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
Betschdorf is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Grand Est in northeastern France. It is located about 45 km north-northeast of Strasbourg on the northern edge of the Forêt de Haguenau, the largest undivided forest in France. Betschdorf is a center of craft pottery manufacture salt-glazed stoneware; the vicinity has been inhabited since neolithic times. In 1912, stelae dedicated to the Roman gods Mars and Diana were discovered in the municipal forest. A document dated 733 refers to a place called Batenondovilla near modern Betschdorf; the 7th-9th century Traditiones Wizenburgenses, chronicles of the Benedictine monastery of Wissembourg, mention a donation by Helphant of Batanesheim, grandson of Battacho. Mention of twin villages begins in the early 14th century. A 1363 document is the first to use the names Niederbetschdorf; the two villages formed part of a district called the Hattgau, which became property of the count of Hanau in 1480. His successors, the counts of Hanau-Lichtenberg, retained property rights after the area fell under French control via the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, were inherited by the landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt in 1736.
The area remained German-speaking and Lutheran under Bourbon rule. The development of Betschdorf as a pottery making center dates from the period 1706-1717, when immigrants from the Rhineland began making stoneware in Oberbetschdorf; the French Revolution caused an exodus of potters to Germany, but the First Empire brought a return and a business boom. During this period the potters formed a business district along the Rue de Potiers; the two Betschdorfs passed into German hands after the Franco-Prussian War. French markets dried up, once again the pottery business went into decline. Back in France after World War I, the housewares pottery business ran into stiff competition from high-volume industrial producers. Local potters began a transition to more decorated art pottery, still in the city's traditional blue and gray colors; this is their primary market today. In 1971, following an act of the French Parliament to provide incentives for the merger of communes, the villages of Oberbetschdorf and Niederbetschdorf merged, ending nearly 750 years of separate existence.
The following year, the nearby villages of Kuhlendorf and Schwabwiller merged into Betschdorf. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department INSEE commune file betschdorf.com - Tourism & economic development site Betschdorf: The Community and Its History Betschdorf: Discover history and pictures of the village
Altwiller is a French commune in the Bas-Rhin department in the Grand Est region of northeastern France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Altwillerois or Altwilleroises Altwiller is located some 20 km south of Sarreguemines on the German border and some 50 km north-east of Nancy; the commune is accessed by the D23 road running east from Vibersviller to the village continuing east to Harskirchen. The D153 road runs through the southern portion of the commune as it runs from the D39 road in the south-west north-east to Harskirchen; the western and northern borders of the commune are the borders between the Bas-Rhin and Moselle departments. As well as Altwiller village there is the hamlet of Chateau Bonnefontaine in the south of the commune; the Canal des Houllietes de la Satre passes along the southern border of the commune. The Rose stream passes near the village flowing west from Moselle to the Albe river forming the northern border of the commune; the northern part of the commune is farmland while the southern part is forested.
Fragments of vases and other Gallo-Roman pieces have been found at Bonnefontaine. The site is located on the salt route. In addition to the two annexes of Neuweyershof and the Bonnefontaine domain the village had in its vicinity a hamlet called Honkesen-Huntzen which has now disappeared. Altwiller was deserted in the 15th century and rebuilt a little in 1559 by Huguenots from Lorraine, it was destroyed again in 1635 by the Croatians became the property of Sarrewerden of Nassau-Saarbrücken with the capital of the Bailiwick of Harskirchen. The village returned to France in 1793. List of Successive Mayors of Altwiller In 2009, the commune had 422 inhabitants; the evolution of the number of inhabitants is known through the population censuses conducted in the town since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of municipalities 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 commune has many buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments: The commune has several religious buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments: The Protestant Church.
