Author: cheeroutdoor

Santander, Cantabria (Spain)

Santander, Cantabria (Spain)

According to Animalerts, the city of Santander is the capital of the autonomous region of Cantabria and is located on the coast of the Bay of Biscay. It is spread out on the shores of Santander Bay. The city was founded by the Romans in the 1st century BC. Since the beginning of the 20th century, Santander has been known as a popular seaside resort, because it was he who became the favorite vacation spot of King Alfonso XIII of Spain and his entourage. Unfortunately, the fire that happened in 1941 destroyed most of the Old Town, but still there is something to see here.

First of all, it is a Gothic Cathedral 13th century. The cathedral was badly damaged by fire in 1941, but was completely restored in the 50s of the 20th century. Nearby, on the Plaza de Generalísimo, there is the town hall and the La Esperanza market. Also in the Old Town is an interesting museum of fine arts, which contains works of art of the 16th-20th centuries.

To the east stretches the Paseo de Pereda, surrounded by parks and traditional coastal houses with glazed balconies. Here you will see the building of the Bank of Santander, the El Embarcadero Palace, the Festival Palace, the Archaeological Museum with a rich collection of the Paleolithic, the Maritime Museum, Plaza Porticada and Pombo and the fishing port.

The promenade rests on the 200-meter Los Peligros beach (Playa de los Peligros), where the sailing club operates. The club offers tourists the rental of yachts, kayaks and windsurfing boards.

Further on, the La Mangdalena peninsula extends. Its main attraction is the Magdalena Palace. It was built in 1913 under King Alfonso XIII as a summer residence. The palace is made in the English style and is surrounded by a vast park. In addition, the peninsula has a beach, a lighthouse, a mini-zoo and three ships of the famous Cantabrian navigator Vital Alsar. A tourist train runs around the peninsula.

Behind the peninsula, on the shore of a cozy bay, El Sardinero Beach (Playa de El Sardinero) stretches. This is the most famous beach in the region and one of the most beautiful beaches in Spain.. Its length is 1300 m. The beach has a developed infrastructure: there are sunbeds and umbrellas for rent, showers, changing cabins, toilets, bars, restaurants and hotels. A wide promenade stretches along the beach, on which the Casino building, Italy Square and Pikuyo Park are located. Opposite the beach of El Sardinero in the sea is the island of Mauro, on which a lighthouse rises. Cozy beaches of Matalenas (Playa de Matalenas), Camello (Playa del Camello) and La Concha (Play de la Concha) are adjacent to El Sardinero, and on the western outskirts of Santander there is a popular Virgen del Mar beach (Playa Virgen del Mar), which got its name from the nearby chapel. It is also worth visiting the picturesque Langre beach (Playa de Langre), surrounded by rocks, which is located 20 km east of Santander.

25 km south of Santander, the town of Puente Viesgo is interesting, famous for its thermal springs and caves with prehistoric animal images.

Also in the vicinity of Santander it is worth visiting the Dunas de Liencres natural park . It is located about 10 km to the west on the coast at the mouth of the Pas River. The park covers an area of 194 hectares. One of the most significant dune complexes of the Cantabrian coast of Spain is located here.. Sand dunes, which are constantly changing their shape under the influence of the wind, are adjacent to seaside pines, which gives the area a special flavor. In addition, the park is a habitat for many migratory birds during their migration.

To the west along the coast is the resort town of Suances, whose beaches are La Concha (Playa de La Concha), La Tablia (Playa de La Tablia), Mirador (Playa del Mirador), Los Locos (Playa de Los Locos), La Ribera (La Ribera) and La Riberuca (La Riberuca) are very popular among tourists, as they have a developed infrastructure. Los Locos Beach is also famous among surfers for its waves.

A few kilometers south of Suances, surrounded by spurs of the Cantabrian mountains, is the second largest city in Cantabria – Torrelavega. It is known for the annual colorful festival of the Holy Virgin Grande, dedicated to the patroness of the city, which is held in mid-August. Palaces and mansions of the 17th-19th centuries have also been preserved here.

Northwest of Torrelavega (25 km west of Santander), a few kilometers from the coast is the city of Santillana del Mar (Santillana del Mar). Often it is called the “city of three delusions”, because the literal translation of the name is not true: it has never been sacred (“santo”), flat (“lyana”) and never located on the seashore (“mar”). The name of the city comes from the name of St. Juliana, whose remains rest in the Romanesque church, which has survived to this day, founded by Augustinian monks in the 12th century. The Church of Santa Juliana is considered one of the largest Romanesque churches on the entire Biscay coast. In the vicinity of the church, on cobbled streets, there are houses of wealthy families of the 17th century, made in the Renaissance and Baroque styles. Also in Santillana del Mar, it is worth visiting the zoo, where animals from 5 continents are collected.

(Altamira cave) with a length of 270 m, which is known as the “Sistine Chapel of the Paleolithic”, and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Altamira Cave is the most popular archaeological site in all of Spain. Numerous images of bison, deer, horses, goats and wild boars, applied with natural colors (ochre, coal, clay, etc.) about 14 thousand years ago, have been preserved on its walls. The uniqueness of these images lies in the fact that natural cracks and unevenness of the cave walls serve as the contours of animals, which creates the effect of three-dimensionality. In the second half of the 20th century, the number of visitors began to reach 1500 people a day, the increased concentration of carbon dioxide and artificial lighting began to harm the drawings. Then the Spanish authorities decided to ban tourists from entering the cave. However, for everyone who wants to see the unique prehistoric painting, there is still such an opportunity. At the entrance to the cave of Altamira, a museum complex was opened, where copies of Altamira’s drawings and copies of prehistoric images found throughout the country were created.

A little to the west along the coast is the city of Comillas. (Comillas), known for its Art Nouveau buildings of the late 19th century, which were commissioned by the Marquis Antonio López by the best Spanish architects. Here is one of the most famous architectural structures of the Catalan architect Antonio Gaudí – the El Capriccio mansion. The building has a fabulous look: neo-Gothic style and elements of oriental ornament “arabesque” are mixed in it. The mansion is clad in brick and multicolored ceramic tiles depicting bright yellow sunflowers. Today it houses a restaurant. Also in Comillas are interesting the Sobrellano Palace, made in the neo-Gothic style, the complex of the Pontifical University, the Capilla Pantheon church. An excellent sandy beach (Playa de Comillas) stretches along the city coast, where you can have a great rest.

10 km west of Comillas, near the border with the autonomous region of Asturias, is the city of San Vincente de la Barquera. It is located on the banks of the estuary formed at the confluence of the San Vicente River into the Bay of Biscay. The hallmark of the city is the Puente de la Maza (15th century) with 28 arches, which spans the estuary and leads to the Old Town. In the Old Town, the remains of the fortifications and the castle of the 15th century and the Gothic church of Santa Maria de los Angeles of the 13th century have been preserved. Between Comillas and San Vincente de la Barquera stretch the beaches of Oyambre (Playa de Oyambre) with campsites, Meron (Playa de Meron) and Rosal (Playa del Rosal). They are located on the territory of the Oyambre Natural Park. (Oyambre nature park), which is designed to protect coastal sand dunes, cliffs reaching heights of 50 m, river estuaries and wetlands where many birds live. These beaches are especially popular among tourists, because while relaxing here, you can simultaneously admire the vast expanses of the Bay of Biscay and the snow-capped peaks of the Cantabrian Mountains, protected by the vast Picos de Europa National Park. The park covers an area of 650 sq. km and is located on the territory of three autonomous regions: Cantabria, Asturias and Castile-Leon. The starting point for trips to the Picos de Europa National Park in Cantabria is the town of Potes.

Santander, Cantabria (Spain)

Attractions in Rostov-on-Don, Russia

Attractions in Rostov-on-Don, Russia

On the main square of the city – Theater Square – there is a stele with the goddess of victory Nika, which was erected in honor of the liberation of Rostov-on-Don from the fascist invaders, the building of the Drama Theater and a whole ensemble of fountains, where local residents like to relax and stroll. The embankment of the river Don is also a great place for walking. Numerous alleys and descents to the river were arranged along it; most of the restaurants and discos are located here. You can take a walk in the central city park named after Gorky, and along Pushkinskaya street, where a bust of the great Russian poet and writer is installed. Rostov-on-Don is home to the Botanical Garden of Rostov State University, one of the largest in Russia, its area is 160.5 hectares. The botanical garden was opened in 1928. Over 6,500 species of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants grow here. In the greenhouse of the Botanical Garden there is an interesting collection of tropical and subtropical plants from different parts of the Earth, in addition, in the garden there is a virgin steppe area, which serves as a standard of natural vegetation, and the State Natural Monument “Source” named after Seraphim of Sarov, which is considered an Orthodox shrine.

Another fascinating place in Rostov-on-Don, where adults and children like to spend time, is the Rostov Zoo. There are 390 species of animals, including 147 species of mammals, 131 species of birds, 31 species of reptiles, 3 species of amphibians, 75 species of fish and 3 species of invertebrates. The zoo has the most complete collection of great apes in Russia. The zoo has a variety of rides and cafes.

Be sure to visit the Rostov Regional Museum of Local Lore – one of the largest museums in southern Russia. Its collections include more than 200 thousand exhibits. In the hall “Treasures of the Don Kurgans” 2000 objects made of gold and silver from the 4th century BC are exhibited. – 8th century AD – these are weapons, horse harness, wine bowls, jewelry and much more. Also, the Rostov Regional Museum of Local Lore has collections of Russian silver, folk costumes, glassware, metal and porcelain, old photographs and documents, a memorial collection of such famous people as Sholokhov, Grekov, Saryan, Shaginyan and Nalbandyan.

According to Country Converters, Rostov Regional Museum of Fine Arts is located in a mansion on Pushkinskaya street. More than 6,000 exhibits are presented here in 8 exhibition halls. The permanent exposition of the museum tells about ancient Russian art, Russian art of the 18th-20th centuries and foreign art of Western European masters of the Italian, Dutch, Flemish, French and German schools and masters of the East. A branch of the Rostov Regional Museum of Fine Arts, the Children’s Art Gallery, operates in Rostov-on-Don. Its funds contain more than 2,500 works of painting, graphics and decorative and applied arts. The Children’s Picture Gallery supports and develops the creative possibilities of young and professional artists. The surroundings of Rostov-on-Don are no less interesting than the city itself.

Aksay is located 18 km northeast of Rostov-on-Don on the right bank of the Don River. In the 17-18 centuries, a Cossack village stood on the site of the modern city, which served as a guard post that controlled the approaches to the center of the Don Host Region – Cherkassk. Today in Aksai, next to the new city buildings, old streets adjoin, where typical Cossack kurens have been preserved. It is these streets that are interesting for tourists, here you can plunge into the past and get acquainted with the way of Cossack life. The main attraction of the city is the Aksai Military History Museum, telling about the history of the Don region. The museum’s funds include more than 35,000 items, including objects of paleontology, archeology, ethnography, art and weapons. Aksai Military History Museum consists of three complexes. On the outskirts of Aksai is the Mukhina Balka nature reserve. Its area is 43.5 hectares, many herbs, shrubs and trees, brought to the Don at the end of the 19th century from various countries of the world, have been preserved here, many of which are listed in the Red Book. In “Mukhina Balka” a recreation area was equipped – a favorite place for walking for residents of the city and its guests. Since 1998, the Military-Historical Complex named after N. D. Gulaev has been operating on the territory of the reserve (one of the complexes of the Aksai Military History Museum). Here, in the open air, you can see expositions of domestic military equipment and weapons of all wars of the 20th century in which Russia participated – from the Russo-Japanese war to the Chechen companies, as well as the underground command post of the North Caucasus Military District, created in the 1960s for leadership of military operations in the event of a third world war. The underground command post is a two-tiered bunker with an extensive system of corridors, many rooms and large halls.

Another complex of the Aksai Military History Museum is located in the village of Berdanosovka, located not far from Aksai – this is the Customs Outpost. In the years 1720-1740, there was a royal outpost, then a customs outpost, and in 1763 an earthen fortress with a customs service was built, which was part of the fortress of Dmitry Rostov. Today, the museum complex exhibits cold and firearms, household items of customs officers, maps and handwritten documents. The third complex of the Aksai Military History Museum – the Postal Station – is located in the historical center of the city. This complex recreates the appearance of a typical postal station of the 19th century. Such famous Russian figures as A.S. Griboyedov, M.Yu. Lermontov, A.S. Pushkin, Baron A. Rosen, N.N. Raevsky, L.N. Tolstoy and P.I. Chaikovsky. The museum complex consists of a postmaster’s house, a hotel building, carriage house, well and gazebos for relaxation. The exposition of the museum keeps a collection of horse-drawn vehicles and authentic things of the 19th century, which belonged to the inhabitants of the village of Aksaiskaya. Near the Postal Station in 1897, a temple was built in honor of the Mother of God Hodegetria, and in 1985, the Crossing Monument was opened, erected in memory of the evacuation of local residents in 1942 from the village of Aksayskaya occupied by the Nazis.

Attractions in Rostov-on-Don, Russia

Culture of Thailand

Culture of Thailand

The culture of Thailand has developed over the centuries, influenced by the peoples of Asia. You can often hear how Siam is also called the “land of smiles”, which is not surprising: just look around at the always smiling and hospitable Thais – passers-by, shop assistants, children… And this is also one of the features of culture – never show your negative emotions. So, let’s take a closer look at the benevolent kingdom!


According to City Population Review, Buddhism is the main religion in the kingdom, it is practiced by more than 90% of citizens. To a lesser extent, Muslims (only about 4%) and Christians (less than 1%) live in the solar kingdom, and the king is the patron of all religions.

For many centuries, it was Buddhism that influenced the cultural characteristics in Thailand. More than 30,000 Buddhist temples have been built in the country, most of which are located in rural areas.

10 interesting facts about Thailand and Thais

  1. The reckoning in the country does not begin from the Nativity of Christ, but from the day of the death of Buddha in 543 BC. Thus, “our” 2020 corresponds to the year 2563 according to the Buddhist calendar.
  2. Siam ranks first in terms of the number of monks per capita. More than 370 thousand monks live in the temples. Thus, there is 1 monk for every 170 people, this ratio is not found anywhere else in the world.
  3. Open expression of aggression in Thailand is considered bad manners. Here it is not customary to resolve disputes with shouts and rudeness. And how can you be aggressive in a country where everyone is smiling? By the way, in no case should you be rude to the police.
  4. Thailand has never been a colony, the Thais have always been free.
  5. All white foreigners in Thailand are called farangs. This word does not carry a negative connotation, so do not be offended by it.
  6. Until 1913, surnames were not used in Siam, the Thais had only first names. Even today in official institutions it is not customary to use surnames when referring to each other.
  7. The word “hunger” does not exist in Thai.
  8. Thais respect and love the royal family. Criticism towards monarchs is unacceptable.
  9. The locals are calm and balanced. A welcoming attitude towards Thais will help you feel most comfortable during your trip.
  10. A little thai is the name of traditional Thai clothing.

Features of behavior in Thailand: what a traveler needs to know

As we wrote above, Siam is a benevolent country with its own characteristics and culture. Before the trip, it is important to study the rules of conduct in Thailand so as not to run into misunderstanding and anger of the locals.

  1. In no case should one show disrespect for the state religion and for the Buddha.
  2. When planning a visit to temples, dress modestly, not defiantly. Your shoulders and knees must be covered.
  3. It is forbidden to export any images and images of the Buddha from the country.
  4. Before entering the temple, it is customary to take off your shoes, and you can’t enter Thai houses in shoes.
  5. The fair sex is strictly forbidden to touch Thai monks.
  6. It is forbidden to touch the head of a Thai. The locals believe that the human soul is contained in the head. If you accidentally touched – be sure to ask for forgiveness.
  7. Topless sunbathing is not accepted on the beaches.
  8. If the Thais treat you, it would be bad form to refuse. Even if you don’t feel like eating, at least try it.
  9. In Siam, it is not customary to point with fingers or toes. The waiter in the restaurant should also not be called by raising your finger. Raise your hand with your fingers in a fist.

If you remember these simple rules of what tourists should not do in Thailand, your vacation will be unforgettable!

Holidays in Thailand

Perhaps the Thais are friendly because there are many holidays in their country, which have no analogues anywhere in the world. What is the magical Chiang Mai Flower Festival, which annually begins on the first Friday of February. The main event of the holiday is an incredible parade during which hundreds of thousands of flowers are carried around the city.

In April, from 13 to 19, the Thai New Year is celebrated – Songkran. Are you planning a trip at this time? Be sure to take part in the celebration, it’s really fun and noisy. During the celebration, it is customary to pour water on each other, just like in childhood!

Another unusual holiday is the Monkey Banquet. The event takes place 140 kilometers from Bangkok, in the city of Lopburi. The god Rama, according to one of the legends, presented these lands to the monkey king Hanuman. It was the warlike monkeys who helped save Rama’s wife, Sita. The local townspeople still believe that the Lopbury monkeys are the descendants of those warriors, which is why they hold an annual holiday. A truly magnificent banquet is organized for primates – huge tables with red tablecloths are bursting with an abundance of bananas, pineapples and other fruits. The event takes place on the last Sunday of November.

A spectacular and beautiful holiday, a must-see for connoisseurs of beauty – Loi Krathong. It is held annually on the first full moon of November. At night, under the light of the moon, thousands of small boats made of banana leaves with lit candles are launched into the water. Some of them are like real works of art! On the same evening, air lanterns with wishes written on them are launched into the sky.

Culture of Thailand

India Population and Customs

India Population and Customs


1991 – 865 million people, density – 263 people per 1 sq. km. For 10 years (1981-1991) the population grew by 24%. The average life expectancy for men is 58 years, for women – 59 years. For every thousand men, there are 929 women; this ratio has been observed since the beginning of this century.


Hindus (80%), Muslims (11%), Christians (2%), Sikhs (2%), Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, etc.


Before entering temples, mosques or gurdwaras (Sikh temples), you must take off your shoes.

In many cases, photography inside the temples is prohibited, so ask permission before using your camera. Tourists are usually treated kindly, sometimes they are allowed to attend religious rituals. When visiting sacred places, watch your clothes: dress modestly (do not wear short skirts, tops or shorts). Head coverings are required in Sikh temples, women are required to cover their heads and shoulders in mosques, and they are also required to wear long skirts. Traditionally, put some money in the donation box.

Namaste – folded palms in greeting – is a traditional form of Indian greeting, and if you use it, Indians will appreciate it. However, men, especially in cities, will not hesitate to shake your hand if you are a man. A handshake will even be appreciated as a gesture of exceptional friendliness. For most Indian women, free morals in communication between men and women, adopted in the West, are unacceptable, so physical contact with women should be avoided. Do not shake hands with a woman (unless she is the first to extend it) and do not put your hand on her shoulder.

In private houses, tourists are treated as honored guests, and your ignorance of Indian customs will be treated with understanding and condescension. If you want to try eating with your hands, then remember to use the fingers of your right hand only.

Try not to have the soles of your shoes facing anyone, as this may be seen as a sign of disrespect. Do not point with your index finger, use either outstretched hand or chin gestures.

When talking with Indians, try never to shout or lose your temper, otherwise they will not communicate with you.


As a country with a democratic political system and a developed administrative structure, with a fairly large skilled workforce and an extensive network of communications, India has made significant progress since independence.

However, in the early 1990s India’s national debt reached $70 billion, and the average annual inflation was 10%, which was due to political instability and in part to the negative consequences of the Gulf War.

According to All City Codes, 70% of the able-bodied population is employed in agriculture, 13% – in industry, 17% – in the service sector. Rural residents make up about 75% of the total population of the country. 12 cities have more than 1 million inhabitants. The largest city of Bombay (12 million inhabitants)

Despite the agrarian basis of the economy, industry has grown significantly in India, and now the country is among the top 15 industrialized countries in the world. The relatively low volume of exports is partly due to high domestic consumption. India has been particularly successful in grain production; once in the country there was a chronic shortage of it, and now it is exported. However, 37% of the population lives below the poverty line.

More than half (64%) of the villages are electrified, the literacy rate of the population has increased: the number of people with seven years of education and above is 52% (64% for men and 39% for women). By comparison, the literacy rate in 1951, shortly after independence, was only 18%.


India (Republic of India, Indian Union) is a federation consisting of 25 states and 7 union territories. Each state and some union territories have their own legislature and government headed by a chief minister. The head of state is the president. The central (federal) government, headed by the prime minister, is accountable to a bicameral parliament consisting of the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (Council of States). The House of the People has 543 directly elected members (530 seats reserved for states, 13 for union territories), plus two appointed members.

The Council of States has 232 members who are indirectly elected; it is renewed every two years and functions in much the same way as the British House of Lords. The president is elected for a term of 5 years by an electoral college composed of members of parliament and members of state legislatures. Since 1992, Shankar Dayal Sharma has been the President of India. Each state has its own legislature, which also performs a number of administrative functions in the areas of health, education and land transportation (with the exception of rail).

Usually elections are held every five years, but in exceptional cases early elections may be called. Since India’s independence in 1947, the country has held a dozen general elections. There are 6 national parties in the republic, 37 state parties, and a total of 301 parties are registered. The most influential national parties are: Bharatiya Janata, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Indian National Congress, Janata Party, Janata Dal.


In India, time is five and a half hours ahead of GMT (two and a half hours ahead of Moscow).

India Population and Customs

Georgia Brief History

Georgia Brief History

According to Wedding in Fashion, Georgia is a state of Transcaucasia. The current Georgia roughly corresponds to the regions that the ancients called Colchis and Iberia. The Georgians formed their first nation state at the fall of the Macedonian empire and in the 4th century. their conversion to Christianity began. The social order based on the division into tribes was then replaced in the plain by a feudal regime with a dominant aristocracy and differentiated social classes. The Arab conquest (mid-7th century) left direct power to the local aristocracy and the weakening of the caliphate allowed the gradual formation of a national monarchy, which reached its apogee with King David II (1089-1125) and with Queen Tamara (1184-1213). The Mongol and Timurid invasions produced an era of decline. The rise of Ottoman power and the appearance of the Russian empire to the North led to Georgia since the 16th century. seeking the protection of the tsars and the formal annexation of the country to Russia (1801) allowed for considerable civil and industrial development. Starting in 1917, the revolutionary movement gained an ever stronger position in the country; in 1918-21 a democratic republic led by the Mensheviks was born in Georgia, but a communist uprising then led to the proclamation of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia. Georgia entered the USSR in 1922 as part of the Transcaucasian Federation, and then from 1936 as a federated republic. Having become an independent Republic in 1991, Georgia experienced a prolonged phase of internal instability, determined both by political conflicts and by ethnic clashes which re-exploded with violence after the detachment from the USSR. With the collapse of the composite nationalist front that had led the country to independence, the opposition to President Z. Gamsakhurdia escalated into civil war. After the election to head of the country of EA Ševardnadze, the followers of Gamsakhurdia were overwhelmed also thanks to the Russian intervention, made possible by the approach to Moscow promoted by Ševardnadze, which also led to the entry of Georgia into the Community of Independent States (1993). The situation in South Ossetia and Abhazija remained conflicting, supported in their separatist aspirations from Russia and effectively made independent. Mainly Christian, Georgia was also affected by the growing conflict with the autonomous Republic of Adžarija, of Muslim religion. At the end of 1994 the relative improvement of the economic condition favored the re-establishment of central authority and the strengthening of presidential powers, sanctioned by the Constitution approved in 1995. Ševardnadze was elected president of the Republic (1995) and reconfirmed in the presidential elections of 2000, but in 2003 the fraud reported after the legislative elections by the opposition led by M. Saakašvili and the consequent street movements (Revolution of the Roses) forced him to resign; he was succeeded by Saakashvili himself, elected with over 95% of the votes in 2004 and reconfirmed in 2008. The integration program of the new president in the Western bloc and the growing Western influence have aroused the concerns of Russia. Tensions between Tbilisi and Moscow exploded dramatically in the summer of 2008, when the Georgia tried to re-establish its control over South Ossetia, in support of which Russia sent its troops. After the brief conflict, which ended with the mediation of the European Union, Russia formally recognized the independence of Abhazija and South Ossetia, while Georgia left the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The ‘five day war’ for control of South Ossetia

The ‘five day war’ between Georgia and Russia (7-12 August 2008) was provoked by Tbilisi’s attempt to militarily regain control of the breakaway region of South Ossetia. After the 1991-92 conflict, the Ossetian authorities had initiated a process of state and institutional building, culminating in the referendum on independence in November 2006. What made this process possible was above all the political and economic support provided by Moscow, whose peacekeeping troops they had been deployed on the territory in 1992, after the end of hostilities. As in the case of Abkhazia, Russia has granted its citizenship to almost the entire Ossetian population. Compared to the 2008 conflict, the Russian intervention was justified by the need to protect its citizens and troops from Georgian aggression. After five days of conflict, during which Abkhazian forces supported the Russian-Ossetian counterattack, on 12 August the parties signed an agreement for a ceasefire brokered by the European Union. Although the Russian troops withdrew from the occupied Georgian territories, they maintained the positions they had acquired in South Ossetia. After officially recognizing the Republic of Ossetia,Osce, active in the region since 1992.

Since September 2008, a European civilian monitoring mission has been present in Georgia, the European Union Monitoring Mission, with tasks of stabilization, normalization and confidence-building.

A report commissioned by the EU Council and published in September 2009 blamed Georgia for the conflict, while condemning Russia’s “disproportionate” reaction.

Georgia Country Brief History

North Korea: A Baseless Blackmail?

North Korea: A Baseless Blackmail?

North Korea confronts the world with the nuclear threat, boasting the ability to fire missiles at South Korea and Japan. He does not do it because he really wants a war or because he has a substantial political objective, but only to get a few million dollars in aid without losing face: he needs support for his weak economy and wants to open a dialogue with the United States. You might just ask, but evidently internal reasons prevent it. A massive front in Pyongyang is opposed to opening dialogue, which fears some kind of capitulation might appear. For this reason, the request for dialogue is disguised as a blackmail to the United States. These are expected to yield to the ‘power’ of North Korean extortion so that Pyongyang’s leadership can once again prove its strength. However, this is a wrong policy because it is based on premises dating back to the Cold War at a time when the Cold War is over.

According to The Makeup Explorer, North Korea was once strategically important as it had the Soviet Union and China behind it. Now the reality is quite different. China and South Korea, which fought against each other half a century ago to secure control of North Korea, have an excellent relationship and are both interested in a peaceful solution to the North Korean question. The foundation of the Cold War in East Asia, the confrontation between Beijing and Seoul, has ended since the two nations established diplomatic relations and even more so since South Korean President Kim Dae Jung promoted the so-called “détente” policy. Sunshine ‘towards North Korea.

There remains the problem of North Korea as an obligatory passage for commercial traffic by land across the Eurasian continent. With the opening of roads and railways, goods from Japan and Korea would be able to reach Europe more easily and vice versa. But even this seems an outdated question: if the United States was once worried that this land route would allow them to bypass the sea routes they control and that China or Russia, by providing for the safety of internal roads, would have an important map to play against them, after the war in Afghanistan and Iraq the situation has changed, as the United States has established a strong political and military presence in Central Asia. Thus the routes by land and the sea routes are equally under their control and no one has any cards to play in an anti-American function. North Korea’s refusal of any passage through its territory is certainly a nuisance, an economic obstacle for the entire region, but it no longer has a strategic value of global reach.

To sum it up, North Korea cannot trigger a world war, because it has no real allies. It was included in the ‘axis of evil’ by the United States not because of its importance, but above all because it was necessary that not only Muslim countries appear on the list, with the risk of a clash of civilizations. Furthermore, North Korea does not have strategic resources, it does not have an economy to be reckoned with, it does not exert any influence either globally or regionally. In other words, a war in North Korea would cause no global repercussions, no changes in the price of oil or other strategic commodities would ensue; stock exchanges would not be affected. Life would go on roughly the same as always. However, it is true that Pyongyang has missiles and is developing nuclear capabilities, as well as being led by unreliable leadership. In other words, it represents a security threat, especially for Japan, which it could reach with its missiles, also compromising its economy. Added to this is a serious humanitarian issue, consisting of more than 20 million people held hostage, almost like human shields, by an unscrupulous political class. However, this is not a land that anyone wants to conquer or defend, as it did during the war of the early 1950s. On the contrary, it is an uncomfortable place that everyone would like to disappear in one way or another. North Korean leaders should take this into account when making their threats. They no longer have the influence they once did: they have been too greedy and shortsighted. If they had built a railway before the war in Afghanistan and the overland route had supplanted the sea routes, they would have at their disposal a much more powerful tool of pressure than atomic bombs, they would have in their hands an element of equal importance to the Suez Canal to use against Japan., South Korea and China. But they didn’t take the chance, and even now they don’t seem able to grasp the basic logic of the post-Cold War world, where you only have influence if you sit down politely and play the game. If you are out of it you don’t count. If you are part of the global economy you can make your own demands, as your contribution to the world economy affects everyone. But if not, your questions are just a nuisance.

A Baseless Blackmail

Holidays in Netherlands

Holidays in Netherlands

For some, holidays in the Netherlands are still associated with many hours of excursions under cloudy skies and trips to fish restaurants, but this is far from all that the country washed by the North Sea can offer. There are beaches, a rich cultural life, and the unique atmosphere of a truly European land.

Pros and cons of the Netherlands


  • Cleanliness and order on the streets, security at the same level;
  • Unique cultural life and architecture;
  • Friendly attitude towards tourists;
  • Some of the best restaurants in the world;
  • Ecology is above all – a bicycle is the favorite transport of the Dutch.


  • One of the most expensive countries in Europe;
  • Even in summer it can be cool and very damp;
  • Possible language barrier – not everyone speaks English;
  • Specific mentality and rhythm of life, bureaucracy is literally everywhere;
  • You need a Schengen visa to travel.


When planning a vacation in Holland, you should always rely on the fact that the maritime climate of temperate latitudes can bring pleasant and not very surprises. Summers here are warm, without abnormally hot sun, but with winds that often change direction. According to, winter is considered mild, snow rarely falls, but frosts from year to year cover the city canals with a thin crust of ice for several days, snow is rather a deviation from the norm.

No matter what they say about rainy days, statistics announce an annual rate of 750 mm of precipitation, most of which occurs in autumn and winter. During the summer season, the weather often changes from clear skies back to rain, and the change is completely unpredictable.


It is impossible to imagine a vacation in the Netherlands without going to numerous shops in search of memorable gifts for yourself and friends. And, if only an avid summer resident can be pleased with tulip bulbs, the rest of the souvenirs will definitely appeal to those who prefer something original, albeit not very expensive.:


The national symbol of the country has been used for centuries not so much for the production of flour, but for draining flooded soils, and now it is an integral part of any rural landscape. You can buy them in the form of magnets, table fountains and children’s designers – there will be many options.


The famous wooden slippers, which inspired even Andersen to write a fairy tale, have long been a source of national pride. Every self-respecting souvenir department sells several dozen types of these shoes, which, despite the obvious rigidity and heaviness, are still worn by local farmers as an everyday accessory.


Armenia has cognac, Japan has sake, but Dutch bars have juniper vodka, recognized as the main alcoholic drink of the country. According to the distillation method, this is not even a vodka product, but something close to gin, hence the consonant name. Distinguishes it from its closest “relatives” by a pronounced smell of barley, which is unusual for gourmets, but interesting for those who are open to new cocktails.

Delft porcelain

A product that causes elusive nostalgia for any Russian tourist, because the painting of products is done on white glaze in several shades of blue, reminiscent of our Gzhel. Real dishes and figurines from Delft have a special marking, but they are much more expensive than replicas.

Amsterdam house.

No, no one forces you to buy real estate at exorbitant prices, but prefabricated wooden or cardboard models of real buildings diverge in local shops with a bang. You can even buy a few so that when you return, you can make a whole street in a recognizable style on your home bookshelf.


Dutch cheeses have been recognized as a standard for several centuries, both in taste and in the beneficial properties of a fermented milk product. Local producers know the price of the delicacy, so you need to get ready for the “biting” cost, after which Russian supermarkets will seem like sales centers to you.

