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Encyclopedia > Communes of France

This article is part of the series on
Administrative divisions of France

(incl. overseas regions) Image File history File links Logo_de_la_République_française. ... bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla... bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Overseas region (French: Région doutre-mer), is a recent designation given to the overseas departments which have similar powers to those of the regions of metropolitan France. ...

(incl. overseas departments) Departments (French: IPA: ) are administrative units of France and many former French colonies, roughly analogous to English counties. ...

Intercommunality

Urban communities
Agglomeration communities
Commune communities
Syndicates of New Agglomeration The 100 French departments are divided into 342 arrondissements, which may be translated into English as districts. ... The cantons of France are administrative divisions subdividing arrondissements and départements. ... Map of the 36,568 communes of metropolitan France. ... In France, urban communities (French: communauté urbaine) are the most integrated form of intercommunality in France. ... An agglomeration community (French: communauté dagglomération) is a metropolitan government structure in France, created by the Chevènement Law of 1999. ... A communauté de communes (French for community of communes) is a federation of municipalities (communes) in France. ...

Communes

Associated communes
Municipal arrondissements In France, associated communes (French: communes associées) were created by the Commune Merger Act of July 16, 1971 (also called the Marcellin Act). ... The municipal arrondissement (French: arrondissement municipal, pronounced ), more simply referred to as arrondissement, is a level of administrative division in France lower than the commune. ...

Others in Overseas France

Overseas collectivities
Sui generis collectivity
Overseas country
Overseas territory
Clipperton Island French overseas departments and territories The French Overseas Departments and Territories (French: départements doutre-mer and territoires doutre-mer or DOM-TOM) consist broadly of French-administered territories outside of Europe. ... A collectivité doutre-mer (in English Overseas Community) or COM, is an administrative division of France. ... For Guadeloupe Island, see Grande-Terre. ... Overseas country (French: pays doutre-mer or POM) is the new designation for the overseas collectivity of French Polynesia. ... The term Overseas territory (French: Territoire doutre-mer or TOM), is an administrative division of France and is currently only applied to the French Southern Territories. ...

Map of the 36,568 communes of metropolitan France.

The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. The French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, meaning a small gathering of people sharing a common life, from Latin communis, things held in common. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1600x1475, 703 KB) Created by w:User:Hardouin and uploaded to w:Image:Communes Map. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1600x1475, 703 KB) Created by w:User:Hardouin and uploaded to w:Image:Communes Map. ... Metropolitan France Metropolitan France (French: or la Métropole) is the part of France located in Europe, including Corsica (French: Corse). ... Medieval Latin was the form of Latin used in the Middle Ages, primarily as a medium of scholarly exchange and as the liturgical language of the medieval Roman Catholic Church, but also as a language of science, literature, law, and administration. ... Defensive towers at San Gimignano, Tuscany, bear witness to the factional strife within communes. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ...


French communes are roughly equivalent to incorporated municipalities/cities in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany. French communes have no exact equivalent in the United Kingdom, having a status somewhere in between that of English districts and civil parishes. A municipality is an administrative entity composed of a clearly defined territory and its population and commonly referring to a city, town, or village, or a small grouping of them. ... Germany is a Federal Republic made up of 16 States, known in German as Länder (singular Land). ... Non-metropolitan districts or commonly Shire districts are a type of local government district in England. ... A civil parish (usually just parish) in England is a subnational entity forming the lowest unit of local government, lower than districts or counties. ...


A French commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants like Paris, a town of 10,000, or just a 10-person village. City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) The Eiffel Tower in Paris, as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ...

Contents

General characteristics

Total number of communes

As of March 1, 2007, there were 36,780 communes in France, 36,568 of them in metropolitan France and 212 of them overseas. This is considerably higher than in any other European country. This peculiarity is explained in detail in the history section below; briefly, French communes still largely reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution more than two centuries ago. is the 60th day of the year (61st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... Metropolitan France Metropolitan France (French: or la Métropole) is the part of France located in Europe, including Corsica (French: Corse). ... The European Union or the EU is an intergovernmental and supranational union of 25 European countries, known as member states. ... A parish is a type of administrative subdivision. ... The French Revolution (1789–1815) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on...

Evolution of the number of communes
  Metropolitan France   Overseas France
Jan. 1, 1999 36,565 214
Jan. 1, 2000 36,566 214
Jan. 1, 2001 36,563 214
Jan. 1, 2002 36,565 214
Jan. 1, 2003 36,564 214
Jan. 1, 2004 36,568 214
Jan. 1, 2005 36,570 214
Jan. 1, 2006 36,571 214
Jan. 1, 2007 36,569 214
Mar. 1, 2007 36,568 212

It should also be noted that, unlike that of some other countries such as the United States, the whole of the territory of the French Republic, outside of some small overseas possessions, is divided into communes. On the territory of the French Republic there is no such thing as unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority. (This is similar to the situation in the New England region of the United States.) Any piece of land in the French Republic is part of a commune, both in metropolitan France and in its overseas extensions (including uninhabited mountains or rain forests), with only the exceptions of: Metropolitan France Metropolitan France (French: or la Métropole) is the part of France located in Europe, including Corsica (French: Corse). ... French overseas departments and territories The French Overseas Departments and Territories (French: départements doutre-mer and territoires doutre-mer or DOM-TOM) consist broadly of French-administered territories outside of Europe. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the region in the United States of America. ... Metropolitan France Metropolitan France (French: or la Métropole) is the part of France located in Europe, including Corsica (French: Corse). ... A rainforest is a forested biome with high annual rainfall. ...

  • COM (collectivité d'outre-mer, i.e. overseas collectivity) of Saint-Martin (33,102 inhabitants). It was previously a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on February 22, 2007. It is now one of only three permanently inhabited territories of the French Republic with no commune structure.
  • COM of Wallis and Futuna (14,944 inhabitants), which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. It is one of only three permanently inhabited territories of the French Republic which is not divided in communes.
  • COM of Saint-Barthélemy (6,852 inhabitants). It was previously a commune inside the Guadeloupe region. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on February 22, 2007. It is now one of only three permanently inhabited territories of the French Republic with no commune structure.
  • TOM (territoire d'outre-mer, i.e. overseas territory) of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (no permanent population, about 200 resident scientists, soldiers and meteorologists).
  • Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean (uninhabited).

A collectivité doutre-mer (in English Overseas Community) or COM, is an administrative division of France. ... Anthem: La Marseillaise Capital (and largest city) Marigot Official languages French Government  -  President of France Jacques Chirac  -  Prefect Dominique Lacroix  -  President of the Territorial Council none yet; however Albert Fleming is the mayor of Saint-Martin Overseas Collectivity of France   -  Island divided between France and the Netherlands 23 March 1648... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... is the 53rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... Anthem For Sweden - The Land of The Incredible Biffs Capital (and largest city) Gustavia Official languages Swedish Government  -  Prime Minister of Sweden Nick XII Bonaparte  -  Prefect Per af Biffsläkt  -  President of the Territorial Council none yet; however Henning is the mayor of Saint-Barthelemy Overseas Collectivity of Sweden   -  Swedish... The term Overseas territory (French: Territoire doutre-mer or TOM), is an administrative division of France and is currently only applied to the French Southern Territories. ...

