James I of Aragon
James I the Conqueror was King of Aragon, Count of Barcelona, and Lord of Montpellier from 1213 to 1276, King of Majorca from 1231 to 1276, and Valencia from 1238 to 1276. By a treaty with Louis IX of France, he wrested the county of Barcelona from nominal French suzerainty and his part in the Reconquista was similar in Mediterranean Spain to that of his contemporary Ferdinand III of Castile in Andalusia. As a legislator and organiser, he occupies a place among the Spanish kings. James compiled the Llibre del Consolat de Mar, which governed maritime trade and he was an important figure in the development of the Catalan language, sponsoring Catalan literature and writing a quasi-autobiographical chronicle of his reign, the Llibre dels fets. James was born at Montpellier as the son of Peter II of Aragon. Peter endeavoured to placate the northern crusaders by arranging a marriage between his son James and Simons daughter, when the former was only two years old. He entrusted the boy to be educated in Montforts care in 1211, Montfort would willingly have used James as a means of extending his own power had not the Aragonese appealed to Pope Innocent III, who insisted that Montfort surrender him.
James was handed over to the papal legate Peter of Benevento at Carcassonne in May or June 1214, the kingdom was given over to confusion until, in 1217, the Templars and some of the more loyal nobles brought the young king to Zaragoza. In 1221, he was married to Eleanor, daughter of Alfonso VIII of Castile, the next six years of his reign were full of rebellions on the part of the nobles. By the Peace of Alcalá of 31 March 1227, the nobles, in 1228, James faced the sternest opposition yet from a vassal. Guerau IV de Cabrera occupied the County of Urgell in opposition to Aurembiax, the heiress of Ermengol VIII, who had died without sons in 1208. Although Aurembiaxs mother, had made herself a protegée of Jamess father, upon her death in 1220 Guerau occupied the county and displaced Aurembiax, James intervened on behalf of Aurembiax, to whom he owed protection. He bought Guerau off and allowed Aurembiax to reclaim her territory and she surrendered Lleida to James and agreed to hold Urgell in fief for him.
On her death in 1231, James exchanged the Balearic Islands for Urgell with her widower, Peter of Portugal, from 1230 to 1232, James negotiated with Sancho VII of Navarre, who desired his help against his nephew and closest living male relative, Theobald IV of Champagne. Pope Gregory IX was required to intervene, in the end, James accepted Theobalds succession. James endeavoured to form a state straddling the Pyrenees in order to counterbalance the power of France north of the Loire, as with the much earlier Visigothic attempt, this policy was victim to physical and political obstacles. As in the case of Navarre, he declined to launch into perilous adventures, by the Treaty of Corbeil, signed in May 1258, he ended his conflict with Louis IX of France, securing the renunciation of French claims to sovereignty over Catalonia. After his false start at uniting Aragon with the Kingdom of Navarre through a scheme of mutual adoption, James turned to the south, James conquered Majorca on 31 December 1229, and Minorca and Ibiza were acquired during the reconquest
Languedoc is a former province of France. Its territory is now contained in the region of Occitanie in the south of France. It had an area of approximately 27,376 square kilometers, the traditional provinces of the kingdom of France were not formally defined. A province was simply a territory of common traditions and customs, when people refer to the old provinces of France, they actually refer to the gouvernements as they existed in 1789. Gouvernements were military regions established in the middle of the 16th century, however, in some cases, small provinces had been merged with a large one into a single gouvernement, so gouvernements are not exactly the same as the traditional provinces. Historically, the region was called the county of Toulouse, a county independent from the kings of France. The county of Toulouse was made up of what would be called Languedoc, but it included the province of Quercy. After the French conquest the entire county was dismantled, the part of it being now called Languedoc.
The gouvernement of Languedoc was created in the middle of the 16th century, in addition to Languedoc proper, it included the three small provinces of Gévaudan and Vivarais, these three provinces being to the northeast of Languedoc. Some people consider that the region around Albi was a province, called Albigeois. This decision was intentional, to avoid reviving the independently spirited county of Toulouse. In the rest of the article, Languedoc refers to the territory of this gouvernement of Languedoc, the governors of Languedoc resided in Pézenas, on the Mediterranean coast, away from Toulouse but close to Montpellier. The kings of France became fearful of the power of the governors, thus the gouvernements became hollow structures, but they still carried a sense of the old provinces, and so their names and limits have remained popular until today. The generality of Toulouse is referred to as Upper Languedoc, while the generality of Montpellier, the intendants of Languedoc resided in Montpellier, and they had a sub-delegate in Toulouse.