Visa and customs

For a Russian citizen, holidays in Holland are possible only after obtaining a Schengen visa, since the country was one of the first to be included in this zone. For entry to be legal, any guest will need the following package of documents:

  • A valid international passport with a remaining period of at least six months at the time of returning home, as well as previous canceled passports with copies of all pages.
  • Visa application form completed in English.
  • 2 color photos 3.5×4.5 cm, corresponding to the requirements of European standards (on a light gray / blue background, without corners and ovals, the face must occupy at least 80% of the image area, white margins of at least 2mm are required). One photo is pasted on the application form, the second is attached with a paper clip with a signature on the back – full name and passport number.
  • Hotel booking confirmation or original invitation from an individual with notarization by the municipal authority at the place of residence. Information about income and a copy of the Dutch passport are attached to the invitation.
  • Certificate of employment, issued not earlier than 1 month ago at the time of application. It should contain the contacts of the organization, information about the position, monthly salary and wages for the last 6 months.
  • A copy of the insurance policy with a coverage amount of €30,000. The company issuing insurance must be accredited to operate in the EU.
  • Receipt for payment of the consular and service fee in the amount of €60.

Important: When visiting the Netherlands for the first time, a visa is issued strictly for the dates of the trip. If the trip goes without incident, then subsequent tours will allow visiting the country for up to 90 consecutive days every six months.

Read more about visas to Holland and customs regulations for crossing the border here.

Frequently asked Questions


What are the ratings of Dutch hotels, and how do they differ from hotels in other countries?


There are no differences in the “star” status, but there is an unpleasant difference in room prices. The Dutch authorities have introduced a tax on tourists, which is included in the cost of living. The more prestigious the hotel, the greater the “foreigner’s surcharge”. But in the price lists, this extra charge is often not there, so always check the final bill at the booking stage.


When is the best time to plan a vacation in Holland? I heard that there is a real problem with the climate, and getting good weather is simply impossible. Is it so?


Yes, the weather in the country is very unpredictable, and the number of clear days even in the middle of summer is catastrophically small. Amsterdam, for example, is often compared to St. Petersburg, which is partly true, so there is a lot of precipitation in autumn and winter. In summer, strong cold winds are possible, so you should always have a windproof jacket or raincoat with you.


How is the security on the streets of cities, is it worth believing the rumors that the Dutch police are the best in the world?


The official crime rate in the country is 0.9%, local prisons are empty, and the police are frankly bored every now and then, revealing bicycle thefts. But this does not mean at all that guests do not get into trouble, mainly related to theft of valuables and street fraud. If you are in trouble, you can simply loudly call for help – for sure, one of the passers-by will immediately start calling the nearest station. You can call the police or an ambulance at a beautiful number: 555-5555 – dispatchers speak excellent English. You need to inform the consular department of the embassy in Amsterdam in the morning by dialing: +31 (0) 70 364 6473 – they do not have an emergency number, calling at night will get you an answering machine.

Holidays in Netherlands

Popular Destinations in Netherlands

Popular Destinations in Netherlands


Among all the Dutch destinations, tours to Amsterdam will always be the most popular, and the capital itself has been associated with everything European for many years, becoming the standard of style and quality entertainment. The city will offer both sightseeing tours and programs aimed at getting to know the cultural life of the country.

  • Introduction to education system in Netherlands, including compulsory schooling and higher education.


For many, it is a surprising discovery that a beach holiday in Amsterdam is possible in principle, but in good weather, all three months of summer, the surroundings of the capital are literally occupied by tourists. There are not so many suburban sections of the coast, and they are all named after the villages in which they are located, these are:

  • Zandworth;
  • Блийбург;
  • From Eymoy.


There are several hundred places for sightseeing in the city, and each object is unique and interesting in its own way. The shortest sightseeing tour can last 2 days, and at the same time, most of the museums and architectural masterpieces will remain “behind the scenes”.

The most visited places in Amsterdam are included in the following list:

  • Zandworth;
  • Dam Square;
  • Royal Palace;
  • Weight Chamber;
  • Van Gogh Museum;
  • Church of Nicholas;
  • Cinema Tushinsky.

The famous quarter de Wallen is popular not only for its “adult format”, but also for the large number of theaters, nightclubs and museums located on its streets.


Shopping in Amsterdam cannot be called profitable, and even during the so-called sales seasons, prices here can bite in comparison with other European capitals. It is worth looking into such shopping streets and market squares as:

  • Calverstrat;
  • Harlemmerstrat;
  • Утрехсестрат.
  • Hoftstrat;

The Hague

For those who do not want to limit their holidays in the Netherlands only to the capital, The Hague will be a great addition, or even an alternative. This is a quieter city, a perfect combination of business districts and old buildings from different eras, as well as the venue for major European music and theater festivals.


For some, The Hague is the capital of the world court for human rights, and for some, the birthplace of the greatest rock bands of the hippie era. And it is not surprising that such a range of cultural influence was reflected in the appearance of historical quarters, where at any time of the year there is something to see and where to go.

The most interesting sights of The Hague include:

  • Palace of Peace;
  • Binnenhof;
  • Mauritshuis Gallery.
  • Park of miniatures Madurodam;
  • Escher Museum.
  • Oceanarium “Sea Life”.
  • Aquapark “Duinrel”;
  • Casino Holland.


Buying something in The Hague is much more profitable than in the capital, because the prices for the same things can be half as much due to the “provincial” status of the city. For tourists, the following places are mandatory to visit:

  • «Passage»;
  • “The Beehive”;
  • «The Hague Bluff»
  • «New Babylon».


The porcelain capital – Delft – diversifies your holiday in Holland not only with exquisite shopping, but also with interesting excursions. City tours do not take more than one day, but in terms of saturation they are not inferior even to Amsterdam.


Delft, located inland, has no port areas, and most of the sightseeing routes are walking in a real open-air museum. There is something to see here, and the most interesting objects form the following list:

  • Old and New Churches;
  • Prinsenhof Monastery;
  • East gate;
  • Town Hall of the 16th century;
  • Military Museum;
  • Botanical Garden of the Technical University.


Going to the shops and markets of Delft is also a kind of adventure, because in addition to the legendary ceramics and porcelain, you can buy a lot of interesting things here. And, what is more valuable, each department is located in a cozy old building, without multi-storey trading floors made of glass and concrete. Worth visiting:

  • Wine shop “Van Dorp”;
  • Jewelry shop “Warnaar”;
  • Salon of porcelain and faience “Royal Delftinery”;
  • Designer boutique “Mode de Zwart”.


The main “cheese” city of the Netherlands – Alkmaar – has long become a symbol of idealistic Europe, thanks to its well-groomed streets, picturesque canals and perfectly flat houses. You need to come here, tired of the noisy avenues of megacities, in order to enjoy the quiet life of a modest settlement.


All the iconic places of Alkmaar can be bypassed in a few hours, but if you start exploring the city carefully, you can spend the whole vacation on these narrow streets. Among the key sites worth visiting and seeing:

  • weight area;
  • Cheese Museum;
  • Beer Museum;
  • Beatles Museum;
  • Cathedral of Saint Lawrence;
  • Grotekerk Church;
  • Canada Square.


Alkmaar’s main trading event is the Friday Cheese Market on the Weigh Square, which has been organized here since 1622. This is a real show for tourists and visitors to the city, who are given the chance to buy the best cheese in the world directly from the producers.

In addition to food, other souvenirs can be purchased at the following stores:

  • «The Shoemaker»;
  • «Beer shop»;
  • “Frodo signature”;
  • «Mulder».


Romania Attractions

Romania Attractions


Transylvania (Siebenbürgen) has one of the most attractive landscapes in Romania with excellent hiking and winter sports opportunities. The Romanian spas have been known for their healing powers since Roman times. Spa towns include Baile Felix, Baile Herculane, Sovata and Covasna. Transylvania is also home to Count Dracula. Its perched Bran Castle consists of thick walls and pointed towers from which one can enjoy dramatic views. Sighisoara is one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Europe. On the market square of the city of Sibiu, founded in the 12th centuryyou can still often see the population in regional costumes. Sibiu was European Capital of Culture in 2007. Medieval Brasov is the gateway to the magnificent Poiana Brasov holiday and winter sports region (illuminated slopes).

  • Educationvv: Provides school and education information in Romania covering middle school, high school and college education.

The Bukovina region is located in the northern foothills of the Carpathians. There are important wall paintings on the outer walls of the churches and monasteries that are over 500 years old. The Sucevita Monastery has a particularly large number of them. 29 km west of Sucevita is the Moldovita Monastery, whose paintings are worth seeing, as is the Voronet Monastery. The 48 monasteries of the Moldova region were almost all built in the 14th and 15th centuries after the victory over the Turks.

The Carpathians

This wooded mountain region invites you to go skiing, tobogganing, horseback riding and tennis. Numerous spa and winter sports resorts are located on the mountain slopes and in the valleys. You can also rent ski equipment. The most famous resorts are Sinaia (bobsleigh facilities), Busteni, Predeal (illuminated slopes), Semenic, Paltinis, Bilea, Borsa and Durau. The long winter sports season lasts from December to April. Picturesque lakes lie in the Fagaras and the Retezat mountains. Also a visit to the caves in the regions of Apuseni, Mehedinti andBihor is worthwhile.

Black Sea coast

The Black Sea Coast, Romania’s main tourist area, is ideal for family vacations. The resorts of Mamaia, Eforie-Nord, Techirghiol, Eforie-Süd, Costinesti, Neptun-Olimp, Jupiter, Venus-Aurora, Saturn and Mangalia, which offer water sports, are located on the 70 km long sandy beaches. Boats can be rented in many places. Boat trips to other resorts are offered in the Dobruja region. At Techirghiol Lake, whose thermal springs have a minimum temperature of 24°C, and in Mangalia, Eforie and Neptun there are salt water and medicinal mud treatments for rheumatic diseases. In the 6th century B.C. The Greek-Byzantine port city of Constanta with its museums and ancient monuments, which was founded in BC, is worth seeing and a good starting point for excursions in the surrounding area. Further inland there are numerous archaeological sites to visit, e.g. B. the ancient Greek city ruins in Histria and Callatis. The impressive circular monument in Adamclisi is a testament to the Roman legacy. The hinterland is also the habitat of numerous foxes, otters, wild cats and wild boar. More than 300 bird species settle on the Black Sea during bird migration. Also of interest to bird lovers is the Danube Delta, a protected nature park and an important resting place on one of the migratory routes between the North Pole and the Equator. Excursion boats operate between Tulcea and Sulina.


The Romanian capital Bucharest was founded in the 15th century. Spacious boulevards and many green spaces characterize the cityscape. The architectural variety is also impressive, ranging from graceful orthodox sacred buildings to Stalinist new buildings. The rich cultural offerings include an opera house and the neoclassical Athenaeum, which is home to the renowned Philharmonic Orchestra. Among the museums, the Muzeul Stului open -air museum in Herãstrau Park stands out, where you can get a glimpse of traditional Romanian architecture and folk art. Also worth seeing are the National Art Museum and the Historical Museum. The area around the capital, rich in forests and lakes, offers countless possibilities for excursions.



In Bucharest there are more and more discos and nightclubs offering dancing and entertainment. Admission prices are usually cheap, even in the capital, and outside of the big cities, many clubs even offer free entry. In many large hotels, the restaurants also function as nightclubs. There are plenty of Parisian-style cafés in Bucharest, although locals gravitate towards cocktail bars in the summer and basement pubs in the winter. In addition to Bucharest, the cities of Brasov, Craiova, Sighisoara, Mamaia, Iasi, Constanţa, Galaţi, Ploieşti and Timişoara also offer lively nightlife. The university town of Cluj-Napoca has, in addition to a young student population and a small but excellent techno scene, a good reputation as a party mile. In smaller towns it is usually much quieter, but you often get to know the locals in the cozy pubs and tea houses. The cultural offer of the country is also very diverse. In the large concert hall of Bucharest’s Ateneul Român (Athenaeum), you can experience not only numerous international classical concerts, but above all performances by the George Enescu Symphony Orchestra. Folk events take place in the Rapsodia Romana Hall. Numerous theaters and the Romanian Opera House invite you to visit. The Teatrul Național și Opera Română (National Theater and Opera House) in Timișoara houses the Teatrul Național as well as the Opera Națională Română din Timișoara.


Nicaragua Geography and Climate

Nicaragua Geography and Climate

Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America, bordering Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country has coastline to the Caribbean Sea as well as to the Pacific Ocean. During the 16th century, the Spanish Empire colonized the region. Nicaragua gained its independence from Spain in 1821 and since then the country has gone through periods of political unrest. Today, the country is a democratic republic and in recent years there has been political stability and economic growth. In 2012, a population of about 6 million was reached, and the population consists of Indians from the Mosquito coast, Europeans, Africans, Asians and people from the Middle East. The capital is Managua and is the third largest city in the country. The official language is Spanish, but there are also other languages ​​such as the Native American languages ​​used by various Native American tribes.

Because it has such a large mix of culture and tradition, the country has great diversity in art and literature. Famous Nicaraguan poets and writers include Rubén Darío, Pablo Antonio Cuadra, and Ernesto Cardenal. Nicaragua is also on its way to becoming a very popular tourist destination, which depends a lot on the beautiful tropical climate and on exciting environments with active volcanoes.

Geography and climate

The country’s geography consists of three main zones, namely the lowlands of the Pacific Ocean, the central highlands and the lowlands of the Caribbean Sea. On the Pacific side, there are the two largest freshwater lakes in Central America, Lake Nicaragua and Lake Managua. Around these lakes there are fertile plains with soil enriched by ash from nearby volcanoes. Lake Nicaragua is Central America’s largest source of freshwater and here is the unusual freshwater shark that has been named the Nicaragua shark. Nicaragua has natural resources in the form of silver, gold, copper, zinc, lead, tungsten, timber and fish. In the parts of the country that are at lower altitudes, the climate is tropical and when you reach higher altitudes, it becomes cooler and drier.

According to, Nicaragua is often hit by natural disasters in the form of earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions and severe storms. There are also problems with polluted water and deforestation leading to soil erosion. One fifth of the country has been set aside as protected areas and nature reserves.


Today, tourism is very important to Nicaragua’s economy and this is an area that is only growing. Many tourists come from the United States and some stay and settle in Nicaragua. You also get visits from other parts of Central America, from South America and from Europe. Popular tourist destinations are Granada León, Masaya, Rivas, San Juan del Sur and the Corn Islands. The concept of ecotourism is also being developed, which attracts many to come and visit the country. Of course, many also come to enjoy the beaches which are well suited for surfing.

Nicaragua Geography

Sights of Panama

Sights of Panama

You can see the famous Panama Canal, and at the same time the enchanting rainforests that surround it, by visiting the Soberanía National Park or National Park Soberanía. Here you can get acquainted with the flora and fauna of Panama, go kayaking on Gatun Lake and the Chagres River, on the banks of which, by the way, there is an ethnic village of the Embera people. The world famous nature trail through the park called Pipeline Road is also located in Soberania Park, this is the best place to observe the life of wild animals and birds in the region. The largest and busiest ports in the world are located in Panama. You can be impressed by the abundance of ships and goods from all over the world and feel the unique port atmosphere in the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks. Here you can also learn the history of the construction and development of the Panama Canal and even ride along it. In the capital of the Republic, Panama City, do not miss the opportunity to visit the old quarter of Casco Antigua, full of colonial architecture in a mixed Havana and New Orleans style. And the Place de France also offers beautiful panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean! Causeway Dam is the meeting place for everyone and everything in Panama City, where most of the restaurants and other institutions of the capital are concentrated. Views of skyscrapers on the one hand and hundreds of ships in the Gulf of Panama on the other make everyone come here: both citizens and foreign tourists. Don’t miss Ankon Hill, home to rare agoutis and exotic toucans, and Panama la Vieia, the first colonial settlement now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can and should plunge into the cultural environment of Panama in the Sun Blas archipelago, where the ethnic minorities of Kuna Yala and Embera live. San Blas includes 360 coral islands in the Caribbean Sea, where these peoples manage to maintain their usual way of life for more than a century. The Internet, Coca-Cola and advertising for them will be nothing more than incomprehensible words.

National cuisine of Panama

According to calculatorinc, traditional Panamanian cuisine is rooted in Central American traditions and combines Indian and Spanish flavors. The main ingredients, without which it is impossible to imagine the local cuisine of Panama, are rice, corn, legumes, meat, onions, vegetables and herbs. A separate role is assigned to the national cuisine and seafood, because the country is located off the coast of two oceans at once! Among the characteristic features of serving dishes in Panama, it is worth mentioning a small amount of spices in dishes (hot and spicy sauces are served separately), an abundance of vegetable salads, as well as replacing ordinary dishes with tortillas, in which food is directly laid out. The most common dishes of Panamanian cuisine include rice with beef “arros-con-carne” – pork with corn or potatoes in banana leaves, scrambled eggs – “juevos revueltos”, “paella” – rice with seafood, “fufu” bananas and sea fish stewed in coke milk, fried and then chilled fish fillet “escabeche” and much more. All this is used with all kinds of cakes, such as “tortilla de mais” or “plantan tortillas”. Strong Panamanian coffee is the talk of the town, here it is drunk around the clock after each meal and between them, served with a jug of milk. Numerous desserts are called upon to offset coffee bitterness: vanilla tres leche pie, pi de lemon pie with lemons, el carmelho – a fruit pie, as well as bananas with vanilla and cinnamon, fried dough with ohaldres jam and coconut meringue plantain tortillas. The local drink “chichas de papaya” made from fresh papaya juice and pineapple is also very popular. The most common alcoholic drinks are Abuelo rum.


There are no direct flights to Panama from Russia, but the country is connected by air with several dozen countries, so you can use one of the transit options. For example, you can fly to Panama with a transfer in London or one of the US cities. There is also a land option: through Costa Rica, there are three border crossings open to international buses and other transport: Paso Canoas, Sabalito and Sixaola. Getting through Colombia to Panama is possible only formally, the border here is difficult to pass. Panama’s main airport is Tocumen or Tocumen International Airport (PTY), located 24 km east of Panama City, where most international flights arrive. Domestic flights in Panama are provided by three local airlines: Aeroperlas, Copa Airlines and Air Panama. Flights are usually very inexpensive, but there is a high probability of an unexpected cancellation or rescheduling of the flight. The most common type of transport in the country is buses: intercity (with air conditioning) and urban (more often without them). They connect all settlements of the country and areas in large cities. The main bus station, Albrook Bus Station, is located in Panama City. Some of the Panama Islands can be reached by sea, but be careful, many ships are smuggling. Taxis are available only in major cities, the price is negotiable, which should be discussed before the start of the trip. To avoid theft and other crimes, it is recommended to use the services of official branded taxis only. The cost of a trip from Tocumen Airport to Panama City is about $20. To rent a car, you will need an international driver’s license and a credit card as a deposit. For safety reasons, do not leave the car unattended, close all doors and windows, and do not leave anything of value inside. Panama is famous for its quality roads, the best in Latin America. From east to west, the Pan-American Highway runs through the country, no less high-quality roads pass from it to the coasts.

Sights of Panama

Cities in Saudi Arabia

Cities in Saudi Arabia

According to commit4fitness, Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy ruled by the sons and grandsons of the first king, Abdul Aziz. The head of state is the king. Criminal law is based on Sharia. The law prohibits discussion of the existing political system. The consumption of alcohol and drugs is strictly prohibited.

The main population of the country is concentrated in cities. The largest city in the country, the capital of the kingdom, its political, cultural and scientific center is Riyadh. Jeddah is the second largest city in the country, its “economic capital”, the most important port on the Red Sea. Mecca and Medina, being one of the largest cities in the country, are the symbols of Saudi Arabia and the holy cities of Islam. The ports on the Persian Gulf of Dammam, Jubail and Khafji, where the main oil refining capacities are concentrated, also play the most important role in the country’s economy.

RIYADH is one of the most luxurious and modern capitals in the Middle East. The truly colossal revenues received by the country from oil production made the capital rich and pretentious. There are a great many skyscrapers here, new projects are developed and approved every year. But the true decoration and heart of the capital are 2400 mosques. The city sacredly preserves the traditions of the religious life of the homeland of Islam.

JIDDA is the diplomatic capital of Saudi Arabia. It is a large modern city, a seaport, an industrial center. Magnificent buildings of embassies and consulates were built in the seaside part of the city, and a university was opened. Traditional quarters with narrow streets have been preserved in the old part of the city. Jeddah is also famous for its shopping centers that occupy entire blocks. Numerous beaches are open in the city and its environs, and diving on the nearby coral reefs is very popular.

Mecca is the spiritual center and holy city for all Muslims on the planet. It was in Mecca that the founder of Islam, the Prophet Muhammad, was born, it is here that the holy places of the Islamic world are located, it is here that millions of pilgrims from all over the world flock to the Hajj. Mecca is a closed city for representatives of other faiths, but getting here at least once in a lifetime is a sacred duty and duty of every Muslim. Almost all life in the city is connected with serving pilgrims – modern hotels have been built, many of which are located in close proximity to the Haram mosque.

MEDINA is the second holy city of Islam and the first to follow the precepts of the prophet. The center of the city and its main shrine is the huge complex of Masjid al-Nabi (Mosque of the Prophet), built on the site of a similar structure built by Muhammad himself. It is here that the sacred place for every Muslim is located – the grave of the prophet. Like Mecca, only Muslims are allowed to enter the territory of Medina, although the local “haram” (area closed to non-Muslims) is noticeably smaller, which allows everyone to see local shrines, even from afar.

ABHA – due to its unique geographical position, this city is the coolest in the country. Located at an altitude of 2200 meters and surrounded by a chain of mountains, because of this, hot air does not penetrate into the region and it often rains. Thus, the mild climate has made Abha the most important center of tourism in the country. The city has preserved the Shada Palace, built as the residence of King Abdulaziz. 45 km. The picturesque landscapes of Al-Sod begin southeast of the city, and the lands of the Asir National Park stretch to the south.

NAJRAN is one of the most interesting and visited cities in the country. The main attraction is Al-An Palace. It is also worth visiting the Najran Museum with an exhibition of archaeological finds, a fort and a fortress mosque.

FARASAN GROUP OF ISLANDS is a vast archipelago of 84 coral and sandy islands, is one of the natural breeding grounds for seabirds, gazelles, sea turtles, therefore it is almost entirely part of the national park of the same name.

RECREATION: Today, Saudi Arabia is a country with huge tourism potential. The unique nature of the deserts, combined with mountain ranges, the interweaving of ancient traditions and a powerfully developing economy, as well as the presence of numerous religious places of the Islamic world, make this country very attractive for travel. One of the most intensively developing tourist regions of the country is Half Moon Bay, which has the longest sandy beach in the kingdom. The Red Sea is a real paradise for diving enthusiasts. Here is one of the largest coral reef systems in the world. Camel racing, equestrian sports, yachting, etc. are popular among active sports.

ABHA Saudi Arabia

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The Great Barrier Reef is a unique integral living organism included in the World Heritage List. Its length exceeds 2000 km. Situated along the reef, the tropical islands attract countless tourists from all over the world with their unique beauty: dazzling corals and coral reefs, white sand beaches, amazing marine life and great outdoor activities.

The barrier reef is a place of pilgrimage for diving fans from all over the world.

The climate on the Great Barrier Reef is hot subequatorial with almost constant temperature throughout the year. As elsewhere in the tropics, the air is humid, but this humidity is more easily tolerated than in Thailand or other countries of Southeast Asia.

The best time to visit is from May to October. At this time, swimming is allowed on the beaches, the humidity decreases, and the Great Barrier Reef replaces the Gold Coast, becoming the main vacation spot. However, if you are going to the Great Barrier Reef not for the sake of lying on the beach and swimming in the sea, but in order to look at the lush tropical greenery, natives, waterfalls, visit Cairns, then you can safely go there at any time of the year.

Swimming on the Great Barrier Reef, located thirty kilometers from the coast, is allowed all year round, and the water on the reef is so clear that visibility under water exceeds 30 m. North Beaches area (Palm Cove, Trinity Beach) or in Port Douglas, where swimming is allowed from May to October. The water in the ocean in the vicinity of Cairns all year round resembles fresh milk, cooling only after the rains.


The Great Barrier Reef is the eighth wonder of the world and the largest coral reef in the world. It includes 2,500 reefs – from the smallest, less than a hectare in area, to large ones, occupying 100 sq. km. These reefs form 71 coral islands. In some places, corals are separated by straits that do not exceed 200 m in width. Most reefs are underwater, some appear on the surface only at low tide. The reefs form an opal-colored chain among the many shades of blue of the ocean. Some reefs are surrounded by white coral islands with lush vegetation in which birds nest. There are even islands that no man has set foot on.

In the north, the width of the Great Barrier Reef is 80 km. It is a giant aquarium. Nothing that grows above the water can match the beauty of underwater coral gardens: purples, pinks, lavenders, lilacs, greens, browns, blues and yellows coexist and shimmer.

According to the very intricate boundaries of the channels, the Great Barrier Reef can be divided into three sectors: the northern one, where the depth does not exceed 35 m, the central one, where it is about 55 m, and the southern one, where the depth reaches 145 m.

The Great Barrier Reef began to form 10,000 years ago and continues to evolve. Billions of coral polyps (living organisms no bigger than a pinhead) form the backbone of the Barrier Reef. Sea anemones, “reef flowers”, up to 60 cm in diameter, extend their colored tentacles in the direction of the current and catch larger prey falling into this trap. There is an amazing colorful world of tropical fish, mysterious caves, coral formations and magnificent plants.

The intricate reef system that forms several coral islands between Brisbane and Cairns has become a center of ecology and tourism. There are over 400 species of coral and 1,500 species of tropical fish – a diver’s dream.

Attention! From late October to early May, the waters of the northern coast are flooded with poisonous jellyfish. These jellyfish are about 10 cm long, with long tentacles, transparent, and therefore almost invisible underwater. Warning signs have been installed on dangerous beaches. Some beaches have special fenced areas. Resorts on islands in the open sea and the Great Barrier Reef are safe all year round. Breeding in the mouths of rivers, jellyfish are mainly concentrated near the banks.

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Goa, India

Goa, India

The magnificent state of Goa is located in the south of the magnificent country of India. The coastline stretches for 110 km. Goa is the most famous beach holiday destination in India. This state is quite different from the rest of India. It has its own special culture, and magnificent beaches and many attractions attract thousands of tourists from all over the world.
The entire coastline of Goa is divided into different beaches. The beaches where fun discos are held are Baga and Calangute. The remaining beaches, about six of them, are the most calm, and the beaches called Agonda and Palolem are considered wild.

Day and night, Goa is full of life. There are plenty of restaurants that offer great food, as well as plenty of nightlife options.
The state of Goa has a magnificent nature. What is not here, and beautiful waterfalls, and mangroves, amazing islands and the stunning beauty of the lake.

The cuisine of Goa is different from the cuisine of other parts of India. All over the world, such dishes as hakuti, vindalo, balchao are known, which can only be tasted in Goa.
This extraordinary state is considered the best place for a beach holiday in India.

Goa is one of the most beautiful places in India and one of the world’s best resorts in Asia on the Arabian Sea. This resort, located south of Bombay, is not without reason called the pearl of the Indian coast. The rebellious “children-flowers” – hippies of the 60s have chosen this wonderful place.

Goa can offer tourists more than 100 km of beaches on the Indian Ocean, a developed tourist infrastructure – bars, restaurants, night discos, casinos, diving centers and Ayurvedic spa centers, as well as a wide selection of hotels of various levels. In addition, Goa is the most Europeanized region of India. The former capital of the Eastern Overseas Territories of Portugal has adopted much from European culture, from culinary traditions to carnival processions. The people of Goa preserve colonial traditions in architecture, language and way of life.
The state of Goa is divided into Northern and Southern parts. South Goa is popular among the middle class from Europe, rich Indians also like to relax here, who also prefer a calm and comfortable vacation. The complete opposite is North Goa. Here, in numerous villages, mainly advanced youth from America and Europe settle, thanks to which this place has become famous throughout the world.

A very popular place in North Goa is Mapusa, located half an hour from the coast. On Saturdays and Sundays, markets and fairs are held here, on the days of Catholic holidays there are festivals and carnivals. In Baga there are many restaurants, small hotels, motorcycles for rent, tourist offices offering a huge number of excursions.
Kadolim Beach – Here you can find the most diverse accommodation near the beach, and meet many interesting people living in the ashram of Osho Rajneesh. Chapora is a typical village, there are few tourists, a fish market is arranged on the local pier.

The legendary place of Goa is Anjuna, here on a wasteland in front of the beach on Wednesdays a flea market is held, sometimes there are trance parties, but on ordinary Anjuna days it looks pretty ordinary. The most beautiful time here is sunset. At this time, in Shore Bar, lovers come to meditate at sunset.

The most peaceful place is Arambol beach – endless wild beaches, there are few tourists. The charm of the old streets of Panaji and Margao, small cafes serving delicious fish and seafood dishes, recognized by all gourmets of the world, where you will be offered the famous national drink Fenny according to old Portuguese recipes, made from cashew or coconut and where quiet live music sounds, will not leave you indifferent.
Well, if you are tired of basking on the golden sand or playing in numerous casinos, then you can go on a trip to the natural beauties of Goa – these are wild beaches, islands, beautiful lakes, mountain waterfalls and of course the jungle.

For lovers of sea trips, cruise companies can offer you an amazing yacht trip along the coast of Goa and river cruises through the crocodile jungle and mangroves.
If you choose Goa for your vacation, then this trip will undoubtedly become one of the brightest adventures in your life.

Goa, India

Sights of Madagascar

Sights of Madagascar


Visit to the old city and the upper part of the city: you will see the palace of the queen, from where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the capital from the highest point in the city.

Visit to the city center and business district: you will see the main commercial and administrative districts of the capital, which stretch from the Soarano railway station through Independence Avenue and the place where the Zoma Friday Market used to be held – the largest open-air market in the world. You will have the opportunity to climb one of the many stairs called “totobato”, which will lead you to the business part of the city, to the street of jewelers and to the presidential palace.

A visit to the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga: About 17 km north of Antananarivo is the Royal Hill of Abohimanga . Its territory consists of a royal city and a cemetery, as well as several sacred places. The hill is associated with a strong sense of national identity and has retained its spiritual and sacred significance for the past 500 years. It remains a place of worship, visited by pilgrims from all over Madagascar and beyond.


Pereira Butterfly Farm: This is a private zoo in Marozevo, 75 km east of Antananarivo, between the towns of Manjacandriana and Moramanga. It was founded and owned by the French entomologist and naturalist André Pereira, whose name the park later received. There are many reptiles (chameleons, iguanas, geckos, frogs), bats, crocodiles and butterflies. On the territory adjacent to the zoo, a population of families of resettled and accustomed to the presence of humans, sifak Verro and brown lemurs is maintained, which gives tourists the opportunity to observe them from a short distance when feeding.

Night visit to Woimma Park: After dark, you can go for a walk in Mitsinjo Park with headlamps and hand lanterns. In 2012, villagers from Andasibe established this park as an alternative to the area’s government-run national park. The local people wanted to manage their land on their own again and be part of the region’s ecotourism. Reptile and amphibian lovers will also enjoy the park, as the park’s crystal clear river is home to many frogs, and the forest is home to several species of chameleons. In addition, here you can meet a unique species – a fantastic flat-tailed gecko, as well as incredible insects – for example, the giraffe pipe-roller beetle.

Mantadia Park: These are virgin forests that cover an area of ​​more than 15,000 hectares. The park has 108 bird species, some of which play an important role in plant conservation, such as the Madagascar paradise flycatcher. In addition, 14 species of lemurs, several species of reptiles, including the Madagascar tree boa, and 84 species of amphibians live in the park. This walking tour requires moderate to good physical fitness as the park has steep slopes and dense vegetation. It is also easy to meet indri lemurs in the park – the largest living lemurs and endemic to Madagascar, which keep in groups. Also in Mantadia, there are other representatives of endemic species – brown lemur, meek lemur, lepilemurs and the smallest primates in the world – mouse lemurs. The national park is also famous for its orchids.

Andasibe hamlet: A small hamlet with a population of approximately 5,000. Having visited it, you can observe the daily way of life of the inhabitants of this quiet and vibrant village, along with a guide, walk along narrow dirt paths along small stalls. There is an opportunity to interact with the locals and see how they earn their living and how they spend their free time. The walk will start or end at the old Alpine-style colonial railway station, which in the 1930s housed the then very fashionable Buffet de la Gare restaurant.

Wakona Lemur Island: Surrounded by fresh water, the vast area of ​​Wakona Island is home to many species of lemurs such as brown lemur, meek lemur, wari lemur, diadem sifaka. On this island, tourists have a rare opportunity to get up close and interact with these amazing primates. At the end of this tour, all participants will undoubtedly have beautiful photographs and souvenirs. Also on the territory of the island there is a small lake where you can see a lot of crocodiles.