There are several items in the church that are registered as historical objects: The Organ The Furniture in the Church A Communion Ewer A Baptismal Ewer The Protestant Presbytery The Lutheran Presbytery The Cemetery at RD 23. The movable items in the cemetery are registered as historical objects. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department Altwiller on the old National Geographic Institute website Altwiller on Lion1906 Altwiller on Google Maps Altwiller on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute website Aiweiller on the 1750 Cassini Map Altwiller on the INSEE website INSEE
Benfeld is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Grand Est in northeastern France. It is situated on the river Ill. In the nearby hamlet Ehl there is an archaeological site with the remains of the Gallo-Roman city Ellelum or Helvetum; the handsome 1846 synagogue survived the Nazi occupation. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department INSEE commune file
Barr is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in the Alsace region of north-eastern France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Barroises; the commune has been awarded "three flowers" by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom. Barr lies in the foothills of the Vosges Mountains at the foot of Mont Sainte-Odile some 25 km south-west of Strasbourg and 5 km north of Epfig; the A35 autoroute passes through the eastern tip of the commune from north to south and Exit 13 lies in the tip of the commune. The D62 runs west through the commune from the exit to Andlau. Access to Barr town is by the D362 from Mittelbergheim in the south, by the D35 from Heiligenstein in the north, by the D42 which branches from the D1422 north of Gertwiller; the D1422 from Gertwiller in the north runs from north to south through the east of the commune and continues to Saint-Pierre. The D854 goes from the town west through the length of the commune north to join the D426 in the west.
The D426 continues through the western part of the commune to Le Hohwald. The D109 comes from Saint-Nabor in the north to join the D854 in the west of the commune; the D130 branches off the D426 in the west of the commune and goes west to join the D214 at Rothlach. There is Barr railway station in the town with the railway going north to Gertwiller station and south to Eichhoffen station. Barr is the wine capital of Alsace with the oldest Alsace wine fair and an historical "Harvest Festival", traditionally held the first weekend of October. La Kirneck river rises in the west of the commune and flows eastwards through the town and continues east to join the Andlau. Barr has a TER Alsace railway station located eight minutes walk from the city centre. There is a train every half-hour; the cycle route of the Alsatian vineyards passes through the centre of the city. Barr town is a step in E2 European path. From 1889 to 1906 the Forest Railway Welschbruch was a narrow gauge forest railway along the river Kirneck.
Part of the "forest of Landsberg" is located in the commune. This forest has been owned by a forestry group run by six managers since 1800; the forest covers 158 hectares spread over 3 communes. It is the subject of a "close to nature forestry" management according to the principles recommended by Prosilva with no clear-felling, it was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council in December 2000 and by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification in December 2002. Barr appears as the same on the 1790 version. Although the first written records mentioning the village of Barr as Barru dates from the year 788, historians believe that the site was occupied long before as evidenced by many prehistoric remains of the Iron Age and Bronze Age discovered in the area. Barr was an imperial property, but in 1522 the Habsburgs leased it to Nicolas Ziegler, converted into Allod or freehold three years later, his son sold it to the city of Strasbourg. This led to Barr being involved in the Bishop's War of Strasbourg against the Catholics of Lorraine, which resulted in Barr's castle and many of its houses being razed to the ground in 1592.
During the Thirty Years War it suffered from the Holy Roman Empire, the Swedes, the French but less than the surrounding villages. During the conflict with Louis XIV in Strasbourg, the town was occupied by the French: the murder of an officer by a resident brought about the burning of the town in retaliation. Rebuilding was rapid and thereafter Barr had no further disasters although it had to endure the passage of troops that had to be fed. In the 18th century there was a legal process that lasted nearly a century opposing the ceding of the localities of the Lordship of Barr to the city of Strasbourg, their suzerain, who claimed all the forests of its vassal. In 1763 a first decision attributed the lands to Strasbourg; the portcullis in the arms symbolizes the ancestral role of this city as the last barrier on the way to the Mont Sainte-Odile a sacred place occupied by the Druids. List of Successive Mayors Barr has twinning associations with: Trier since 1961. Kolda since 1998. In 2010 the commune had 6830 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 communes that have a sample survey every year. Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 Barr has a large number of buildings and sites that are registered as historical monuments. For a complete list including links to descriptions click here. Highlights of some of the sites are: The Protestant Church of Saint Martin) The Protestant and Catholic cemeteries Barracks, Saint Martin church - school and organ; the based was built by the instrument designed by Kriess. The old synagogue had to be destroyed in 1982 following the collapse of a corner pillar, but the windows of the synagogue were reused for the benefit of the Meinau oratory and some stones including the Tablets of Stone are displayed in the park of the Elisa Foundation in Strasbourg.