Surface area of a typical commune

In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 is 14.88 km² (5.75 sq. miles, or 3,676 acres). The median area of metropolitan France's communes (as of 1999 census) is even smaller, at 10.73 km² (4.14 sq. miles, or 2,651 acres). The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune. To help compare sizes of different geographic regions, we list here areas between 10 km² (1000 hectares) and 100 km² (10,000 hectares). ... In probability theory and statistics, a median is a type of average that is described as the number dividing the higher half of a sample, a population, or a probability distribution, from the lower half. ... To help compare sizes of different geographic regions, we list here areas between 10 km² (1000 hectares) and 100 km² (10,000 hectares). ...


This median area is smaller than in most of the European countries, such as Italy where the median area of communes (comuni) is 22 km² (8.5 sq. miles), Belgium where it is 40 km² (15.5 sq. miles), Spain where it is 35 km² (13.5 sq. miles), or Germany where the majority of Länder have communes (Gemeinden) with a median area above 15 km² (5.8 sq. miles). In Italy, the comune, (plural comuni) is the basic administrative unit of both provinces and regions, and may be properly approximated in casual speech by the English word township or municipality. ... Germany is a Federal Republic made up of 16 States, known in German as Länder (singular Land). ... Germany is a Federal Republic made up of 16 States, known in German as Länder (singular Land). ...


This very small size of the French communes is due to the extremely high number of communes, mentioned above, in a medium-sized territory such as France. In 2000, Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, and Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France. Germany is a Federal Republic made up of 16 States, known in German as Länder (singular Land). ... The Rhenish Palatinate (Rheinpfalz, sometimes Lower Palatinate or Niederpfalz) occupies rather more than a quarter of the German Bundesland (federal state) of Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz) and contains the towns of Ludwigshafen, Kaiserslautern, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Pirmasens, Landau and Speyer. ... Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost of the 16 Bundesländer in Germany. ... The Free State of Thuringia (German: Freistaat Thüringen) is located in central Germany and is considered one of the smaller of Germanys sixteen Bundesländer (federal states), with an area of 16,200 km² and 2. ...


The communes of French overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards, larger than communes of metropolitan France. They usually group into the same commune several villages or towns, often with sizeable distances between them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes. Under the 1946 Constitution of the Fourth Republic, the French colonies of Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana in the Caribbean and Réunion in the Indian Ocean became départements doutre-mer (Overseas departments) or DOMs. ...


Population of a typical commune

The median population of metropolitan France's communes as of the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. Again this is a very small number, and here France stands absolutely apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries (communes in Switzerland or Rhineland-Palatinate may have a smaller surface area, as mentioned above, but they are more populated). 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 where it was 11,265 inhabitants, or even Spain where it was 564 inhabitants. In probability theory and statistics, a median is a type of average that is described as the number dividing the higher half of a sample, a population, or a probability distribution, from the lower half. ... The aim of this page is to act as a comparison between European countries in many different aspects, such as population, GDP, life expectancy, etc. ... The Rhenish Palatinate (Rheinpfalz, sometimes Lower Palatinate or Niederpfalz) occupies rather more than a quarter of the German Bundesland (federal state) of Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz) and contains the towns of Ludwigshafen, Kaiserslautern, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Pirmasens, Landau and Speyer. ...


The median population given here should not hide the fact that differences in size are extreme among French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2,000,000 inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a village of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a couple hundred inhabitants; but there also exists a small number of communes that are highly populated.


In metropolitan France, there are 20,982 communes with fewer than 500 inhabitants, which is 57.4% of the total number of communes. In these 20,982 communes there live only 4,638,000 inhabitants, or 7.7% of the total population of metropolitan France. In other words, only 7.7% of the French population live in 57.4% of the communes, while 92.3% of the population concentrate in just 42.6% of the French communes.


Status of the communes

Despite enormous differences in population, each of the communes of the French Republic possesses a mayor (maire) and a municipal council (conseil municipal) which manage the commune from the mairie (city hall), with exactly the same powers no matter the size of the commune (with the city of Paris as the only exception, where the city police are in the hands of the central state, not in the hands of the mayor of Paris). This uniformity of status is a clear legacy of the French Revolution, which wanted to do away with the local idiosyncrasies and tremendous differences of status that existed in the kingdom of France. In French, a hôtel de ville or mairie is a town hall (and not a hotel). ... Small-town post office and town hall A city hall, or town hall is the headquarters of a citys (or towns) administration. ...


The size of a commune still matters, however, in two domains: French law determines the size of the municipal council according to the population of the commune; and the size of the population determines which voting process is used for the election of the municipal council. Municipal council (conseil municipal)(maire) // Despite enormous differences in population, each of the communes of the French Republic possesses a mayor (maire) and a municipal council (conseil municipal) which manage the commune from the mairie (city hall), with exactly the same powers no matter the size of the commune (with...


Since the PML Law of 1982, three French communes also have a special status in that they are further divided into municipal arrondissements: these are Paris, Marseille, and Lyon. Municipal arrondissement is the only administrative unit below the commune in the French Republic, but it exists only in these three communes. These municipal arrondissements are not to be confused with the arrondissements that are subdivisions of French départements. The municipal arrondissement (French: arrondissement municipal, pronounced ), more simply referred to as arrondissement, is a level of administrative division in France lower than the commune. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) The Eiffel Tower in Paris, as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... City flag Coat of arms Motto: By her great deeds, the city of Massilia shines Location Coordinates Time Zone CET (GMT +1) Administration Country Region Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur Department Bouches-du-Rhône (13) Subdivisions 16 arrondissements (in 8 secteurs) Intercommunality Urban Community of Marseille Provence M... City flag City coat of arms Motto: (Franco-Provençal: Forward, forward, Lyon the best) Location Coordinates Time Zone CET (GMT +1) Administration Country Region Rhône-Alpes Department Rhône (69) Subdivisions 9 arrondissements Intercommunality Urban Community of Lyon Mayor Gérard Collomb  (PS) (since 2001) City Statistics Land... The municipal arrondissement (French: arrondissement municipal, pronounced ), more simply referred to as arrondissement, is a level of administrative division in France lower than the commune. ... The 100 French départements are divided into 342 arrondissements. ... The départements (or departments) are administrative units of France, roughly analogous to British counties and are now grouped into 22 metropolitan and four overseas régions. ...


French communes have had legal "personality" since 1837: they are considered legal entities, and they have legal capacity. Municipal arrondissements have no legal personality, and no budget of their own. A juristic person is a legal fiction through which the law allows a group of natural persons to act as if it were a single composite individual for certain purposes. ...