Montpellier was chosen on purpose to diminish the power of Toulouse, whose parlement was very influential, the intendants replaced the governors as administrators of Languedoc, but appointed and dismissed at will by the king, they were no threat to the central state in Versailles. By 1789 they were the most important element of the administration of the kingdom. For judicial and legislative matters, Languedoc was overseen by the Parlement of Toulouse and it was the first parlement created outside of Paris by the kings of France in order to be the equivalent of the Parlement of Paris in the far-away southern territories of the kingdom. The Parlement of Toulouse was the court of justice for this vast area of France
Lapradelle-Puilaurens is a commune in the Aude department in southern France. It includes the hamlets of Lapradelle and Lavignac and it is known for the medieval Puilaurens Castle. The commune is situated on the Boulzane river and the Green Meridian, the built-up area of Lapradelle did not exist until the 19th century and owes its development to activities related to water power taken from the Boulzane, textile spinning and sawmills. In 1904, a railway was constructed from Quillan to Rivesaltes passing through Lapradelle on a viaduct spanning the valley of the Boulzane, the line carried passengers until 1939. Afterwards it was used to transport feldspar between the Aude and the Pyrénées-Orientales, the line is today used in the summer for a tourist train. In 1868, Lapradelle-Puilaurens lost the hamlets of Salvezines and Caunil, communes of the Aude department INSEE
The largest city of the region is Marseille. The Romans made the region into the first Roman province beyond the Alps and called it Provincia Romana and it was ruled by the Counts of Provence from their capital in Aix-en-Provence until 1481, when it became a province of the Kings of France. While it has been part of France for more than five hundred years, it retains a distinct cultural and linguistic identity. The coast of Provence has some of the earliest known sites of habitation in Europe. Primitive stone tools dated to 1 to 1.05 million years BC were found in the Grotte du Vallonnet near Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, tools dating to the Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic were discovered in the Observatory Cave, in the Jardin Exotique of Monaco. The Paleolithic period in Provence saw great changes in the climate, with the arrival, at the beginning of the Paleolithic period, the sea level in western Provence was 150 meters higher than it is today. By the end of the Paleolithic, it had dropped 100 to 150 metres lower than sea level.
The cave dwellings of the inhabitants of Provence were regularly inundated by the rising sea or left far from the sea. The changes in the sea led to one of the most remarkable discoveries of signs of early man in Provence. In 1985, a diver named Henri Cosquer discovered the mouth of a submarine cave 37 metres below the surface of the Calanque de Morgiou near Marseille, the entrance led to a cave above sea level. Inside, the walls of the Cosquer Cave are decorated with drawings of bison, auks and outlines of human hands, dating to between 27,000 and 19,000 BC. The end of the Paleolithic and beginning of the Neolithic period saw the sea settle at its present level, a warming of the climate and the retreat of the forests. The disappearance of the forests and the deer and other easily hunted game meant that the inhabitants of Provence had to survive on rabbits, since they were settled in one place they were able to develop new industries. Inspired by the pottery from the eastern Mediterranean, in about 6000 BC they created the first pottery to be made in France.
Around 6000 BC, a wave of new settlers from the east and they were farmers and warriors, and gradually displaced the earlier pastoral people from their lands. They were followed in about 2500 BC by another wave of people, known as the Courronniens, traces of these early civilisations can be found in many parts of Provence. A Neolithic site dating to about 6,000 BC was discovered in Marseille near the Saint-Charles railway station, and a dolmen from the Bronze Age can be found near Draguignan. Between the 10th and 4th century BC the Ligures were found in Provence from Massilia as far as modern day Liguria and they were of uncertain origin, they may have been the descendants of the indigenous neolithic peoples
Carcassonne is a fortified French town in the Aude department, of which it is the prefecture, in the Region of Occitanie. Inhabited since the Neolithic period, Carcassonne is located in the Aude plain between historic trade routes, linking the Atlantic to the Mediterranean sea and the Massif Central to the Pyrénées and its strategic location led successive rulers to expand its fortifications until the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659. The city is famous for the Cité de Carcassonne, a medieval fortress restored by the theorist and architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in 1853, Carcassonne relies heavily on tourism but counts manufacture and wine-making as some of its other key economic sectors. Carcassonne is located in the south of France, about 80 kilometres east from the city of Toulouse and its strategic location between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea has been known since the neolithic era. The towns area is about 65 km2, which is larger than the numerous small towns in the Aude department.