Analamazaotra Nature Reserve: there you will look for the largest lemur on. Madagascar – indri, which is also endemic to this area. You will have an easy walking tour of 2-3 hours, during which you will look for groups of indri lemurs. In addition, you will see representatives of other species of lemurs, birds, chameleons and more, as well as endemic flora, including various types of orchids and medicinal plants.

Mitsinjo Park Night Walk: After dark, you will go for a walk in the jungle of the park with headlamps and hand torches.


Kirindi is a privately managed nature reserve and one of the most endangered ecosystems, dry deciduous forests.

Kirindi Forest: The Kirindi forest is home to the fossa, the largest carnivorous mammal in Madagascar. The forest is also famous for the Madagascan giant hamsters (voalavos), and it is also home to seven species of lemurs and a number of endemic reptiles.

Sights of Madagascar

Vietnam Tourist Information

Vietnam Tourist Information

Going on the road, you should have a package with documents in your hands: a voucher, an insurance policy, an air ticket and a passport. It is necessary to arrive at the airport two hours before departure in order to have time to go through customs control.

Vietnam Location. According to thesciencetutor, the official name is the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, a state in Southeast Asia located on the Indochina peninsula. Area of ​​the country: 332 thousand square meters Most of the territory is occupied by mountains, up to 3143 m high. In the west it borders with Laos and Cambodia, in the north with China, from the east and south it is washed by the South China Sea.

Vietnam Capital. Hanoi.

Vietnam Language. Vietnamese language.

Vietnam Visa. For citizens of Ukraine it is necessary to issue an entry visa. A visa to Vietnam is issued directly at the border on the basis of a pre-arranged invitation.

Required documents: a photograph, a completed application form, a foreign passport, the validity of which expires no earlier than three months on the day the trip ends;

Vietnam Features of customs control.The import of foreign convertible currency is not limited, but amounts over 3000 USD must be declared, because. the export of currency from the country is allowed only within the amount declared upon entry. The export of the national currency is prohibited. You can import duty-free 400 cigarettes, 100 cigars or 500 g of tobacco, 1.5 liters of strong alcoholic beverages or 2 liters of alcoholic beverages with a strength of up to 22 °, two 100-gram cans of black or red caviar, 5 kg of tea, 3 kg of coffee, as well as other goods with a total value not exceeding VND 5,000,000. The import of household and computer equipment is subject to mandatory declaration: all undeclared equipment will be allowed to be exported only if customs duties are paid or there is a receipt for its purchase in the country. It is strictly forbidden to import drugs and narcotic medicines without a medical prescription for their use (punishment – up to the death penalty), explosives, firearms, materials that offend local culture (printed materials, CDs, audio and video recordings), as well as pornography. It is forbidden to export art and antiques, jewelry and handicrafts without proper documentation.

Vietnam Time. Difference with Kiev time: +5.

Vietnam climate. Tropical, hot and humid. The average January temperature in the north of the country is 23 ° C, in the south 35 ° C. Vietnam is located in the region of the subequatorial monsoon climate, but due to the large length of the country from north to south, the climatic conditions on its territory are somewhat different.

North of Vietnam: winter lasts from November to April, the average temperature is + 12… + 20C. In February and March, there is sometimes fog and drizzling rain. Summer starts in April and lasts until October. In summer, the temperature rises to + 30C, sometimes it rains in the evening or at night.
Center: transitional climate with long rains in November and December and dry and hot summer months.
South: the temperature during the year practically does not change and stays within + 25… + 30C. The season depends on the rains: the dry season lasts from November to May, the rainy season – from late May to October. Between July and November, typhoons are likely on the coast.
Mountainous areas: in the resorts of Dalat (1500 m), Buon MA, Phuot and Sapa, it is quite cool at night throughout the year, and in winter from October to March, the temperature drops to + 4C. Even in the hottest months of March and April, the temperature rarely exceeds +26C.

Vietnam Main resorts. The main resorts of Vietnam are located on the East coast and stretch from north to south, washed by the South China Sea. The most visited resorts:
Nha Trang (Nha Trang) – Located 450 km. from Saigon. Coconut palms provide protection from the sun, both for bathers and strollers along the almost 6 km of Nha Trang beach. The clear turquoise water offers many diving opportunities. In addition to the city beach, there are many secluded places on the islands of Nyachang Bay. After exciting excursions and boat trips, you can take healing baths from natural mud and water sources, feel the incredible smell of the eucalyptus grove. The rainy season is in October and November. Visiting time is all year round.

Phan Thiet – 200 km. from Ho Chi Minh. Phan Thiet has all the conditions for a relaxing family holiday and holidays with children – comfortable hotels, convenient beaches and shops selling original handicrafts. Phan Thiet is known for its huge sand dunes (shimmering gold in the light of the setting sun), pristine beaches, and beautiful scenery. Visiting time is all year round.

Danang is located 1010 km from Saigon (70 minutes by plane). One of the most popular seaside resorts in Vietnam. This is the fourth largest city in Vietnam, attracting tourists with clean beaches and luxurious hotels. Rainy season in November and December.

Da Lat – healing mountain air (the city is located at an altitude of 1500 m above sea level) and the absence of the exhausting heat of the valley immediately made this city a favorite vacation spot for tourists from different countries. Dalat has many natural and artificially created lakes separated by rows of coniferous trees, which are the main feature of this area.

o.Phu Quoc (Phu Quoс) – is located 65 km. off the Southwest coast of Vietnam and is the largest among its islands. The area is equal to Singapore – about 600 sq. km. The fabulous nature of Phu Quoc is striking in its splendor – the island has 99 mountains and hills covered with relict forests with lush vegetation, as well as many charming waterfalls and raging rivers, and, of course, amazing sandy beaches with crystal clear sea water.

Vietnam main religion. The main religion in Vietnam is Buddhism, other religions are not prohibited.

Vietnam Cuisine. Vietnamese cuisine is famous for its unusual and refined taste. It doesn’t look like Chinese or Korean or Japanese. Traditional favorites of Vietnamese cuisine among the locals are fish, chicken and pork dishes along with cooked vegetables and rice or noodles. The national cuisine is quite different in different regions of Vietnam: in the North, Central and South. Each of them has its own unique Vietnamese cuisine recipes and cooking traditions. In Vietnam, tourists can enjoy national cuisine both in gourmet restaurants and in democratic street cafes – food everywhere is quite cheap and of high quality.

Vietnam Souvenirs. From Vietnam, masks and water dolls are usually brought as souvenirs; it is best to buy them in Hanoi. Hoi An is famous for silk fabrics and silk products. And don’t forget: you have to bargain everywhere!

Vietnam Transport.Vietnam has a developed land transport system. The transport network of national and regional roads is just as good as the local roads connecting provinces, metropolitan areas and cities in the country. Foreigners are advised to rent cars with a local driver. Every province has bus stations with good service. Large cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh have daily bus services on main lines. In many big cities and provinces you can use taxi services. In a taxi, in most cases, you should agree on the price of the trip in advance, before getting into the car. The basis of public transport is made up of taxis and a variety of motorcycle and cycle rickshaws (“cyclo” or “cyclo”). The fare in them should be agreed in advance and bargaining in this case is simply necessary. Air transport in the country is developing quite intensively. 19 airports of the country and all external lines are served by Vietnam Airlines. Due to the small size of the country, flights in all directions are short, the level of service is quite high.

Vietnam currency.The monetary unit officially used in Vietnam is the dong (d or VND). This currency can neither be brought into the country nor taken out of the country. New dong (VND or D), nominally equal to 10 hao and 100 sous. In circulation there are banknotes in denominations of 500,000, 100,000, 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 1,000, 500, 200 and 100 dong, as well as coins in 5,000, 2,000, 1,000, 500 and 200 dong (coins are gradually withdrawn from circulation). All banknotes are issued in several versions, only banknotes issued after 2003 have a high degree of protection against counterfeiting. Banks are open from 07:30-08:00 to 15:30-16:30. Day off – Saturday and Sunday. Currency can be exchanged at large banks and specialized exchange offices (1 US dollar = 18,000 dong), as well as in the market, where the exchange rate is usually somewhat more profitable, but the risk of encountering scammers is higher. The US dollar has almost universal circulation, but only new banknotes are usually accepted for payment – it is almost impossible to pay with old banknotes. In the capital and other major cities, you can pay in euros, yen, yuan or baht. Traveler’s checks in US dollars or euros can be cashed at any major bank. Credit cards are becoming more common – they are accepted in large shops, hotels and restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi (the most widely used are “Master Card” and “Visa”, the commission is usually about 3%). ATMs (located in the buildings of banks, large shops and hotels) issue only dongs. In the capital and other major cities, you can pay in euros, yen, yuan or baht. Traveler’s checks in US dollars or euros can be cashed at any major bank. Credit cards are becoming more common – they are accepted in large shops, hotels and restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi (the most widely used are “Master Card” and “Visa”, the commission is usually about 3%). ATMs (located in the buildings of banks, large shops and hotels) issue only dongs. In the capital and other major cities, you can pay in euros, yen, yuan or baht. Traveler’s checks in US dollars or euros can be cashed at any major bank. Credit cards are becoming more common – they are accepted in large shops, hotels and restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi (the most widely used are “Master Card” and “Visa”, the commission is usually about 3%). ATMs (located in the buildings of banks, large shops and hotels) issue only dongs. The commission is usually around 3%. ATMs (located in the buildings of banks, large shops and hotels) issue only dongs. The commission is usually around 3%. ATMs (located in the buildings of banks, large shops and hotels) issue only dongs.

Vietnam Tipping. Tipping is optional, but it is recommended to tip tour guides, drivers at the end of the tour, in hotels in Vietnam and at train stations.

Vietnam Public holidays and non-working days. Banks and institutions are closed throughout the country on the dates below, but most shops remain open. The exception is the tet holiday, when even private restaurants are closed.
January 1 (New Year);
February 3 (Communist Party Establishment Day 1930);
Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year, celebrated for four days between mid-January and mid-February, there are no exact dates, as the dates shift every year);
April 30 (unification day);
May 1 (International Workers’ Day);
May 19 (Ho Chi Minh’s birthday, 1890);
September 2 (Independence Day, 1945);
September 3 (Ho Chi Minh Death Day).

Vietnam Shops, markets.Vietnam has an incredibly rich and varied selection of shopping and the lowest prices. The opportunity to spend money here is endless. In the local souvenir markets and bazaars, you will find handicrafts made of silk and wool, clothing, cosmetics, medicinal herbs and traditional oriental spices, gold and silver jewelry, wicker furniture and much, much more. In Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, there are many modern shopping centers with European goods. In private shops and shops you can buy good products made of natural silk and rare wood, mother-of-pearl and silver, stone, bone and metal. There are specialized boutiques with goods made from natural silk, art galleries, souvenir and gold shops. Shops are open almost every day, seven days a week from 7:30 to 17:30 – officially, and unofficially – until late in the evening.

Vietnam Recommendations. According to the recommendations of the World Health Organization, mandatory vaccinations for a trip to Vietnam are not required. But it is recommended to follow a number of important rules:
1. Never drink raw water. Always buy water in plastic bottles – it is sold almost everywhere. Before buying, carefully inspect the bottle – check the safety of the plastic cork and the protective shell around it.
2. Do not eat unwashed vegetables and fruits. Wash them with boiled or disinfected water.
3. Do not drink drinks and freshly squeezed fruit juices with ice – ice can contain disease-causing bacteria.
4. Don’t buy food from street stalls, try to dine at restaurants and cafes that are obviously popular with locals and other tourists.
5. Avoid excessive sun exposure, bring sunscreen and UV-absorbing glasses.
6. If you are going to travel through the jungle in the Mekong Delta, then you should take prophylactic against malaria. Lariam is considered the safest remedy. Reception should be started one week before the trip, during the trip and within four weeks after returning, one tablet per week.

Vietnam Emergency phones. Police 113, Traffic police 114, Ambulance 115.
Embassy of Ukraine in Hanoi: Address: 25-D-25-E Lang Ha St., Hanoi, Viet Nam
Tel.: +10-84 (4) 943-27-64 Fax: +10-84 (4) 943-27-66 E-mail: [email protected] City
codes: 8 – dial tone – 10 – 84 – <city code> – <called subscriber number>

Vietnam Electrical network: In cities – 220 V. But in some regions – 110 V. It makes sense to take a universal adapter with you. Because sockets come in different shapes. There are almost no power outages.

How to call Kyiv from Vietnam. Dial country code, area code, and subscriber number: 0038+044+….

Vietnam Tourist Information

Latvia Mountains and Rivers

Latvia Mountains and Rivers

Removed a small strip of land near the Lithuanian border, where the basic soils consist of Mesozoic layers from the Jurassic and archaic soils of the Permic, the rest of Latvia, which forms a strip of the great Russian lowland, is formed by dolomites of the Middle and upper Devonico, which follow one another from north to south with decreasing antiquity and are generally very little displaced. However, unlike what is noted in Estonia, ancient soils come to light, given that they were covered, between the end of the Tertiary and the beginning of the Quaternary, by a powerful blanket of glacial deposits, made up of fine mixed clays. with angular pebbles of various sizes, which have given the morphology of the town its current appearance. In places where the bottom moraine was able to settle regularly and where the melt waters could gather in basins, such as in the Riga-Jelgava depression (which is drained by the Lielupe River and clearly divides Latvia into two parts) and in the lowlands of Valmiera ( in NE Latvia) and Lubāna (between the hills of central Livonia and those of Letgallia), the terrain is now flat and formed as it is by glacial silt, it is generally well cultivated. Where instead there was a pause between a series of advances and retreats and even more where moraine lobes of glaciers met with their centers of origin placed in different directions, hills were formed there, having an appearance laughing at the frequency of lakes. Hydrography, after the glacial streams had opened passages in the most depressed areas, has had to adapt to this young morphology and the waterways are sometimes forced to make very long laps, as in the case of the Gauja, or to engrave the relief giving the places such a pleasant appearance as to induce the residents to use the denominations of Switzerland Livonian and Curonian. Forms connected with the glacial action, but never so frequent as to give the landscape, for vast stretches, a distinctive character, are the asar (where the too impetuous waters have brought the sands down, leaving a set of stones), the kames (rounded and regular shapes that originated from fluvio-glacial sands finely deposited in layers) and the drumlins ; peat bogs are also frequent, in places where there were poorly drained depressions. It should be added that along the coast, when the glaciers had retreated, there were two notable transgressions, probably in relation to the isostatic settlement, and the sea (about 8900-7900 years before the present era) covered some areas coastal, depositing fine sands, not very fertile, especially in western Courland.

To the west of the Riga-Jelgava depression three groups of hills can be distinguished, those of western Courland, west of the Venta, with Mount Krievu (190 m); the hills of eastern Courland, between Venta and Abava (Monte Kirmes, 200 m) and the hills of Talsi (175 m), between the Abava and the sea. To the east of the depression four main groups can be distinguished: the hills of Semigallia, along the left bank of the Daugava; the hills of Letgallia (289 m), which occupy the south-eastern corner of the country; the hills of central Livonia, which constitute the most important relief as they occupy an area of ​​3500 sq km. having an altitude higher than 200 m.; they are limited by the Daugava, Gauia and Aiviekste rivers and contain the highest elevation in Latvia (Mount Gaizinš, 314 m); finally, the hills of eastern Livonia, which continue in Estonia with Mt Munamägi (324 m), the highest elevation in the Baltic States, should be remembered. The coasts are generally low and sandy, bordered by dunes, with coastal lagoons and lakes, so much so that the main ports have had to find a place near the mouths of the rivers.

The northern end of Courland is formed by the sandy Cape Kolkas (Domesnäs), near the strait by which Latvia is separated from the Estonian islands, once infamous for the large number of shipwrecks found there. I drography. – By far the most important watercourse is the Daugava (western Dvina, in Russian Zapadnaja Dvina; in German Düna), which, for just under two thirds of its course (in all 1000 km.) In Russian territory, then acts as a border between the two southernmost provinces of Latvia, Semigallia and Letgallia, and divides the country into two parts. It enters Latvia 10 kilometers upstream of Piedruja, bathes Daugavpils (98 msm and 263 km. From the mouth) and after having received from the right the long tributary Aiviekste, emissary of Lake Lubāna, bends towards NNE., Runs along some rapids (slope 81 per thousand between the confluence of Aiviekste and Koknese), then flows into the sea in the southernmost part of the Gulf of Riga, after having bathed the latter city. It is 170 to 320 m wide. until the confluence of the Aiviekste, from 300 to 450 up to Riga and from 800 to 1400 in the last 12 km. Given the highly variable slope, the long period during which it is covered by ice (on average 107 days each year in Daugavpils and 37 in Riga), and also the highly variable regime (average flow rate of 661 cubic meters per second in Riga, with a maximum in April-May, at the time of the melting of the snow, and a minimum in January), it is not very suitable for navigation. Courland is for the most part tributary to the Venta (length 300 km; basin 11,200 sq km), which originates in Lithuania, flows from S. to N., forms a beautiful waterfall near Kuldīga (in contact between the dolomites and sandstone), it receives from the right the Abava (which runs through the picturesque region of Curonian Spit Switzerland) and has its mouth near Ventspils. At least partially independent course, after a meander broke the coastal dune and allowed a direct flow into the Gulf of Riga, there is also the Lielupe (or Aa of Courland), a very slow river that drains the waters of the Jelgava depression, 111 km long, formed by the union of the Mūsa with the Mēmele and swollen by copious tributaries, which form a fan-like network. NE Latvia. instead it is tributary of the Gauja (or Aa livone), which originates from the lake of Alauksts, bathes very picturesque regions (Switzerland Livone) and after 380 km. of very tortuous course flows into the Gulf of Riga, 30 km. to E. from the mouth of the Daugava, which it is probable was once a tributary through the depression of the White Lakes.

Latvia also has a thousand lakes, which cover 1.4% of the territory. The largest is that of Lubāna, which occupies a depressed area and is the residue of a larger lake surface, which originated in the diluvial period; it has an area of ​​81 sq. km., a basin of 2800, a maximum depth of only 2.5 m. and an average of 1.5, so that it was decided to drain it, also because it frequently overflows; its emissary is the Aiviekste. The Rēzna and Rušāni lakes in the hilly part of Letgallia also have the same origin, which is the region with the largest number of them. In northern Livonia the most important lake is that of Burtnieki, now only about forty square kilometers wide, but once much larger, while in Courland the best known and most studied lake is that of Usma (surface area 38.9 square kilometers, perimeter km.73.6, depth m. 15.1), fourth by surface but first by volume of water, located at the edge of the marine transgression zone; Mauritius, one of the five found in it, has been transformed into a natural park. The lakes, mostly elongated in shape, also have a diluvial origin, which occupy ancient glacial valleys (such as that of Ciecere in Courland), while the alluvial ones are usually not very large and with variable surface. There are also numerous coastal lakes, residues of ancient Baltic gulfs, transformed into lagoons and now in the process of disappearing (Lake Engure, Liepāja, etc.), while those around Riga (Juglas and Kīšu ezers) occupy more probably ancient river beds.

Latvia Rivers

Sudan Geography, Population and Economy

Sudan Geography, Population and Economy

Physical conditions. – Sudan within the narrowest limits of its extension can be considered a remarkably homogeneous region. From the point of view of the relief it appears as a vast flat expanse whose altitude remains below 500 m. and descends to 240 m. in the mirror of Lake Chad and only 170 m. in the Bodele depression. The highest altitudes would be found in the watershed region between the Congo basin and that of the Nile and Lake Chad where they would reach 1500 m at some point. it’s more. From the point of view of its constitution, the same uniformity is not maintained. The Lake Chad region including the Bodele depression as well as that of middle Niger for a large radius around Timbuktu and the Nile and Bahr el-Ghazal valleys are covered with recent alluvial formations. A notable part there are the archaic sediments and the ancient crystalline rocks, on which recent volcanic formations rise in various points. An extensive part of the territory is made up of sandstone or limestone formations of an unspecified age, while in the westernmost part paleozoic desert sandstone formations prevail, similar to those of the adjacent Saharan region.

Totally included in the intertropical region, Sudan has its own climate, not modified by the altitude or by a sensitive influence of the sea. Enclosed in January between the isotherms of 20 ° and 24 °, it passes in April-May from that of 28 ° to that of 34 °, with a pronounced tendency of increase proceeding from north to south; rainfall is scarce especially in the northernmost area bordering the Sahara, with waves ranging from less than 250 mm. he nodded at a meter in the southernmost regions.

The following table gives the climatic data for some of the most characteristic Sudanese locations.

We can distinguish three different river basins in Sudan. That of Niger, that of Chad and that of the Nile. Niger and its main tributaries can be said to run their entire course in Sudan. Lake Chad (v.), A vast expanse of marsh rather than a real lake, is fed by the Sciari and other minor rivers whose toll is absorbed entirely by evaporation so that, at least normally, the lake has no emissaries and only in the case of strong floods it seems that part of the water flows into Niger. The Bahr el-Ghazal flows mainly into the Nile, which is considered to constitute the limit of Sudan to the east, although it is customary to include the part of the lowland extending to its right, which with the vast range of its tributaries remains totally included in the boundaries of the Sudan. A part of the territory of Sudan,

Population. – Given the uncertainty of its limits and its extension and the fact of the lack of correspondence between these limits and those of the political-administrative districts to which the demographic data refer, the population of Sudan cannot be fixed in any other way. largely approximate. Considering that the colonies of French Sudan and Niger (French West Africa) and those of Chad and Ubanghi-Sciari (French Equatorial Africa) together with the northern part of British Nigeria and Anglo-Egyptian Sudan are totally within its borders, which altogether cover an area of ​​over 5 million square kilometers, the total population would be 19 million residents with an average density of less than 4 residents per sq. km, almost the average density of the continent, density that reaches its maximum with 16 ab. per sq. km. in northern Nigeria, while it is just 1 residents in the colony of Chad. The population of Sudan lives thickened in villages and cities, some of which represent notable urban clusters although they have nothing of the characteristics of European cities and are nothing more than vast areas, enclosed by beaten earth walls, with huts of straw and mud. The occupation by European powers, which took place in the last decades, has given rise to neighborhoods, or at least buildings, of a European type alongside the ancient indigenous centers. Apart from Khartoum, which is now a European city, the most important Sudanese city is Kano, which has 90,000 residents, already the metropolis of a vast and industrious kingdom, followed by Kuka, or Kukawa, near Chad, both in northern Nigeria. But also in French West Africa there are considerable centers, such as Bamako (18,000 residents), Mirriah (15,000), Kayes (12,000). Timbuktu, once celebrated as the metropolis of Sudan, is no more than a large village of less than 6,000 residents

Economic conditions. – The climatic conditions of the region in which the steppe vegetal formation prevails immediately give us an idea of ​​what its economic activities can be: agriculture, that is, for areas where the presence of considerable watercourses allows irrigation and cattle breeding. Among the irrigated crops that of cotton has taken a particular development. But the extension of the European colonization work, which dates back to only a few decades, will allow for greater development, contributing in particular to facilitated communications by river, where these are possible, or by rail. The railway constructions to which the possibilities for enhancing the immense region are mainly linked, which can be said to have no maritime borders, they are the object of particular interest on the part of the dominating colonial powers. A large penetration line, pushed up to Kano for some years, is close to reaching the shores of Lake Chad. The upper course of Niger is already connected to the Atlantic port of Dakar, while for some time it has been thought to connect Niger itself with the Mediterranean by means of a trans-Saharan railway.

Political order. – Sudan, in whose vast territory already strong and powerful autonomous states arose that exercised considerable action in the affairs of central Africa, today is in its entirety an immense colonial domain divided between France and Great Britain. It belongs to the former with the colonies of West Africa and precisely with those of French Sudan, Niger and with those of Chad and Ubanghi Sciari belonging to Equatorial Africa; it belongs to Great Britain with Northern Nigeria and the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan Condominium. The ancient Sudanese states of Timbuktu, Masina, Mandingo, Mossi, etc, therefore remain in French West Africa; in Equatorial Africa the realms of Kanem, of Wadāi. In northern Nigeria the kingdoms of Bornu, of Kano and Sokoto; in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, Kordofdn, Darfur.

Sudan Economy 2

United States Cinematography in the 1960’s and 1970’s

United States Cinematography in the 1960’s and 1970’s

But all this belongs to a world that was about to end. US anti-communism had lost its luster by the end of the decade, and shortly thereafter, in 1960, JF Kennedy was elected president. It was not so much his ‘new frontier’ slogan that changed things, but his assassination in Dallas (1963), an event that profoundly changed the entire American culture, casting a long shadow of suspicion and uncertainty over the entire country. From that moment there was not a single expression of the nation’s thought about itself that was not conditioned by what that tragedy hid. In fiction, for example, a long chain of paranoid novels opened up (of which Th. Pynchon is probably the most representative author), whose register is recognizable in some films of the Sixties and in not a few others of the following decade. John Frankenheimer, in particular, would have given Hollywood two works in this eloquent sense: The Manchurian candidate (1962; Go and Kill) and Seconds (1966; Diabolical Operation). Neither deals directly with the assassination of JF Kennedy: the first still seems to breathe the climate of McCarthyist hysterical anti-communism in the story of a diabolical plot by the ‘reds’ to push an American into a political attack shortly after the Korean War; the second leaves out any reference of a political nature to describe a world of suspicion and fear that on closer inspection can be read as much as that of the McCarthy period as well as that experienced by the US after the Dallas events.

A cinema, therefore, which in the past had enjoyed attention and success was now obsolete. Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Cleopatra (1963) box office collapse perfectly summarizes the demise of old Hollywood with its superproductive glories, its epic celebration of history and even its star system. Just as a problematic and dramatic social reality had crept into the dreamy world of the musical (West Side story, 1961, by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins), so the heroic one of the western would have given way to a twilight vision of the cowboy (Ride the high country, 1962, Challenge in the High Sierra, by Sam Peckinpah). Science fiction itself changed its tune, abandoning its traditional invasion ghosts: Kennedy’s assassination had shown that danger doesn’t always come from external and that sometimes must be sought within the borders of the country. For this reason the theme of the atomic danger was transformed again into a political fiction, concern for the fate of the planet in the face of the different possible ways of carrying out the nuclear holocaust by crazy splinters of power: examples of this are films such as Seven days in May (1964; Seven Days in May) by Frankenheimer, Fail safe (1964; Foolproof) by Sidney Lumet, The Bedford incident (1965; State of alarm) by James B. Harris and of course the forerunner Dr. Strangelove: or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb (1964; Doctor Strangelove, or: how I learned not to worry and to love the bomb) of that Stanley Kubrick who, like Joseph Losey and others, had preferred to emigrate to Great Britain.

The African American Melvin van Peebles also emigrated to Europe and lived in France for ten years, where he made La permission (1968), based on one of his novels and whirlwindly experimental. Then landed in the US, the film signaled him as a very original promise and earned him a Hollywood production, The watermelon man (1970; The coffee-milk man), but his exceptional work was, the following year, Sweet sweetback’s baadasssss song, an independent production with a very violent character, full of action, but also with a strong criticism of white society.

It was no coincidence that at the turn of the 1950s and 1960s an anti-Hollywood art cinema took root in the US, based on the New Yorker New American Cinema Group by Jonas Mekas, advocate of a cinematography free from the industrial and economic constraints of production. mainstream and willing to bold experimentation (see experimental, cinema). However, that was a phenomenon that, with different nuances, invested more than a Western cinema at that time. We also witnessed the birth of the French New Wave and Free Cinema British, sure signs that something was changing in the culture of the entire planet. These are important events because they testify to much more than an attempt at cinematic renewal. Cinema is only the maneuvering ground for the discomfort that invested the new generations: the Nouveau Roman in French fiction, the Angry Young Men in the British one (and also in the theater, see Great Britain), the Spanish Nueva ola were other contiguous faces. of that discomfort and that desire for renewal, which after all also touched Italy with the formation of Gruppo 63. The problem was now that of renewing models, structures, production methods, taste, forms and contents.

The fall of traditional cultural values, moreover, had invested, especially in the US, also another area of ​​visual operations, that of the figurative arts. Heirs of the formal unhinging of the pre-war avant-gardes, the artists who inaugurated Pop Art were among the pioneers of the new sensibility: a sensibility that was exercised first of all on the ephemeral products of mass culture, by the stars of the news (Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy) to ready-to-eat foods and household products (cans of Campbell soups, Brillo detergent, etc.). The most domestic, simple and banal everyday had risen to be an emblematic cultural object of an entire society and its values.

Cinema, by now undergoing a profound transformation towards the end of the 1960s, operated in the same direction. A new generation of young producers rejected the dictates of the past, rejected the tradition of the studios, financed a series of low-budget films that intended to focus on the restlessness and discomfort of the moment. However, it was no longer the bewildering mythology linked to the advent of rock and roll a decade earlier; the intention was not on the one hand of épater le bourgeois and on the other hand to attract the superficial sympathies of Sunday teenagers with vaguely scandalous little films seasoned with drums, screams and saxophone. This time a vision of the world emerged from that cinema, a sometimes nostalgic perspective that placed the eventual rebellion of his heroes (or rather, anti-heroes) in an existential area of ​​introversion, of interiority, of privacy. In short, it was also a cinema of redemption: redemption from the widespread opinion that the new generations were violent, superficial, stubborn, polemical, aggressive. Of course, in the mid-1960s there had been the riots at Berkeley University (not to mention the Miami convention and the siege of Chicago, so harshly narrated by Norman Mailer’s counter-current voice) and in the early 1970s those of Kent University. But it was precisely from this image of violence that had been glued to it that the new generation wave intended to distance itself. And it was Hollywood itself that gave her a hand. The term Hollywood, however, is at this point inaccurate. New Hollywood. The renewal of the US film capital took place on several levels and in various directions. On the production side, a new generation of investors made their way, focusing on largely low-budget films; on the directorial side there was the arrival of an equally new and young wave of directors, some with a television background (Sydney Pollack, Stuart Rosenberg, Robert Altman himself), others who came out of the university film schools that in the meantime had begun to flourish in the country (George Lucas, for example) or trained through a hard apprenticeship at the Corman group. The latter in particular brought to Hollywood a component that until then was unknown to her: cinephilia. Feed on classic American cinema, these young people translated their culture to varying degrees in their films: P. Bogdanovich, the most sensational example, for a few years made films that were basically (splendid) imitations from Hawks and other masters of the past. In other words, US cinema had reached such a saturation point that it was re-enacted in different forms thanks to the competence and enthusiasm of the new generation of authors.

On a technical level, the new cinema adapted itself magnificently to the different production situation. Leaving the spaces of the studios, it ventured into the body of a country explored in the field in its everyday life and in its contradictions. A film in some ways pioneering like Easy rider (1969; Easy rider – Freedom and fear) by Dennis Hopper represents the new Hollywood situation well. Filmed in the open spaces of the West, it resumed the tradition of the road movie, but moving away from the restrictive dictates of classic Hollywood. New Hollywood cinema was a cinema in continuous motion, which adapted to the mobility of its protagonists. It was not for nothing that the operator Fouan Said invented the Cinemobile Mark IV at the beginning of the decade, a vehicle equipped to facilitate the filming of moving subjects in space. Photography itself could not fail to undergo strong variations compared to the classical tradition: where the Thirties had been characterized by high key lighting (slightly overexposed) and the 1940s by chiaroscuro, in the Seventies coarse-grained film triumphed, as if to give action a rate of realism, of improvisation, of truths normally absent from Hollywood cinema. In turn, the editing became more broken and nervous (Peckinpah’s films are, among other things, famous for the very high number of jump cuts), insinuating in the stories an objective correlative of the neurosis of the characters. The zoom progressively replaced the carriage forward, in order to make the movement more objective, that is, free from the slavery of any point of view (Altmanian zooms in particular are famous).

