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
Aschbach is a French commune in the Bas-Rhin department in the Grand Est region of north-eastern France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Aschbachoises. Aschbach is located some 13 km south by south-east of Wissembourg and 8 km east of Soultz-sous-Forêts. Access to the commune is by the D245 road from Stundwiller in the south passing through the village and continuing north to Seebach. With exception of a small band of forest on the western border the commune is farmland; the Seebach river forms the eastern border of the commune as it flows south to join the Seltzbach at Buhl. An unnamed stream rises in the centre of the commune and flows south-east through the village to join the Seebach on the south-eastern border. In the 14th century Aschbach was the property of the Diocese of Speyer. Under the Ancien Régime Aschbach and Oberroedern formed the Superior Court with their church at Stundwiller; these three villages were merged in 1974 but Aschbach was separated again in 1988. According to the cadastral plan of 1839 there were buildings built close together and other places which were marshlands.
The school was built in 1833, an oratory at a place called Kreutzfeld dates to 1864, the church was built in 1871. The village suffered terrible damage in the Second World War and reconstruction gave the village a new look with a larger and more open built-up area; the presbytery was built in 1950. List of Successive Mayors In 2010 the commune had 667 inhabitants; the evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger towns that have a sample survey every year. Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 Aschbach has four registrations as historical monuments; these are: Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception Farmhouse at 19 Grand Rue House and Farms The Village The Church of the Immaculate Conception has many items which are registered as historical objects. These are: 2 Monstrances Monstrance Cross: Christ on the cross Painting: Saint Joseph with the child Jesus 10 Statues of Saints Pulpit, 2 Confessionals, Baptismal fonts 3 Altars, 3 Tabernacles, 3 Retables, church stall, half-height panelling Furniture in the Church Wayside cross: Christ on the cross at Hohlacker Inside the Church Communes of the Bas-Rhin department Aschbach, Bas-Rhin on Lion1906 Aschbach on the National Geographical Institute website Aschbach on Google Maps Aschbach on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute website Asbach on the 1750 Cassini Map Aschbach on the INSEE website INSEE
Beinheim is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Grand Est in the Alsace region of northeastern France. Beinheim lies on the A35 autoroute between Seltz, it is about 50 kilometres north near the German border. In 884, Beinheim belonged to the Abbey of Honau, is mentioned as such in a document of Charles the Fat; as a former landgrave city with a castle, by the 15th century, Beinheim was no longer head of the Riet. In 1255, Beinheim belonged to the baron of Fleckenstein, who sold it to the margrave of Bade in 1402 or 1404; the margrave introduced religious reform, which did not gain much of a hold. In 1497 the margrave sold Beinheim to the Count Palatine. In 1557 the count sold it back to the margrave, who maintained possession until the French Revolution; the castle was demolished in 1687. Bernard Hentsch was elected mayor in 2001 and has held the position since re-elected most in 2014. Beinheim has 19 municipal councillors. Census data has been collected since 1793. Since 2009, the populations of French communes are published yearly through a census based on annual data collection from all the communal territories over a period of five years.
For communes of under 10 000 inhabitants, census inquiries are made of the entire population every five years, with the populations of intermediate years extrapolated or interpolated. For the commune, the first exhaustive census under the new system was taken in 2006. Jean Adam Schramm French lieutenant-general during the Revolution and Empire was born and died in Beinheim. François Bracci French international association football player was born on 31 October, 1951 in Beinheim. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department INSEE commune file
Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain; the United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered; the communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France. Communes vary in size and area, from large sprawling cities with millions of inhabitants like Paris, to small hamlets with only a handful of inhabitants. Communes are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes, the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers.
Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy. A commune is city, or other municipality. "Commune" in English has a historical bias, implies an association with socialist political movements or philosophies, collectivist lifestyles, or particular history. There is nothing intrinsically different between commune in French; the French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, for a large gathering of people sharing a common life. As of January 2015, there were 36,681 communes in France, 36,552 of them in metropolitan France and 129 of them overseas; this is a higher total than that of any other European country, because French communes still reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution. The whole territory of the French Republic is divided into communes.
This is unlike some other countries, such as the United States, where unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority can be found. There are only a few exceptions: COM of Saint-Martin, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. COM of Wallis and Futuna, which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. COM of Saint Barthélemy, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe region. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. Furthermore, two regions without permanent habitation have no communes: TOM of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 was 14.88 square kilometres. The median area of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was smaller, at 10.73 square kilometres. The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than that of most European countries. In Italy, the median area of communes is 22 km2. Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France; the communes of France's overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards. They group into the same commune several villages or towns with sizeable distances among them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes; the median population of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. Again this is a small number, here France stands apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries; this small median population of French communes can be compared with Italy, where the median population of communes in 2001 was 2,343 inhabitants, Belgium, or Spain.