The rivers Aude and the Canal du Midi flow through the town, the Volcae Tectosages fortified the oppidum. The folk etymology – involving a châtelaine named Carcas, a ruse ending a siege, Carcas on a column near the Narbonne Gate, is of modern invention. The name can be derived as an augmentative of the name Carcas, Carcassonne became strategically identified when Romans fortified the hilltop around 100 BC and eventually made the colonia of Julia Carsaco, Carcasum. The main part of the courses of the northern ramparts dates from Gallo-Roman times. In 462 the Romans officially ceded Septimania to the Visigothic king Theodoric II who had held Carcassonne since 453 and he built more fortifications at Carcassonne, which was a frontier post on the northern marches, traces of them still stand. Theodoric is thought to have begun the predecessor of the basilica that is now dedicated to Saint Nazaire, in 508 the Visigoths successfully foiled attacks by the Frankish king Clovis. A medieval fiefdom, the county of Carcassonne, controlled the city and it was often united with the County of Razès.
The origins of Carcassonne as a county probably lie in local representatives of the Visigoths, Bello founded a dynasty, the Bellonids, which would rule many honores in Septimania and Catalonia for three centuries. In 1067, Carcassonne became the property of Raimond-Bernard Trencavel, viscount of Albi and Nîmes, through his marriage with Ermengard, in the following centuries, the Trencavel family allied in succession either with the counts of Barcelona or of Toulouse. They built the Château Comtal and the Basilica of St. Nazaire, in 1096, Pope Urban II blessed the foundation stones of the new cathedral. Carcassonne became famous for its role in the Albigensian Crusades, when the city was a stronghold of Occitan Cathars, in August 1209 the crusading army of the Papal Legate, Abbot Arnaud Amalric, forced its citizens to surrender. Raymond-Roger de Trencavel was imprisoned whilst negotiating his citys surrender and died in mysterious circumstances three months in his own dungeon, simon De Montfort was appointed the new viscount.
In 1240, Trencavels son tried to reconquer his old domain, the city submitted to the rule of the kingdom of France in 1247
Millau is a commune in the Aveyron department in the French Midi-Pyrenees region in southern France. It is 70 kilometres from the Aveyron prefecture headquarters in Rodez and it is located at the confluence of the Tarn and Dourbie rivers. It is surrounded by the landscapes of Gorges du Tarn, Causse du Larzac and it is part of the former province of Rouergue where they communicate through a form of Occitan language, the Rouergat dialect. Its inhabitants are called Millavois and Millavoises, the territory of the municipality is part of the Regional Natural Park of Grands Causses. The town dates back nearly 3000 years when it was situated on the hills above the Granède, the plain gave the town its Gallic name of Condatomagus. The site of Condatomagus was identified in the 19th century by Dieudonne du Rey and was close to the major centre in the Roman Empire. This is where luxury ceramics such as red terra sigillata were made, the local museum sits almost adjacent to this site. By the ninth century the town has grown and is the seat of a viguerie, an administrative court.
At this time the town is surrounded by ramparts, in 1187, the King of Aragon grants him the seal and communal freedom of Provence by Consular Charter. A consulate was created, and was responsible for administering the city to raise taxes. In 1271, Millau passed to the crown of the kings of France, in 1361, during the Hundred Years War, the city came under English rule. The return to peace in the fifteenth century gave the city a boost and it is Louis XI which connects Millau to the crown in 1476 by letters patent. In the Middle Ages the town had one of the major bridges across the River Tarn. It had 17 spans, but after one poorly maintained span fell in the 18th century, just one span remains, with a mill that is now an art gallery, as testament to this significant trading route from north to south across pre-Renaissance France. It was an opportunity to protest against the spread of fast food, the McDonalds was soon rebuilt, and Bové spent a few weeks in jail. He is now representative at the European Parliament and it is a major centre for outdoor sporting activity.
