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
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
Adamswiller 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 Adamswillerois or Adamswilleroises Adamswiller is located some 20 km north by north-west of Phalsbourg and 20 km south-east of Sarralbe; the D9 road from Mackwiller passes south through the western part of the commune on the way to Durstel in the south. The D182 runs off the D9 in the commune to Rexingen in the south-west. There is the D239 road from the village going north-east to join the D919 road just outside the commune; the commune is farmland with a little forest in the east. The commune is renowned for its pink sandstone from the north-east of the commune, approved for the restoration of historical monuments; the Eichel river forms the north-western border of the commune and the Marstbach forms the western border. The commune lies within the Northern Vosges Regional Natural Park; the commune was part of the County of La Petite-Pierre. Between Adamswiller and Mackwiller there have been found ancient tombs which have been given the name Totdenberg due to the heights on which they were found.
1281: Adelmanswiler 1793: Adamsweiller 1801: AdamswilerIn German: Adamsweiler. List of Successive Mayors of Adamswiller Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 The commune has a number of buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments: A Blacksmith's House at 27 Rue Principale The Town Hall / School at 44 Rue Principale A Farmhouse at 51 Rue Principale A Farmhouse at 55 Rue Principale The Au Cheval Noir restaurant at 59 Rue Principale The Weaver's House at 68 Rue Principale The Worker's House at 69 Rue Principale A Restaurant at 73 Rue Principale The Totenberg Tile Factory at RD 239 Houses and Farms A Public Bench at 12 Rue de la Gare is registered as an historical object. Other sites of interestThe Rauscher Quarry The Black Horse bistro The commune has several religious buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments: A Monstrance Altar Bench at CD 239 A Lutheran Church at Rue Principale; the Church has several items which are registered as historical objects: The Furniture in the Church The Organ A Baptismal Ewer and Basin The Cemetery.
All movable items in the Cemetery are registered as historical objects. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department Communes of the Bas-Rhin department sorted by arrondissements and cantons Communities of Communes of the Bas-Rhin département Arrondissements of the Bas-Rhin département Cantons of the Bas-Rhin département Adamswiller on the old National Geographic Institute website Adamswiller on Lion1906 Adamswiller on Google Maps Adamswiller on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute website Adamsweiller on the 1750 Cassini Map Adamswiller on the INSEE website INSEE
Alteckendorf 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 Alteckendorfois or Alteckendorfoises Alteckendorf is about 30 km north-west of Strasbourg and 20 km east of Saverne. Covering an area of 572 hectares, the commune is located on the plain of Alsace and more in the area of some loess hills behind Kochersberg and between the Vosges Mountains and Germany; the town is located 177 metres above sea level and is watered by the Landgraben stream, a tributary of the Zorn. It is surrounded by the Koppenberg and Schyrberg hills. To the north of the town is the Alteckendorf forest; the Sarreguemines-Strasbourg railway runs through the commune with a station on the south-east edge of the village. Neighbouring localities within a radius of 5 kilometres include Minversheim, Huttendorf, Lixhausen, Bossendorf and Schwindratzheim. Alteckendorf is an hour by car from Strasbourg and is near the famous militarily historical town of Haguenau.
The entire road network occupy 9 hectares out of the 572 hectares of the commune. The town is crossed from west to east by the D69; this road crosses the D25 at Altdorf linking Ettendorf to Hochfelden. This latter approach road is extended by several county roads; the nearest entrance to the Autoroute de L'Est is via the D32 through the toll-gate at Schwindratzheim. There is parking there for car-pooling; the Sarreguemines–Strasbourg railway line has passed through the commune since 1895 and occupies a total of ten hectares. The railway station located at Eckendorf is now disused; this building was purchased by the municipality in 1982 and transformed in 1984 into a multipurpose hall. Now the nearest SNCF station is at Mommenheim accessible from Alteckendorf by a bus connection on the TER Alsace service from Obermodern – Mommenheim. School buses to the College at Hochfelden and to the Bouxwiller High School are available during school terms; the type of climate prevailing in Alteckendorf is a degraded oceanic climate with a large amplitude of temperature.
Thus snowfall is common in winter while some summer days can be hot and stuffy. Situated between two mountain ranges. Rainfall is scarce and irregular compared to other French regions, with natural protection against the prevailing westerly winds from the Vosges; the town is subject to violent storms in spring and summer. The most devastating occurred on 30 May 2008 when floods and mudslides invaded homes; the communal territory of Alteckendorf is not crossed by streams of significant importance. There however two streams: The Landgraben has its source in the north in the commune of Buswiller, it flows south through Ettendorf through Alteckendorf and Minversheim. At Mommenheim, this modest stream takes the name of Minversheimerbach and empties into the River Zorn; the Schweinbachgraben or Schweingraben is a river that marks part of the eastern border of Alteckendorf. This stream has its source north of the village in the territory of Grassendorf, it flows south to join the Landgraben southwest of Minversheim.
The entire commune has been dedicated to agriculture for many centuries. The first written references date back to the 8th century when the abbey of Wissembourg declared themselves the owners of Alteckendorf; the landscape is shaped by the hand of man and there is little room for wilderness. The oldest map describing the territory dates back to the year 1760. Of a total of 1051.06 arpents, 635.70 arpents are devoted to arable land, 125.72 arpents of meadows, 118.78 arpents of pastures, 84.40 arpents of vineyards, 48.20 arpents of forest, 38.26 arpents of orchards and houses. The present village of Alteckendorf is the result of the merger of two distinct communities; the village of Eckendorf is mentioned in the year 742 under the name Echanhaime. Subsequently, the name was again mentioned in 744 with various spellings such as: Ecchenheim and Ecchenthorf, Ekindorf; the Abbey of Wissembourg was listed as the landowner from 752-787. In 1120, the monastery at Mauermünster-Sindelsberg was named as the landowner.
In 1146 it was recorded that the knight Simon de Frundsberg ceded his possessions at Ekindork for "16½ lötig Silberstücke" to the Abbey of Stürzelbronn. In 1194, the monastery at Neuburg was the landowner of Eckendorf. Altdorf does not appear until in history with a different name: Mazonivilare, because it is recorded in a document of 752 that Sigfrid, son of Sigismund gave up his property of "Villa Ecchenheimo et Mazonivilare". No mention of the village occurs later; the name Altdorf does not appear until 1331. The name Oberaltdorf was used to distinguish this village from the nearby hamlet of Niederaltdorf; the name Eckendorf is formed from Eck meaning "corner" or "locality" followed by the appellative Dorf meaning "village", to say "local village" according to Ernest Negro. The name of the hamlet of Oberaltdorf can be translated as "high old village"; the two villages were united in 1777 and called Alt und Eckendorf throughout the 19th century Alt-Eckendorf and since the beginning of the 20th century Alteckendorf.
Today two localities on the cadastral map located one kilo
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
Artolsheim is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Alsace in northeastern France. Artolsheim has the distinction of being further from the sea than any other place in France; the Gulf of Genoa and the mouth of the River Scheldt are both 430 kilometres away. Employment opportunities in the village are limited; the traditional economic focus of the region is Sélestat some fifteen kilometres to the west. The river crossing of Marckolsheim with its associated locks and hydro-electric power station offer employment opportunities: many low-paid seasonal jobs are provided by the Europa-Park'theme park'. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department INSEE commune file
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