A radical change in content corresponded to these formal innovations: the revolt against classical cinema took place in a conspicuous way in the historical-moral operation that not a few films carried out. In almost all the works set in a more or less distant past, traditional values ​​were overturned: the Indian emerged as the true and noble hero, mistreated and betrayed by the treacherous white government, the outlaw was represented as a Robin Hood crushed by a power that took it as an alibi for his own misdeeds. In short, Hollywood rewrote national history from the point of view of counterculture (these were the years of the hippy movement) and the vision of the middle class proposed in contemporary films was very different from that, albeit remarkably critical, of the Hollywood of the past: a film like The graduate (1967;

The revolution also touched genres, once stainless structures that gradually lost their rigidity, often contaminating themselves with others in order to make cataloging difficult. This phenomenon must be read within a much broader change, the one that refers to the advent of the postmodern: a vision of the world that renounces any order and classification to present reality as an indistinct mass of the most diverse and irreconcilable components. In the seventies, Western culture became an alternative (and later virtual) universe characterized by the juxtaposition of the incongruous, by careless gratuitousness. It is not difficult to trace on this line eloquent connections between different artistic fields: for example, an evident debt of New Hollywood towards contemporary figurative arts, so that in a film like Taxi Driver (1976) by Martin Scorsese the influence of the American pictorial hyperrealism of the 1960s is easily readable (J. Salt, R. Estee etc..). Indeed, there were filmmakers who, like Bogdanovich, attempted an application of the hyperrealist instances not in terms of simple reproduction, but by constructing the film as an exact repetition of the ‘real’ model: The last picture show (1971; The last show) was indeed a reproduction, not only visual but also stylistic, of the provincial family melodrama a la Minnelli, typical of the 1950s. Differently, but in the same way, in the first films made by Bob Rafelson – Five easy pieces (1970; Five easy pieces), The king of Marvin gardens (1972; The king of the gardens by Marvin) – reality was observed by the camera with such close and calm attention as to bring back moments of the most domestic Italian Neorealism. But a shadow loomed over that cinema, the ghost of the collapse of confidence, optimism, hope that occurred in the early sixties. America was no longer what it once was and she knew well that she could not return to the happy era of her certainties. This explains the very strong nostalgic component of New Hollywood, its continuous reinterpretation of a past that may not always be edifying, but in which the ancient national virtues were still in force. Contemporary America, it was clearly seen in the films that dealt with it, was quite different. In particular, the image of a nation in the grip of powerful and top secret conspiratorial forces. Not only in films like Stuart Rosenberg’s WUSA (1970; A Man Today), Alan J. Pakula’s The Parallax View (1974; Why Murder), David Miller’s Executive action (1973; Executive action), which featured more or less veiled what little was known about the facts relating to the assassination of President Kennedy (in the meantime, ML King and R. Kennedy had also been killed), but also films of other types and invoices clearly revealed a paranoid unease that the explosion of the Watergate case in 1974 had helped to enlarge. Films such as Lumet’s The Anderson tapes (1971; Record Robbery in New York) and Tree days of the Condor (1975; The three days of the Condor) directed by Pollack show a reality monitored by a dark power in which everyone is constantly observed thanks to efficient technologies, or are even in danger of life due to organizations that, colluding or not with power, act underground eliminating all deviant elements. Nostalgic vogue therefore realizes why the Twenties, Thirties and Forties were so popular in this cinema, which deepened them as never before, both in comedy, both in melodrama, and in gangster films.

It should not be forgotten, however, that the 1970s marked a turning point in Hollywood’s attitude towards black audiences. For the first time, in fact, the industry realized that that public existed and that it was a potential and strong buyer. At that time, proposals aimed at it flourished, mostly labeled under the term of blaxploitation, that is exploitation in a black key, with films such as Shaft (1971; Shaft the detective) by Gordon Parks, which had a large number of sequels, or Coffy (1973) by white director Jack Hill, who launched new black stars, from Richard Roundtree to Pam Grier. New Hollywood, however, lasted the space of a morning. In the mid-1970s, two young writers of the new wave, G. Lucas and Steven Spielberg, made two hugely successful science fiction films: respectively, Star wars (1977; Star Wars) and Close encounters of the third kind (1977; Close encounters of the third kind). From that moment a new New Hollywood began, characterized by the relaunch of spectacular superproduction (whose production values ​​were this time technical and not artisanal), but also characterized by the strong revival of science fiction, which, together with horror, would soon become the cinematic genre that marked the end of the century. It was not about escapism or a reaction to the New Hollywood realism of a few years ago. On the contrary, the two phenomena are linked by a red thread: reality meticulously, hyperrealistically reconstructed and observed by so many New Hollywood cinemas, could only dissolve in a space of the mind.

United States Cinematography in the 1960's and 1970's

United States Economy and Finance

United States Economy and Finance

The growing political tension in Europe during 1938 and the outbreak of hostilities in September 1939 contributed, more than any other domestic measure, to relieve the US economy from that phase of depression which, which began in the last quarter of 1937, it had reached its maximum severity in May 1938, with an index of industrial production reduced to 78% of the average for the five-year period 1935-39 and a total of about 10 million unemployed.

As a consequence of the fears of the approach of the conflict there was, starting from September 1938, a growing influx of gold, due in part to the transfer of capital in search of refuge and in part to the greater exports of goods to European countries. prepared for war. After September 1939, the inflow of gold through the movement of capital was considerably reduced, owing to the limitations imposed in the belligerent countries on private transfers; on the other hand, imports of gold increased more and more in the face of exports of goods to the struggling countries, part of which was paid for with the liquidation of assets in the USA following these operations, the official gold reserves of the country, which in the end in 1937 did not reach 13 billion dollars, they went to 17.

In September 1939 the War Resources Board was established to study the needs and sources of supply of defense materials; this was followed, in May 1940, by the Office for Emergency Management for the elaboration of the entire defense program; the assets in the US of citizens of the various occupied countries or in any case entered the orbit of the Axis were then gradually blocked; finally, in March 1941, with the Lend – lease act) the sending of materials of all kinds to countries fighting against the Axis was authorized. At the same time, the financing of the defense program was ensured and measures were taken to minimize the inflationary repercussions of the increase in production for war purposes. Defense spending, which in July 1940 did not yet reach 200 million per month, exceeded 500 million in the following January, reached 900 million in July 1941, and reached 1.7 billion per month on the eve of Pearl Harbor. Part of these expenses was met with an increase in taxation (in 1940 the minimum income tax exemptions were reduced; companies, in addition to subjecting to an increase of about a third of the ordinary tax, were affected by a new tax on excess profits; the rates of other taxes were increased on average by 10%; in March 1941 all new state issues were subject to federal income tax; finally, with Revenue act of September 1941 the entire system of income tax was changed; all these changes ensured the tax authorities increased revenue of about 5 billion); a greater part through the issuance of public debt securities, mainly long-term, which efforts were made to preferably place among private individuals (between June 1938 and June 1941 the public debt increased by almost 12 billion); finally another part through the bank financing of state contracts, allowed and regulated by a law of October 1940.

The policy of the Federal Reserve System (FRS) aimed at achieving two main objectives: to keep government bonds stable on the market – in order to facilitate the placement of new issues – and to reduce the circulating average to a minimum compatible with the needs of defense. The interventions to achieve the first objective were very limited; Instead, legislation aimed at containing the expansion of credit had greater development. Especially important is Regulation W. of the FR Board (August 21, 1941) which established restrictions on installment sales, and the increase, also decreed by the Board, starting from November 1, 1941, of the compulsory reserves of member banks up to the maximum permitted by law (26% of sight deposits for banks in New York and Chicago; 20% for those located in cities where RF banks are located; 14.4% for others; 6% of term deposits for all types of banks). Parallel to the action of the FRS was that of the government, aimed at combating inflation through price control and rationing, implemented through the OPA (Office of Price Administration and Civilian Supply, established in April 1941),

Thanks to the measures reviewed, the US found themselves in December 1941 in the best conditions to start the war. The economic-financial situation of the country at that time can be summarized in the following figures: industrial production index (base 1935-39) = 167; unemployment about 4 million (December 1938 about 9 million); wholesale price index (base 1938) = 111; cost of living index (base 1938) = 104; circulation = 9.6 billion (December 1938 = 5.8 billion); sight deposits = 39 billion (December 1938 = 26 billion); public debt = 49 billion (December 1938 = 37.2 billion), with an interest charge of 1.3 billion (1938 = 1.1 billion); national income for the year 1941 = 97 billion (1938 = 64 billion).

With the participation of the US in the conflict, the whole mechanism set up to channel the available resources towards the purposes of war began to work at full capacity.

Control over war production was entrusted to a new body, established in January 1942 with very broad powers, the War Production Board; the price control became more rigorous with the enactment, in the same month of January, of the Emergency price control act and with the publication, in the following April, of a regulation that bound the prices of most of the goods intended for civil consumption, services and leases to the level of March 1942. With a provision of March 1942 the state guarantee was granted to loans made to finance war production; through various offices several million workers were directed to war production and conveniently trained. Public spending in the four years between July 1941 and June 1945 reached the total figure of 305 billion, over 90% of which directly or indirectly attributable to the war. Thanks to the tax increases decreed by Congress in 1942, to the improvements in the assessment and collection systems made in 1943 and to the higher revenue deriving from the increase in national income, the state was able to collect for taxes in the four years the amount of 125 billion, equal to approximately 41% of the total expenditure. Faced with the imperious need for money to cover the remainder, the Treasury offered for subscription securities with characteristics capable of satisfying the needs of the various categories of investors, and the FRS pursued a complex policy aimed at keeping the rate of interest low. . Depending on the various measures adopted, between June 1941 and December 1945 the banking system absorbed 93 billion of government bonds (22 of which purchased by the FRS), that is to say more than 40% of the issues of the period.

Subject to the needs of financing the war, however, the FRS did not fail to take measures to curb the race to inflation as much as possible. In this regard, the further restrictions on the installment sale credit in the first half of 1942 deserve special mention; the efforts made, in collaboration with the Treasury, to place the largest possible quantity of government bonds offered for subscription among private individuals; the persuasion carried out at the banks to induce them to limit credit in sectors not directly affecting war production; finally, the increase in the coverage margins for transactions in securities, which were brought in February 1945 to 50% of the market value of the securities and further increased to 75% from 5 July 1945.

The heavy expenses incurred by the government for purchases of goods and services abroad and the foreign expenses of the troops determined during the war an exodus of gold from the US and an increase in the availability of dollars in many foreign countries, especially in the United States. Latin America. The official gold reserves of the US fell at the end of 1943 to 21.9 billion and fell to 20.1 billion at the end of 1945. Much of the gold, however, did not physically leave the country, but remained credited to it, earmarked, at the Reserve Banks in favor of governments or central banks of foreign countries (2.2 billion at the end of 1941 and 4.2 billion at the end of 1945). Foreign dollar holdings increased by about 3 billion during the war, reaching 6.4 billion at the end of December 1945.

The unfavorable trend in the US balance of payments for the period under review, in addition to the causes already mentioned, was largely influenced by the fact that during the whole war the majority of US exports were under the rent and loan law and therefore under the law. mostly free. (For the extent of the supplies see rents and loans ; foreign loans in this Appendix).

At the end of the war, the economic-financial situation of the US had undergone the following changes: the industrial production index, after the maximum of 239 (1935-39 = 100) reached in 1943, had dropped to 203; unemployment, after falling to insignificant figures in the autumn of 1944, numbered about one million; the wholesale price index had reached the level of 134, the cost of living index had passed to 128, circulation to 26.5 billion (December 1945); sight deposits at 75.9 billion (December 1945); the public debt of 278.1 billion (December 1945), with an interest charge of 3.6 billion (financial year 1944-45); the national income (year 1945) to 161 billion.

With the end of hostilities almost simultaneously new, complex problems arose to be solved: reconversion of the economy from the organization of war to that of peace; limitation of the increase in prices, which tended to grow strongly due to the imbalance between a large demand, boosted by the liquidity accumulated in the hands of the public during the war years, and a limited supply due to the initial scarce availability of goods and services; various financial problems, internal and external.

The reconversion, which began in many cases before the war ended, and favored with various measures (tax breaks and reimbursement of taxes paid during the war, suspension of rationing and controls in some sectors, sale of state-owned companies to private individuals, etc.) it generally took place without excessive difficulty and in a shorter period of time than expected. The industrial production index, which fell between February 1945 and February 1946 from 235 to 152, increased under the pressure of the strong demand which was postponed to 182 (end of 1946) and 200 (end of 1947).

Less satisfactory results, also due to the influence of opposing interests, were instead obtained in the fight against inflation. In the period between September 1945 and June 1946, thanks to continued government controls, the official wholesale price index only increased from 134 to 144; however, following the almost complete abolition of price controls and subsidies, between July and November 1946, and the abolition, from 1 November 1947, of credit controls for installment sales – both wanted by Congress, despite the contrary warning of the monetary authorities and the repeated calls for more powers to fight inflation made by President Truman – the index rose to 179 at the end of 1946 and to 208 at the end of 1947, highlighting a devaluation of over 50% of the dollar’s purchasing power in terms of wholesale goods. This happened despite the government and FRS interventions to curb inflation through the use of the limited means at their disposal. State spending sharply decreased with the cessation of hostilities, the Treasury used, in the course of 1946, most of its ample cash available for the repayment of short-term public debt (mainly held by the banks), which decreased by 20 billion, helping to limit the expansion of bank credit; with the need to encourage government issuance gone, the FR Board abolished, in the spring of 1946, the 1/2% favor rate introduced during the war for advances on government bonds; in July 1947, as the signs of inflation increased and therefore the need for more vigorous measures increased, the provision that obliged the FRS to purchase bills of exchange from the Treasury banks at a rate of 3/8% was also abolished. At the same time, a policy of increasing the cost of money was initiated, the main steps of which were: the gradual increase in the interest rate on short-term Treasury securities up to 1.16% for three-month and 1-month issues., 25% for those at one year; the gradual increase in the official discount rate up to 1½ per cent, from 13 August 1948; lowering the level of price support for long-term government bonds. The FRS also made use of the other means of market control at its disposal, raising the coverage margins for securities transactions to 100% in January 1946 (which were however brought back to 75% in February 1947) and increasing the required reserves of member banks located in New York City and Chicago in the first half of 1948 from 20 to 24%. These measures proved insufficient, the FRS, having obtained the necessary powers from the Congress, in September 1948 Regulation W with some temperaments and increased the required reserves to 26.22 and 16% of sight deposits respectively for the three categories of member banks and to 7½% of term deposits for all member banks.

In the field of public finance, even astonishing was the speed with which the balance of the state budget was restored, as can be seen from the following figures:

In fact, the 1947-48 budget closed with a surplus of 8.4 billion, thanks above all to the persistence of a high level of taxation and despite the fact that the expenses directly connected with the war still amounted to 22.3 billion. The budget deficits for the years 1948 and 1949 are mainly attributable to the tax relief approved by Congress in April 1948; the main items of expenditure include those for defense (29 and 34% respectively for the two years), for aid abroad (18 and 16%), for assistance to veterans (17 and 13%) and for interest on public debt (13%).

With the end of the war, the US balance of payments underwent a radical transformation. Once the free allocations for rent and loans had ended and expenses abroad decreased sharply, the growing demand for American goods by foreign countries gave rise to the problem of financing export surpluses, which amounted to about 22.5 billion over the three-year period. 1946-48. A part of these continued to be financed with free allocations to the various bodies set up within the UN for assistance to war-damaged countries (first among these UNRRA, which received US contributions for 2.7 billion) or through direct aid, such as aid to the civilian populations of the territories occupied by American troops (2.5 billion until 30 September 1948), Economic Cooperation Act of April 3, 1948, currently being disbursed in favor of the countries participating in the OEEC, according to a four-year plan which provides, for the first year, free allocations for about 4 billion and long-term loans for about one billion (v. economic plan: Marshall Plan). Another part of the exports was financed with the use of dollar holdings and with transfers of gold. In the course of the three-year period 1946-48, net foreign funds held by the banking system decreased by 2 billion, reducing to approximately 4.5 billion; in the same period of time the official gold reserves, despite a payment of 687.5 million to the Interfund, increased by 4.1 billion, passing to 24.2 billion; part of the gold was withdrawn from that deposited on behalf of foreign countries, which fell at the end of 1947 to 3.8 billion. The third source of export financing was loans. Faced with the need to meet war-damaged countries also with this form of help, with the law of July 31, 1945, the lending capacity of the Export-Import Bank was increased from 700 to 3500 million. At 30 June 1948 the Bank had outstanding loans for approximately 2.9 billion, of which 2.2 billion actually disbursed. The main borrowers were France (1.2 billion), Canada (300 million, of which 160 still to be disbursed) and Holland (192 million). Italy had loans for 109 million, of which almost 33 were disbursed. The Bank was also recently commissioned to administer ERP loans. Other loans were granted to complete the rental and loan supplies (pipeline credits) for an amount of approximately 1.2 billion, for the sale in foreign countries of the remnants of war (1.3 billion), to meet the special needs of some countries. Among the loans of the latter category, the one of $ 3,750 million granted to Great Britain in December 1945, to help it overcome the transition period, deserves special mention.

Finally, also in the field of international financial activity, the work carried out by the US to create the Bretton Woods institutes (see) and to ensure their functioning should be remembered. The US participates in the Fund with a share of 2750 million dollars, equal to approximately 34% of the total amount subscribed so far, and in the Bank with a share of 3175 million, equal to 38% of the total current subscriptions, and therefore exercise a predominant influence in both organisms. In order to coordinate the international financial activity with the internal one, the National Advisory Council on international monetary and financial problems was established by law of 31 July 1945 (the same that authorized the participation of the US in the Bretton Woods institutes).

At 31 December 1948 the economic and financial situation of the US was thus modified with respect to that at the end of the war: the industrial production index had dropped to 189; the number of unemployed had increased to about 1.9 million; the wholesale price index had further risen to 206; the cost of living index had risen to 170; circulation had dropped to 25.7 billion; sight deposits had gone up to 85.8 billion and term deposits to 57.3 billion; public debt had further decreased to 252.8 billion and was composed of 45.9 billion short-term Treasury securities, 111.4 billion medium and long-term Treasury certificates, for 55, 4 billion from savings certificates (capitalization securities similar to Italian interest-bearing postal bonds) and the remainder from special issues, tax certificates and non-interest bearing debt; the national income, on the basis of the data of the first three quarters of 1948, was estimated for the whole of 1948 at 221.5 milliards.

United States Economy and Finance 2

France Morphology

France Morphology

France is a state of central-western Europe ; almost entirely embraces the French geographical region, between the Pyrenees to the S, the most rugged and elevated part of the Alpine chain to the SE, the Rhine valley to the NE and the sea on the other sides: the Atlantic Ocean to the West, the Canal of the Manche to the North and the Mediterranean to S.

The highest peaks of France are mountains of tertiary origin, on which the Quaternary glaciation strongly acted: the Alps form a diaphragm towards the Po Valley, with the highest European peaks (between French Chamonix-Mont-Blanc and Italian Courmayeur, the Mont Blanc massif, 4807 m); the Pyrenees constitute an equal diaphragm towards the Iberian Peninsula but lower (Montes Malditos, 3404 m). The French side of the Pyrenees is very steep; minus that of the Western Alps. Slightly more recent than the Alpine relief, but still high, are the Franco-Swiss Jura ranges to the North of it. The reliefs of the central and northern France are of more remote geologically origin: they were delineated following the orogenetic movements of the late Paleozoic (Hercynian corrugation) and have undergone further settling or sinking movements, so today they show themselves with more gentle and they are generally of modest altitude, divided and far from each other. Among them we can distinguish the Vosges (Ballon de Guebwiller, 1423 m) to the East and further to the North the Ardennes ; to O the Armorican Massif, which forms the peninsula of Brittany and the, and extends to the South of the furrow of the Loire, as far as the Vendée ; Finally, greater than the others, the Massif Central (Puy-de-Sancy, 1886 m), from which descend to the Loire N and O the Garonne. This massif is the most important because at the end of the Tertiary, influenced by the Alpine emergence, it was raised and rejuvenated (its highest edge, the Cévennes, is in fact to the East, and has a very steep slope towards the Rhone valley, while it slopes slowly towards the W), and was then affected by grandiose volcanic phenomena, due to which Auvergne stands out for its typical landscape of puys, extinct volcanoes with the original conical shape.

According to, the French region lacks vast and uniform plains, but there are numerous flat stretches that fill the depressions or pits between the Hercinian massifs (Rhenish plain of Alsace ; Rhône plain downstream of Lyon). Frequent and wider are the areas of gentle and slight undulation, formed by sedimentary layers of secondary and tertiary age deposited in inland seas or lake depressions of the Hercynian relief (basins of Paris and Aquitaine).

The fundamental features of today’s French relief were already established, therefore, at the end of the Tertiary, and the Quaternary brought only superficial or marginal variations. The progress of erosion, alternating with periods of deposition along the main rivers, gave rise to the formation of terraces, especially in the Loire and Seine basins. Fertile silts, sometimes real Löss, covered the infra-mountain plains and the Parisian lowland. On the Alps and the Pyrenees, the hardening of the climate determined the expansion of glaciers, which sculpted the mountain relief (Savoy,, Pyrenees). The Massif Central also had its glaciers, which extended over the volcanic groups of the Cantal and the Monts Dore; other smaller ones covered the Jura (on whose margins the moraine deposits are very visible) and the Vosges (cutting off the free flow to the Moselle several times). Less extensive was the glaciation in the pre-alpine limestone reliefs (southwestern Provence).

Other changes suffered the coastline. The formation of the Calais pass does not seem to be prior to the first glacial periods, and thus the separation between the Norman Islands and the Cotentin. The southern coasts show very different features to the East and W of the Rhone delta: to the East, where the Alps plunge into the Mediterranean with steep slopes, the coast is rocky and rugged by peninsulas and bays, with numerous islands; to the West it is uniform with large lagoons behind coastal strips covered with dunes.

France Morphology

France Mining Industry

France Mining Industry

In France, industry develops more and more, without, however, exercising such an important function there as in England and Germany; the percentage of its industrial and urban population rose from 25% in 1850, to 42% in 1911, to 46.4 in 1921. The French subsoil is not devoid of raw materials: coal is extracted in almost sufficient quantities for the consumption of workshops; following the annexation of the mining basin of Lorraine, France has become the richest European country in iron; it also has abundant reserves of white coal. Forced to import most of the raw materials needed by the textile industry (linen, hemp, wool), it makes up for this defect thanks to the skill and taste of its industrialists,

Coal. – While remaining far from the coal production of England (about 250 million tons) and Germany (about 150 million), France is among the European states that produce it in greater quantities: 51,365,000 tons. in 1928, 53,736,000 in 1929, 53,884,000 tons. in 1930. Its coalfields cover 550,000 ha., and are distributed in various groups: a series of small basins are located on the edge of the Massif Central (Alès, Bessège, Saint-Étienne, Le Creusot, Commentry, Aubin, Decazeville, Carmaux, Graissessac); in the North, in continuation of the Belgian coal basin, there are the basins of the North (Anzin-Valenciennes) and of the Pas-de-Calais (Lens, Béthune, Liévin), much more important for the extension, for the power of the reserves and for the value of production which represents more than half of the total. L’ coal mining began in France at the time of Colbert and progressed slowly: in 1789 not even a hundredth part of the quantity of product they currently produce was obtained from the French mines. During the sec. XIX production gradually increased: it was 1,940,000 tons. in 1820, of 3,000,000 tons. in 1840, of 8,300,000 tons. in 1860, of 19,300,000 tons. in 1880, of 33,400,000 tons. in 1910, of 40,800,000 tons. in 1913. Before the war the northern region alone produced 66% of French hard coal. During the war the production figure dropped sharply: in 1915 it was 18,855,000 tons; in 1916 of 20,540,000 tons, in 1918 of 26,259,000 tons It then rose considerably starting from 1921, with the reconstitution of the invaded mines and with the return to the normal state of those not invaded: in 1924 it had already reached 44 million tons, in 1926 it exceeded 51 million tons. To the French production must be added the production of the Sarre mines, which with the Treaty of Versailles was assigned to France for 15 years. This production in 1929 was 13,579,000 tons. In a few years, therefore, France has re-established its situation with respect to hard coal; but production is always lower than consumption (by 23 million tons).

Iron ores. – France, with its 50 million tons. of iron ores, occupies the second place among the large producing countries, coming after the United States (70 million tons) and leaving England, Sweden and Germany far behind. The extraction of iron minerals has always been and still is more intense in the Lorraine part of the Marches de l’Est. It dates from the Middle Ages, but did not make noticeable progress before the century. XIX. On the eve of the war of 1870, the proximity of the Sarre coal mines encouraged the iron industry. The mining of the mineral alongside the hillocks and slopes of the Moselle côtes, at the upper limit of the Lias, extended from Nancy to Longwy: it is known that the outcrops of the minette Lorraine determined the layout of the frontier of 1871. Beyond this frontier, imposed by Germany, the owners of French ironworks discovered, deep under the Jurassic strata of the Briey plateau, a rich basin of iron ores, which in 1913 gave 17 million tons.

Until 1907, France did not produce sufficient iron ore for its consumption and had to buy mainly in Germany, Belgium and Spain; in that year, for the first time, the export of French minerals exceeded the importation of foreign minerals. The military operations of the years 1914-18 caused a huge decrease in production; but on the other hand, the return to France of the regions annexed by Germany in 1871 increased the possibilities of extraction by 100%. The Lorraine fields, which alone represent 95% of the total French production, yielded in 1928: the Metz-Thionville basin, 20,404,000 tons; the Longwy-Briey basin, over 25,000,000 tons; the Nancy basin, approximately one million tonnes; in the same year the secondary basins produced: the Normandy basin, 1. 300,000 tons; the basin of Anjou and Brittany, about 650,000 tons; the Pyrenees basin, 180,000 tons. French iron ore production has rapidly increased in recent years: from 28.9 million tons in 1924 it rose to 35.7 in 1925, to 39.4 in 1926, to 45.4 in 1927, to 49, 0 in 1928, to 50.5 in 1929; in 1930 the production was 48.4 million tons. of mineral.

Other minerals. – According to, the French production of copper ores can be said to be of no account: 12,000 tons. for a consumption of 100,000. The lead produced in France is mainly obtained from the mines of Pontpéan (Ille-et-Vilaine) and Pontgibaud (Puy-de-Dôme) and a certain quantity is given by the departments of Lozère, the Hautes-Alpes, Aveyron and Corsica.. The total production, somewhat fluctuating from one year to the next (11,800 tons in 1927; 24,500 in 1928; 12,100 in 1929; 19,200 in 1930), is in any case far from sufficient for the consumption of workshops dedicated to lead metallurgy, especially of those of Coueron (Ille-et-Vilaine) and of Noyelles-Godault (Pas-de-Calais). The deficit it is filled with imports from Belgium, England, Mexico and Germany. The mines of Malines (Gard) and of Bormettes (Varo) have the main centers for the extraction of zinc ores (the total French production of zinc ores reached 92,000 tons in 1928). The mineral is processed in the workshops of Viviez (Aveyron), d’Auby (North) and Noyelles-Godault. The French production of tin ores is of no importance, the Allier and Creuse mines give just a few tons, and the tin is then processed in the workshops of Dives and Harfleur. On a world production of approximately 28,000 tons. of antimony, the Auvergne, Mayenne and Vendée workshops supply 2,250 tons. In 1913 only two countries were major producers of bauxite: the United States (213,000 tons) and France (309,000 tons). After 1919 French production and consumption developed strongly and recently France is again in first place in the world for the production of this mineral, which it gives in quantities of over 500,000 tons. (597,800 in 1928, 643,000 in 1929, 538,300 in 1930). Similarly, aluminum metallurgy made progress: between 1913 and 1925 French production increased from 13,500 to 18,400 tons. and continued to increase in the following years: 25,000 tons. in 1927, 26,400 in 1928, 29,000 in 1929. The workshops in Savoy supply 64% and those in the Hautes Alps 19% of the total production. France is very rich in salt. In 1924, which can be considered a normal year, the salt mines of the east (Lorraine, Jura) yielded 878,000 tons. and those of the SO. (Landes, Low Pyrenees, Haute Garonne) 57,000, ie a total of 935,000 tons; the salt mines yielded 415,000 tons, of which 355,000 were produced by the six Mediterranean departments and 60,000 by the Atlantic departments. In the last three years, the total production of salt has fluctuated between 930,000 and 1,150,000 tons. (1928, 1.148.000 tons.; 1929, 931.000 tons.; 1930, 1.004.000 tons.). There was no French potash industry before the war: Germany was then the only major producing country. But after 1918, with the return of Alsace and therefore of the deposits of the forest of Nonnenbruch (north of Mulhouse), France found in its subsoil not only all the potash it needed, but also a sufficient quantity to make the strong competition from German industry abroad: the production of Alsatian mines rose to 2,619,000 tons. in 1928. Consumption became widespread in the north, where, for the intensive cultivation of beet, farmers were forced to use large quantities of potassium fertilizers, as in the regions cultivated with vineyards and in the vegetable gardens (department of Vaucluse). Overall, the average consumption of potassium is relatively low and lower than that of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

France Mining Industry

Feudal France (Between 987 and 1108) – Period of State Concentration Part III

Feudal France (Between 987 and 1108) – Period of State Concentration Part III

The aspirations of the humble found correspondence in the interests of the lords, who agreed to develop the system of taxes, tithes, corvee of the old closed economy. The gentleman who was formerly head, manager of the agricultural enterprise, is now on the way to being a simple if albeit formidable exploiter of agricultural income. This great transformation, which began in the century. XI and continues almost silently in the following, must not be explained either by the intervention of philosophical and religious principles, or by the politics of principles and governments. France, poorly populated, is forced to substitute more rational and organic systems of agricultural exploitation for arbitrary systems. Usually the change is peaceful; less often there are movements of groups and classes.

Even the city participates in the new economic movement by seeking better conditions, lighter taxes, the possibility of mutual defense, security in trade: while in the century. X the people of the city is only an instrument of feudalism, in the following century it already appears rich in demands and strength, so as to explain how in the century. XII there was the emancipation of the city, the elimination of what was arbitrary and uneconomic in the city organization itself. From the century XI to XII the number of urban centers multiplies, a consequence not so much of a great increase of population as of the development of rural colonization. The “new cities” (villes neuvesbastides); with privileges the residents are invited to run; the lands are divided and plowed; the abbey’s income grows. Often two gentlemen agree on a social exploitation of land at common expense (pariage); the inhabited area is built, the streets are drawn at right angles with the square and the market in the center. The residents flock to the guarantees against arbitrary taxes. These centers with deductibles (see deductible) form the great majority of settlements in France; they remain politically submissive to the lord. Feudataries and princes, even the king, imitate the abbeys in creating new cities, seeds of future secure incomes. Many urban centers get in the century. XII freedoms and privileges that make them enter the number of new or free cities. Their status varies according to the degree of the concessions made to them by the lord; some have privileges relating only to taxation, the others have complex, judicial and administrative privileges so extensive as to bring them closer to free cities. In this way abuses of officials were eliminated, making the domain more profitable; or the lord was driven by the desire to repopulate the city, or to enter into competition with a neighbor, or to obtain, in case of war, the good graces of his subjects,

According to, the revolution in the city situation is more radical in the case of free cities, in which the lord was stripped of all or part of his sovereign prerogatives by means of the association of the residents agreed by mutual oath. This is the case of the commune proper, characteristic of northern France and of the consular city of southern France; there is no shortage of free cities in Alsace and Lorraine, in Franche-Comté and in some regions of the south-west, such as Bordeaux and Baiona. Even in France as in Italy, the existence of a sanctioning charter for municipal freedom is only the term ad quem, without being able to establish when and how emancipation took place. Usually it is to think of a development process that goes from the century. XI to XII; for some cases it must already go back to the century. X. Each city represents a particular phenomenon, an individuality acting on its own. But certainly everywhere there is a desire to react against an organization that seems outdated. And it cannot be denied that example has had a contagious influence.

All French life in the 18th century XII is transformed: but while the system of parallel balancing forces disappears in feudal life and the system of links between monarchy and fiefdom prevails, in the bourgeois and rural classes that of colleges and mutual aid prevails. Thus in the countryside the union of the rural people, the federation of villages, in the city the bourgeois association, the corporation of the markets tend to cross the border of the village, of the fiefdom, of the regional state. And the provincial dynasties which in a very limited measure manage to satisfy these new needs of the agrarian and industrial classes, find themselves deprived of the necessary basis just when outwardly they believe they have built a simulacrum of state in their native region. External facts of French history such as the wars, the crusades, pilgrimages act only to a limited extent on this phenomenon of internal transformation, dependent on purely internal causes. The communal revolution renews the fabric of French social life and the wars of hegemony of princes and kings receive their true value from the new situation in which the country finds itself socially.