The median population given here should not hide the fact that there are pronounced differences in size between French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a hamlet of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a few hundred inhabitants. In metropolitan France just over 50 percent of the 36,683 communes have fewer than 500 inhabitants a
Albé is a commune in the Bas Rhin département in Alsace in north-eastern France. It is located 2 km northeast of Villé, on the left bank of the river Giessen close to the valley of Erlenbach, from which it derives its name. To the North and West it is bounded by mountains leading to the communes of Breitenbach. To the East is the peak of Ungersberg. Numerous streams flow from this mounting and the buttresses of the Champ du Feu to the north, which merge to form the brook of the Erlenberg; this river flowed down the main street of the village, but has now been covered. The village is at 300 m altitude; until 1867 the village was known by its German name Erlenbach. The name Albé was formally adopted in 1919. Under Louis XIV it was awarded a coat of arms emblazoned "Azure, three chevrons Argent"; the Azure suggests the river and the three chevrons a narrow boxed valley. The village is first mentioned in 1303 as a possession of the Habsburg Empire. A growth in the population, as a result of an expansion in farming and forestry led to the demands by the abbot of Honcourt for the construction of a church, begun by 1342.
From the 13th to the 15th century, the area was occupied by various armies loyal to the German Emperor or the Pope. The nearby camp of Armagnacs, stationed in Châtenois, may have plundered Albé and other villages in the region. During the Easter of 1525, the peasantry of Albé took part in a revolt and the Abbeys of Honcourt and Baumgarten were destroyed; the revolt was crushed by troops from Lorraine on 20 May 1525, Albé was named by the Lord of Ensisheim as among those responsible for the sacking of the abbeys, liable for reprisal. Fire spread through the village in 1575 resulting in the destruction of the church; the town suffered again during the Thirty Years War. After attempting to resist Swedish troops, the town was laid waste. After the war, the town grew again and there was an influx of people from many different backgrounds, who brought with them their architectural traditions. A century of peace brought prosperity based again on viticulture, during the 18th century many grand lintel frame houses were built.
The French revolution brought a mixture of fear and hope, the town preserves a tree of freedom, a lime planted in 1795 in the village square. The church had been enlarged in 1752, by 1802 the village had a full-time vicar and obtained the status of parish. At the end of the 19th century the farmland was becoming exhausted and the spread of phylloxera gravely affected the town and the population shrank. Coal mines are operating in the village; the town is principally known for its wine, it is the only town in the valley to produce its own vin d'Alsace. The vineyards are on sunny slopes; the vineyards now cover about 15 hectares, this area is expected to increase as hillsides are improved for the purpose. Most of the grapes are processed locally; the forest surrounding the town is held in common, though some is managed for chestnuts and fuel. There is little industry in Albé, cottage industries such as weaving are not significant; however the production of brandy has taken place on a commercial scale.
The Maison du Val de Villé is a local museum, housed in the former mairie. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department INSEE commune file
Balbronn is a French commune in the Bas-Rhin department in the Grand Est region of north-eastern France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Balbronnaises. Balbronn is located 8 km south-west of Wasselonne. Access to the commune is by the D75 road from Westhoffen in the north which passes through the village and continues west through the commune south-west to Oberhaslach; the D275 goes from the village south-east to Bergbieten. The commune is farmland but with large forests north of the D75 in the west of the commune. Le Schleithal river flows south through the forests in the west and continues south through the commune to join the Bruche at Dinsheim-sur-Bruche; the Niedermattgraben rises near the village and flows south-east to join the Kehlbach east of Bergbieten. In his chronicle, Hertzog describes Balbronn as a Staettlin; the church is old. Inside it is a headstone from 1574 containing the remains of Jean de Mittelhausen and his wife Barbe Hufel. In the forests in the west of Balbronn there was once a village called Elbersforst, in a large clearing in the forest where there is now the Auberge d'Elemerforst.
A plaque indicates. Stones from the old village can still be seen above the restaurant patio; these are the old foundations of several buildings of what was called Elbersforst. Since 2007 this medieval town has been the subject of archaeological excavations. Elbersforst was part of Westhoffen. List of Successive Mayors; 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 commune has many buildings and sites that are registered as historical monuments: A Jewish House at 47-48 Rue Balbach Farmhouses A Chateau at Rue du Chateau The Town Hall/School at 63 Place de la Mairie A Protestant School at 170 Place du Pasteur-Albert-Kiefer A Merchant's House at 29 Rue des Tonneliers A Forester's House at Elmersforst The commune has several religious buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments: A Synagogue at Rue des Femmes A Protestant Presbytery 173 Rue du Fossé.