Traditional arms of the city of Millau Gold with four pallets gules, the city itself is administered through elected consuls - like Toulouse and its sheriffs - while the king was the sole and direct lord. Few cities in France, enjoyed such a regime of autonomy, the territory of this town lies across a southern portion of the Massif Central
Saint-Gilles or Saint-Gilles-du-Gard is a commune in the Gard department in southern France. It is the second most populous commune in the Nîmes metropolitan area, Saint-Gilles is located at the northern edge of the Petite Camargue, between Arles and Nîmes. With a land area of 153.73 km², it is large by continental French standards. The Benedictine abbey of Saint-Gilles was founded during the seventh century traditionally by the hermit Saint Giles, the former abbey church was listed in 1998 among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as part of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France. The abbey churchs west portal is among the most beautiful of the great Romanesque portals, the church has three naves and a famed spiral staircase of cantilevered stone steps. During the French Wars of Religion the Protestants fortified themselves within the abbey, the shrine of Saint Gilles, located in the crypt of the church, is the subject of pilgrimage in particular by women wishing to become pregnant or dealing with infertility.
Saint-Gilles was the birthplace of Guy Foulques, Pope Clement IV, Saint-Gilles is more recently the birthplace of the author Georges-Jean Arnaud. The Nîmes-Alès-Camargue-Cévennes Airport, sometimes called Garons Airport, is located on the territory of the commune, communes of the Gard department Costières de Nîmes AOC INSEE Whitney S. Stoddard,1973. Gilles-du-Gard Regordane Info - The independent portal for The Regordane Way or St Gilles Trail The Regordane finishes in Saint-Gilles
County of Foix
The County of Foix was an independent medieval fief in southern France, and a province of France, whose territory corresponded roughly the eastern part of the modern département of Ariège. During the Middle Ages, the county of Foix was ruled by the counts of Foix, the provincial-states of the county, which can be traced back to the 14th century, consisted of three orders and possessed considerable power and energy. In the 17th and 18th centuries Foix formed one of the thirty-three gouvernements, or military areas, of France, in 1790 it was joined with Couserans to form the département of Ariège. The county of Foix, as it existed just before the French Revolution, had an area of 2,466 km². At the 1999 census there were 76,809 inhabitants living on the territory of the province of the county of Foix. The largest urban areas are Pamiers, with 17,715 inhabitants in 1999, the Counts of Foix flourished from the 11th to the 15th century. During the 13th and 14th centuries the counts of Foix figured among the most powerful of the French feudal nobles and his grandson, Roger II, took part in the First Crusade in 1095 and was afterwards excommunicated by Pope Paschal II for seizing ecclesiastical property.
Subsequently he appeased the anger of the church through rich donations, and when he died in 1125 he was succeeded by his son, Roger III, and his son, Roger Bernard I. Roger-Bernards only son, Raymond Roger, accompanied the French king, Philip Augustus, to Palestine in 1190 and he was afterwards engaged in the Albigensian Crusade defending the Cathars, and, on being accused of heresy, his lands were given to Simon IV de Montfort. Raymond Roger came to terms with the Church and recovered his estates before his death in 1223 and he was a patron of the Provençal poets and a poet himself. From 1278 the counts of Foix, and their successors, have been Co-princes of Andorra. The quarrel was continued under Roger Bernards son and successor, Gaston I, becoming embroiled with the French king, Philip IV, in consequence of the struggle with the count of Armagnac, Gaston was imprisoned in Paris. He quickly regained his freedom and accompanied King Louis X on an expedition into Flanders in 1315, and died on his return to France in the same year.
His eldest son, Gaston II, made peace with the house of Armagnac, Gaston III, called Phoebus, the Latin version of Apollo, on account of his beauty, was the most famous member of the House of Foix-Béarn. Like his father he assisted France in her struggle against England, when the French king, John II, favored the count of Armagnac, Gaston left his service and went to fight against the pagans of Prussia. Returning to France around 1357, he delivered some noble ladies from the attacks of the adherents of the Jacquerie at Meaux, and was soon at war with the count of Armagnac. During this struggle he attacked the count of Poitiers, the representative in Languedoc. Gaston, continued to fight against the count of Armagnac, early in 1380, the count was appointed governor of Languedoc, but when Charles VI succeeded Charles V as king in the same year, this appointment was cancelled