The Town Hall A Coaching Inn The Museum of the Folie MarcoThe commune has an enormous number of items that are registered as historical objects. For
Bas-Rhin is a department in Alsace, a part of the Grand Est super-region of France. The name means "Lower Rhine", geographically speaking it belongs to the Upper Rhine region, it is the more populous and densely populated of the two departments of the traditional Alsace region, with 1,121,407 inhabitants in 2016. The prefecture and the General Council are based in Strasbourg; the INSEE and Post Code is 67. The inhabitants of the department are known as Bas-Rhinoises; the Rhine has always been of great historical and economic importance to the area, it forms the eastern border of Bas-Rhin. The area is home to some of the foothills of the Vosges Mountains. To the north of Bas-Rhin lies the Palatinate forest in the German State of Rhineland-Palatinate, the German State of Baden-Württemberg lies to the east. To the south lies the department of Haut-Rhin, the town of Colmar and southern Alsace, to the west the department of Moselle. On its south-western corner, Bas-Rhin joins the department of Vosges.
The Bas-Rhin has a continental-type climate, characterised by cold, dry winters and hot, stormy summers, due to the western protection provided by the Vosges. The average annual temperature is 7 °C on high ground; the annual maximum temperature is high. The average rainfall is 700 mm per year. Established according to data from the Infoclimat station at Strasbourg-Entzheim, over the period from 1961 to 1990; this is the last French department to have kept the term Bas meaning "Lower" in its name. Other departments using this prefix preferred to change their names - e.g.: Basses-Pyrenees in 1969 became Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Basses-Alpes in 1970 became the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. The same phenomenon was observed for the inférieur departments such as Charente-Inférieure, Seine-Inférieure, Loire-Inférieure. Bas-Rhin is one of the original 83 departments created on 4 March 1790, during the French Revolution. On 14 January 1790 the National Constituent Assembly decreed: "- That Alsace be divided into two departments with Strasbourg and Colmar as their capitals.
In 1871 Bas-Rhin was annexed by Germany and became Bezirk Unterelsass in Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen. Strasbourg, the chef lieu of Bas-Rhin is the official seat of the European Parliament as well as of the Council of Europe; the demography of Bas-Rhin is characterized by high density and high population growth since the 1950s. In January 2014 Bas-Rhin had 1,112,815 inhabitants and was 18th by population at the national level. In fifteen years, from 1999 to 2014, its population grew by more than 86,000 people, or about 5,800 people per year, but this variation is differentiated among the 517 communes. The population density of Bas-Rhin is 234 inhabitants per square kilometre in 2014, more than twice the average in France, 112 in 2009; the first census was conducted in 1801 and this count, renewed every five years from 1821, provides precise information on the evolution of population in the department. With 540,213 inhabitants in 1831, the department represented 1.66% of the total French population, 32,569,000 inhabitants.
From 1831 to 1866, the department gained 48,757 people, an increase of 0.26% on average per year compared to the national average of 0.48% over the same period. Demographic change between the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and the First World War was higher than the national average. Over this period, the population increased by 100,532 inhabitants, an increase of 16.74%, compared to 10% nationally. The population increased by 9.23% between the two world wars from 1921 to 1936 compared to a national growth of 6.9%. Like other French departments, Bas-Rhin experienced a population boom after the Second World War, higher than the national level; the rate of population growth between 1946 and 2007 was 83.83%
Baldenheim is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in the Alsace region of north-eastern France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Baldenheimoises; the commune has been awarded two flowers by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom. Baldenheim is located in the Canton of Marckolsheim and the Arrondissement of Sélestat-Erstein in the centre of the Alsace region on the alluvial plain of the Rhine, 45 km south of Strasbourg, 26 km north by north-east of Colmar and 8 km east of Sélestat. Access to the commune is by the D605 from Hessenheim in the south which passes through the village and continues north to Muttersholtz; the D209 comes from Schwobsheim in the east and passes through the village continuing west to join the D21 near the commune border. The D208 goes south-west from the village to Mussig; the commune is part of the Ried Natural Region. The water table is only 1.50 metres below the surface on average. Water gives rise to waterways.