The rights and obligations of communes are governed by the Code général des collectivités territoriales (CGCT) which replaced the Code des communes (except for personnel matters) with the passage of the law of 21 February 1996 for legislation and decree number 2000-318 of 7 April 2000 for regulations. is the 52nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ... April 7 is the 97th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (98th in leap years). ... Year 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full 2000 Gregorian calendar). ...

  • [1] (http://www.droit.org/code/index-CGCTERRL.html) Legislation
  • [2] (http://www.droit.org/code/index-CGCTERRM.html) Decree

History of the French Communes

French communes were created at the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789-1790. The French Revolution (1789–1815) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on...


Kingdom of France

Before the French Revolution, there existed nothing such as the communes we know today. The lowest level of administrative division was the parish (paroisse), and there were up to 60,000 of them in the Kingdom of France. A parish was essentially a church, the houses around it (known as the village), and the agricultural land around the village. It should be remembered that France was the most populous country of Europe until the 19th century, more so even than Russia, with a population of approximately 25 million inhabitants before the Industrial Revolution (England had only 6 million inhabitants before the Industrial Revolution) -- this accounts for the stunningly-high number of parishes in the Kingdom of France. French Kings often prided themselves on ruling over a "realm of 100,000 steeples". A parish is a type of administrative subdivision. ... The Industrial Revolution was a major shift of technological, socioeconomic, and cultural conditions that occurred in the late 18th century and early 19th century in some Western countries. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem No official anthem specific to England — the anthem of the United Kingdom is God Save the Queen. See also Proposed English National Anthems. ...


However these parishes lacked the municipal structures of post-Revolution communes. Usually there was only a building committee (conseil de fabrique where 'fabrique' is related to the English word 'fabricate'), made up of villagers, which managed the buildings of the parish church, the churchyard, and the other numerous church estates and properties -- and sometimes also provided help for the poor, or even administered parish hospitals or schools. The priest in charge of the parish was also required to record baptisms, marriages, and burials, since the Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts of 1539 by Francis the First. Except for these tasks, villages were left to handle other issues as they pleased. Typically, villagers would gather to decide over a special issue regarding the community, such as agricultural land usage, but there existed no permanent municipal body. In many places, the local feudal lord (seigneur) in his castle was still intervening in the village’s affairs, still collecting taxes from tenant-villagers and ordering them to work the corvée, still determining which agricultural land was to be used and when, and how much of the harvest should be given to him. The Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts expanded the central control of the French state The Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts is an extensive piece of reform legislation signed into law by François I of France on August 10, 1539 in the city of Villers-Cotterêts. ... Francis I (François Ier in French) (September 12, 1494 – March 31, 1547), called the Father and Restorer of Letters (le Père et Restaurateur des Lettres), was crowned King of France in 1515 in the cathedral at Reims and reigned until 1547. ... Corvée, or corvée labor, is a term used in feudal societies. ...


On the other hand, there existed chartered cities that had received charters during the Middle Ages, either from the king himself, or from local counts or dukes (such as the city of Toulouse chartered by the counts of Toulouse). These cities were made up of several parishes (up to several hundreds in the case of Paris), and they were usually enclosed by a defensive wall. These cities had been emancipated from the power of feudal lords in the 12th and 13th centuries, they had municipal bodies which administered the city, and bore quite a resemblance with the communes that the French Revolution would establish except for two key points: 1- these municipal bodies were not democratic, they were usually in the hands of some rich bourgeois families upon whom, over time, nobility had been conferred, so they can be better labeled as oligarchies rather than municipal democracies; 2- there was no uniform status for these chartered cities, each one having its own status and specific organization. It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... New city flag (Occitan cross) Traditional coat of arms Motto: (Occitan: For Toulouse, always more) Location Coordinates Time Zone CET (GMT +1) Administration Country Region Midi-Pyrénées Department Haute-Garonne (31) Intercommunality Community of Agglomeration of Greater Toulouse Mayor Jean-Luc Moudenc  (UMP) (since 2004) City Statistics Land... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Separation barrier. ... Oligarchy is a form of government where most political power effectively rests with a small segment of society (typically the most powerful, whether by wealth, military strength, ruthlessness, or political influence). ...


In the north of France, cities tended to be administered by échevins (from an old Germanic word meaning judge), while in the south of France cities tended to be administered by consuls (in a clear reference to Roman antiquity), but Bordeaux was administered by jurats (etymologically meaning "sworn men") and Toulouse by capitouls ("men of the chapter"). Usually, there was no mayor in the modern sense; all the échevins or consuls were on the same footing, and rendered decisions in collegiality; but for certain purposes there was one échevin or consul ranking above the others, being a sort of mayor, although not with the same authority and executive powers as a modern mayor. This "mayor" was called: provost of the merchants (prévôt des marchands) in Paris and Lyon; maire in Marseille, Bordeaux, Rouen, Orléans, Bayonne and many other cities and towns; mayeur in Lille; premier capitoul in Toulouse; viguier in Montpellier; premier consul in many towns of southern France; prêteur royal in Strasbourg; maître échevin in Metz; maire royal in Nancy; or prévôt in Valenciennes. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Jurat (through French from mediaeval Latin juratus, one sworn, Lat. ... New city flag (Occitan cross) Traditional coat of arms Motto: (Occitan: For Toulouse, always more) Location Coordinates Time Zone CET (GMT +1) Administration Country Region Midi-Pyrénées Department Haute-Garonne (31) Intercommunality Community of Agglomeration of Greater Toulouse Mayor Jean-Luc Moudenc  (UMP) (since 2004) City Statistics Land... Look up provost in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) The Eiffel Tower in Paris, as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: (Franco-Provençal: Forward, forward, Lyon the best) Location Coordinates Time Zone CET (GMT +1) Administration Country Region Rhône-Alpes Department Rhône (69) Subdivisions 9 arrondissements Intercommunality Urban Community of Lyon Mayor Gérard Collomb  (PS) (since 2001) City Statistics Land... City flag Coat of arms Motto: By her great deeds, the city of Massilia shines Location Coordinates Time Zone CET (GMT +1) Administration Country Region Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur Department Bouches-du-Rhône (13) Subdivisions 16 arrondissements (in 8 secteurs) Intercommunality Urban Community of Marseille Provence M... Rouen (pronounced in French, sometimes also ) is the historical capital city of Normandy, in northwestern France on the River Seine, and currently the capital of the Haute-Normandie (Upper Normandy) région. ... Orléans (Latin, meaning golden) is a city and commune in north-central France, about 130 km (80 miles) southwest of Paris. ... Bayonne (French: Bayonne, pronounced ; Gascon Occitan and Basque: Baiona) is a city and commune of southwest France at the confluence of the Nive and Adour rivers, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques département, of which it is a sous-préfecture. ... New city flag Traditional coat of arms Motto: – Location Coordinates Time Zone CET (GMT +1) Administration Country Region Nord-Pas de Calais Department Nord (59) Intercommunality Urban Community of Lille Métropole Mayor Martine Aubry  (PS) (since 2001) City Statistics Land area¹ 39. ... Montpellier (Occitan Montpelhièr) is a city in the south of France. ... City flag City coat of arms Location Coordinates Time Zone CET (GMT +1) Administration Country Region Alsace Department Bas-Rhin (67) Intercommunality Urban Community of Strasbourg Mayor Fabienne Keller  (UMP) City Statistics Land area¹ 78. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Si paix dedans, paix dehors (French: If peace inside, peace outside) Cathedral St. ... Nancy (IPA pronounciation ; archaic German: ; Luxembourgish: Nanzeg) is a city and commune in the Lorraine région of northeastern France. ... Valenciennes (Dutch: Valencijn, Latin: Valentianae) is a town and commune in northern France in the Nord département on the Escaut river. ...