Feudal France (Between 987 and 1108) - Period of State Concentration 3

Feudal France (Between 987 and 1108) – Period of State Concentration Part II

Feudal France (Between 987 and 1108) – Period of State Concentration Part II

Various causes influence to determine this important and new phenomenon. The Christian expeditions of French feudalism in Spain and Syria react unexpectedly on the consideration of the monarchy which also did not participate in it, or participated badly with Louis VII himself. The memory of the glorious deeds of the Merovingians and Carolingians awakens; Charlemagne reappears in the eyes of the French generations of the century. XII through the exaltation of the chansons de geste. The king of Paris appears as the heir to all this glorious tradition; la douce France it is no longer just the royal territory, but the whole land over which Charlemagne already dominated. They are germs that bear fruit rapidly in the epoch in which provincial autonomies are threatened by the constitution of the Anglo-Norman empire. The lines of the old French monarchical life emerge, of the old royal unity. Throughout France they are felt in the century. XII sentiments of monarchical devotion, of adherence to a French unity that is not yet political, nor ethnic, nor linguistic; a unity which seems to have a body, the kingdom, a head, the king, but which has no certain consistency. These sympathies for the monarchy are manifested especially in central and eastern France. The signs of the ostentatious protection that the king accords to the churches act. The stay of Pope Alexander III in France, guest and protege of the king, while the

At the ascension to the throne of Philip II Augustus (1180) the conflict between the two antagonistic powers was still undecided. The Plantagenets had not been able to destroy the Capetian kingdom; this had not succeeded in crumbling the Anglo-Angevin-Norman block. The problem was solved by the new king of France thanks to the compactness of his state on the one hand, the civil struggles of the royal house of England on the other. Philip II Augustus was able to temporarily agree with the king of England in the peace of Gisors, humbling himself to accept the disdainful protection of the powerful king. He was then able to dissolve the coalition of the great feudatories of the north-east, Flanders, Champagne, Burgundy, Hainaut, Nevers, I decided to overthrow the king of Paris, or at least to lock him in his old feudal limits.

In 1187 the conflict between the two kings already broke out. Philip Augustus had prepared the action by allying himself with Frederick Barbarossa and weaving intrigues in the court of Henry II. The bitter war is suspended due to the death of the king of England and the third crusade, but then resumes violent; the French have terrible adversaries in Richard the Lionheart and in John Without Earth. In 1202 Philip Augustus had the king of England be tried by his judges for refusing obedience to the legitimate feudal ruler – the king of France – and had him stripped of all French fiefs. And immediately afterwards the royal army invades Normandy and conquers it; then Poitou, Anjou, Touraine, Brittany, Maine pass into the hands of the king. The kings of England barely keep the possessions of Gascony. The peace of 1208 marked the decision of the great conflict that lasted a century. The Anglo-French empire collapsed together with the castle of a French monarchy which had its center in the provinces of the west. The triumph of Philip Augustus represented the triumph of the Capetian monarchy of Paris, the prevalence of centripetal tendencies. Now no feudal state existed that had the capacity to contrast the future with the monarchy. From the beginning of the century. XIII France tends clearly towards unification. Now no feudal state existed that had the capacity to contrast the future with the monarchy. From the beginning of the century. XIII France tends clearly towards unification. Now no feudal state existed that had the capacity to contrast the future with the monarchy. From the beginning of the century. XIII France tends clearly towards unification.

According to, the triumph of the French monarchy coincides with the transformation of the entire social organization of the French countries, with the emergence of new social trends that were in a certain sense collaborators of the monarchical political tendencies, although not always conscious and not always sought. Feudalism, after having tried to exploit the economic institutions left by previous ages, in the need to organize and discipline itself, had set out on the path of economic and social transformation. The need to provide for a more profitable exploitation of the land led the feudal owner to abandon the heavier burdens from which the rural populations suffered.

Feudal France (Between 987 and 1108) - Period of State Concentration 2

Feudal France (Between 987 and 1108) – Period of State Concentration Part I

Feudal France (Between 987 and 1108) – Period of State Concentration Part I

At the beginning of the century. XII France seems to have reached a static situation. The feudal dynasties completely broke all links with the monarchy; and the Capetians of the Isle of France are reduced to the minimum power, to a simple feudal lordship. However, this equilibrium situation is not such that it can last long. If on the one hand the French regions seem to have reached an affirmation of provincial individuality, on the other the dynasties are driven by ambitions and interests in a policy of peace, alliances, wars, which creates a network of interprovincial relations. Tendencies to concentrate around certain nuclei soon appear; some dynasty is pushed to lead these tendencies, affirming a hegemonic claim. The sec. XII sees this polarization of French provincial forces. The area where the sharpest contrast takes place is the old free region between the Somma and the Loire; the states are those of Normandy, Paris, Anjou, Blois.

According to, the Capetian state emerged with Louis VI (1108-1137) from a period of inertia and passivity. The dynasty, forced to concentrate in a small territory, hoarded its energies and procured very wide possibilities for action in the short term. Louis VI, taking up some attempts by his father, also adopted a policy of territorial reorganization: to impose his authority on the rebel vassals, to reopen communications between the cities of the dominion, to restore peace in the countryside. The Capetian state proved to be completely renewed after three decades; a small force, but vibrant and organic.

The great enemy of the Capetian is the Norman. William the Conqueror in 1066 had created, with the conquest of England, a state blockade on both sides of the Channel that would cloud the kingdom of Paris. Under Henry I (1100-1135) the union of the two Norman states was redone and soon the fight broke out between the two kings who shared the Seine valley. Normandy concentrates all the feudal forces against the kingdom; he works to break the union between Normandy and England, instigating his relatives against Henry I, but barely manages to keep up with the enemy. In 1127 the heir of Normandy and England, Matilde, married the heir of the county of Anjou, Goffredo il Bello; even the German emperor Henry V allied himself with England, surrounding the Capetian monarchy with an enemy circle. But Louis VI reunited the forces of the state, clung to the clergy and the papacy; against the attacks of the German emperor he advances as far as Metz and poses as a national champion; and, brilliant response to the King of England, in 1137 he married his son and successor the only heir of the Duchy of Aquitaine, Eleonora daughter of William X, who brought Auvergne, Poitou, Limousin, Périgord and Gascony as a dowry to the new king of France. The Capetian dynasty brought its borders to the Pyrenees.

The duel between the Angevin-Norman group and the Capetian-Aquitanian group inevitably had to take place, deploying the French feudal forces in the two camps. Louis VII compromised the results obtained by his father: he imprudently broke off good relations with the Count of Champagne, who formed a league with the counts of Flanders and Soissons. Even more dangerous was the repudiation of the Duchess Eleonora of Aquitaine: the efforts to preserve possession of the great southern state were useless. Henry Plantagenet of Anjou took advantage of the king’s error, hastening to marry Eleonora; in 1154 Henry had already become king of England and master of Normandy, dragging the Norman fiefdom of Brittany into tow. Thus the whole of western France gathered around Anjou, along the Atlantic, from Somma to the Pyrenees: the union with England gave security to this feudal block. A French prince rather than an English one, Henry considered Anjou as the center of his activity; he believed it possible to absorb the feudal states of the south and east, driving the pretentious but weak kings of Paris to the north. For thirty years the Angevin policy invests all of France: Henry II affirms his sovereignty over Brittany, rejects the weak royal advance from Normandy, tries to impose his lordship on the county of Toulouse, allies himself with the Counts of Savoy, establishes relations with the Emperor of Germany and with the King of Castile. But all efforts to accord so many regional states were doomed to fail. Normans and Bretons, Angevins and Gascons, Limousines and Provençals were peoples full of lively life of their own: already in his last years, Henry II had to pay homage to these regionalistic tendencies, creating special governments in various provinces; but it was a temporary solution. The monarchy of Paris, after having unwittingly favored the Angevin projects, benefited from the subsequent failure of all the attempts of Henry II. In 1152 Louis VII gathers against the enemy a league of feudatories who feel threatened by the Anglo-Norman power; to get friends he marries a Castilian princess, later a princess of the house of Champagne; in 1159 he rushed to Toulouse to prevent the city from falling into the hands of the enemy; seeks agreements with the emperor of Germany, directs the rebellion of the sons of Henry II to their father. Thus Henry II’s French possessions are in constant turmoil and the lord’s efforts to organize them fail.

Feudal France (Between 987 and 1108) - Period of State Concentration 1

France Literature Part II

France Literature Part II

Fiction has continued this decade to take the lion’s share of literary production. Here the example of the greatest contemporaries, already consecrated by fame, is still active and vital, whoever pays attention to what the unimaginative wisdom of a Gide and the coherent and steadfast work of G. Duhamel, J. de Lacretelle, A. Malraux, R. Martin du Gard, G. Bernanos, Br. Niauriac, J. Romains, with the strenuous psychological analysis which, combined with a fervent moral problem, identifies the environmental and structural situation of their characters. A little in the shade, the libertine coquetry of Colette, whose fortune we still cannot say how much it is due to the clarity of the page and how much to a worldly custom by now gone; left aside, for their political past, to silence the Chateaubriant and the sensual P. Drieu La Rochelle, turbid ideologue oscillating between communism and fascism, also the almost classically exemplary J. Chardonne and H. de Montherlant, P. Morand and J. Giono; but the various traditions of the story and the novel continue or are found in the passionate Catholicism of Daniel-Rops, in the lucid and ironic intelligence of the human relationship that is in Jouhandeau’s page, in the vast cultural and social interests of Schlumberger and Hamp, in the intense dramas of Chamson and Cassou, in the vigorous plasticity of Malaquais with his descriptions of rebels, criminals, refugees and adventurers and in the slang fruition of Audiberti not born from a naturalistic misunderstanding, but intended as a firm and resentful figure that takes moved by a strong will to style. Nor should we forget the minor skills of Plisnier, of Kessel, Éducation Européenne by Gary, from the no less popular Mon Village à l’heure allemande by Bory to the solid realism of Bosco and the intimate shots of Peyrefitte.

According to, the literary affirmation of French existentialism of Heideggerian and immanentistic inspiration coincides with the disappearance of surrealism.

It is true that Catholic existentialism had begun its literary tests with the theater of Gabriel Marcel, but another thing is the transcendental existentialism of Sartre’s philosophy and therefore the poetics and the intentional accent of the word are very different. The literary reason for existentialism has been recognized in a need for verbal renewal denounced by the semantic instability of a terminology that was understood at the time of its creation, and therefore not yet scientifically technicized, but such as to make use of the deformation of common use. Undoubtedly, however, the impulse to artistic attempts lies in a sentimental situation that wants to be intuited and come to light: it is the feeling of anguish and nothingness that seeks a liberation in the reality of the word by expressing every content, even the least confessable. The doctrine has its own organ in Les Temps modernes. Since 1 October 1945 Sartre, also endowed with a strong polemical temperament, is its soul. They are part of the editorial board and assiduously collaborate with it. Simone de Beauvoir, very attached to Sarrian thought, Raymond Aron and Maurice Merleau-Ponty who possess, especially the latter, a marked theoretical individuality and therefore vividly manifest their independence, reacting to the fashion of existentialism, while other very young people also access this philosophy which is the most bitterly fought by Catholics, Marxists and bourgeois conservation. Only Simone de Beauvoir, alongside Sartre, dedicated himself to the novel and from the theater by declaring a clear profession of faith, where Camus proclaims his autonomy of convictions and taste.

The theater of J. Anouilh, on whose clear poetic elegance the memory of Giraudoux acts, and that of A. Salacrou are, alongside the slimy dramas of Sartre, the advanced points of an abundant and full of vitality repertoire while the representative vigor of Paul Raynal is not placed in oblivion and Stève Passeur, the Brasseur and many others assert themselves that it is not necessary to mention here.

The literature of thought (criticism, politics, biographical essays) hinges on the controversy between existentialists, Catholics (J. Maritain, H. Massis, etc.) and Marxists (H. Lefebvre, Navelle etc.). Not completely extinguished is the echo of Alain’s generic radical socialism and Benda’s democratic rationalism. E. Mounier, in the magazine Esprit which has been published since the end of 1944, promoted a dynamic Christian communism (personalism) which he laid the foundations in some writings of 1936. It is still premature to formulate a judgment, while it seems clear, from a political point of view, which is not a matter of mediation or overcoming, but of adherence to Marxism.

In general, the orientation of the young French critic persists in the “essayistic” taste of the page and of psychological analysis but, thanks to the most recent currents of thought, it is acquiring a greater theoretical awareness, especially if ideological dogmatism does not intervene to jam the freedom of research, with the accentuation of one’s theses. This is the case with the pseudo-aesthetics inspired by Marxism. No less careless, at times, is a certain Catholic criticism that is held along the lines of Rivière and Du Bos but leads it to extremes. The moralistic cancellation of the distinction between the empirical person and the work, the avoidance of judgment in conceiving texts as mere stimuli of the sentimental autobiography of the critic, the tendency to assimilate each one in the same profession of faith, an acute but often isolated and generic impressionism are the limits and the most serious deviations of a non-fiction literature that varies from tones of false lyrical intimacy to a specious procedure of a juridical appearance. A real philosophical investigation that gives the means to aesthetic evaluation is currently in France, for contemporary writers, very rare and episodic, in contrast to the severe discipline of study that continues, in university environments, towards writers of the past. . Among literary critics, subtle ingenuity and a shrewd theoretical preparation combined with great psychological sensitivity, shows Georges Blin, although somewhat lacking in him an adequate philological education.

France Literature 02

France Literature Part I

France Literature Part I

Several of the most prominent personalities of writers in the interwar period or already at the beginning of the century have disappeared or remained inactive in the last decade. Those who disappeared include Gide (1951), Alain (1951), J. Baruzi (1953), H. Bernstein (1953), P. Éluard (1952), Ch. Maurras (1952), J. Benda (1956), Céline (1958), Br. Carco (1958), Valéry-Larbaud (1957), R. Martin du Gard (1958). The industriousness of other elderly people is instead continuous even if rather than bringing real innovations, it constitutes the reaffirmation and sometimes the deepening of already evident reasons.

To the various dozen of his works G. Duhamel has added other novels: La pesée des âmes (1951), Cri des profondeurs (1951), Le complexe de Théophile (1958) and the five volumes of memories, Lumières sur ma vie. J. Romains is no exception with Violation des frontières (1951), Le fils de Jerphanion (1956), Une femme singulière (1957) and with a collection of poems, Maisons (1957). To P. Morand we owe Le flagellant de Séville (1951, rom.) And the books of short stories: La folle amoureuse (1956) and Fin de siècle (1957); to B. Cendrars (died January 21, 1961) the prose of Emmène – moi au bout du monde (1955) and Tropc’est trop (1957). J. Chardonne, opposed after the war for political reasons and then almost forgotten, published Vivre à Madère (1952, rom.), The Lettres à Roger Nimier (1952) and the essays by Matinales (1956) while his complete works are being printed in 7 volumes. Very active, even as a political journalist, Br. Mauriac validly continued his tragic analysis of man in the Journal, in the Bloc notes (1958), in the essays of La pierre d’achoppement (1948), flanked by the short psychological novels Le Sagouin (1951), Galigaï (1952), L’agneau (1954) and the plays Passage du Malin (1948), Le feu sur la terre (1951), Le pain vivant (1955)). According to, these years were no less intense for the disenchanted Montherlant who gave Pasiphaé to the theater (1949), Celles qu’on prese dans ses bras (1950), La ville dont le Prince est un enfant(1951), Port-Royal (1954), Brocéliande (1956), Don Juan (1958); to fiction La rose de saber (1954) and Les Auligny (1956), to poetry the Encore un instant de bonheur collection (1954) and to the memoir the Textes sous une occupation (1953), and the Carnets (1957). The tratral production of A. Salacrou has been enriched with numerous plays and comedies: Le soldat et la sorcièreUne femme trop honnête (1955), Le miroir (1957), Dieu le savait. A. Malraux, on the other hand, seems to neglect the narrative to devote himself to the critical and theoretical problems of art. Psychologie de dell’arte (1949), Les voix du silence (1951), Le musée imaginaire de la sculpture mondo (1952-54), La métamorphose des Dieux (1957) are very beautiful books for the efficacy of the descriptions and the vivacity of the approach, however aestheticizing, to the figurative works. Sartre and Camus alternated essays with creative works; the first with his fervent ideological participation in world political events from the Entretiens (1949) to the book on the Hungarian revolt (1956-57), to the controversies that followed, to the Questions de méthode (1957), in which he is increasingly looking for the juxtaposition of his existentialism with Marxism as well as with the enormous apologetic harangue Saint – Genêt comédien et martyr (1952), where his critical principles are pushed to the extreme and with the “pièces” Le diable et le bon Dieu (1951) , Kean (1954) Dumasian, Nekrassov(1955), Les séquestrés d’Altona (1959); A. Camus (d. 1960) highlighting his conception of life and literature even better in the most recent essays by Actuelles, in L’homme révolté (1951), in the Réflexions sur la peine capital (1957); no less important are the creative works: the prose art of L’eté (1954), the stories of L’exil et le royaume (1957), the confessions of a contemporary (La chute, 1956); the plays Les Justes (1949) and Requiem pour une nonne (1956), a dramatic adaptation by Faulkner.

Even apart from the figures whose importance is now sanctioned by the achieved international fame and by the establishment of a broad critical discussion against them, today’s literature usually appears to be characterized by an ideological commitment in the broadest sense. It therefore tends, more or less consciously, to the condition of the wise; and to this condition is approached the narrative and above all the novel, still dominant “genre”, although now far from its traditional form and subjected to contrary innovative solicitations. Catholics and Communists in various shades confirm their prevalence; “experimental” avant-garde loses its effectiveness to the extent that the awareness of its gratuitousness and, often, of its futility, is becoming increasingly clear. The existentialism itself now gives way to an unscrupulous and disinterested analytical observation which, by abolishing naturalistic objectivism, wants to be based only on the admission of the plurality of the possible and of relativity, of the anguish of the individual point of view, but of these same limits and difficulty in representing the events makes a weapon using them as the only means allowed to man to concretely penetrate his own and others’ behavior.

France Literature 01

The ‘French May’ and the after de Gaulle

The ‘French May’ and the after de Gaulle

In the presidential elections of December 1965 it was France Mitterrand who put forward his candidacy in opposition to de Gaulle within the left. At the head of the Fédération de la gauche démocratique et socialiste which he himself established (it was a formation closed in the center and supported by the Communists), Mitterrand forced the president in office, from whom the presence of a third centrist candidacy took away votes, to the unexpected shame of the ballot, after an electoral campaign in which for the first time the use of television was particularly prominent. The ballot took place on December 19 and was won by de Gaulle with 54.50% of the votes, against 45.49% obtained by Mitterrand. Reconfirmed President of the Republic, the ex general developed the already known foreign policy guidelines, deciding, among other things, in March 1966 the exit of France from NATO. On the domestic front, in view of the legislative elections, a Comité d’action pour la V was launched by the majorityAndRépublique, which also included the independent republicans of Giscard d’Estaing. On the left, Mitterrand strove for his part to consolidate the Fédération de la gauche démocratique et socialiste, deepening programmatic issues, establishing a shadow government on the British model in May 1966 and reaching an agreement with the Communists for the benefit of the respective candidate. best placed after the first round. The legislative elections of March 1967 saw a positive result for the Gaullists in the first ballot, which, however, was not repeated in the second, when the electoral agreement stipulated by the left obtained good results. Despite this, however, the majority in favor of de Gaulle was confirmed. 1968 was a crucial year in many ways. In the ‘French May’ the youth crisis, economic difficulties and political hesitations were intertwined. Ten million strikers, who also obtained important advantages, followed the student revolt.

According to, the government was overwhelmed until the moment in which de Gaulle offered the country, now tired of the disorder, early elections, in which the Gaullists, aided by the climate of tension, had 38% of the votes and, as a result of the electoral system, the majority of seats. Despite the good electoral outcome, de Gaulle wanted to aim for further reforms aimed at strengthening the system he had greatly contributed to creating. In April 1969, he tried to have a constitutional amendment approved by referendum, which included, among other things, a decentralization of the administration to the regional level and a reduction of the powers of the Senate. Beaten, even following the defection of his moderate allies, he resigned. The reaction to May 1968 had thus first stifled the radicalism of the protest and then Gaullist reformism, even if, in the longer term, the movement had to penetrate deeply into society (rejection of authoritarianism, feminism, environmentalism). Pompidou, natural leader of the parliamentary majority, easily won the presidential elections of 1969, also because, unlike what had happened in 1965, the deeply divided left were unable to present a single candidate. Conservative, but convinced of the need to modernize and industrialize France, Pompidou appointed as prime minister a historical Gaullist, J. Chaban Delmas, who promoted a vast project of a ‘new society’. This vision, which was essentially based on social negotiation, ended up putting the government in collision with the conservatives, without however being able to convince the left. On the death of Pompidou (April 1974), facing the new presidential elections, the left could dispose of the candidacy of Mitterrand, who re-emerged as first secretary of the renewed Socialist Party, after the partial eclipse that followed the events of May 1968, while on the right he started an electoral duel between Chaban Delmas and Giscard d’Estaing, representative of modernizing liberalism. The support of the Gaullists pompidoliens, led by J. Chirac, favored Giscard who achieved 51% of the votes in the second round, against the 49% obtained by Mitterrand, who, by supporting the strategy of unity of the left, had engaged the Communist Party in a ‘common program’. The Giscardian presidency (1974-81) began with the entry into the Chirac government (1974-76) of centrists and radicals not connected to the left, resulting in a left-right polarization that excluded the presence of intermediate forces. In a year there were major reforms, but the global economic crisis favored a conservative retreat. Tensions increased between the Giscardians (pro-Europeans and liberalists) and the neo-Gaullists (nationalists and more in favor of state intervention in the economic field), who, while constituting the greatest parliamentary force, they had no presidency and no good part of the ministries. Rivalry and divergences regarding the remedies of the crisis led to the replacement of Chirac with R. Barre (1976-81): the neo-Galilists thus also lost the post of prime minister.

The 'French May' and the after de Gaulle

Reform in France and the Wars of Religion

Reform in France and the Wars of Religion

At first the new doctrines spread above all in the world of high culture. Before the echo of the words of Luther and Zwingli reached France, there had already been evangelism French: a movement which recognized Lefèbvre d’Étaples as its leader, and which, without taking a position in clear antithesis with that of Rome, already preached the need for a reform of the Church. Reform of morals, above all, which gave rise to discontent against the high clergy, more concerned with wars and affairs of state than with the care of souls. In this regard, the consequences of the Concordat had been deleterious: entire dioceses remained, due to the non-residence of their head, in the hands of the lowly clergy, poor and ignorant. But here is the spread of Luther’s writings; and here is Lefèbvre accentuating his teaching, adhering to the Lutheran doctrine on faith. The Sorbonne condemns him; but between 1523 and 1524, especially in Lyons and Paris, the followers of the new ideas multiplied. From Lyon, the reformed ones operate in the valley of the lower Rhone; from Paris, to Picardy and Normandy; from Orléans, where university professors are almost all inclined to reform, in central France. And here is the movement to recruit its adherents, especially from the lower classes of the population, wool carders (like Meaux), weavers, artisans. And finally, Calvin appears giving the French movement a center, a doctrine, a directive (v.Calvinism).

Faced with this spread of heresy, the sister of Francis I, Margaret of Navarre, was decidedly in favor of the reformed. Francis I himself, at first, seemed to let it go; but starting from 1533 a policy of repression began which became increasingly harsh, under the influence of the cardinal of Tournon, and which forced many of the reformed (and Calvin among others) to abandon their homeland. In the footsteps of Francis I also moved Henry II. The creation, in 1547, of the Burning Room (v.); the promulgation of the edicts of Chateaubriand (1551) and of Écouen (1558), which imposed very severe measures against the reformed, meant the firm will of the monarchy to prevent, by force, the spread of the Reformation. Except that the measures proved ineffective; and instead the religious movement s’ it was complicating with political aspirations more evident every day. The conversion of many of the nobles, characteristic of French Calvinism between 1555 and 1560, if it increased the forces of the Reformed, also meant that claims of a very different character were accompanied by purely religious claims; and decisive in this regard was the adhesion that the princes of the blood, Anthony of Bourbon and Louis of Condé, gave to Calvinism around 1558-59. With these two men, of dubious religious sincerity, the Reformed became a political party, which cared not only for the official recognition of the evangelical cult, but for the fall of the Guise family and the re-establishment of the rights of princes of the blood. It was, after all, a resumption of the feudal struggle against the monarchy, which complicated the religious problem.

According to, the political contrast between the Guise and the Bourbons was further aggravated by the fact that, during the very short reign of the young Francis II, which happened to Henry II, the supreme authority was effectively exercised by Francesco di Guisa and his brother, cardinal of Lorraine, the which shared the power. The constable of Montmorency had fallen from grace; Caterina de ‘Medici had adopted a prudent policy of reserve and waiting; the principles of the blood were completely set aside. And then, there were the first skirmishes of the civil war, with the conspiracy of Amboise (v.) And the consequent arrest of Condé, who was sentenced, as guilty of treason, heresy and conspiracy, to capital punishment. The sudden death of the king (4 December 1560), saved the life of the prince; since Caterina de ‘

At the States General of Orléans (1561), the chancellor Michele de l’Hospital presented a program of tolerance in which he tried to clearly separate political sedition from the contrast of opinions and beliefs. Then, when the States were closed, a great Ordinance was promulgated, in which, accepting some of the votes presented, many reforms were promised: abolition of the venality of offices, canonical elections of bishops, limitation of the jurisdiction of ecclesiastical courts, etc. In the summer, Catherine was still trying to obtain conciliation between Catholics and Calvinists, inviting the most conspicuous theologians of the two sides to a discussion (Poissy talks). Then, the Edict of Saint-Germain was issued (January 1562), to stop the persecutions against the Protestants.

But the Guise family reacted: an alliance pact was made between Francesco di Guisa, the constable of Montmorency and the marshal of Saint-André (the “triumvirate”), who also dragged the faithless Antonio of Bourbon with them; and in March 1562 the massacre, carried out by the Duke of Guise, of a group of Calvinists at Vassy, ​​sparked the civil war.

The triumvirs, stronger militarily, forced the regent Caterina de ‘Medici to join them. But the Condé responded to the superiority of the enemy forces by allying himself with Elizabeth of England, to whom, in exchange for her help, Calais and Le Havre were promised. For their part, the Catholics did not hesitate, not even they, to make agreements as well as with the pope, with Philip II of Spain himself. The war was a successful alternative for the two sides: some of the Catholic leaders perished, Antonio di Borbone, Francesco di Guisa, the Saint-André. The peace of Amboise (March 1563) was, moreover, only a brief respite. Although Catherine continued her policy of conciliation and tolerance, the Calvinists felt threatened when the regent went to Bayonne to deal with the envoys of Philip II (June 1565); and in September of ’67 the war was rekindled. New peace in Longiumeau (March 1568); and a new reopening of hostilities in ’69. The leaders disappeared one after the other: Montmorency had fallen in November of ’67; Condé falls to Jarnac. At the time of the peace of Saint-Germain (8 August 1570), only Coligny remained at the head of the Calvinists. And it was with Coligny that Calvinism sought, in the short period between the peace of San Germano and the massacres of August 1572, to ally the monarchy. At the time of the peace of Saint-Germain (8 August 1570), only Coligny remained at the head of the Calvinists. And it was with Coligny that Calvinism sought, in the short period between the peace of San Germano and the massacres of August 1572, to ally the monarchy. At the time of the peace of Saint-Germain (8 August 1570), only Coligny remained at the head of the Calvinists. And it was with Coligny that Calvinism sought, in the short period between the peace of San Germano and the massacres of August 1572, to ally the monarchy.

The situation seemed favorable: general tiredness from the long internal conflict and favorable the foreign situation, with the Netherlands in revolt against Philip II. It was precisely on a foreign policy level that Coligny set his action. France was to intervene in favor of the rebels in Flanders; thus striking at a vital point the Spanish power, regaining the European dominance that had escaped it. But, when Charles IX already seemed persuaded by the Huguenot leader, Caterina de ‘Medici intervened for political reasons (see caterina de ‘ medici); and instead of a French expedition to Flanders, the massacres of the Calvinists took place in France, on the night of St. Bartholomew and the following days.

The possibility of a Calvinistic monarchy in France was thus eliminated forever; but the civil war was reopened. On the contrary, the Calvinistic movement, which until this time had always tried not to appear anti-monarchical, now assumes in many parts a decidedly revolutionary attitude. Especially in the South the old autonomist traditions of the cities flourish; the bourgeoisie organizes itself, takes over the direction of the struggle, with clear tendencies towards self-government. And to make passions flare up more, Calvinist pastors and writers intervene: Francesco Hotman, Du Plessis-Mornay, to mention only the best known. And hundreds of pamphlets against Caterina de ‘Medici, the Italians, the Guise, stir up French public opinion. Furthermore, an ally offers itself to the Calvinists: the party of the politiques, recruited from men of different conditions and of different molds, but convinced of the need to put an end to fratricidal struggles and, therefore, to allow the reformed to exercise their cult, in order to save national unity. The politiques even manage to find a leader in the ambitious Duke of Alençon, the fourth child of Caterina de ‘Medici. Not even the paix de Monsieur (May 1576), who concluded the new war by making very large concessions to the reformed, managed to restore order to the country. Despite the peace act, the situation was still worsening. The Huguenots were wary, who in some regions of the South kept their autonomy tendencies; irritated the Catholics headed by Henry Duke of Guise. The same year of the peace of Monsieur, in the States General of Blois the majority of the representatives had rejected the thesis of the politiques and had proclaimed religious unity, revoking the edicts of tolerance. And the situation worsened again, after 1580, due to the question of the succession to the throne. The new king, Henry III, was childless; also childless was the Duke of Alençon, his brother: so that, when the latter died, in 1584, the heir to the throne officially became Henry of Navarre, the new head of the Calvinist party. This was a defining event. The Guise family tried to take cover against the new danger, making agreements with Philip II and proposing as a possible successor the old cardinal Antonio di Borbone, uncle of Henry of Navarre, a puppet in their hands. But this, and the intervention of Sixtus V who declared the king of Navarre unable to succeed, angered Henry III. Journé e des barricades, May 12, 1588). From this moment, the League had a mortal enemy in him. The humiliations that it inflicted on him in the new States General of Blois prompted him to act. On 23 December 1588 he had the Duke of Guise killed, and the following day the Cardinal of Lorraine, then faced with the violent revolt that followed the double assassination, appealed to all the faithful nobility. And the nobility replied: which shows how the arrogance of the Guise and the revolutionary excesses of the Sixteen had produced profound discontent in the country. The king also allied himself with Henry of Navarre and, the following year, the two armies invested Paris. The fate of the Leaguers appeared desperate when Henry III was assassinated by Jacques Clément (iAugust 1589). Before his death, the last of the Valois recognized Henry of Navarre (Henry IV) as his successor and recommended that he convert.

Reform in France and the Wars of Religion

French-speaking Literature

French-speaking Literature

In Europe, French-language literature has had an important development in Belgium (➔ # 10132;) and Switzerland (➔ # 10132;). On the other hand, the Francophone production of Val d’Aosta is of a minor and somewhat conventional nature, expressed in the nineteenth century in a Lamartinian or Parnassian-style poem and in the Romans nationaux, of republican and anti-militarist inspiration; in the 20th century, despite the growing dominance of Italian culture, the poet LM Manzetti, epigone of symbolism, and P. Lexert, a writer alien to the regionalistic and clerical tendencies of the Valle d’Aosta culture, prevailed.

A belated affirmation also had the French-language literature of Luxembourg, whose most significant authors, after the novelist France Thyes (19th century), were the poets M. Noppeney and P. Palgen, the novelists N. Ries, founder of the Cahiers luxembourgeois, and WE Gilson; subsequently, the poet E. Dune and the novelists J. Leydenbach and A. Borschette. In America, in addition to a literary movement in Louisiana, now extinct, French-speaking writers are present in Canada(➔ # 10132;), and in the Caribbean where, before being opposed by the rehabilitation of Creole, French-speaking literature has become the spokesperson of Caribbean cultural identity (➔ Haiti). In the Lesser Antilles e nella Guiana, il legame con i modelli culturali francesi è sopravvissuto più a lungo: ne sono prova il romanzo Batouala (1920) di R. Maran ; la rivista Lucioles di G. Gratiant; il manifesto d’ispirazione surrealista e marxista Légitime défense, diffuso a Parigi (1932) da É. Léro, R. Ménil, J. Monnerot; e, soprattutto, il movimento della negritudine (➔ #10132;) promosso intorno alla rivista L’Étudiant noir (1934-40) dal guianese L. Damas, dal martinicano A. Césaire e dal senegalese L.S. Senghor, che lo diffusero nella rivista Présence Africaine (1947).