The Ill river flows calmly across the plain. Like all the rivers in Vosges it is subject to an oceanic regime, characterized by high winter waters and low summer waters, contrary to the Rhine; the last catastrophic flood occurred in May 1983. The climate is of semi-continental type with about 600 mm of rain per year. Temperature differences are marked: summers can be hot and the winters harsh; the commune outside the urban area has five distinct types of landscape: Suburban Village: orchards and gardens, Rural Open Spaces: fields and woods, Wetland: the Black Ried, Banks of the Ill: the Grey Ried, Forested areas. About 80% of the utilized agricultural area is cultivated; the Ill, the Blind and numerous streams flow north though the commune all merging with the Ill which joins the Rhine at Plobsheim. Bandenheim, 1182 There is a Merovingian and Carolingian Cemetery with a hundred graves which attest to the ancient occupation of the commune. Most of the tombs are shallow and contained no ornaments with disturbed skeletons indicating plundering long ago.
Another group of burials are deeper and contained rich ornaments (brooches in bronze and silver partitioned with garnet, glass beads, glass paste necklaces, amber necklaces, other objects from the second half of the 6th century and the second third of the 7th century. The ornaments collected from Baldenheim are from a time period between 550 and 650. Baldenheim appeared in a document from the second half of the 7th century in the form of Baldenheim Villa; the name of this village, according to legend, is. He refused to retrieve it saying B'haltene; the village adopted this onomatopoeia. But the name Baldenheim does appear in the 9th century; the Protestant Reformation was introduced in 1576. A castle was built in 1740 and destroyed in 1821; the Simultaneau in 1843 provoked a violent conflict between the two religious communities. In the 19th century there was significant growth in weaving and there were 150 weavers in the commune. In the last third of the 19th century, the cooperative movement developed in the commune.
A savings bank was founded in 1890 and a dairy cooperative operated until 1981. In 1324 the village belonged to the Duchy of Württemberg, it had given in fief to the Rathsamhausen zum Stein family. Upon the extinction of this noble family, Louis XIV gave it to the engineer of Chamlay, leaving it for him to pay tribute to the Duke of Württemberg who, at the death of the commander of Chamlay passed the fief to the family of Sandersleben-Coligny. Before the French Revolution it was owned by the Waldner Freundstein family whose castle was demolished in 1820. From the 19th century home weaving occupied a important place in the local economy. Baldenheim is known for its festival of "Pfingstpflitteri", held for the tenth time in 1999. In July 1902 Oscar Pfiffer discovered some objects in his field at Lange Gasse. A more thorough search uncovered other Merovingian objects. A study published in 1907 by R. Henning made Baldenheim the eponymous site for this type of helmet with thirty examples identified at this time.
The Baldenheim Helmet is now on display at the Museum of Archaeology in Strasbourg. List of Successive Mayors In 2010 the commune had 1,150 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 communes that have a sample survey every year. Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 The ratio of active population to total population of the commune has grown above the cantonal average. There is evidence that unemployment has decreased. Fruit and vegetables and plants are cultivated in the commune and there are a dozen pig farmers; the number of farms has decreased but orchards are still important and Baldenheim is known for its "white apples of Baldenheim". The village enjoys a high level of economic activity and expansion. There are 440 jobs available in the commune to over 1000 inhabitants.
The commune has many buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments: Farmhouses Other sites of interestThe Town Hall is on the former location of the communal school which existed from 1600 which for a long time provided separate courses for Cathol