French Revolution

On July 14, 1789, at the end of the afternoon, following the storming of the Bastille, the provost of the merchants of Paris, Jacques de Flesselles, was shot by the crowd on the steps of Paris City Hall. Although in the Middle Ages the provosts of the merchants symbolized the independence of Paris and even had openly rebelled against King Charles V, their office had been suppressed by the king, then reinstated but with strict control from the king, and so they had ended up being viewed by the people as yet another local representative of the king, and no longer as the embodiment of a free municipality. is the 195th day of the year (196th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1789 (MDCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... The Bastille The Bastille ( ) was a prison in Paris, known formally as Bastille Saint-Antoine—Number 232, Rue Saint-Antoine—best known today because of the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, which along with the Tennis Court Oath is considered the beginning of the French Revolution. ... Jacques de Flesselles (1721–July 14, 1789) was a French provost, a post roughly equivalent to mayor. ... Charles V the Wise (French: Charles V le Sage) (January 21, 1338 – September 16, 1380) was king of France from 1364 to 1380 and a member of the Valois Dynasty. ...


Following that event, a "commune" of Paris was immediately set up to replace the old medieval chartered city of Paris, and a municipal guard was established to protect Paris against any attempt made by King Louis XVI to quell the ongoing revolution. Several other cities of France quickly followed suit, and communes arose everywhere, each with their municipal guard. On December 14, 1789, the National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) passed a law creating the commune, designed to be the lowest level of administrative division in France, thus endorsing these independently-created communes, but also creating communes of its own. In this area as in many others, the work of the National Assembly was, properly-speaking, revolutionary: not content with transforming all the chartered cities and towns into communes, the National Assembly also decided to turn all the village parishes into full-status communes. The Revolutionaries were inspired by Cartesian ideas as well as by the philosophy of the Enlightenment (les Lumières). They wanted to do away with all the peculiarities of the past and establish a perfect society, in which all and everything should be equal and set up according to reason, rather than by tradition or conservatism. Louis XVI, born Louis-Auguste de France (23 August 1754 – 21 January 1793) ruled as King of France and Navarre from 1774 until 1791, and then as King of the French from 1791 to 1792. ... is the 348th day of the year (349th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1789 (MDCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... The National Constituent Assembly (French: Assemblée nationale constituante) was formed from the National Assembly on 9 July 1789, during the first stages of the French Revolution. ... Cartesian means of or relating to the French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes. ... The Age of Enlightenment refers to the 18th century in European philosophy, and is often thought of as part of a larger period which includes the Age of Reason. ...


Thus, they set out to establish administrative divisions that would be uniform all across the country: the whole of France would be divided into départements, themselves divided into arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons, themselves divided into communes, no exceptions. All of these communes would have equal status, they would all have a mayor (maire) at their head, and a municipal council (conseil municipal) elected by the inhabitants of the commune. This was a real revolution for the tens of thousands of villages that never had experienced organized municipal life before. A communal house (mairie) had to be built in each of these villages, which would house the meetings of the municipal council as well as the administration of the commune. Some in the National Assembly were opposed to such a fragmentation of France into tens of thousands of communes, but eventually Mirabeau and his ideas of one commune for each parish prevailed. The départements (or departments) are administrative units of France, roughly analogous to British counties and are now grouped into 22 metropolitan and four overseas régions. ... The 100 French départements are divided into 342 arrondissements. ... The canton is an administrative division of France. ... In French, a hôtel de ville or mairie is a town hall (and not a hotel). ... Portrait of Mirabeau Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, Comte de Mirabeau, (often referred to simply as Mirabeau) (March 9, 1749 - April 2, 1791) was a French writer, popular orator and statesman. ...


On 20 September 1792, the recording of births, marriages, and deaths also was withdrawn from the priests of the parishes and became the responsibility of the mayors. Civil marriages were established and started to be performed in the mairie with a ceremony not unlike the traditional church ceremony, with the mayor replacing the priest, and the name of the law replacing the name of God ("Au nom de la loi, je vous déclare unis par les liens du mariage." – "In the name of the law, I declare you united by the bonds of marriage."). Priests were forced to surrender their centuries-old baptism, marriage, and burial books, which were deposited in the mairies. These abrupt changes profoundly alienated devout Catholics, and France soon was plunged into the throes of civil war, with the fervently religious regions of western France at its center. It would take Napoleon I to re-establish peace in France, stabilize the new administrative system, and make it generally accepted by the population. Napoleon also abolished the election of the municipal councils, which now were chosen by the prefect, the local representative of the central government. is the 263rd day of the year (264th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1792 was a leap year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... A civil war is a war in which parties within the same culture, society or nationality fight against each other for the control of political power. ... For other uses, see Napoleon (disambiguation). ... A prefect (from the Latin praefectus, perfect participle of praeficere: make in front, i. ...


Trends after the French Revolution

Today, in their general principles, French communes are still very much the same as those that were established at the beginning of the French Revolution. The biggest changes occurred in 1831, when the French Parliament re-established the principle of the election of the municipal councils, and in 1837 when French communes were given legal "personality", being now considered legal entities with legal capacity. The Jacobin revolutionaries were afraid of independent local powers, which they saw as conservative and opposed to the revolution, and so they favored a powerful central state. Therefore, when they created the communes, they deprived them of any legal "personality" (the départements likewise), with only the central state having legal "personality". By 1837 that situation was judged impractical, as mayors and municipal councils could not be parties in courts. The consequence of the change, however, was that tens of thousands of villages which had never had legal "personality" (contrary to the chartered cities) suddenly became legal entities for the first time in their history. This is still the case today. A juristic person is a legal fiction through which the law allows a group of natural persons to act as if it were a single composite individual for certain purposes. ... In the context of the French Revolution, a Jacobin originally meant a member of the Jacobin Club (1789-1794), but even at that time, the term Jacobins had been popularly applied to all promulgators of extreme revolutionary opinions: for example, Jacobin democracy is synonymous with totalitarian democracy. ... The départements (or departments) are administrative units of France, roughly analogous to British counties and are now grouped into 22 metropolitan and four overseas régions. ...