According to, the Isle of Réunion, which was the birthplace of the poets A. Bertin (18th century), E. de Parny (18th -19th century), remains closely anchored to the cultural models of France, on the other hand, in the Indian Ocean.), C.-M.-R. Leconte de Lisle (19th century), L. Dierx (19th -20th century) and where a rich narrative production was also established, among whose exponents we must remember at least J.-F. Sam-Long and the writers D. Roméis and J. Brézé. In Mauritius, the search for a national literature, opposed by L. Masson with the choice of exile, he established himself with the novelists RE Hart and M. Cabon, and with the poets M. de Chazal, cantor of the mythical origins of the island, and É. Maunick, who claims the values ​​of hybridisation by combining them with negritude. ● In Asia, there is a literary production in French in the area of ​​former French Indochina and in the Middle East, in Lebanon (➔ # 10132;). The impact of French literature in Egypt should also be noted: in the twentieth century, before the advent of G. Nasser, the literary landscape was dominated by the social novel and surrealism which, introduced by G. Hénein in the magazine La part du sable, influenced E. Jabès and J. Mansour (for other French-speaking North African writers ➔ al-Maghrib).

French-speaking Literature

French Cinema

French Cinema

According to, contemporary French cinema is characterized by an eye to the past and another to the future, as on the one hand it has maintained an authorial identity, but on the other it has never lost its contact with the public. In a period in which cinema has experienced a crisis on an industrial level in many European countries, film has in fact gone against the trend. 2011 was an exemplary year: 272 films were produced and 215 million tickets sold. And there have been box-office comedies like Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis (2008; Down in the North), by Dany Boon, and Intouchables (2011; Almost Friends) by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano: the story of the relationship between a rich quadriplegic and his young caregiver has been seen by 51 million people worldwide.

Even today, French cinema seems to offer the only model that can compete, in some respects, with that of American cinema. This was demonstrated, for example, by the success in the United States of some of his actors who became stars such as Marion Cotillard, or directors such as Michel Gondry (Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, 2004, If you let me cancel you ; L’écume des jours, 2013, Mood IndigoThe foam of the days), which alternated French and American productions, or even a film like The artist (2011, by Michel Hazanavicius) who won five Oscars, and Luc Besson’s work as a producer for EuropaCorp and as a director of spectacular genre films, including live-action (the trilogy inaugurated with Arthur et les Minimoys, 2006, Arthur and the Minimoys) and sci-fi thriller (Lucy, 2014).

Furthermore, the French one seems to be an ageless cinema. With some New Wave filmmakers who have continued to make films in which creative freedom and experimentation have continued to go hand in hand. Jean-Luc Godard continued on his path of breaking up traditional narrative and linguistic codes through a reading of the history of cinema that is intertwined with that of the other arts and which has been called into question with digital and 3D (Film socialisme, 2010 ; Adieu au langage, 2014, Farewell to language). Chance, theater, the show between life and representation have crossed the work of Alain Resnais in different forms (Les herbes folles, 2009, The crazy loves) and Jacques Rivette (36 vues du Pic Saint-Loup, 2009, A question of points of view), while Claude Chabrol continued to create works in which he analyzes the bourgeois class and everything that is hidden behind an apparent normality with its never dormant passion for noir (La fille coupée en deux, 2007, The innocence of sin). The discovery of new universes also marked the last part of Eric Rohmer’s career, where the literary adaptation becomes the starting point for other time journeys such as in his latest film, the Arcadian fable Les amours d’Astrée et de Céladon (2007 ; The loves of Astrea and Celadon). Cinema has also become an opportunity for Agnès Varda to take stock of her first 80 years between reconstructed moments of existence, film clips, returning to the places of her own life in Les plages d’Agnès (2008).

Samba scene

Among the directors who have come to the fore in recent years we must remember Jacques Audiard, with his dramatically exasperated physicality (Un prophète, 2009, Il profeta ; Dheepan, Palme d’Or in Cannes in 2015), Abdellatif Kechiche, with his impulsive cinema always suspended between desire and anger ( La vie d’Adèle , 2013, La vita di Adele), and Laurent Cantet who has definitively shattered the threshold between documentary and fiction (Entre les murs, 2008, La classe); both Kechiche and Cantet won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013 and 2008. In 2012, Léos Carax returned to feature films with Holy motors, played by his favorite actor Denis Lavant.

Even in the younger directors of French cinema there is a need to connect and confront themselves with the cinema of their fathers, seen not as a model, but just as a stimulus to get involved and film. So much so that the autobiographical component has been inseparable from Olivier Assayas’ cinema (Après mai, 2012, Something in the air ; Clouds of Sils Maria, 2014), for which cinema becomes the only illusion to make up for lost time. The continuous link with the New Wave, its questioning, the need to tell about oneself in the first person have also characterized the work of Christophe Honoré (Dans Paris, 2006) and Mia Hansen-Løve (Le père de mes enfants, 2009, The father of my children). In some cases, cinema and life come together as when the personal experience of the child’s illness becomes the starting point for a film of movements and actions such as in La guerre est déclarée (2011; La guerra è Decata), by Valérie Donzelli. With Hansen-Løve and Donzelli, a generation of female directors has established itself in French cinema who stage their conflicts through comedy (Au bout du conte, 2013, When you least expect it, by Agnès Jaoui; Un château en Italie, 2013, A castle in Italy, by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi), or dramatic films such as Tomboy (2011) by Céline Sciamma, or 17 filles (2011; 17 girls) by sisters Delphine and Muriel Coulin.

A coherent line in the authorial path has continued to distinguish the filmography of André Téchiné (Les témoins, 2007, The witnesses), Bertrand Tavernier (La princesse deMontpensier, 2010), François Ozon (Jeune & jolie, 2013, Young and beautiful), Paul Vecchiali (Nuits blanches sur la jetée, 2014), Robert Guédiguian (Les neiges du Kilimandjaro, 2011, The snows of Kilimanjaro), Xavier Beauvois (Des hommes et des dieux, 2010, Men of God), Arnaud Des plechin (Un conte de Noël, 2008, A Christmas Tale), Bertrand Bonello (Saint Laurent, 2014), Chantal Akerman (La folie Almayer, 2011), Catherine Breillat (Abus de faiblesse, 2013), Costa-Gavras (Capital, 2012) and Claire Denis (35 rhums, 2008). Some actors then embarked on a parallel career as directors: among them Mathieu Amalric (Tournée, 2010), Guillaume Canet (Les petits mouchoirs, 2010, Little lies among friends), Maïwenn (Polisse, 2011) and Sandrine Bonnaire (J’enrage de son absence, 2012).

Many genres have their leading names: from documentary (Chris Marker, Nicholas Philibert, Raymond Depardon), to horror (Alexandre Aja), from the reinterpretation of polar (Olivier Marchal, Fred Cavayé) to animated cinema (Michel Ocelot and, above all, Sylvain Chomet who with L’illusionniste, 2010, L’illusionista, brought back to the screen a project never realized by Jacques Tati; see also animation: France).

French Cinema

France Waterways

France Waterways

The rivers, although some of them have an irregular regime, represented until the century. XIX an important part in the transport of raw materials. From the time of Henry IV they began to be integrated with canals; and on the eve of the Revolution, France already possessed the Channel of the South, the Channel of Picardy and the very extensive network of Flemish canals. In 1800 there were just under 1000 km. of channels; to which the Restoration and the July Monarchy added almost another 3000 km. Already in 1847 1,800,000 tons. km. goods of all kinds were transported by water. The appearance of the railways at first caused a decrease in river traffic, which in 1870 dropped to 1,400,000 tons. km.; but the circulation later developed on all communication routes, and a billion spent between 1870 and 1900 brought the length of the navigable network (rivers and canals) from 11,260 to 12,150 km. Traffic by water was quadrupled. Since this traffic is almost entirely concentrated in the part of the territory included north of a line joining Le Havre to Lyon and especially in the NE region, during the war it was especially damaged by the invasion (1036 km. Of streets destroyed). But the reconstruction work is now almost completed, and, with the return of Alsace-Lorraine to France, the development of French waterways has reached 17,400 kilometers, of which 5248 for the canals.

According to, the canals belong to three distinct groups: 1. Maritime canals, which have the function of facilitating access to ports located on estuaries: the Tancarville Channel belongs to this group, which allows barges and ships of medium tonnage to reach Rouen directly; the Caen Canal; the Lower Loire Canal, which makes Saint-Nazaire the outpost of Nantes; 2. lateral channels, which constitute real artificial rivers, parallel to the watercourses that cannot be used: lateral channels to the Garonne, the Loire, the Meuse, the Haute Seine, the Somma; 3. connecting canals, which, through a slight rise, connect, by means of locks, navigable waterways or nearby canals: few in the West, in the South.

The table below shows each region’s share in the total tonnage of waterways (rivers and canals) for the year 1925:

The Northern region and that of Paris occupy the first place in the general inland navigation movement, because they have a large number of navigable rivers and canals. Paris is the busiest river port in all of France, with a movement of 13,400,000 tons. in 1926. It comes immediately after Strasbourg, placed at the end of navigation on the Rhine, with 3,578,593 tons, which can increase its tonnage with the construction of a lateral canal to the Rhine and with the transformation of the Marne and Rhone canals. The great industrial development of the Creusot largely explains the 3 million tons. of the waterways of the center.

The network of waterways will be further developed, as new routes are already under construction: the North Canal, the canal from Montbéliard to the Haute-Saône, the great canal of Alsace, the canal from Marseille to the Rhone (recently inaugurated the Rove tunnel, 7 km long.). Furthermore, the construction of a connecting canal between the Dordogne and the Berry canals is planned.

France Waterways

France Trade with Abroad

France Trade with Abroad

The foreign trade of France so to 3 only over land borders, making use of roads, canals and railways, and 3 the way of the sea.

Commercial movement. – After a magnificent boost in the middle of the last century, French foreign trade appeared to remain stagnant from 1872 to 1902, its progress being negligible compared to that of England, Germany and the United States. In 1902, 8 billion were recorded (United States: 11 billion; Germany: 13; England: 21); but later there was a new impulse (11 billion in 1907, 13 in 1910, more than 15 in 1913). The repercussions of the war and the postwar period are evaluated by comparing two equal periods before and after 1914:

Before the war, the trade balance was passive, and the surplus of imports over exports fluctuated between 1 billion and 1 billion and a half francs; the liabilities increased at the beginning of 1915 and reached a maximum in 1919-20; but in 1921 there was a reaction, for which the situation returned to more or less normal. Then in 1924 a very important event occurred, which had not repeated itself after 1905: the surplus of exports over imports. It is evident that when one wants to compare the foreign trade balance of 1913 and that of 1924, one must take into account the changed value of money and therefore convert the 1924 paper franc into gold franc.

If, instead of imports and exports, we consider the tonnage, we will notice that from 1913 to 1924, after the crisis period, there is a more marked progress in terms of imports:

These figures should not be surprising, since France, although it is a producer of iron and potash, is distinguished by the purchases of raw materials and the sales of luxury items, which are often of low importance. In recent years, the lowering of the purchasing power of the French currency has brought with it a decrease in imports (47.428.000 in 1925, 45.813.000 in 1926). As for exports, their weight increased by over a third over 1913 (30 million tons in 1925; 32 million in 1926). Exports of manufactured objects increased in the extraordinary proportion of 110%.

Import trade. – In 1926 it was divided as follows:

According to, three facts emerge from this prospectus: French imports have a distinctly industrial character, since France buys abroad most of the raw materials which are transformed in its factories; France, despite being a mainly agricultural country, imports a quantity of common food products, to replace those of superior quality that are exported from it; finally, French industry is not sufficient for the needs of the consumption of manufactured articles.

The United States now occupies 1st place, while it was 3rd in 1913, because after the war the great markets of cotton, wheat, tin and rubber were established there; although England is no longer in first place, France is the best customer of British hard coal and buys in England machines, fabrics, spun steel, and also certain products that pass through the English warehouses (wool, jute, rubber, skins). The major tax that France pays abroad is made up of textile materials: cotton from the United States, Egypt, English India; wool from Australia and Argentina; silk from China, Japan and Italy; followed by hard coal, mineral oils and the products of mechanical industries.

Export trade. – In 1926 it was divided as follows:

Exports, like imports, have a distinctly industrial character: France mainly sells manufactured articles and raw materials abroad (including 11 million tons of iron ore).

With respect to exports, foreign countries have taken over the place of 1913: at the head of all is England, followed by Belgium, Germany, the United States, Switzerland and Italy.

Agricultural France sells the products of its agriculture (wines, butter, cheeses, legumes, flowers, fruit) to industrial England; but he also sells them various manufactured items from his luxury industries (clothes, silk factories, gloves, cars). Among the French products exported, textile articles are of the greatest importance: yarns, fabrics and clothing items represent a total of 16 billion francs, or almost 28% of the total value of French sales abroad; after the products of the textile industry come the products of the mechanical industry (2 and a half billion for cars), metallurgy (2 and a half billion for iron and steel) and the chemical industry.

France Trade with Aborad

France Textile Industry

France Textile Industry

The textile industry is the oldest of the French industries, and still occupies the first place among them. In the past it had a family and rural character, being practiced in the regions where flax and hemp were grown and where sheep were raised; but soon a first concentration took place: the industry emigrated from the countryside to the cities, and settled in small workshops, where, under the direction of a maître, the members of a corporation worked. At the time of Henry IV and Colbert, the great factory appeared alongside the guild (silk factories of Lyons, Tours, and Nîmes; cloths of Abbeville; velvets of Amiens; tapestries of the Gobelins). Two centuries later the textile industry underwent a new transformation: mechanics replaced handwork almost everywhere; the tooling, as it improved, became more complicated; and they made raw materials come from outside: there followed another concentration of industry in the regions where the raw materials arrived with greater ease and more promptly, where the driving force (hard coal or white coal) was more abundant. Nevertheless, in certain areas of old France, small industry continues to exist in a rural form; the products of the small towns are sent to a large market: Lyon has succeeded in concentrating the silk factories of an entire economic region, and Troyes has become the metropolis of the production of caps for all of Champagne. In 1926 the workers employed in the textile industry were estimated at 2 million; a figure equal to about one third of French workers.

With its 2100 machines for combing wool, with its 3.000.000 spindles for spinning it (combed and carded), with its 65.000 looms for weaving it, France represents 14% of the world wool industry. Its production of raw wool (35,000 tons per year) is now, as before the war, much lower than consumption, and therefore it receives from Australia, Argentina and England an enormous quantity of raw materials, which it is estimated at 288,032 tons: France comes third, among the countries consuming wool all over the world. The very ancient wool industry, which for a long time was based in the localities where sheep were raised, is now thriving in new centers. The region in which it is most developed is the North: Roubaix, Tourcoing and Fourmies, Amiens and Abbeville, own half of the weaving looms;

According to, the silk industry production is centered around Lyon is the of French production: in 1925 it was calculated at 12,000 tons. of fabrics, for a total value of 4 billion and 300 million francs, a value which in 1926 rose to 5 billion and 482 million. In 1926 France produced 3,099,224 kg. of cocoons, an insufficient quantity for his consumption of raw silk: therefore in that same year France had to import 64,405 q. of herd thirst and 2119 q. of cocoons; but these raw materials were not all used in France: Lyon has become a world market, where Europe and the United States are supplied (exports: 3676 quintals of raw silks and 866 quintals of cocoons). The silk industry includes various operations: reeling, twisting, spinning and weaving. Spinning is done in 175 spinning mills (Gard, Ardèche, Valchiusa, Drôme, Hérault). For weaving, the primacy goes to Lyon,3 of the French seterie; follow: Saint-Ètienne, a great producer of ribbons; Calibrate, for the production of caps.

In the other regions, Troyes is very popular for caps and Calais for lace. French exports of silk factories were higher than on the eve of the war: in the year 1926 a total sum of 6 billion and 214 million francs was reached, equal to over 14% of total exports.

All the cotton that is consumed in France comes from abroad: most of it from the United States, then from Egypt, from British India, etc. Before the war, in the great centers – the East with the Vosges, the North (Lille, Roubaix, Tourcoing) and Normandy (Rouen) – France had 7,500,000 spindles for cotton spinning; now it has not only reconstituted its pre-war equipment, but also far surpassed it, thanks to the reconstitution of the devastated regions and the contribution made by Alsace. In 1931 it had 10,350,000 spindles; the looms were 200,000 in 1930; the production of cotton yarns went from 1,970,000 quintals in 1913 to 3,250,000 quintals. in the period 1926-29.

Even for the linen industry, France is forced to import most of the raw material. The equipment for the processing of linen counts 500,000 spindles. Lille, which owns 52 of the 90 French factories, is the largest center of this industry, and all kinds of fabrics are manufactured there. They are followed by: Tourcoing, which produces rugs of linen thread; Amiens (table linen), Cambrai and Valenciennes (fine fabrics); Normandy and the Vosges (canvases).

As for the hemp industry, France buys almost all the raw material abroad and especially in Italy. The main rope factories are in Angers, Paris, Marseille and Le Havre.

France Textile Industry

France Territory

France Territory

The new French constitution, drawn up by the second Constituent Assembly (elected on 2 June 1946) was made valid as a result of the popular referendum of 13 October 1946 and entered into force on 24 December 1946. Art. 60 of it determines the figure of a new international entity: the French Union, which includes the French republic on the one hand, and the associated territories and states on the other.

The French republic in turn consists of metropolitan France and the overseas departments and territories, namely: the general government of Algeria (Departments of Algiers, Oran and Constantine, and Southern Territories), the overseas Departments (Martinique, Guadeloupe, Réunion and Guiana), the Overseas Territories (French West Africa, French Equatorial Africa, Madagascar and dependencies, Comoros Archipelago, French Somalia, French plants in India, New Caledonia and dependencies, French plants in Oceania, S. Pierre and Miquelon), the two Mandate Territories (Togo and Cameroon) and the Anglo-French Condominium of the Hebrides. In total an area of ​​11.1 million sq km. with 76-80 million residents (without the Anglo-French condominium which is 12,000 sq. km. with 42,000 residents). The territories and associated states include: the two protectorates of Morocco and Tunisia, and the Indochinese Federation which is in turn composed of the republic of Vietnam (Tonkin and northern Annam), the kingdoms of Cambodia and Laos, the autonomous republic of Cochinchina, and the autonomous region of southern Indochina. Overall, territories and associated states cover an area of ​​1.3 million sq km. with 35.6 million residents Thus the Overall territories and associated states cover an area of ​​1.3 million sq km. with 35.6 million residents Thus the Overall territories and associated states cover an area of ​​1.3 million sq km. with 35.6 million residents Thus the Union fran ç aise, with an area of ​​12.4 million sq. Km., Occupies the third place (after the British Commonwealth and the USSR) and with its population of 115.6 million residents. fifth place (after China, Hindustan, the USSR and the US) among the great states (see French union).

According to, the French republic – defined as indivisible, secular, democratic and social – is personified by its people, whose sovereignty is expressed through parliament and popular referendums. The parliament consists of the National Assembly and the Council of the Republic. The first, elected by direct and secret universal suffrage by all citizens over the age of twenty, includes 619 deputies, of which 30 belong to Algeria and other overseas departments and territories. The person appointed to the presidency of the Council of Ministers must obtain the vote of confidence before forming the Cabinet. The Council of the Republic comprises no less than 250 and no more than 320 members; currently it is 315, of which 200 elected by indirect suffrage on a departmental and municipal basis, 50 nominated by National Assembly taking into account the importance of the parties represented in it, 14 elected from North Africa and 51 from other overseas territories. The Council examines and gives its opinion on the proposals and bills voted in the first reading by the National Assembly, which, however, has the final decision. There is also an Economic Council of 144 members representing class organizations, chambers of commerce, free professions and other economic and social groups. The parliament elects the president, who remains in office for 7 years and can be re-elected once; he is also president of the Union. The Council examines and gives its opinion on the proposals and bills voted in the first reading by the National Assembly, which, however, has the final decision. There is also an Economic Council of 144 members representing class organizations, chambers of commerce, free professions and other economic and social groups. The parliament elects the president, who remains in office for 7 years and can be re-elected once; he is also president of the Union. The Council examines and gives its opinion on the proposals and bills voted in the first reading by the National Assembly, which, however, has the final decision. There is also an Economic Council of 144 members representing class organizations, chambers of commerce, free professions and other economic and social groups. The parliament elects the president, who remains in office for 7 years and can be re-elected once; he is also president of the Union.

The metropolitan territory is administratively divided (1946) into 37,989 municipalities (90% of which have a population of less than 1500 residents and 10 are totally uninhabited), united in 3,028 cantons, 311 districts and 90 departments.

France Territory

France Sources of Energy

France Sources of Energy

The French economic expansion of the last fifteen years has benefited from the diversification of energy sources, with a marked increase in imports of liquid and gaseous fuels.

According to, the production of hard coal tends to decrease more and more (25.7 million t in 1973 but 55.3 million t in 1961) due to the well-known unfavorable natural characteristics, the poor quality of the mineral and the always accentuated difficulty to find labor, however compensated by immigration from Mediterranean countries. However, the modernization of the plants by the state and the technical progresses have been considerable (making work more rational and increasing productivity), so much so that the extraction yield is the strongest in Western Europe: an average of 4,837 kg of coal per day, for each miner. However, the high extraction costs, compared to the international level, and even more the scarcity of certain qualities, make it necessary to annual import of 1520 million tonnes of coal products, in particular from other EEC countries. About 70% (37% in 1960) of all energy consumed comes from the hydrocarbon sector today. The national production of crude oil, always coming from the fields of Parentis-en-Born, Lacq and the Paris basin (1.3 million tons in 1973, a quantity that was already extracted in 1958), is insignificant compared to internal consumption and therefore France has to import very large quantities (115-120 million tons). The oil, mostly from Algeria and the Near East (particularly from Kuwait and Iraq), is refined in a series of large plants located mainly in the Paris region and near the mouth of the Rhone: in Lavéra, near of Marseille, the Southern European oil pipeline (797 km) to Strasbourg and Karlsruhe (Federal Republic of Germany). Other pipelines connect the Atlantic port of Gonfreville and the Lacq area to the industrial areas of Paris and Bordeaux, respectively. The export of a considerable part of refined products helps to mitigate the financial burden of imports. On the other hand, the French methane production is relevant, which now exceeds 7.5 million m3. A widespread network of methane pipelines connects Lacq to Paris and to the large industrial centers of the Atlantic region and the Rhône valley: 40% of the methane extracted is absorbed by industry (especially chemical), 34% by thermal power stations, 24% is injected into the urban center network and 2% is used as fuel. A large quantity of sulfur is also obtained from the gas (1.8 million t). In order to increase domestic consumption, large quantities of gas were imported from the Netherlands and Algeria.

In the sector of energy sources, a high contribution is always given by electricity, both of water, thermal and nuclear origin. The intense exploitation of water resources, following a development plan implemented in the 1950s, a greater use of extracted coal in thermal power plants (particularly in Lorraine), and a general strengthening of the power plants as well as the construction of others have greatly increased production. of energy, which in recent years has been around 150 billion kWh (76.5 billion kWh in 1961), of which 49 billion are given by hydroelectric power plants. Three quarters of the energy produced is supplied by the state public body (Electricité de France); the remainder from the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône. From the production of water plants, 60% comes from the Alps, 20% from the Center and the rest from the Pyrenees and Alsace. About 60% of the thermal energy comes from state power plants, 22% from coal mining power plants and 18% from those of the steel industry. Finally, an ever-increasing role has been taken by the nuclear energy sector, which in addition to national uranium (for which France with 1200 tons per year is in fourth place in the world ranking), uses minerals imported from former colonies African (especially from Gabon). The first thermonuclear power plants of Marcoule and Avoine (1958-59) were followed by those of Chinon, Pierrelatte, Saint-Laurent-des-Eaux, Malvezy, La Hague, Le Bouchet, etc. The installed power is now around 3 million kW, while the production of nuclear energy is almost 14 billion kWh; it is foreseen that in the near future nuclear power plants will be able to cope, alone, with the increase in energy consumption. There are also four nuclear research reactors: in Saclay, Grenoble, Cadarache and Fontenay-aux-Roses.

France Sources of Energy

France Sculpture and Painting in the Middle Ages

France Sculpture and Painting in the Middle Ages

The vast architectural movement also brought with it the other arts, and first sculpture. The decline of sculpture after the end of the Roman Empire is connected with the end of paganism and the penetration of oriental ideas. It survives only in the ivory and goldsmith works (Sens casket, consular diptychs, ivory chair in Ravenna, Porta di S. Sabina in Rome). The Carolingian Renaissance succeeded for a moment in galvanizing its activity. After the 9th century, wooden statuettes, often covered with gold and jewels, decorated as reliquaries (statuettes of Santa Fede in Conques, Aveyron, 10th century) began to be modeled in the Auvergne. Also worthy of note are the works of Rhenish and Moselle founders: the gold frontal of the cathedral of Basel (1020; now in the Cluny museum), caskets, ivories, isolated pieces such as the tomb of Hincmar (9th century), and that of Adalbéron, recently exhumed in Reims. But the great sculpture has disappeared. We assist throughout the century. XI to the attempts to awaken this long dormant art. Sages, indeed very barbaric, appear in the Loire region (Orchaise, Bourgueil, Azay-le-Rideau) and more often in the Pyrenees (Saint-Paul-les-Dax, architraves of Saint-André in Sorède and of Saint-Genis-des -Fontaines, 1020). Add the rough capitals of Saint-Germain-des-Prés (around 1010) and Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire. All this is more than primitive, insignificant in relief, a thousand times further away from life than the poorest works of prehistoric man. The most curious monument is the tomb of Isarn, abbot of St. Victor (d.1048) now in the museum of Marseille.

According to, Cluny also had to take the lead in sculpture. The disappearance of its portal, which we know only through the drawings, is an irreparable loss. The splendid capitals of the choir, depicting the rivers of paradise and the gates of music, now collected in the Orhier museum, do not seem to predate 1130. Probably the first hearth of the great sculpture were numerous abbeys and priories of the Languedoc: Saint-Semin in Toulouse, La Daurade, Moissac, staggered on the road to S. Giacomo di Compostella or dependent on Cluny. Numerous remains of ancient works can be found. they had and certainly served as models. And in the Toulouse area, imbued with Romanism, under the aegis of the great humanist abbots of Cluny, sculpture probably reasserted itself earlier. The bas-reliefs of the Saint-Sernin choir are from around 1080; the cloister of Moissac existed in 1100, that of La Daurade is from 1105 and that of S. Stefano from 1117 (fragments in the Toulouse museum). Almost contemporary is the door Miègeville, in Saint-Semin; and the great Moissac portal cannot be later than 1125. Il Christ of Moissac, that of Beaulieu (Dordogne), the Ascension of Cahors, the tumultuous prophets of Souillac (Dordogne) are extraordinary and unsurpassed works. Another center of works that are also admirable is found in Burgundy: the most notable are the two tympanums and the marvelous series of capitals of Autun and Vézelay (circa 1125-30), and above all the capitals of Cluny, the apogee of the Burgundian Romanesque art. It was then that Suger called the southern masters to work on the church of Saint-Denis. They created, before 1114, the portal (known only from the drawings of Montfaucon) with figures leaning against the columns: the Gothic portal was born.

The first remaining portal of this kind, and perhaps the most beautiful, is the “portal of the kings” of Chartres (v.), So called for the prophets or kings of Judah depicted, which dates from 1130-60 at the latest. As soon as it appeared it made school: the portals of Mans, Étampes, Angers, Saint-Ayoul de Provins, Vermenton, Saint Loup-de-Naud (around 1180), the best preserved of all, are inspired by it, as well as the Sainte- Anne at NotreDame in Paris. The ancient partition of Braisne and the portal of Senlis close the series. The influence of Chartres also extended to southern France, where the two large portals of St. Trofimo d’Arles (v.) And Saint-Gilles (end of the 12th century) are an evident imitation even under their stupendous appearance of Roman bas-reliefs. In turn these works exerted a strong influence on the great sculptor of Parma, Benedetto Antelami (v.). A period of activity began with the reconstruction of the cathedral of Chartres after the fire of 1194. The triple lateral portals, completed in 1220, were once again the school of France. The prophets of that wonderful biblical poem which is the north portal were immediately imitated in Reims. Around 1240 an atrium was added to the north and south portals with a crowd of new statues, including some, The prophets of that wonderful biblical poem which is the north portal were immediately imitated in Reims. Around 1240 an atrium was added to the north and south portals with a crowd of new statues, including some, The prophets of that wonderful biblical poem which is the north portal were immediately imitated in Reims. Around 1240 an atrium was added to the north and south portals with a crowd of new statues, including some, STeodoro and Santa Modesta, wonderful. The cathedral of Chartres with its sculptures is, in a certain way, the summa of the French Middle Ages: it gives the measure of the highest moral and intellectual virtues achieved by France during the Crusades.

It was the heyday of the realm: and Reims with Amiens represents the classical age of Gothic sculpture. The statuary of the cathedral of Amiens (v.) Is above all notable for its homogeneous character. Certain statues of Reims, such as St. PeterSt. Paul, the Visitation group, could be believed to belong to antiquity. All the plastic decoration of Notre-Dame de Paris has disappeared, except that of the lunette. But towards the middle of the century. XIII the apostles of the Sainte-Chapelle inaugurate a new more picturesque, freer, more animated style, with more lively attitudes, more decisive projections, more pronounced shadows, in a word a more modern style, which is found in Reims, in the most popular, in the Queen of Shebaand in the enchanting angel called the Smile of Reims.

Painting contrasts with the magnificent flowering of architecture and sculpture. Romanesque art has left an impressive number of beautiful works in France, which are divided into two schools: that of Burgundy, kingdom of Cluny, which is inspired by the great tradition of Byzantium (frescoes of Notre Dame de Puy and Berzé-la- Ville); that of Poitou and Berry, where the popular tradition derived from Carolingian art reigns: the vòlta of Saint Savin (Vienne, 11th-12th century) is a masterpiece. Other frescoes cover the walls of the Poitiers baptistery (12th century) of Notre-Dame du Liget, of the churches of Vic and Montmorillon. Gothic architecture, by eliminating the walls, suppressed painting, or at least forced it to find a new expression: the painted windows. The oldest stained glass windows (choir of Saint-Denis, facade of Chartres, etc.) date back to the mid-century. XII, and they are of a great beauty. The 13th century stained glass windows begin in the nave of Chartres (Chartres has kept almost all of its stained glass windows). Other very important series of windows are in the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, in Bourges, in Sens, in Lyons, in the choir of St. Stephen of Mans, in Rouen, in San Quintino in Auxerre (v.). Stained glass art has special needs; his optics require extreme stylization. Everything is sacrificed to the clarity of the composition and above all to the splendor of the coloring. Technical limitations prevent it from being an art of imitation: a stained glass window is above all a carpet of colors, a splendid decoration, a festival of lights. The passion for this

The art of stained glass invaded all the other fields of drawing. For it, the cathedral opens ever larger windows. We find his rose windows, his lozenges, his medallions, his conventional perspective on the miniatures of the salteries, on the ivory discs of the ointment boxes and mirrors; his cartoons enclosed in small geometric squares become a source of inspiration for the sculpture. The façade of Amiens is decorated with fifty scenes, representations of Genesis and the Seasons, which are only reminiscent of the stained glass windows. Quadrilobal medallions with figures cover the pillars of the south portico of Chartres, the gate of Lyon and that of Auxerre, etc. The plastic of Auxerre, belonging to the late thirteenth century, with scenes from Genesis, the parable of the prodigal son, figures of Hercules and Bass.

France Sculpture and Painting in the Middle Ages

France Sculpture

France Sculpture

As for painting, also for sculpture some of the artists who in the first twenty years of the century had contributed to the renewal of the plastic language, have continued in the last decade an activity perhaps less important than their previous one, but in any case often of high quality.

