shrine of Saint-Anne de Vinadio in Italy.
At its eastern end, the Col de Tende links with Cuneo in Italy. The only region of the Alps close to Nice has an afforestation rate of 60.9% higher than the average of the department and well above the average of 39.4% for the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. The rivers in alphabetical order are: It is the climate that made the Côte d'Azur famous; the current department of Alpes-Maritimes, does not have only one climate, the complex terrain and high mountains divide the department between those who are well exposed and those which are less and with the mild Mediterranean climate there can be violent storms and prolonged droughts. The coastal area has a Mediterranean climate. Towards the interior in the north, a mountain climate. One of the attractions of the department is its level of sunshine: 300 days per year. Despite this the department is the most stormy of France with an average of 70 to 110 thunderstorm days per year. Alpes-Maritimes is divided into 2 arrondissements: the Grasse and the Nice,27 cantons and 163 communes.
In 2002 there were 14 intercommunalities. Including: 4 metropolitan intercommunalities of which: 3 are agglomeration communities Agglomeration community of Pôle Azur Provence Agglomeration community of the Riviera Française Agglomeration community of Sophia Antipolis and 1 is an urban community Urban community of Nice Côte d'Azur; the other 10 are Communauté de communes: Communauté de communes de la Vallée de l'Estéron Communauté de communes des Monts d'Azur Communauté de communes du Pays des Paillons Communauté de communes des Coteaux d'Azur Communauté de communes des Vallées d'Azur Communauté de communes de la Tinée Communauté de communes de Cians Var Communauté de communes des Stations du Mercantour Communauté de communes des Terres de Siagne Communauté de communes Vésubie MercantourThe following is a list of most populous cities of the department: Nice Antibes Cannes Grasse Cagnes-sur-Mer Le Cannet Saint-Laurent-du-Var Menton Vallauris Mandelieu-la-Napoule Vence Mougins Alpes Maritimae was created by Octavian as a Roman military district called maritimae Alps in 14BC, became a full Roman province in the middle of the 1st century AD with its capital first at Cemenelum and subsequently at Embrun.
At its greatest extent in AD 297, the province reached north to Briançon. A first French département of Alpes-Maritimes existed in the same area from 1793 to 1814, its boundaries differed from those of the modern department, however. In 1793 Alpes-Maritimes included Monaco and San Remo, but not Grasse, part of the départment of Var; the département was subdivided into the following arrondissements and cantons: Nice, cantons: Nice, Aspremont, La Brigue, Monaco, Roquebillière, Saint-Sauveur-sur-Tinée, Saorge, L'Escarène, Sospel and Villefranche-sur-Mer. Sanremo
Marseille is the second-largest city of France. The main city of the historical province of Provence, it nowadays is the prefecture of the department of Bouches-du-Rhône and region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, it is located on French Riviera coast near the mouth of the Rhône. The city covers an area of 241 km2 and had a population of 852,516 in 2012, its metropolitan area, which extends over 3,173 km2 is the third-largest in France after Paris and Lyon, with a population of 1,831,500 as of 2010. Known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as Massalia, Marseille was an important European trading centre and remains the main commercial port of the French Republic. Marseille is now France's largest city on the Mediterranean coast and the largest port for commerce and cruise ships; the city was European Capital of Culture in 2013 and European Capital of Sport in 2017. It is home to Aix-Marseille University. Marseille is the second-largest city in France after Paris and the centre of the third-largest metropolitan area in France after Paris and Lyon.
To the east, starting in the small fishing village of Callelongue on the outskirts of Marseille and stretching as far as Cassis, are the Calanques, a rugged coastal area interspersed with small fjord-like inlets. Farther east still are the city of Toulon and the French Riviera. To the north of Marseille, beyond the low Garlaban and Etoile mountain ranges, is the 1,011 m Mont Sainte Victoire. To the west of Marseille is the former artists' colony of l'Estaque; the airport lies to the north west of the city at Marignane on the Étang de Berre. The city's main thoroughfare stretches eastward from the Old Port to the Réformés quarter. Two large forts flank the entrance to the Old Port—Fort Saint-Nicolas on the south side and Fort Saint-Jean on the north. Farther out in the Bay of Marseille is the Frioul archipelago which comprises four islands, one of which, If, is the location of Château d'If, made famous by the Dumas novel The Count of Monte Cristo; the main commercial centre of the city intersects with the Canebière at Rue St Ferréol and the Centre Bourse.
The centre of Marseille has several pedestrianised zones, most notably Rue St Ferréol, Cours Julien near the Music Conservatory, the Cours Honoré-d'Estienne-d'Orves off the Old Port and the area around the Hôtel de Ville. To the south east of central Marseille in the 6th arrondissement are the Prefecture and the monumental fountain of Place Castellane, an important bus and metro interchange. To the south west are the hills of the 7th and 8th arrondissements, dominated by the basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde. Marseille's main railway station—Gare de Marseille Saint-Charles—is north of the Centre Bourse in the 1st arrondissement; the city has a hot-summer mediterranean climate with mild, humid winters and warm to hot dry summers. December and February are the coldest months, averaging temperatures of around 12 °C during the day and 4 °C at night. July and August are the hottest months, averaging temperatures of around 28–30 °C during the day and 19 °C at night in the Marignane airport but in the city near the sea the average high temperature is 27 °C in July.
Marseille is the sunniest major city in France with over 2,900 hours of sunshine while the average sunshine in country. It is the driest major city with only 512 mm of precipitation annually thanks to the Mistral, a cold, dry wind originating in the Rhône Valley that occurs in winter and spring and which brings clear skies and sunny weather to the region. Less frequent is the Sirocco, a hot, sand-bearing wind, coming from the Sahara Desert. Snowfalls are infrequent; the hottest temperature was 40.6 °C on 26 July 1983 during a great heat wave, the lowest temperature was −14.3 °C on 13 February 1929 during a strong cold wave. Marseille was founded circa 600 BC as the Greek colony of Massalia and populated by settlers from Phocaea, it became the preeminent Greek polis in the Hellenized region of southern Gaul. The city-state sided with the Roman Republic against Carthage during the Second Punic War, retaining its independence and commercial empire throughout the western Mediterranean as Rome expanded into Western Europe and North Africa.
However, the city lost its independence following the Roman Siege of Massilia in 49 BC, during Caesar's Civil War, in which Massalia sided with the exiled faction at war with Julius Caesar. Marseille continued to prosper as a Roman city, becoming an early center of Christianity during the Western Roman Empire; the city maintained its position as a premier maritime trading hub after its capture by the Visigoths in the 5th century AD, although the city went into decline following the sack of 739 AD by the forces of Charles Martel. It became part of the County of Provence during the 10th century, although its renewed prosperity was curtailed by the Black Death of the 14th century and sack of the city by the Crown of Aragon in 1423; the city's fortunes rebounded with the ambitious building projects of René of Anjou, Count of Proven