During the French Revolution approximately 41,000 communes were created ([1]), on a territory corresponding to the limits of modern-day France (the 41,000 figure includes the communes of the departments of Savoie, Haute-Savoie and Alpes-Maritimes which were annexed in 1795, but does not include the departments of modern-day Belgium and Germany west of the Rhine, which were part of France between 1795 and 1815). This was less than the 60,000 parishes that existed before the revolution (in cities and towns, parishes were merged into one single commune; in the countryside, some very small parishes were merged with bigger ones), but 41,000 was still a very big number, without any comparison in the world at the time, except in the empire of China (but there, only county level and above had any permanent administration). Savoie is a French département located in the Alps. ... Haute-Savoie is a French département, named after the Alps mountain range. ... Alpes_Maritimes is a département in the extreme southeast corner of France. ... It has been suggested that River Rhine Pollution: November 1986 be merged into this article or section. ... A county is generally a sub-unit of regional self-government within a sovereign jurisdiction. ...


Since then, tremendous changes have affected France, as they have the rest of Europe: the Industrial Revolution, two world wars, and the rural exodus all have depopulated the countryside and increased the size of cities. French administrative divisions, however, have remained extremely rigid and unchanged. Today about 90% of communes and departments are exactly the same as those designed at the time of the French Revolution more than 200 years ago, with the same limits. As a consequence, countless rural communes that had hundreds of inhabitants at the time of the French Revolution now have only a hundred inhabitants or less. On the other hand, cities and towns have grown so much that there urbanized area is now extending far beyond the limits of their commune which were set at the time of the revolution. The most extreme example of this is Paris, where the urbanized area sprawls over 396 communes! The Industrial Revolution was a major shift of technological, socioeconomic, and cultural conditions that occurred in the late 18th century and early 19th century in some Western countries. ... A world war is a war affecting the majority of the worlds major nations. ... Rural exodus is a term used to describe the migratory patterns that normally occur in a region following the mechanisation of agriculture. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) The Eiffel Tower in Paris, as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ...


Paris in fact was one of the very few communes of France whose limits were extended to take into account the expansion of the urbanized area. The new, larger, commune of Paris was set up under the oversight of Emperor Napoléon III in 1859, but after 1859 the limits of Paris became rigid. Unlike most other European countries, which stringently merged their communes to better reflect modern-day densities of population (such as Germany and Italy around 1970), dramatically decreasing the number of communes in the process - the Gemeinden of West Germany were decreased from 24,400 to 8,400 in a few years' time - France only carried out mergers at the margin, and those were mostly carried out during the 19th century. From 41,000 communes at the time of the French Revolution, the number decreased to 37,963 in 1921, and 36,568 in 2004 (in metropolitan France). Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte (April 20, 1808, Paris, France - January 9, 1873, Chislehurst, Kent, England) was a President of France, and later, Emperor of the French. ... Germany is a Federal Republic made up of 16 States, known in German as Länder (singular Land). ...


France is by far the country with the largest number of communes in Europe. For instance, reunited Germany (one-third more inhabitants than France) has only 12,321 communes (Gemeinden, as of Mar. 31, 2006, down from ca. 46,300 communes in 1900 within the post-1990 borders of Germany), and Italy (almost as many inhabitants as France) has only 8,101 communes (comuni, as of 2001 Italian census). In Europe, only Switzerland has as high a density of communes as France, and even there an extensive merger movement has started in the last ten years. To better grasp the staggering number of communes in France, two comparisons can be made: 1- the European Union (of 15 members, before May 2004) is made up of approximately 75,000 communes, and metropolitan France alone accounts for 35,568 of these, which means 47.5% of the communes of the European Union are in metropolitan France alone (France represents 16% of the total population of the European Union of 15 members). 2- the United States, with a territory 14 times larger than that of the French Republic, and nearly five times its population, had 35,937 incorporated municipalities and townships as of the 2002 Census of Governments, fewer than that the 36,782 communes of the French Republic. In Italy, the comune, (plural comuni) is the basic administrative unit of both provinces and regions, and may be properly approximated in casual speech by the English word township or municipality. ... Municipalities are the smallest government division in Switzerland. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Local government of the United States. ... A civil township is a widely-used unit of local government in the United States, subordinate to a county. ...


Current debate

For more than 30 years, there have been calls in France for a massive merger of communes, including such distinguished voices as the president of the Cour des Comptes (the central auditing administrative body in France). So far, however, local conservatism has been very strong, and no mandatory merging proposal ever has made it past committee in the French Parliament. In 1971 the Marcellin law offered support and money from the government to entice the communes to merge freely with each other, but the law was a complete failure (only about 1,300 communes agreed to disappear and merge with other communes). The Cour des Comptes (Court of Accounts, also translated into Court of Financial Auditors) is a institution of the Government of France whose duty is to audit public institutions, as well as some private institutions. ... Raymond Marcellin Raymond Marcellin (August 19, 1914 - September 8, 2004) was a French politician. ...


So, those in favor of mergers complain that French cities have a ridiculously light weight compared to their European counterparts, because their limits still are those set more than 200 years ago. For instance, the city of Lyon is a geographically small commune with only 465,300 inhabitants living within its administrative borders, which ranks below many other European cities, whereas in fact the metropolitan area of Lyon has 1.7 million inhabitants and ranks as one of the major metropolises of Europe, on a par with a metropolitan area such as Munich. As a matter of fact, the population and economy of the Munich metropolitan area is very comparable to that of Lyon, but the population of the city (Gemeinde) of Munich is about 1,320,000 inhabitants, nearly three times that of the commune of Lyon, reflecting the much larger municipal territory of Munich (310 km²/120 sq. miles), 6.5 times larger than the municipal territory of Lyon (48 km²/18.5 sq. miles). A city is an urban area, differentiated from a town, village, or hamlet by size, population density, importance, or legal status. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: (Franco-Provençal: Forward, forward, Lyon the best) Location Coordinates Time Zone CET (GMT +1) Administration Country Region Rhône-Alpes Department Rhône (69) Subdivisions 9 arrondissements Intercommunality Urban Community of Lyon Mayor Gérard Collomb  (PS) (since 2001) City Statistics Land... In France an aire urbaine (literally: urban area) is roughly the equivalent of a US Metropolitan Statistical Area. ... For other uses, see Munich (disambiguation). ...


Mayors of French cities often complain that their significance is undervalued when they travel outside of France, due to the fact that they preside over only a small territory at the center of wider metropolitan areas. A good example of this phenomenon is Paris: although the metropolitan area of Paris is one of the very few in the world to have more than 10 million inhabitants, the population of the city of Paris itself is only 2,145,000 inhabitants, less than the population of the city of Rome (2,550,000 inhabitants), whose metropolitan area of 3.5 million inhabitants is dwarfed by that of the metropolitan area of Paris. City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) The Eiffel Tower in Paris, as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... Nickname: Motto: SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Government  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area  - City 1,285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban 5...


At the other end of the scale, there exist some countryside communes which rural exodus has left with few inhabitants, and which struggle to maintain and manage such basic services as running water, garbage collection, or properly-paved communal roads. Rural exodus is a term used to describe the migratory patterns that normally occur in a region following the mechanisation of agriculture. ...