In some cases it was the works of those same artists of whom we have already spoken as painters; Picasso for example, whose experience as a sculptor assumes the same importance, and reveals the same great freedom of imagination, of the more properly pictorial experience; Georges Braque, refined and imaginative researcher of plastic myths, made in sculpture with that appropriateness and fidelity to the craftsmanship that is typical of all his activity; Jean Arp, painter, poet, but above all sculptor, who was constantly in contact with the European avant-gardes and who was able to give them the contribution of his imagination, all aimed at restoring the value of the primordial form to rediscover the most hidden sense of purity some things. And younger of all Joan Miró who has instilled in the ceramics made in collaboration with Artigas the same surreal charge and the same chromatic happiness that are typical of his painting. Alongside them, some of the greatest sculptors of the century: Costantin Brancusi (born in Pestisani Gorij, Romania, in 1876 and died in Paris in 1957), daring creator of a new mythology of form, purified from all determinism, fantastic and real at the same time; Antoine Pevsner (b. 1884), creator with his brother Gabo of constructivist sculpture and still today looking for the meaning of reality of form and plastic space; Henri Laurens (Paris 1885-1954) and Ossip Zadkine (b.1890). to search for the meaning of reality of form and plastic space; Henri Laurens (Paris 1885-1954) and Ossip Zadkine (b.1890). to search for the meaning of reality of form and plastic space; Henri Laurens (Paris 1885-1954) and Ossip Zadkine (b.1890).

According to, the generation following these masters did not mark the pace and continued with originality the search for an ever new plastic expression: Alberto Giacometti (born in Stampa in Switzerland in 1901) belongs by full right to the École de Paris, for the contribution that to it he gave with his surreal sculptures, solitary and not devoid of dramatic contrasts despite the simplicity of the conception; André Bloc (b. 1896) and Émile Gilioli (b. 1911) have instead directed their research on a geometric modulation of forms, devoid of any contact and any allusion to reality. And the geometric module is also present in the works of Berto Lardera (born in La Spezia in 1911, in Paris since 1948) and Robert Jacobsen (born in Copenhagen in 1912, in Paris since 1947), but it is overcome by a certain surreal resolution that the artists arrive at working in the body itself, and in the space, generated by the metallic structures of the compositions. And the purity of geometry is used for the construction of an ideal anthropomorphic figuration in the sculptures of Henri Georges Adam (born in Paris in 1904), a painter and engraver of considerable quality as well as sculptor. Germaine Richier (born in Grans in 1904, died in Paris in 1959) also brought her figuration to a surreal level that could recall that of Giacometti or, at times, of Picasso himself, but with a different moral commitment, with a logical architecture of the form that corrected any automatic data of the compositions. François Stahly (born in Constance in Switzerland in 1911) gives a sense of almost spontaneous germination to the form,

Étienne Hajdu (born in Turda, Romania, in 1907) has passed from an anthropomorphic conception of the abstract image to a new approach to the problem of plastic relationships, in a sort of sculptural informal that does not seem to want to set limits on either space or of surfaces. A somewhat similar path is that of younger sculptors, such as César (César Baldaccini, born in Marseille in 1921), who passed from surreal figurations of enormous insects to variously wavy surfaces, with small shattered shapes on the surface, revealing a bold imagination and of great skill in the trade. And alongside César, one of the most promising of the young sculptors of the École de Paris, is JC Delahaye (born in 1928) who has already revealed his own originality in the field of autre taste.

France Sculpture

France Religion

France Religion

By far the predominant religion in France is Catholic. At a great distance from it come the various confessions of Protestants, all of which reaches about 1,000,000, with the most important centers in Paris, the Cévennes, Montbéliard, etc., and especially in Alsace (about 250,000); then follow the Israelites, scattered a little everywhere, but particularly in the shopping centers, and they add up to about 200,000 (in Paris alone about 140,000). Muslims, mostly from French possessions in North Africa, are relatively few in number.

By the law of December 9, 1905, the Church is separated from the State, therefore the latter is not interested in any form of worship nor does it have a budget for worship; however it allows the cultural Associations, established by the followers of the individual cults to organize and subsidize the cults themselves. Upon separation between Church and State, the buildings intended for worship (churches, etc.) and the annexes were devolved to the said Associations; with a subsequent law of January 2, 1907 it was established that, in the absence of the Associations, these buildings would continue to remain for the use of ministers and practitioners of their respective cults, but after an administrative act drawn up by the prefect in the cases of buildings belonging to departments or to the state, or drawn up by the mayor in the case of municipal buildings. Ecclesiastics over the age of 45 and with more than 25 years of ministry were required to receive a pension from the state upon separation, and others who did not reach such extremes were entitled to gratification for 8 years. As for religious orders and communities, already before, with the law on associations of 1 July 1901, it was established that religious associations had to be authorized by the state, and that no monastic order could be authorized without a particular law for each individual case. These provisions, however, were not extended after the World War to the departments of Moselle, Lower and Upper Rhine, that is to say to Alsace Lorraine which had already belonged to Germany: a special regime is in force for these departments. Likewise, despite the separation law,  France currently has its own extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador in Rome at the Holy See.

According to, there are seventeen Catholic archbishoprics: Aix, with 6 suffragan dioceses; Albi, with 4; Auch, with 3; Avignon, with 4; Besançon, with 4; Bordeaux, with 6; Bourges, with 5; Cambrai, with z; Chambéry, with 3; Lyon, with 5; Paris, with 5; Reims, with 4; Rennes, with 3; Rouen, with 4; Sens, with 3; Toulouse, with 3; Tours, with 4.; there are also the dioceses of Metz and Strasbourg immediately subject to the Holy See. In all there are 17 archbishoprics and 72 bishoprics; to these must be added, in the various French colonies and possessions, 3 archbishoprics, 5 bishoprics, 24 apostolic vicariates and 6 apostolic prefectures.

The bishops are appointed by the Holy See, without any consent of the State, and the parish priests depend solely on them. The costs of worship fall on the faithful, who contribute according to rather complicated rules, but in a completely private and independent way from the state. However, the juridical condition of the Catholic cult and associations, especially after the World War, became much more favorable to them. The law against religious congregations is often not enforced, or is circumvented: many educational institutions are actually run by congregations, even though they are nominally headed by outsiders. Abroad then, and especially in places of mission or penetration, France has always favored the activity of its own congregations and other Catholic institutes. The French secular clergy is rather deficient in numbers: of the approximately 36,000 parishes almost a fourth part is without a titular; however, in recent times there has been a much greater turnout in ecclesiastical seminaries. Before the law of 1 July 1901, there were 910 recognized and 753 unrecognized associations in France; there were 19,514 religious houses, with 30,136 men and 129,492 women. French Catholics also maintain, at their own expense, five universities or higher education institutes: in Paris (with faculties of theology, law, etc.), in Angers (theology, law, literature, etc.), in Lille (theology, law, medicine, letters, etc.), Toulouse (theology, letters, etc.), and Lyon (theology, law, letters, etc.); also the Catholic faculty of theology at the University of Strasbourg.

After the separation law, the French Protestants formed their own Associations cultuelles, grouping themselves further according to the various tendencies: the Orthodox one constituted the Union des Églises réformées évangéliques, with theological faculty in Montpellier (transported there in 1919 by Montauban); the liberal tendency constituted the tnion des Églises réformées. Alongside these we should remember: the Union des eglises évangéliques libres, which includes about fifty communities; the Protestant Fédération, which includes communities of various confessions (Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist); the Église de la Confession d’Augsbourg, purely Lutheran which includes communities of Alsace, Montbéliard, Paris and Nice.

The Israelites also formed their own Associations cultuelles, at the head of which is a Consistoire Central made up of 52 members and chaired by the major rabbi of France. The associations dependent on the Consistoire are, in France and Algeria, about 75. In Alsace-Lorraine (Metz, Strasbourg, Colmar) the ancient organization remained, even after the annexation to France, with three departmental consistories dependent on the respective rabbis major: these are paid by the government. Paris is home to an École rabbinique for the training of rabbis.

France Religion

France Relief and Coasts

France Relief and Coasts

Relief. – The general characteristics of the relief show a systematic distribution of the plains and mountains similar to that which governs the general course of the European relief. It has often been observed that a line, drawn in the direction SO.-NE. from the mouth of the Bidassoa (point where the Spanish border touches the ocean) to the confluence of the Lauter and the Rhine (north of Alsace), it leaves SE. almost all the higher reliefs and a NO. almost all the plains and hills. Indeed, while on the one hand the altitudes above 500 m. they represent more than half of the surface, on the other hand they are almost non-existent. France has the two types of mountain massifs known in Europe and all types of lowlands, except that of the plains of glacial origin,

According to, the recent mountains, of tertiary origin, exceeding 3000 m. in height, which strongly suffered the effects of the Quaternary glaciation and which still contain more or less extensive glaciers, are represented by the Pyrenees, which form the border with Spain, the Alps, which form the border with Italy and the Jura, branch of the latter, which is the border with Switzerland. The highest European peaks rise between France and Italy, between Chamonix and Courmayeur (Mont Blanc 4810 m.). The French Alps contain many peaks near 4000m.; height which the Pyrenees do not reach, whose culminating point, a little beyond the Spanish border, is the Maladetta (3404 m.). The Jura, although it is linked to the alpine folds, does not reach 2000 m. (Crêt de la Neige 1723 m.).

The Hercinian uprisings, whose folding dates back to the primary era, lower and of generally gentle forms, are represented by the Vosges and the Massif Central. Neither point of the two massifs reaches the height of 2000 meters (the highest point of the Vosges is the Ballon de Guebwiller, 1426m; the highest point of the Central Massif is the Puy de Sancy, 1886 meters). Other less elevated Hercinian massifs are found to the NW. of the diagonal mentioned above: the Ardennes massif, extremity of the Rhenish schist massif (culminating point in France 497 meters); the Armorican Massif, even less high (maximum height 417 meters), which forms the peninsula of Cotentin and Brittany and extends as far south as the Loire, with the Vendée.

The lowland and hill regions belong to two types. The one are true alluvial plains, which occupy a sinking area in the midst of Hercinian massifs, such as the plain of Alsace, or a depressed corridor on the edge of a folding arch, such as the Rhone furrow, which extends by beyond the elbow that the river makes in Lyon, with the plain of the Saone (Bresse). The others are rather regions of hills, formed by sedimentary layers of secondary or tertiary age, which are deposited in inland seas or in lake basins in the most depressed parts of the Hercynian area. Such are: the Parisian Basin, enclosed between the Central Massif, the Vosges, the Ardennes and the Armorican Massif; and the Aquitaine Basin, enclosed between the Massif Central and the Pyrenees. The layers of these ancient basins,côtes which is characteristic of the Parisian Basin, that is to say in lines of asymmetrical hills, all of which have a steep front on the side of the nearest Hercian massif.

Coasts. – The outline of the French coasts, which constitute half of the borders of the state, was naturally fixed during the Quaternary. The formation of the Pas de Calais does not seem to be prior to the first glacial periods; and the same can be said of the separation of the Norman Islands from the Cotentin. The meanders of the Seine, which continue sharply under the waters of the estuary, those of the Trieux in Brittany and those of the Aulne, which show the same phenomenon, indicate a positive movement of the sea, the importance of which is confirmed by the soundings, which have revealed Quaternary floods up to 30 m. at least in depth. Subsequently, the sea continued its work of reporting, interrupted by a last transgression of historical date, in the plain of Flanders and in the estuary of the Somma, which continues before our eyes.falaises), retreating rapidly, gave rise to the straight coasts characteristic of Normandy and Picardy, with their valleuses or suspended valleys. Behind the coastlines, the estuaries filled up rapidly, except that of the Seine, where Rouen is preserved as a seaport, while Abbeville sulla Somma can no longer receive but small boats, which go up a canal.

In the Armorican Massif the lower trunks of the valleys were invaded as a result of the transgression, and changed into narrow and branched estuaries, similar to the Spanish rias ; a swarm of small islands formed in correspondence with the banks of hard rocks. No coastline is more indented than that of Cotentin, Brittany and the Vendée; however, the work of regularization of the sea has begun to make its effects felt here and there. On the west coast of Cotentin, at the bottom of the Mont Saint-Michel Bay, and on the southern coast of Brittany, several coastlines block a number of bays and estuaries. South of the Vendée, an ancient gulf corresponding to a depression of the continental relief, in contact with the secondary covering of the ancient massif, formed theMarais poitevin, where some embankments, started in the Middle Ages and continued up to the century. XIX, they hastened the reconquest on the sea, creating a small Holland. Further on, the islands of Ré and Oléron protect some protrusions in connection with limestone reliefs, which rise just above the waves and are partly covered with dunes. South of the mouth of the Gironde, the coast of the Landes begins, bordered for 200 km. from high dunes, which bar the valleys and turn them into freshwater ponds, with a surface of water that is 10 m. above the nearby sea. Only the Bay of Arcachon remains open due to the tidal currents. However, the regularly rectilinear contour of the coast is not due only to accumulation: the sea gnaws almost everywhere on the continent, making the coastline retreat and discovering peat under the dunes.

The Mediterranean coast has two quite different types to the East. and W. of the Rhone delta: on the one hand it is steep, rocky, bumpy by peninsulas and bays and surrounded by islands; on the other it is flat, uniform, with large lagoons, behind coastlines covered with dunes. However, on both sides, the effects of recent positive movement are less visible than on the ocean coast. In Provence, the Alps themselves and their last buttresses plunge into the waters of the Mediterranean with so steep slopes that the sea cannot advance very far; moreover, recent ground movements have led to the emergence of some deltas in certain points, such as that of the Varo near Nice. The floods did not take long to fill some gulfs, such as that of Argens and the plain of Hyères; and one of the islands was re-attached to the mainland, forming the Giens peninsula. But the littoral current carries most of the floods to the Languedoc side. The detritus of the Alps and those of the Pyrenees give such an abundance of floods that the regularization of the littoral cord is perfect; behind these coastlines that lean on ancient limestone islands, like in Cette and Narbonne, or volcanic ones, like in Agde and Leucate, an almost continuous row of lagoons stretches, interrupted only by the great plain of the Aude.

France Coasts

France Rainfall, Winds and Atmospheric Pressure

France Rainfall, Winds and Atmospheric Pressure

Rainfall. – According to, the distribution of the rains is closely related to the relief, but their regime clearly marks the continental and maritime influences, and even more the particular characteristics of the Mediterranean climate. All depressions correspond to pluviometric minima, of which the most notable is in Colmar in Alsace and the largest is in the Paris Basin (see map on p. 883). The drought of Limagne and the Rhône corridor as far as the Saone plain should also be noted. The coasts are generally rainier than the interior, especially when they have a certain relief: the flat coast of the Landes receives considerable rainfall only where it is dominated by the Pyrenees; indeed, it is precisely there that the strongest average totals in France are noted. The hills of Brittany and Normandy, which do not exceed 400 m., they are enough to condense precipitations higher than 1200 mm.; and in the Massif Central the highest points are not those which receive the most abundant rainfall. The Limousin, directly exposed to the West winds, receives the same amount of water on the Millevaches plateau as the Auvergne. A particularly rainy location is the edge of the Cévennes towards the Aigoual, where the Atlantic rains and the Mediterranean rains fall at the same time and where the strongest precipitations that have been collected in a single day were found (Joyeuse, 797 mm. on October 9, 1927). The Mediterranean coast does not suffer at all from the drought that is usually attributed to it. Marseille receives as much water as Paris receives; Nice receives much more (750 mm.); only, the rains fall there in the form of showers, rare in every season and very rare in summer. The dominant rainfall regime in France is intermediate between the oceanic regime and the continental regime. The curve of the monthly averages in Paris has no accentuated minimum and has two weak highs in summer and winter. Only on the coasts can we see the true oceanic regime, with its very strong peak in autumn (Brest 30%); while the continental regime, with the maximum in summer, begins to take shape in the east of the Parisian Basin, and appears very clear in Alsace and in the Saone basin. In the Aquitaine Basin the regime is absolutely oceanic on the coasts and tends towards the Mediterranean regime towards the interior, without, however, presenting a real summer drought at any point. In Toulouse, the maximum is in spring (May, June) and the driest months are July and December. The Mediterranean regime dominates the entire coast of Languedoc and Provence, with highs in autumn and spring and with a very pronounced drought in summer. Marseille in three months (June-August) receives just 9% of the annual total; and often July and August pass, without a drop of water falling. This regime also reigns in the Rhone valley as far as Montélimar, in the valleys of the Alps as far as Sisteron on the Durance, and is also sensitive to the neighboring peaks.

Winds and atmospheric pressure. – Winds and variations in atmospheric pressure better than any other phenomenon explain all the characters of the thermal regime and of the rainfall regime. France is subject to the influence of cyclones with a Mediterranean trajectory and the influence of those with a more northern trajectory; and the latter make themselves felt there especially when they pass through England and the North Sea, causing the great rains which fall on the Armorican Massif and the Paris Basin, swept by the W and SW winds, which they carry with them. big cloud coverings. To them we owe the absolute dominance of the winds of the western quadrant throughout the north of France. The winds of E. are felt, either by the advance of Atlantic cyclones, or by the establishment of an anticyclone over central Europe. In the first case they are short-lived; coming from SE. the air is generally dry and warm, and in the summer the temperature rises rapidly together with the absolute humidity, making it possible to spend a few painful hours in Paris and sometimes even on the coast. The E. anticyclonic wind lasts longer, and is hot in summer and cold in winter. The cold shocks that occur in the eastern regions (Alsace and the Saone valley up to Lyon), which can cause the thermometer to drop down to −10 ° and even to −15 °, always depend on an anticyclonic regime; they, rarer in Paris, are all the more sensitive to it. The Aquitaine Basin is not directly subject, like the north of France, to the influence of Atlantic depressions, which explains the relatively continental character of its climate; gl ‘ Oceanic influences are limited to the coast and Toulouse has relatively cold winters, given its latitude. However, it often happens that a satellite cyclone accompanies, in the south, an Atlantic depression, whose trajectory passes through England; in this case the southern and eastern part of Aquitaine is subject to winds from the E. and SE., which are made particularly dry and violent by the influence of the Pyrenees and the south of the Massif Central.autan of Toulouse and the Pays Castrais. The cyclone, advancing, passes over Aquitaine itself, and usually reaches the Mediterranean; then the winds leap to the West and large showers of water often occur, accompanied by storms. This succession of events is frequent in spring, and explains the maximum rainfall of this season.

On the Mediterranean coast of France, the prevailing winds are light breezes with a northern component, which account for the purity of the sky and the rarity of the rains. The stability of the atmosphere is disturbed only in spring and autumn by the passage of cyclones, which come, one from the Atlantic via Aquitaine, the others from Morocco via the coasts of Spain. These depressions are mostly directed towards the Gulf of Genoa, and their passage causes a recall of air from the north, resulting in a wind fast enough to give an impression of cold and sometimes even violent enough to obstruct communications: this wind, which sweeps the clouds and dries up the plains, is the mistral. On the coasts of Provence and Languedoc it generally rains due to a SE wind, known under the name of marin, humid and warm.

France Rainfall

France Railways

France Railways

France has a network of railways 60,000 km long, of which 42,000 are roads of general interest and 18,000 are roads of local interest (often narrow-gauge), operated by various companies, subsidized by the departments. It took more than half a century to build this network. The first line, which came into operation at the end of the Restoration, was that between Saint-Ètienne and Andrézieux (1828). In 1842 there were only 500 km. of railways. The nine major lines departing from Paris were built from 1843 to 1859, and with them the length of the roads increased to 16,000 km; finally, from 1859 to today, under the regime of agreements between the state and large companies, the total number of lines in operation has reached 42,000 km. At the same time, the tonnage of trains has increased dramatically, the power of the machines, the number of passengers and the weight of the goods transported. The number of travelers, who numbered 6 million in 1841, rose to 165 million in 1880 and 460 million in 1906. After the war, the railway networks had to reconstitute their facilities and materials; and now that the reconstruction work has been completed, progress has also been made with respect to 1913, as can be seen from the following figures:

According to, the railways of general interest are divided into seven networks: State, North, East, Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean, Mezzogiorno, Orléans, Alsace-Lorraine, five of which have their headquarters in Paris and the major departure stations and ‘I arrive; the Mezzogiorno company has its administrative headquarters in Bordeaux and the Alsatian-Lorraine network in Strasbourg.

All the important lines converge fanwise in the direction of Paris; but if this arrangement has had favorable effects for the capital, it has had less favorable effects for the various regions, owing to the difficulty of getting from one end of the territory to the other, without passing through Paris. However, it should be noted that modifications have been introduced to the general route: large industrial centers (Lille, Nancy), large agglomerations (Lyon) and important ports (Bordeaux, Marseille) have attracted railways; and direct agreements between the companies led to the creation of rapid trains which, without passing through Paris, connect large centers (Calais-Basel or Marseille, Bordeaux-Lyon-Geneva, Bordeaux-Sète-Marseille-Nice).

Of all the French networks, that of the North (3865 km.) Is the densest due to the favorable conditions of the relief and the agricultural and industrial wealth of the regions covered. Its international lines facilitate relations between France, England, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Eastern Europe; they all have a traffic exceeding 2,000,000 tons. The Eastern network (5072 km.) Is a dense continental network, serving agricultural Champagne and industrial Lorraine; its international lines connect Paris with Germany and Central Europe. Alongside a predominantly west-east traffic (Paris-Strasbourg line) there is traffic that increases more and more perpendicularly to the first, for the Reims-Belfort-Basel lines; Reims-Dijon. The Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean network (10,190 km.) connects France with Switzerland and Italy, and, for Marseilles, with the colonies of North Africa and Asia. There is little traffic on the lines that cross the Jura and the Alps, with the exception of the Lyon-Geneva line, in which it exceeds 1,500,000 tons. But the Paris-Marseille line is really the line of heavy traffic, so much so that part of the goods must even be diverted to the Bourbonese line and the Lyon-Nîmes line. The southern network is not very dense (length of the railways 4989 km.); the heavy traffic circulates on the Sète-Bordeaux line which is the main artery of the network; however the wealth of the Landes determines a heavy traffic on the line between Bordeaux and Spain. The Paris-Orléans network (8479 km.) Has less important traffic than the first three mentioned, due to the fact that it serves almost purely agricultural regions: on the main line of the network, Paris-Orleans-Bordeaux, the figure of 2 million tons. it is only passed on the Paris-Orléans and Angoulême-Bordeaux sections. The network of the state, which comes immediately after the Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean for the kilometric length (9325 km.), Is the network of western France. While the traffic of goods can only be said to be really intense on the Paris-Rouen-Le Havre line, passenger transport is more active there than on any other network (seaside resorts in Normandy and Brittany, communications with America). The Alsace and Lorraine railways (2344 km.) Reveal an intense circulation from Switzerland to Luxembourg and Belgium (Basel-Strasbourg, Metz-Luxembourg-Ostend).

Traction on the various networks is not always by steam: on the contrary, most companies tend to implement a vast electrification program (see above: White coal). In 1926 the electrified lines represented: 759 km for the Mezzogiorno network. (Dax-Tolosa and branches towards the Pyrenees spas, Bordeaux-Hendaye); for Orléans, 232 km. (Paris-Vierzon); for the state network, 47 km. (lines in the Paris district); for the Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean route, the routes on the Chambéry-Modane line.

France Railways

France Public Finance

France Public Finance

As early as 1914, inadequate taxation, budget deficits and fluctuating debt worries would have required drastic measures, despite the country’s financial strength. The war came with its many economic needs, which the normal budget revenues (significantly reduced following the invasion and the diminished revenue of the land tax, which was one of the main sources of income for the pre-war budget) could certainly not front, despite the introduction of new taxes and the aggravation of existing ones. The huge deficit, which in the period 1914-1919 is valued at a total of 188 billion, was covered with advances from the Bank of France to the state; by taking out long-term loans at home and abroad, and largely with the proceeds of the Bons de la défence nationale which were issued in September 1914 and whose circulation, at the end of the war, reached 60 billion. Nor could the balance of the budget be re-established in the following years, in which huge expenses were imposed on the reconstruction of the invaded lands; indeed, the establishment, in 1920, of a special budget des dépenses recouvrables (in which the expenses themselves and the war pensions were ideally compensated with the reparations that Germany would have to pay) delayed the adoption of measures to deal with the situation, and was not the least cause of the financial crisis.

According to, the requests for credit to the Bank of France and to private individuals by the state could not therefore decrease, the situation of the treasury at maturity was increasingly embarrassing, and the volume of circulation increased day by day together with the increase in prices and you change. It was only in March 1924, following the first serious exchange rate crisis, that the balance of the budget began to be prepared, and the recoverable expenditure budget was merged (which in the years 1920-25 had reached the total figure of about 75 billion) with the general state budget (which since 1922 had returned to being unique, following the reunion of the ordinary, extraordinary war and Alsace and Lorraine budgets), the limit on reconstruction loans was reduced to three billion,

However, the continuous devaluation of the franc soon neutralized the effect of these reforms, and the government was forced, also following the prolonged shortage of Germany, to borrow even more from the Bank of France and to increase the notes in circulation to in the face of maturities and current needs (circulation, from 43 billion in 1925 in fact passed to 54 in June 1926, and advances to the state correspondingly from 32 to 36 billion). A second exchange rate crisis occurred in July 1926, much more serious than in 1924, due to the combined action against the franc by foreign speculation and above all by domestic speculation. First of all, trust had to be restored and R. Poincaré’s cabinet began by not resorting to new advances from the Issuing institution to meet the deadlines of 31 July. To assure the holders of francs of his firm intention not to use them any more, it was necessary, however, to balance the balance sheet and ease the burdensome short-term commitments of the treasury (the floating debt then exceeded 90 billion). One was therefore voted on 3 August Loi de salut that it created new fiscal resources, direct and indirect, and authorized the government to provide by decree, within three years, to all the economies compatible with the good performance of public services; a series of political, judicial and administrative reforms followed, from which the economy of France was consolidated and rejuvenated. On 10 August, an autonomous fund for the management of national defense bonds and for the amortization of public debt was established (which came into operation on 10 October), with significant revenues, valued at six billion per year (net product of the tobacco monopoly, income from the new supplementary tax on the first transfers of property, goods and goodwill, fixed annuities and any budget surpluses, etc., in addition to the credit balance of the previous amortization fund), with the main function of preparing the gradual reduction of the floating debt. At the same time, with the law of 7 August, a legal status was given to the intervention of the Bank of France on the foreign exchange market, and the Bank was authorized to purchase gold and foreign currencies, and to issue in consideration notes not included in the official total of circulation. so the legal limit of circulation was essentially abolished. On 27 September the Bank was then authorized to purchase national gold and silver coins at a premium, and on 18 October it organized a real exchange service. In short, its availability of gold and foreign currencies payable on sight both inside and outside the country was such as to give it absolute command of the market,

Confidence was gradually restored, tax revenues increased and circulation decreased, due to the repayment to the Bank of part of its advances, requests for redemption of short-term bonds were overtaken by new subscriptions, the tension in exchange rates eased, and at the capital flight was followed by an accelerated repatriation and also an influx of foreign capital. The reversal of the situation, however, entailed the danger of a too rapid and strong rise in the franc and the Bank took steps to keep it within normal limits; moreover, in order to prevent the abundance of credit from producing the same effect as real inflation, attempts were made to reabsorb this potential inflation with more or less long-term investments; the loans opened by the Bank to the sellers of foreign exchange, went to the deposit banks, whose increased funds flowed in turn, in the form of short-term deposits, to the treasury, which used them to partially extinguish its debt to the Bank. With a wise financial operation, the de facto stabilization of the franc was thus achieved, which on 24 June 1928 then obtained its legal sanction. The consolidation work completed in such a short time, was then tenaciously continued, with regard to both the balance sheet and the monetary circulation, and the policy of consolidation, conversion and amortization of the public debt constantly followed, helped to strengthen the credit of the country.. However, the situation in France has undergone profound changes since 1930, in connection with the world crisis. The exodus of foreign capital and the slowdown in trade with the deficit of over 4.7 billion; nor can better forecasts be made for the financial year from April 1 to December 31, 1932. The adoption of rigorous reorganization measures is however underway, and various tax increases have already been voted on by parliament (July 16, 1932). At the same time, in order to face the critical situation of the treasury, the availability of which at the bank is very limited and which had almost reached the limit set for the issue of bonds, the government obtained, among other things, the authorization for a new issue. for 2 billion.

Budgets and public debt. – The budgets voted for the last few years (due to the particular functioning of the French financial system the final balances are approved with enormous delay) give in millions of francs:

Revenue comes almost exclusively from both indirect and direct fiscal resources; the latter, which were of minimal importance in the pre-war period, on the other hand show particular development in recent years, mainly following the introduction (1916) of the general income tax; among the former, the business tax, instituted in 1920, customs revenue and stamp duty or registration taxes are of particular importance. The largest expenditure items are those for public debt service and national defense.

The internal public debt, as of March 31, 1931, amounted to 283 billion francs, of which 228 long-term, 15.9 short-term and 39.1 floating debt. The external public debt consists of war debts with the United States and Great Britain (consolidated respectively in June 1925 and July 1926 at 4025 million dollars and 600 million pounds, to be repaid in 62 progressive annuities, which, discounted at 5%, represent on average a present value of 1681 million dollars and 227 million pounds), which as of March 31, 1931 were 3865 million dollars and 759 million pounds; and trade payables with the United States and Argentina which, on the same date, amounted to 182.6 million dollars and 5.7 million pesos.

Money and banks. – According to the law of June 1928, which stabilized the franc and brought it back on a gold basis, the monetary unit is 65.5 milligrams of gold at 900/1000 fine and its ratio with the pound is fixed at 124.2. According to the same law, the Bank of France, which has had a monopoly on the issue since 1848 (a privilege extended on 20 December 1918 for 25 years), is obliged to convert its notes into gold upon request and to hold a gold reserve. at least 35% of the total number of tickets in circulation and sight credits. As of February 12, 1932, notes in circulation amounted to 83,289 million francs and the reserve was 73,034 million.

The main banks are the Crédit foncier de France (founded in 1852), the Crédit Lyonnais (founded in 1863), the Société Générale (founded in 1864), the Comptoir National d’Escompte de Paris, the Banque de Paris et des Pays Bas, the Banque Nationale de Crédit.

France Public Finance

France Prehistory

France Prehistory

During the Clactonian period (see Mousteriana, civilization, XXIII, p. 989) the proximity of the springs is already very important for the establishment of settlements: the Clactonian stations located in the estuary of the Seine, at the Bec-de-Caux and on the beaches dei Régates, in Le Havre, Saint-Adresse, are spread over five kilometers near water sources.

The central-western part of France, a transit area and largely open to the Atlantic Ocean, has been populated since Quaternary times. Few stations, however, can refer to the Clactonian and Abbevillian. While Acheuléano is rare in the massifs of the Vendée and Limousin, it is instead very abundant in the plains of the Charente, of the Claise, of the Creuse. The Levalloisiano appears mainly in the lowlands, in contact with the Acheuléano, and on the highlands of Vienna. Its last phase merges with the Mousterian, known from the important deposits in caves or shelters under rocks, in stations located at the foot of rocks (La Quina, Petit-Puymoyen, Châteauneuf-sur-Charente, Charente), and on the plateaus of the Vienna. Under the Mousterian, traces of Rhinoceros MerckiiTestudo graeca) contemporary of the interglacial Riss-Würm.

According to, the Upper Paleolithic is well represented in certain privileged regions: Nontronnais, villages of La Rochefoucauld, Montmorillon, Boischaut. The Aurignacian is abundant in the Charente, in Vienna, in the Indre and, on the surface, in the Deux-Sèvres; it is absent in Upper Vienna and in the Maritime Charente.

The Solutréano is well characterized in the stations of Combe-à-Rolland, of Placard, of Roc-de-Sers, of Monthiers; the Magdalenian in Chaffaud and La Marche, in Saint-Marcel (Indre), in Montgaudier and in Placard (Charente). During the Magdalenian, caves were inhabited in the Gartempe, Tardoire and Charente valleys.

The Mesolithic is almost unknown in these territories.

The Dordogne is always one of the most important centers of Paleolithic discoveries. Apart from these famous deposits, some stations with splinter industries occupy the southern parts of the area, towards Saint-Cyprien, in well exposed depressions and in contact with flint outcrops and water sources. Deposits abound southwest of Mayrals; the most common are those belonging to the Mousterian of the Acheuléan tradition. In the Roc de Combe-Capelle station you can follow the various phases of the occupation: first the Perigordians I settled there, then the Aurignacians II, finally the Perigordians IV and V absorbed by the Solutréans. In Périgord the Aurignacian II witnessed a seismic movement that had disastrous consequences on the inhabited area when the sinking of the Blanchard and Castanet shelters in Sergeac, and Cellier in Le Ruth. In the Laugerie-Haute the evidence of this earthquake rests on the level of the Perigordian III, contemporary to the Aurignacian of the previous stations. The Cellier shelter had first been occupied by the Mousterians, set up halfway up the largest of the terraces. The Aurignacians and the Perigordians, who succeeded in the same place, preferred the highest of the terraces.