The Presbytery contains 2 communion ewers. A Protestant Church at Place du Pasteur-Albert-Kiefer The Parish Church of Saint-Catherine at Rue de Westhoffen The church contains many items that are registered as historical objects: The Furniture in the Church A Chalice with Paten and Spoon A Painting: Saint Catherine A Eucharistic Cabinet A Baptismal font The main Altar 3 Stained glass windows A Monumental Cross The Interdenominational Cemetery at Rue de Westhoffen The Church and Cemetery of Balbronn; the Cemetery contains a Cemetery Cross, registered as an historical object. Louis Albert Kiefer, pastor from 1873 to 1913, the date of his death, author of the book: Die geschichte balbronn, 1894. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department Balbronn on the old National Geographic website Regional Directorate of the Environment, Sustainable development, Lodgings website Balbronn official website Balbronn on Lion1906 Balbronn on Google Maps Balbronn on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute website Balbronn on the 1750 Cassini Map Balbronn on the INSEE website INSEE
Andlau is a French commune in the Bas-Rhin department in the Alsace region of northeastern France. The village owes its origin to Andlau Abbey, founded in 880 by Richardis, the empress of Charles the Fat. Andlau has been a wine-growing traveler destination since its earliest days; the inhabitants of the commune are known as Andlaviens or AndlaviennesThe 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. Andlau is located some 40 km south by 20 km north of Selestat, it is a small town in the Canton of Barr located in the valley of the Andlau river in the foothills of the Vosges Mountains. The surroundings of Andlau town are the Vosges, including a summit, the Stosskopf, which attains a height of 700 metres; the surrounding communes include Mittelbergheim to the north-east, Eichhoffen to the east, Bernardvillé to the south, Le Hohwald to the north-west and Barr. The commune has an area of 23.69 km² and its highest point is towards the northern tip of Niederberg and rises to 807 metres.
Access to the commune is by the D62 road from Exit 13 on the A35 autoroute which goes west to the town. There is the D425 from just north of Eichhoffen going west to the village continuing west to Le Hohwald. West of the town the commune is forested with an extensive network of forest roads. East of the town there is a small area of farmland; the Andlau River: a small river which rises in the Vosges Mountains near the Champ du Feu, a mountain situated at the eastern end of the Ban-de-la-Roche. It flows from west to east through Andlau, Saint-Pierre, Zellwiller, Hindisheim and Fegersheim empties into the Ill downstream of Ill commune. Further upstream the waters of the Valff and the Kirneck used to power 60 mills and other factories until the 19th century, its course is about 45 km. Andelaha Andelelaha Andeloïa Andeloha Andelow Andeloa Andelow Andelach Andlau is a distortion of the word Andelaha from Andelaw or Andlaw. Andelaha could come from the original name of the river of which there are traces in old maps drawn in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The Andlau River is 42.8 km long and flows from the Champ du Feu to the Ill and is the origin of the name of the town. On 30 July 1857 Andlau was called Andlau-au-Val to distinguish it from that of Andelot in Haute-Marne. At the beginning of the 20th century the name became Andlau; the village undoubtedly existed in Gallo-Roman times. The village developed around the abbey of nuns founded in 880 AD by Richarde de Souabe, daughter of the Count of Alsace, known as Erchangar. Sainte Richarde the wife of Emperor Charles the Fat, grandson of Louis the Pious; the abbey was placed in Saint-Sauveur following the rule of Saint Benedict and received the protection of the Pope. It was allowed to raise money until 1004, it subsequently received many privileges. The Emperor Charles IV, in confirming it in 1347, declared the abbey free of all charges and contributions and granted to the abbess Adelaide de Geroldseck, her successors, the title of Princess of the Empire; the exact date of its secularization is not known but it is believed that it took place between the 12th and 14th centuries.
In addition to the charter from Emperor Charles IV many other anterior and posterior diplomas were granted to the abbey to confirm the privileges it had obtained or to give it new ones. The recipients were required to demonstrate sixteen Quarters of nobility without misalliance and the most illustrious families of Alsace and Germany vied for the honour of admitting their girls, they were not subject to a vow and could, when they wished, return to their families and marry. This abbey received from its inception an illustration that contributed to its prosperity and its status, it is known that the Emperor Charles the Fat was too weak to govern the vast empire, reunited under him by the death of his two brothers left in the care of the Empress Richarde, his wife. She had to advise Bishop of Vercelli. Courtiers, jealous of the authority of the bishop and the confidence, accorded him by the Empress, long meditated his ruin and found a way to turn the heart of the weak monarch to jealousy which piety, the eminent qualities of his wife, twenty-five years of happy marriage were powerless to stop.
Liutward was expelled from the court and the repudiated Empress retired to the monastery of Andlau. The legend of Saint Richarde was that she suffered the ordeal of fire and, dressed in a shirt coated with wax, was set fire in four places, she was not burned by the flames which were miraculously extinguished. In any case it was in this monastery that the wife of Charles the Fat ended her days in prayer and good works, she found a source of consolation in letters in which she wrote with great distinction several beautiful poems which have been preserved until now where she writes of her resignation and the purity of her soul. She was buried in a side chapel of the Andlau church. A century and a half she was canonized by Pope Leo IX, in Alsace, his homeland, came to bless Andlau's new church built by the Abbess Mathilde, sister of Emperor Henry III; the first references to the house of Andlau are in the 12th century which makes this family one of the oldest lines in France. The Andlau line forms 0.5% of the French nobility and their origins date back to the late Middle Ages so are considered old nobility – distinguished nobility or ancient nobility.
The nobles of Andlau may have given their name to the town. According to some sources, the Andlau family