Mergers, however, are not easy to achieve. A first obvious issue is that they reduce the number of available elected positions, and thus are not popular with local politicians. A more serious issue is that citizens from one village may be unwilling to have their local services run by an executive located in another village, who may be unaware or inattentive to their local needs.


Intercommunality

The expression "intercommunality" (intercommunalité) denotes several forms of co-operation between communes. Such co-operation first made its appearance at the end of the 19th century in the law of 22 March 1890 which provided for the establishment of single-purpose intercommunal associations. French lawmakers having long been aware of the inadequacy of the communal structure inherited from the French Revolution for dealing with a number of practical matters, the so-called Chevènement law of 12 July 1999 is the most recent and the most thoroughgoing measure aimed at strengthening and simplifying this principle. Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... The French Revolution (1789–1815) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on... Jean-Pierre Chevènement Jean-Pierre Chevènement (born March 9, 1939 in Belfort) is a French politician. ...


In recent years it has become increasingly common for communes to band together in intercommunal consortia for the provision of such services as refuse collection and water supply. Suburban communes often team up with the city at the core of their urban area to form a community charged with managing public transport or even administering the collection of local taxes. A consortium is an association of two or more individuals, companies, organisations or governments (or any combination of these entities) with the objective of participating in a common activity or pooling their resources for achieving a common goal. ...


The Chevènement law tidied up all these practices, abolishing some structures and creating new ones. In addition, it offered central government finance aimed at encouraging further communes to join together in intercommunal structures. Unlike the only partially successful statute enacted in 1966 and enabling urban communes to form urban communities, or the more marked failure of the Marcellin law of 1971, the Chevènement law met with a large measure of success, so that a majority of French communes are now involved in intercommunal structures. Raymond Marcellin Raymond Marcellin (August 19, 1914 - September 8, 2004) was a French politician. ...


There are two types of intercommunal structures:

  • Those without fiscal power. This is the loosest form of intercommunality. Mainly in this category are the traditional syndicates of communes. Communes gather and contribute financially to the syndicate, but the syndicate cannot levy its own taxes. Communes can leave the syndicate at any time. Syndicates can be set up for a particular purpose or to deal with several matters. These structures without fiscal power have been left untouched by the Chevènement law, and they are on a declining trend.
  • Structures with fiscal power. This is what the Chevènement law was concerned with. The law distinguishes three structures with fiscal power: the Community of Communes (communauté de communes), aimed primarily at rural communes; the Community of Agglomeration (communauté d'agglomération), aimed at towns and middle-sized cities and their suburbs; and the Urban Community (communauté urbaine), aimed at larger cities and their suburbs.

These three structures are given varying levels of fiscal power, with the Community of Agglomeration and the Urban Community having most fiscal power, levying the local tax on corporations (taxe professionnelle) in their own name instead of those of the communes, and with the same level of taxation across the communes of the community. The communities must also manage some services previously performed by the communes, such as garbage collection or transport, like the old syndicates, but the law also makes it mandatory for the communities to manage other areas such as economic planning and development, housing projects, or environment protection. Communities of Communes are required to manage the least number of areas, leaving the communes more autonomous, while the Urban Communities are required to manage most matters, leaving the communes inside them with less autonomous power. A Communauté de communes is a federation of several municipalities in France. ... A communauté dagglomération is a metropolitan government structure in France, created by the Loi Chevénement in 1999. ... A communauté urbaine (urban community in English) is the higher degree of intercommunal cooperation in France. ...


In exchange for the creation of a community, the government allocates money to them based on their population, thus providing an incentive for the communes to team up and form communities. Communities of Communes are given the least amount of money per inhabitant, whereas Urban Communities are given the most amount of money per inhabitant, thus pushing the communes to form more integrated communities where they have less powers, which they would have been loath to do if it were not for government money.


The Chevènement law has been extremely successful in the sense that a majority of French communes now have joined the new intercommunal structures: quite a feat in such a conservative country as France. As of January 1, 2007, there were 2,573 such communities in metropolitan France (including 5 syndicats d'agglomération nouvelle, a category currently being phased out), made up of 33,327 communes (91.1% of all the communes of metropolitan France), and 52.86 million inhabitants, i.e. 86.7 % of the population of metropolitan France.[1] is the 1st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... Metropolitan France Metropolitan France (French: or la Métropole) is the part of France located in Europe, including Corsica (French: Corse). ...


However these impressive results may hide a murkier reality. In rural areas, many communes have entered a Community of Communes only to benefit from government funds. Often the local syndicate has been turned officially into a Community of Communes, the new Community of Communes in fact managing only the services previously managed by the syndicate, contrary to the spirit of the law which has established the new intercommunal structures to carry out a much broader range of activities than that undertaken by the old syndicates. Some say that, should government money transfers be stopped, many of these Communities of Communes would revert to their former status of syndicate, or simply completely disappear in places where there were no syndicates prior to the law.


In urban areas, the new intercommunal structures are much more a reality, being created by local decision-makers out of genuine belief in the worth of working together in the urban area. However in many places local feuds have arisen, and it was not possible to set up an intercommunal structure for the whole of the urban area: some communes refusing to take part in it, or even creating their own structure, so that in some urban areas like Marseille there exist four distinct intercommunal structures! In many areas, rich communes have joined with other rich communes and have refused to let in poorer communes, for fear that their citizens would be overtaxed to the benefit of poorer suburbs of the urban area. Moreover, intercommunal structures in many urban areas are still new, and fragile: tensions exist between communes; the city at the center of the urban area often is suspected of wishing to dominate the suburban communes; communes from opposite political sides also may be suspicious of each other.


Two famous examples of this are Toulouse and Paris. In Toulouse, on top of there being six intercommunal structures, the main community of Toulouse and its suburbs is only a Community of Agglomeration, although Toulouse is large enough to create an Urban Community according to the law. This is because the suburban communes refused an Urban Community for fear of losing too many powers, and opted for a Community of Agglomeration, despite the fact that a Community of Agglomeration receives less government funds than an Urban Community. As for Paris, no intercommunal structure has emerged there, the suburbs of Paris fearing the concept of a "Greater Paris", and so disunity still is the rule in the Paris metropolitan area, with the suburbs of Paris creating many different intercommunal structures but all without the city of Paris.


One major problem with intercommunality, often raised, is the fact that the intercommunal structures do not have representatives directly elected by the people, so it is the representatives of each individual commune that sit in the new structure. As a consequence, civil servants and bureaucrats are the ones setting up the agenda and implementing it, with the elected representatives of the communes only endorsing key decisions. At the local level, this situation is quite like the one existing in Brussels, where power shared by many independent European states has resulted in that power being exercised by a bureaucracy not elected by citizens.


Future

The first five years of the 21st century have seen great changes at the communal level in France, but the situation still is unsettled. The new intercommunal structures, designed to solve the problem of a country with too many small communes, have met with clear success, but their powers -- as well as their relationship with the communes below them and the départements above them -- still need to be defined in practice. The départements (or departments) are administrative units of France, roughly analogous to British counties and are now grouped into 22 metropolitan and four overseas régions. ...


It is unclear yet where the trend is going. Will the intercommunal structures have representatives directly elected by the citizens in the future, as the Mauroy Report proposed in 2000? But then, wouldn't this leave the communes as hollow administrative units? Already, a few well-known mayors of large French cities (communes) have abandoned their mayoral seats to become presidents of the Urban Communities, as in the case of the Urban Community of Lille Métropole. Or will these intercommunal structures break up, in the end, after the state stops transferring money? Or perhaps, as some believe, the Chevènement law was just a first step toward a massive merger of communes, an attempt to have the communes work together and see the advantages of it, before they are eventually merged. In any case, the debate is sure to rebound in the next few years. Lionel Jospin and Pierre Mauroy, October 17, 2000. ... Founded December 22, 1967 President Pierre Mauroy (PS) (since 1989) Communes 85 Area 611. ...


Miscellaneous facts

Most and least populous communes

  • The most populous commune of the French Republic is the commune of Paris: 2,125,246 inhabitants in March 1999.
  • Six of the French villages destroyed in the First World War have never been rebuilt. All are found in the département of Meuse, and were destroyed during the Battle of Verdun in 1916. After the war, it was decided that the land previously occupied by the destroyed villages would not be incorporated into other communes, as a testament to these villages which had “died for France”, as they were declared, and to preserve their memory. The following communes are entirely unpopulated and are managed by a council of three members, appointed by the prefect of Meuse:
    • Beaumont-en-Verdunois
    • Bezonvaux
    • Cumières-le-Mort-Homme
    • Fleury-devant-Douaumont
    • Haumont-près-Samogneux
    • Louvemont-Côte-du-Poivre
  • Apart from these special cases, the communes with the fewest inhabitants in the French Republic are:
    • commune of Rochefourchat, in the foothills of the French Alps, one inhabitant at 1999 census (a 38-year-old divorced man).
    • commune of Leménil-Mitry, in the woodlands of Lorraine in eastern France, two inhabitants at 1999 census (a 42-year-old man and his 38-year-old wife, him being the owner of all the estates in the commune, descending from the family of the local lords).
    • commune of Rouvroy-Ripont, near the Champagne area, two inhabitants at 1999 census (an unmarried 60-year-old man, and an unmarried 73-year-old man).

City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) The Eiffel Tower in Paris, as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... Sign indicating the site of the destroyed village of Fleury-devant-Douaumont Landscape around Cumières-le-Mort-Homme during the Battle of Verdun During the First World War, specifically at the time of the Battle of Verdun in 1916, nine villages in the French département of Meuse were... Meuse is a département in northeast France, named after the Meuse River. ... Combatants  France  German Empire Commanders Philippe Pétain Robert Nivelle Erich von Falkenhayn Strength About 30,000 on 21 February 1916 About 150,000 on 21 February 1916 Casualties 378,000; of whom 120,000 died. ... 1916 (MCMXVI) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar). ... In France and many other French-speaking countries, a préfet (English: prefect) is the States representative in a département or région (in the later case, he is called a préfet de région). ... Bezonvaux is a commune of the Meuse département, in northeastern France. ... Sign indicating the site of the destroyed village of Fleury-devant-Douaumont Fleury-devant-Douaumont is a commune of the Meuse département, in northeastern France. ... Rochefourchat is a commune of the Drôme department in the Rhône-Alpes region in the south-east of France. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Location Administration Capital Metz Regional President Jean-Pierre Masseret (PS) (since 2004) Départements Meurthe-et-Moselle Meuse Moselle Vosges Arrondissements 19 Cantons 157 Communes 2,337 Statistics Land area1 23,547 km² Population (Ranked 11th)  - January 1, 2005 est. ... Location of the Champagne province in France Champagne is one of the most traditional provinces of France, a region of France that is best known for the production of the sparkling white wine that bears the regions name. ...

Largest and smallest commune territories

  • The smallest commune of the French Republic is Castelmoron-d'Albret (62 inhabitants) near Bordeaux: 0.0376 km² (0.0145 sq. miles or 9.3 acres).

Maripasoula is a town in French Guiana. ... To help compare orders of magnitude of different geographical regions, we list here areas between 10,000 km² and 100,000 km². See also areas of other orders of magnitude. ... Metropolitan France Metropolitan France (French: or la Métropole) is the part of France located in Europe, including Corsica (French: Corse). ... Coordinates Administration Country France Region Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur Department Bouches-du-Rhône (Subprefecture) Arrondissement Arles Canton Chief town of 2 cantons: Arles-Est and Arles-Ouest Intercommunality Agglomeration community of Arles-Crau-Camargue-Montagnette Mayor Hervé Schiavetti  (PS) (2001-2008) Statistics Altitude 0 m–57 m... Marseilles redirects here. ... Nile River delta, as seen from Earth orbit. ... Length 800 km Elevation of the source 1753 m Average discharge 1800 m³/ s Area watershed 100,200 km² Origin Rhône glacier Mouth Mediterranean Sea Basin countries Switzerland, France The River Rhône ( Latin Rhodanus, French Rhône, Occitan Rose, German Rotten) is one of the major rivers (ca. ... To help compare different orders of magnitude and geographical regions, we list here areas between 100 km² and 1000 km². See also areas of other orders of magnitude. ... The upper lake, with rowboats The Bois de Boulogne is a park located along the western edge of the 16ème arrondissement of Paris, near the suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt. ... The lake Hippodrome de Vincennes The Bois de Vincennes is a park in the English landscape manner to the east of Paris. ... Castelmoron-dAlbret is a commune in the département of Gironde, in the région of Aquitaine. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... To help compare orders of magnitude of different areas, we list here areas between 1 hectare (10,000 m²) and 10 hectares (0. ...

Most elevated commune

The most elevated commune of the French Republic (and of Europe) is Saint-Véran (267 inhabitants), in the French Alps: the altitude of the village at the center of the commune is between 1,990 meters (6,529 feet) and 2,040 meters (6,693 feet) above sea level. Saint-Véran is a village and commune of the Hautes-Alpes département, in France. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Communes furthest away from the capital city of France

  • The commune of the French Republic furthest away from Paris is the commune of L'Île-des-Pins (1,840 inhabitants) in New Caledonia: 16,841 km. (10,465 miles) from the center of Paris.
  • In continental France (i.e. European France excluding Corsica), the communes furthest away from Paris are Coustouges (134 inhabitants) and Lamanère (44 inhabitants) at the Spanish border: both at 721 km. (448 miles) from the center of Paris as the crow flies.
Road sign marking the end of the village of Y in the Somme département, Picardie.
Road sign marking the end of the village of Y in the Somme département, Picardie.

LÃŽle-des-Pins is a commune in the South Province of New Caledonia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. ... “Corsican” redirects here. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) The Eiffel Tower in Paris, as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... Image File history File links Comunne_Y_picardhiv68. ... Image File history File links Comunne_Y_picardhiv68. ... Y (pronounced like the name of letter E in English) is a French commune of the Somme département, in the Picardie région (postal code 80190). ... Somme is a French département, named after the Somme River, located in the north of France. ... The départements (or departments) are administrative units of France and many former French colonies, roughly analogous to English counties. ... (Region flag) (Region logo) Location Administration Capital Amiens Regional President Claude Gewerc (PS) (since 2004) Departments Aisne Oise Somme Arrondissements 13 Cantons 129 Communes 2,292 Statistics Land area1 19,399 km² Population (Ranked 12th)  - January 1, 2006 est. ...

Shortest and longest commune names

  • The commune of the French Republic with the shortest name is the commune of Y (89 inhabitants).
  • There are three communes in the French Republic which have the longest name (38 letters):
    • commune of Saint-Germain-de-Tallevende-la-Lande-Vaumont (1731 inhabitants)
    • commune of Saint-Remy-en-Bouzemont-Saint-Genest-et-Isson (592 inhabitants)
    • commune of Beaujeu-Saint-Vallier-Pierrejux-et-Quitteur (739 inhabitants).

Y (pronounced like the name of letter E in English) is a French commune of the Somme département, in the Picardie région (postal code 80190). ... Saint-Germain-de-Tallevende-la-Lande-Vaumont is a commune of the Calvados département, in the Basse-Normandie région, in France. ...

Names of communes other than in French

Names of French communes are normally in French. In areas where other languages than French were spoken, the names have been adapted to French spelling and pronunciation, such as Toulouse (formerly Tolosa in Occitan), Strasbourg (formerly Straßburg in Alemannic), or Perpignan (formerly Perpinyà in Catalan). However, many smaller communes have retained their native name. Here are examples of retained names in the languages once spoken, or still spoken, on the territory of the French Republic: New city flag (Occitan cross) Traditional coat of arms Motto: (Occitan: For Toulouse, always more) Location Coordinates Time Zone CET (GMT +1) Administration Country Region Midi-Pyrénées Department Haute-Garonne (31) Intercommunality Community of Agglomeration of Greater Toulouse Mayor Jean-Luc Moudenc  (UMP) (since 2004) City Statistics Land... Occitan, or langue doc is a Romance language characterized by its richness, variability, and by the intelligibility of its dialects. ... City flag City coat of arms Location Coordinates Time Zone CET (GMT +1) Administration Country Region Alsace Department Bas-Rhin (67) Intercommunality Urban Community of Strasbourg Mayor Fabienne Keller  (UMP) City Statistics Land area¹ 78. ... Alemannic German (Alemannisch) is a group of dialects of the Upper German branch of the Germanic language family. ... Perpignan (French: Perpignan, pronounced ; Catalan Perpinyà, pronounced ) is a commune and the préfecture (administrative capital city) of the Pyrénées-Orientales département in southern France. ... Catalan IPA: (català IPA: or []) is a Romance language, the national language of Andorra, and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Balearic Islands, Catalonia and Valencia (in the latter with the name of Valencian), and in the city of LAlguer in the Italian island of...

Road sign marking the entrance of Mittelhausbergen in the Bas-Rhin département, Alsace.
Road sign marking the entrance of Mittelhausbergen in the Bas-Rhin département, Alsace.

Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 1200 pixel, file size: 403 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 1200 pixel, file size: 403 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... History The département was created on March 4, 1790, during the French Revolution. ... Departments (French: IPA: ) are administrative units of France and many former French colonies, roughly analogous to English counties. ... (New region flag) (Region logo) Location Administration Capital Regional President Departments Bas-Rhin Haut-Rhin Arrondissements 13 Cantons 75 Communes 903 Statistics Land area1 8,280 km² (??? mi) km² Population (Ranked 14th)  - January 1, 2006 est. ... Alemannic German (Alemannisch) is a group of dialects of the Upper German branch of the Germanic language family. ... Breton (Brezhoneg) is a Celtic language spoken by some of the inhabitants of Brittany (Breizh) in France. ... Kermoroch is a commune of the Côtes-dArmor department in the Bretagne region in the north-west of France. ... Occitan, or langue doc is a Romance language characterized by its richness, variability, and by the intelligibility of its dialects. ... Belcastel is a commune of the Aveyron département in southern France. ... Basque (native name: euskara) is the language spoken by the Basque people who inhabit the Pyrenees in North-Central Spain and the adjoining region of South-Western France. ... Uztaritze is a small village in the province of Labourd, in the South part of France. ... Catalan IPA: (català IPA: or []) is a Romance language, the national language of Andorra, and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Balearic Islands, Catalonia and Valencia (in the latter with the name of Valencian), and in the city of LAlguer in the Italian island of... Corsican (Corsu or Lingua Corsa) is a Romance language spoken on the island of Corsica (France), alongside French, which is the official language. ... Comorian (Shikomor) is the most widely used language on the Comoros (independent islands in the Indian Ocean, off Mozambique and Madagascar). ... MTsangamouji is a commune in the French overseas collectivity of Mayotte, in the Indian Ocean. ... The Polynesian languages are a group of related languages spoken in the region known as Polynesia. ... Hitiaa O Te Ra is a commune of French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. ... The Austronesian languages are a language family widely dispersed throughout the islands of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, with a few members spoken on continental Asia. ... Kouaoua is a municipality in the North Province of New Caledonia. ... Native American languages are the indigenous languages of the Americas, spoken by Native Americans from the southern tip of South America to Alaska and Greenland. ... Kourou is a town and commune in French Guiana. ...

Classification

INSEE codes: INSEE gives numerical indexing codes to various entities in France, notably the communes (they do not coincide with postcodes). The 'complete' code has 8 digits and 3 spaces within, but there is a popular 'simplified' code with 5 digits and no space within: INSEE is the French abbreviation for the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (French: Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques). ... UK and Australian postal codes are known as postcodes. ...

  • 2 digits (département) and 3 digits (commune) for the 96 départements of France 'métropolitaine'.
  • 3 digits (département or collectivity) and 2 digits (commune) for the Overseas departments, Overseas Collectivities and Overseas Countries. See also : fr:Code INSEE#Code communal.

Departments (French: IPA: ) are administrative units of France and many former French colonies, roughly analogous to English counties. ...

References

  1. ^ (French) Direction générale des collectivités locales (DGCL), Ministry of the Interior. Répartition des EPCI à fiscalité propre par département au 01/01/2007 (PDF). Retrieved on 2007-05-19.

The entrance to the Ministry in Place Beauvau is guarded by one gendarme (to the left) and one policewoman (to the right). ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 139th day of the year (140th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... La Documentation française is a French governmental service publishing books, reports and other official documentation in the administrative, political, economic and social fields. ...

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Communications in France - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (160 words)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 41, FM about 3,500 (this figure is an approximation and includes many repeaters), shortwave 2 (1998)
Communications in France - at Discover France (English)
This page was last modified 19:37, 17 January 2006.
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