In Corrèze the Würmian flood had driven the Mousterians out of their settlements (Pech de Bourré and Pech-de-l’Azé). In this region the Abbevillians frequented the valleys of Maumont (Le Griffolet), of Corrèze (Montmort), of Vézère (Le Saillant) and the hills (Les Pigeonnies).

In the Middle Paleolithic, Acheuleo-Mousterians are found on both banks of the Corrèze, in the open-air deposits towards the Périgord. Rolled flints were thus collected on the alluvial terraces of 30 and 25 m. as in rivers.

The climate was then not very rigid, but the valley floors were not practicable; with the cold of the Würmian period, man settles in caves (“Chez Pourré”, “Chez Comte”, “Chapelle-aux-Saints”).

In the Upper Paleolithic the stations are generally grouped along the streams descending from Montplaisir, La Planche-Torte and its tributaries, the Couze, and in the caves south of Brive.

The typical Aurignaciano is very well characterized in la Coumba del Bouitou and in Chanlat, the transition between this industry and the Solutréano, in Font-Yves, Bas del Sert, “Chez Serre” in Noailles, the Font-Robert, at the Grotte des Morts ; the Solutréano in Pré-Aubert, in Basdegoule, in the Puy-de-Lacan; the Magdalenian in Terrasson and in the Planche-Torte valley. In the Mesolithic, whose industries tend to approach those of the upper Limousin, man established outdoor camps on the low terraces of the valleys. In the Neolithic it is installed on the plateaus; traces of it exist in the most important modern localities, in the most fertile regions, but the settlements are scattered. The densest occupation of the Corrèze is contemporary with the Mousterian and the Perigordian.

Starting from the Charente and the Dordogne, where its complexity is greatest, the Magdalenian can be divided into six levels, of which it is possible to specify the distribution through France: the Magdalenian I appears in the Dordogne from Jean-Blancs’ Solutréano; the Magdalenian II is found from Poitou to the Pyrenees; the Magdalenian III from the Jura to the Cantabrians; the development center of the Magdalenian IV seems to be located in the chain of the Pyrenees, from Bédeilhac and from Montesquieu-Avantès (Ariège) to Isturitz (lower Pyrenees), through the Mas d’Azil and Arudy. In the Tarn-et-Garonne and in the Dordogne it directly overlaps the Magdalenian III. It is missing in the Charente; the Magdalenian V has a very extensive distribution area, from the Pyrenees to the Loire and Ardèche; Magdalenian VI extends itself over these same territories and is its direct development.

During these epochs, and particularly in Magdalenian IV, the existence of artistic groups corresponding to hunting territories more or less already strictly delimited can be glimpsed.

The discovery in the Mas d’Azil cave of a strip of the Azilian layer confirms the absence of any pottery and any instrument that has undergone polishing. The blade, the squeegee, the rectangle, collected in this horizon, are no longer found in other Mesolithic civilizations. The problem that arises then is that of the Mesolithic chronology. The excavations of Martinet, Roc Allan (Lot-et-Garonne) and Cuzoul de Gramat (Lot) have made it possible to clarify the general stratigraphy of this period: between the Magdalenian-Azilian and Late-Nenoisian levels there is a Sauvetelrian horizon. The Sauveterrian and Late-Neoisian industries, which covered almost the entire old world, have been reported in the eastern caves of the sub-Pyrenees (La Crouzade, Bize, Aude), in the center (region of Sauveterre-la-Lémance, Gramat), in the Dordogne (Roc du Barbeau), in the Parisian basin (Piscop, in the forest of Montmorency) and in the Tardenois (Fère-en-Tardenois). In the north of France, as in Belgium and the Netherlands, the late Nenoisian stations are found on sandy soils carefully avoiding the layers of the löss.

In Piscop’s Late-Ninois group there are various workshops of cut quartzite stoneware whose very voluminous instruments have a very different appearance. Other similar deposits are scattered on the heights of the Montmorency forest where the Fontainebleau stoneware is found. They are certainly not all of the same era; Axes with a Neolithic appearance are sometimes found on the surface. Other deposits have yielded pre- Campanian -looking tranchets. But all have an industry characterized mainly by trihedron instruments with elongated ends, but which appear used only in the lateral corners.

This Montmorencian, an industry of men of the forest, seems to belong, due to the absence of any ceramics and any expressly Neolithic form, to a post-late-late Mesolithic. It is not yet possible to define its extension outside the surroundings of Paris and its relations with other contemporary cultures.

On the Atlantic coast, populations of hunters and fishermen had settled in the small islands of the Morbihan coast at Téviec and Hoëdic, halfway between the kitchen heaps of Muge (Portugal) and the Danish Kjöekkenmöddings

Aquitaine, little occupied during the Palaeolithic period, hosted a Late Ninoisian population in the Gironde estuary and on the banks of the river. During the Neolithic, two large groups divided the province: on the good lands, in the high points of the plain and on the northern and western edges of the plateau of the Chalosse, there were farmers. Towards the north there is no break with the contemporary civilizations of the Gironde, the Lot and the Gers. From Bigorre radiates a civilization of shepherds whose characteristic elements are rarefied in relation to their moving away from the starting point.

This southwestern civilization goes beyond the borders of Gascony, whose border is represented by the line of forests of the high terrace of the Garonne. From the Eneolithic, relations with the Iberian peninsula appear through the Ténarèze road, in the surface stations, continuation of those of the Chalosse, which also have relations with the center of Gaul (Grand-Pressigny flint). The Agenais then appears as a transition region, while the megaliths of Bas-Armagnac remain apart. The groups of Condomois and that of the mounds of the plateau of Gers are linked to the culture of the southwest.

It should be noted that the elements of south-eastern civilization surround the Aquitan basin without descending there, following the limestone of the Causses and avoiding the Aquitaine molasses. In the south contacts are established with the Cantabrian coast, and with trade the groups receive new techniques and objects. The pastoral economy dominates in the peaty moors and on the plateaus of the area below the Pyrenees. The Pyrenees do not constitute a border, and a very active circulation through the hills and the mule tracks unites the populations of the two sides of the chain. Newcomers related to the residents of the Hautes-Pyrenees, Haute-Garonne and Ariège, megalithic whose culture is different from that of the people east of the Garonne, succeed the burials, whose culture recalls that of the caves,

In the south-east of Gaul, early Neolithic sheep breeding groups are located in the moors (Fontbouïsse, Vacquères, Gard) and maintain trade relations with the Salenelles flint-cutting workshops. In the departments of the High and Low Alps, as in that of Drôme, the existence of groups of fortified establishments (groups of Vachères, Reilhannette, Cabestaing) located in the vicinity of easy to cross hills, dangerously open valleys, particularly locks in favor of organizing defensive positions. Haute Provence seems to have exerted its influence on the Neolithic groups of Tricastin, which sought sandy soils and instead neglected heavy and impermeable soils, such as pebbly slopes. The western part of the country,

As a continuation of the artistic province which, starting from the Aurignacian, is established in Gard (La Baume-Ladrone), in Hérault, in Ardèche and which has an affinity with the rock art of northern Spain, it develops from the Pyrenees to in Provence and Liguria, during the Eneolithic and the I period of the bronze, a complex of pictorial manifestations and engravings, closely related to the schematic art of the Iberian peninsula. It is located in the caves of Upper Ariège and Languedoc, in the Upper Caramy valley, in the Ollioulles and Evenos gorge, in the Croupatier massif (Var), in the valley of Destel, Roquepertuse, and Castelet d’Arles (Bocche of the Rhone).

In the center of Gaul, the latest Mesolithic discoveries in Périgord bring some clarifications on the conditions of the entry of the Neolithics into the province.

First we witness the progressive expansion of the Azilians who gradually install themselves in the shelters. Moreover, their stay must have been very short in the valleys of the Vézère, the Dordogne and the Isle, while in those of the Dronne, in Rocheraillé, they left important deposits. The Tardenoisians, who drove the Azilians out of the center of the Dordogne, survived the Neolithic invasion, which seems rather late (La Roque-Saint-Christophe, Les Marseilles, Laugerie-Haute).

In the Parisian basin, the Loing corridor was the route followed by the Neolithics to penetrate the territories between the Loire and the Seine. During the Campignano, the stations-workshops and the camps are numerous. In the Middle Neolithic we witness the fortification of the edges of the plateaus and in the recent Neolithic the descent of human groups into the valleys. The problem of water, the existence of light lands, easy to cultivate, explain how this population took place.

During the Bronze Age, smelters and itinerant merchants followed the natural path that traced them to the Loire valley; some Megaliths have settled in the Beauce.

France Prehistory

France Music From 15th to 17th Century

France Music From 15th to 17th Century

The song and the air. – The musical hegemony passes to Flanders, where the Flemish composers, who are influenced, among others, by the influence of the Chapel of the King of France and that of Burgundy, compose almost all their profane songs on French words. The French Antoine de Févin of Orléans, Carpentras, Gascogne, Moulu also belonged to the Flemish school. Also worth mentioning are Antoine Brumel, Loyset Compère, Clemens non Papa, Busnois, Pierre de la Rue, among the masters of the Franco-Flemish school. Most of these musicians, in addition to composing pages on sacred texts, illustrated the chanson française, which was also very popular in Italy, and in which the independence of the voices is achieved without damaging the overall effect and the vivacity of the rhythm. This genre, created by the masters of the North, reaches its apogee in Paris, in the mid-16th century, becoming descriptive, satirical, in a popular lyricism. The great master of French song is Clément Jannequin, whose wonderful vocal symphonies: The battle of Marignano ; The song of the birds ; The cries of Paris ; The chatter of women, had enormous success and were also imitated in Italy. These compositions, full of vivacity and panache, have pages of delicate sentiment and sometimes heroic accents, and are very characteristic of the French temperament. Other musicians who cultivated this kind are Claudin de Sermisy, delicious G. Costeley, from found surprising melodic, de Bussy, Antoine de Bertrand, J. Bony, Carton, G. Arcadelt, The Caves, Millot, Roussel, François Regnard, etc..

Under the influence of the humanist poets of the court, Ronsard and Baïf, and the Italian madrigalists, the French song became more learned and more valuable. Music and poetry were regarded as two sister arts, indispensable to each other; this aesthetic tendency led Antoine de Baïf to create the old-fashioned “measured music”, which faithfully followed the meters of the lines. In this new genre there were Claude le Jeune, famous for his psalms and his mass, Jacques Mauduit, France Du Caurroy, Thibault de Courville. This innovation had great influence on the further development of vocal music in France and aroused curiosity abroad. Monteverdi also imitated this genre in his musical Scherzi. In turn, the measured arias, accustoming the ear to freer rhythms, gradually led the musicians to the form of the so-called court aria (air de cour) lyrical melody mostly of a melancholic and elegiac character, which at the end of the sec. XVI becomes a true monody. Among the authors of this last form we can distinguish Jacques Mauduit, Gabriel Bataille, especially Guédron and Antoine Boisset, Moulinié, Louis de Rigaud, France de Chancy, Chevalier.

According to, the melodic form is often very beautiful; feature of these airs is then the rhythm instability that always oscillates between the 3 / 4, the 4 / 4, the 2 / 4, the 6 / 4 ; prosody and tonic accent are equally neglected, especially at the beginning of the century. XVII. Originally the court arias were for four voices, but they soon got into the habit of singing only the upper part, reducing the others for lute; and thus adapted they began to be published from 1571 by the Parisian publishers Adrien Le Roy and Robert: Ballard.

These same authors also wrote the récits (declaimed) for court ballets, a dramatic genre born in France in 1581 from the efforts made by humanists and poets to reconstruct the Greek tragedy. Rapidly developed, in the century. XVII it included a large number of monodic declamations, arias and choirs, combined with pantomimes and dances. Guédron wrote for Alcine (1609), the Délivrance de Renaud (1617), Tancrède dans la forêt enchanteePsyché, declaimed of great dramatic force. Another genre, no less characteristic, is the chanson à boire and the chanson à danser ; many, inspired by the rhythms and melodies of popular songs, composed Chancy, Sauvage, de Rosiers, Jean Boyer, Guillaume Michel, Louis de Mollier, etc. The last composers of court arias were Le Camus, Bénigne de Bacilly and Michel Lambert, who already announces Lulli in many parts; the fashion of chansons à boire continued throughout the century. XVII and XVIII.

Sacred music. – In comparison with the Flemish schools of the century. XV and Italian of the XVI, the French Renaissance school, with the exception of the brilliant work of the Orlando di Lasso valley, seems a bit poor; only now are the masses and motets of this school beginning to be published. Among the French masters we should mention: P. Cadeac, N. Gombert, Manchicourt, Mouton, Claudin de Sermisy, and then Claude Certon, P. Clereau, Jannequin, Claude le Jeune, and C. Goudimel, who harmonized the original melodies popular, on which the French Reformed sang the psalms in the poetic version of Clément Marot and Th. de Bèze. Claude le Jeune and P. Certon also composed psalms.

Instrumental music. – The French lutenists, disciples of the Italians Francesco da Milano and Alberto Rippe, first contented themselves with transcribing dances and vocal songs for lute. Guillaume Morlay, Varlet and then JB Bésard and Antoine Francisque published many of these transcriptions and some original pieces in their tablature: fantasies, preludes, branles, gagliarde, vaults, pavane, etc. The great lute school flourished in France between 1620 and 1680, and its production is characterized, as already in the court arias, by an elegiac, dreamy and melancholic sentiment. Except for some lively dance, the tablature of the century. XVII contain above all slow and grave preludes (without established measure and with unstable rhythms), tombeaux (funeral pieces), sarabandas, etc., already free from Italian dominion. The most famous French lutenists were the two Gautier, Pinel, Charles Mouton, Mésangeau; some of them also had fame abroad and Jacques Gautier settled in England. A little later, and especially during the first years of the reign of Louis XIV, the guitar was in vogue, in which De Visé and Ph. E. Lesage de Richée were highlighted.

Also for the organ and the harpsichord the French masters limited themselves at first to making transcriptions of polyphonic works, adorning them with flourishes; but in the sec. XVI there is a rapid development, above all for the perfection reached in the manufacture of the organs. The first great French organist is Jean Titelouze, born in Saint-Omer in 1563, organist of the cathedral of Rouen. His works are especially interesting for a very modern sense of modulation and for the nobility of sentiment. His successors were mostly inferior to him and cannot be compared with the great contemporary German and Italian masters. Worthy of mention are: Nicolas Boyvin, organist in Rouen from 1674 to 1706; France Roberday, Nicolas Gigault, both masters of Lulli; Antoine le Bègue (1630-1702), M. De la Barre, Buterne, G. Nivers, France Marchand, France Dandrieu, the latter known above all as harpsichordists. The harpsichord school only began around 1630, long after the English and Italian schools; in the sec. XVIII distinguished Louis Couperin, who still feels the influence of the lute style, but already highlights some particular possibilities of the instrument, and André Champion de Chambonnières (1602-1672), great virtuoso, creator of the French style of harpsichord, who contributes to the creation of theFrench suite, with four different dances: allemanda, current, sarabanda and giga. It remains to remember the music composed by the violinists of the great string orchestra so-called “dei Ventiquattro”.

Very little remains of the music performed in the feasts of the century. XVI from violins and wind instruments, but the danceries of Claude Gervaise, the Fantasie a quattro by France Du Caurroy and Claude le Jeune allow us to get an idea of ​​this somewhat decorative art. During the sec. XVII the orchestra of the Violons du roi includes valuable musicians, including Guillaume Dumanoir and Mazuel. Their dances, with a rather clumsy writing, and an irregular rhythm (which also informs the melody of itself) constitute an original genre typical of France, also appreciated in England and Germany, where French violinists such as Bocan and Louis Grabus were successful. The instrumental style of the Ventiquattro precedes the style of Lulli, in whose work all French music of the second half of the century is summarized. XVII.

France Music From 15th to 17th Century

France Music During The Middle Ages

France Music During The Middle Ages

Secular music. – According to, the liveliest splendor of French music occurred in the Middle Ages together with the flourishing of sculpture and architecture in the century. XII and in the XIII. Already in the century. X music was in great honor in monasteries and churches: main centers, S. Martial of Limoges, Rouen, Saint-Denis, Soissons, Paris and Reims, where Gerbert (later Pope Sylvester II), rector of that famous Schola, towards the 980 was concerned with perfecting the organs: among his disciples was King Robert the Pious. Baudry of Dol was also involved in the construction of the organs; in the abbey of Fécamp the abbot William of Dijon established the first brotherhood of jongleurs, who played during the officiating of the monks; also in Fécamp began the practice of a new species of organum, in which, having abandoned the crosstalk, one of the voices played long vocalizations while the other (often entrusted to the organ) played the tenor part in long notes. The notation of Gregorian chants (perhaps under the influence of the Parisian school) became more precise through the adoption of the staff; reform that had ardent propagator Guido d’Arezzo (v.). Other advances were made in the century. XI.

In the meantime the profane was developing on the fringes of religious music. The first songs we have date back to the 11th century and have a Latin text; mostly goliardic songs celebrating spring and love. With the flourishing of languages d’ocand d ‘oil, poetry and music flourish: songs in the form of pastiurelle, of sirventese, of jeu parti, are sung now on an aria already known, now on a new aria found by the author. Troubadours and troubadours sometimes perform their own songs, more often they have them performed by paid professionals, the jongleurs. Later some jesters become troubadours.

Nothing remains of the musical work of William IX, Count of Poitiers and the profane works of Abelard have been lost, to whom however is attributed that delightful prose of popular intonation, Mittit ad Virginem whose melody was used in many French verses. Trovieri and troubadours also composed dance songs that were often performed on instruments: carole, rondelli, ballads (with choral reprise of the refrain), stampite, branlesvirelais, etc. Very little also remains of the considerable production of the troubadours of the century. XII: Bernard de Ventadour, Rambaud de Vaqueiras, Jaufré Rudel, Marcabru, Gaucelm Faidit; while the few remaining songs of the oldest trophies (Gace Brulé, the castellan of Coucy, Conon de Béthune, Huon d’Oisy, Blondeau de Nesle, Gautier de Dargies, Montot d’Arras, Regnault), show poetic ingenuity and are d ‘ a delicious melodic freshness.

All these songs, in which the rhythm of the melody responds to that of the verse, are sung in three rhythmic modes: the first, composed of trochei, and the second, of iambs, are composed in a three-beat measure; the third, formed of three-syllable groups, corresponds to our 6 / 4.

At the beginning of the century XIII we are witnessing a magnificent flowering. It is the time when Perotino the Great begins polyphonic art. Troubadours and troubadours, however, content themselves with purifying the style of their ancestors into a less powerful, but more chiseled and precious art. The Arras troubadour group stands out among all: Gauthier de Coincy in the Miracles de Notre – Dame he inserts a series of religious songs, part of his own, part of him adapted to new texts, and marvelous for naive grace. The last of the great troubadours, Guiraut Riquier, who traveled to the “Saracen” country, found melodic accents of a wholly oriental color. Greater emotion and grandeur in the masters of the South than in those of the North, grouped around Thibaut de Champagne (1201-1253), and lovers mostly of slender and lively songs. We will mention Jean Bretel, Jehannet de l’Escurel, the famous Hunchback of Arras, Adam de la Halle; the latter practicing the polyphonic style. The influence of the art of the troubadours and troubadours is felt throughout Europe; Alfonso the Wise of Castile composes troubadour style songs and hosts Guillaume Riquier; in Italy the songs from France are sung everywhere, while renewing them according to the national melodic genius; in Germany i Minnesänger adopt the French troubadour notation, when in France it has already been abandoned for some time.

Holy music. – In the sec. XII, the discanto appears in France, which replaces the parallel motion with the opposite motion. The second voice moves towards greater independence and superimposes real melisms and ornaments on the main song. Also in this time one begins to practice the false staff (perhaps invented in England) with its sequences of sixths and thirds. The idea of ​​composing in several parts may certainly have derived in Perotino from the songs imported into France by English pupils of the Parisian schools; but in concrete terms Perotino’s style does not at all resemble the way of singing of the English of the time, and indeed English art hastens to imitate his innovations. Do not forget that Perotino like his predecessor Leonino was an organist and the organ is the polyphonic instrument par excellence. organum, discanto, false staff); he determined the laws concerning the relationship of the different intervals and found a notation which specifies the absolute value of each note and which, variously improved, is the basis of modern notation. After Perotino, the evolving Ars nova attracts musicians from all over Europe to Paris. The organist Pierre de la Croix (Petrus de Cruce), the two Francons, Philippe de Vitry and Jean de Muris still perfect the notation. Guillaume de Machaut summarizes, continues and concludes the work of the troubadours and the first polyphonists; his brilliant and fruitful work inspires the musicians of the century. XV, and his Mass, monument of the Gothic musical genius, becomes the model of the masses written in the following century.

France Music During The Middle Ages

France Music – From Lulli to Berlioz – Sacred and Chamber Music

France Music – From Lulli to Berlioz – Sacred and Chamber Music

The opera. – Giovan Battista Lulli, born in Florence in 1632, arrived in Paris at the age of 14 found himself in contact with French dance music and soon assimilated the style of violinists which he later perfected and made softer and more melodic. Lulli fused French and Italian stylistics with a very shrewd taste, while retaining an eminently French character to his creations. Possessing to the highest degree the sense of theater, which all the French composers of that time lacked, he created a recitative style exactly suited to the inflections of the French language and of such perfection that it was imitated for at least a century. The Italian works of Luigi Rossi, C. Caproli and PF Cavalli, performed between 1646 and 1662, had suggested to the French musicians the idea of ​​composing too they musical comedies. In 1669 the poet P. Perrin was granted a privilege to open a French opera house in Paris, and in 1672 he had the pastoral Pomone, with music by R. Cambert, a graceful opera composed of court arias and songs, without real intertwining and nothing properly theatrical. Lulli, who took possession of the Académie Royale de Musique, had his first musical tragedy, Cadmus et Hermione, represented there in 1673, and another sixteen he wrote before his death (1687). Characteristic of Lulli is his instinctive return to the form of the Florentine melodrama of the beginning of the century. XVII, then completely forgotten. The recitative is the main element, only interrupted here and there by melodic phrases. To break this monotony, Lulli multiplies the opportunities for entertainment which allow him to introduce songs, arias, trios, choirs, etc. The orchestra not only accompanies the voices almost continuously (especially in the latest works: RolandArmideAcis et Galatéé), but also performs highly developed descriptive symphonies of original form. The so-called symphonies and de sommeil (from their scenic motif) and the nocturnal ones precede the French impressionist style of the end of the century. XIX. Lulli also loves war marches, sacrifices, triumphs, fights, storms and in these cases he draws vast decorative frescoes. At the beginning of his works he places an Ouverture (v.) Of which he first created, in the Ballet d’Alcidiane (1657), the model that will tour Europe.

According to, a period of great decline follows the death of Lulli. The great building erected by him is respected and the architecture of musical tragedy does not change until Gluck, but none of Lulli’s successors, not even J.-Ph. Rameau possesses his dramatic genius, so that the action is no more than a pretext for the entertainments and ballets that are inserted into it. Only with A. Destouches there are works containing live music; however P. Colasse wrote some interesting works in the style of Lulli and Marc Antoine Charpentier imitated him (mediocrely) in the Medée. The form of the opera – ballet is treated by all composers of this time, but the most successful example was given in the Europe Galante (1697), from the Provençal A. Campra (1660-1744), who was influenced by the Italian style already in use in cantatas: the ornaments proscribed by Lulli prevail and harmony became more sought after. Among the most important predecessors and contemporaries of Rameau, we must mention Mathieu Marais, whose work Alcyone (1707) was famous for his symphony La tempête, France Rebel and France Francoeur, who co-wrote countless ballets and operas, later M..lle De la Guerre, JM Leclair, T. Bertin de la Doué, J. Aubert, Salomon, Matho, M. Montéclair, author of the Jephté and beautiful cantatas, Colin de Blamont and the delightful J. Mouret who was with Rameau the best musical representative of the Louis XV style. L.-N. Clérambault in his cantatas was able to remain absolutely French, while dealing with a genre imported from Italy, and at times found pathetic accents of great melodic beauty.

Sacred and chamber music. – In the period between the death of Lulli and the Hippolyte and Aricie Rameau’s (1733) the most interesting musicians are devoted above all to sacred and chamber music and are less influenced by Lulli. Without losing their national character, they nevertheless feel the charm of the marvelous Italian school, while motets by G. Legrenzi, G.-B. are performed in Saint-André-des-Arts. Scarlatti and A. Bononcini. The French masters gladly resort to Talianisms (vocal ornaments, dissonant harmonies) and above all they use the architectural forms invented by the Italian masters, while remaining faithful to the cult of Lulli and like him (also author of motets) introducing recitative and pomp in sacred music proper to the work. Although sometimes under the influence of G. Carissimi, Lulli remained in the tradition of the French school of which Nicolas Formé (1567-1638) can be considered as the leader, which gave the first example in France of two-choir writing. Thomas Gobert, Formé’s successor in the royal chapel, was the first to use a less simple, more dramatic style, and Henri du Mont (1610-1684) definitively established the French style of the two-choir motet. Michel de la Lande’s 40 grand choir motets are one of the most characteristic monuments of French music; harmony, richer than in Lulli, already heralds Rameau; and, in absolute contrast to contemporary German and Italian sacred music, mystical effusions and painful confidences are lacking; it is decorative and triumphal music suited to the magnificence of the royal mass at Versailles. Nicolas Bernier, S. Brossard, L. Bourgeois etc. they also composed numerous motets in the style of La Lande; closest to the Italian manner is A. Campra in his psalms and motets. In the century XVIII there was a very rich flowering of religious music: the motets of Rameau, Gilles, N. Bernier, etc., give us a high idea of ​​the science and skills of the chapel masters of this time; unfortunately their works are scattered and little studied.

In chamber music the Italian influence is very strong. Lulli’s followers protest against this foreign style, and the crowd does not taste the harmonic and rhythmic daring of Scarlatti and Bononcini; but the masters take advantage of it, and on the other hand the strength of the traditions allows French music not to lose its characteristics. French works are written in the forms invented by the Italians: sonatas and cantatas instead of pièces and arias. The violin is influenced by A. Corelli and counts among the most personal composers Du Val, J.-F. Rebel, P. Senaillé and above all JM Leclair, who left four books of sonatas for violin and bass, of sonatas for two violins, concerts, etc., and had among his emulators J. Mondonville, P. Gaviniès, L’Abbé, JB Anet, P.-P. Grinning. The spirit of the ancient suite is still found in the French Sonata, and the pieces in the form of dance predominate. The violin dethrones the ancient stringed instruments and especially the violas for arm and leg, but not without a struggle: still in 1749 Hubert Le Blanc published a burlesque Défense de la Basse de Viole contre les entreprises du vioion et les prétentions du cellelle, and the viola da gamba, before disappearing, still had a few moments of glory thanks to the work of Mathieu Marais, disciple of Lulli, A. Forqueray and Caix d’Herveloix. In the century XVIII, for the flute that was very fashionable, La Barre, M. Blavet, Nandot, Caix d’Herveloix, wrote sonatas that have pages of exquisite beauty.

The French harpsichord school only indirectly and weakly suffered the Italian influence. A whole host of brilliant virtuosos and composers followed Louis Couperin and Chambonnières: Hardelle, Étienne Richard, Melle de la Guerre, J. d’Anglebert. In the second half of the century. XVII harpsichord music definitively freed itself from the influence of the lute and the curious preludes with rhythm ad libitum dear to Louis Couperin were abandoned. Le Bègue, Nivers, Le Roux, Marchand, Louis Daquin, Dandrieu, were strongly influenced by François Couperin the Great, perhaps the most representative genius of French taste at the time of the Regency, the “Watteau of music” and one of the most delicate harpsichord poets. Concerts Royaux, in the Sonatas in trio, he proposes to please, to enchant, to touch the heart, but without too much sentimentality and avoiding the passionate lyrical accents of the Italians. In his works, always of a descriptive nature, he likes to draw characters (especially female): L’EnchanteresseL’IngénueLa PrudeLa Lutine, or is inspired by rural scenes: Les MoisonneursLes Fauvettes plaintivesLes AbeillesLe Rossignol en amour, etc.

France Music - From Lulli to Berlioz - Sacred and Chamber Music

France Music – From Lulli to Berlioz – Rameau and Gluck

France Music – From Lulli to Berlioz – Rameau and Gluck

Rameau and Gluck. – Much less sensitive than Couperin, J. Ph. Rameau, admirable technician, skilfully blends the French and Italian manner in works built with great confidence and vigor of accent, using the lively rhythms and pungent harmonies of a D Scarlatti.

According to, Rameau had in the musical world of the century. XVIII a part comparable to that of Voltaire in that of the letters. But he was above all a theorist, who in the practice of art brought the constant concern to justify his theories. He settled in Paris only in 1733 after having published his monumental Traité de l’harmonie and even afterwards he did not interrupt the research, exposed in numerous writings. Until the age of 50, he published no other musical works than the pieces for harpsichord; but then he wanted to show what he was capable of and attract public attention to his theories by writing a work. The representation of Hippolyte et Aricie (1733) was a considerable event not because Rameau changed the form of the musical tragedy introduced by Lulli, but because of the musical richness of the score. Rameau does not have the profound lyricism of Lulli, but he is one of the greatest masters of the form: his dances, his symphonic episodes are written with marvelous skill. A little dry at times, it excels in gallant and voluptuous scenes; it seldom rises to the pathetic, but sometimes reaches the grandiose. Although he did not ignore Italian music, he was only indirectly influenced by it: nothing is more French than Rameau’s melodies and his tendency to evoke images, portraits, environments through music. Like all his French contemporaries, he tries, according to the Du Bos precept, to “imitate nature”. Long fought by the belated admirers of Lulli, he became the champion of the opponents of the Italian Buffonisti (see), although he personally declared himself an admirer of Pergolesi. The representation of the Serva Padrona of these (1752), aroused endless controversies, in which D. Diderot, J. D’Alembert, France-M. Grimm, JJ Rousseau. The new generations were now tired of the opera-ballet, with its long mythological entanglements and preferred the painting of familiar customs and simple and human feelings. The Encyclopedists vigorously supported the Italian Buffonists and their French followers. With Les Troqueurs by A. Dauvergne there was the first French comic opera and the genre was nationalized so quickly in the hands of A. Philidor, by P.-A. Momigny and A.-E.-M. Grétry, who at the end of the century comic opera, freed from foreign influences, became a French specialty: Richard Coeur de Lion and Le déserteur they mark the beginning of a genre that after a century will still produce Carmen.

Meanwhile Gluck renewed Lulli’s musical tragedy. Author of comic operas on French librettos even before settling in Paris, with Iphigénie en Aulide (1774) he tries not without heaviness on Lulli’s recitatives; in 1777 he sets to music the same Armida already served to Lulli, thus using materials from the French opera, in which he knows how to infuse new spirit.

From this moment the French musicians disappeared; N. Piccinni, A. Sacchini, A. Salieri, then Spontini and Cherubini took over the theater while seconding, like Gluck, the tastes and habits of the French public. During the revolutionary era a great musician arose, J. Méhul, whose Joseph remains a masterpiece of simple and naive grace. J.-F. Lesueur, Berlioz’s teacher, wrote colorful scores in which they are the first announcements of musical romanticism.

Instrumental music. – In this area too, a revolution is taking place. In fact, around 1755 the harpsichordists abandon the traditional free and genre pieces to write sonatas, probably in the footsteps of Alsatians and Germans who settled in Paris, including J. Schobert, JG Eckardt, N.-J. Hüllmandel, J.-F. Edelmann. These artists exerted great influence on the young Mozart during his stay in Paris. At the same time the style of the solo and treble sonata evolves. The scheme is modified and the writing is simplified, while the sonatists are increasingly giving themselves to the art of opposing and combining two different themes. Mannheim’s musicians work for Paris, where artists from all over the world flock and where it is elaborated like this, with the fusion of Italian, French, German, the international language in which Mozart will express himself. The French have an important voice in this preparation: the knight of Saint-Georges, J.-B. Janson, France-J. Gossec wrote the first French symphonies, soon published in Paris; the concert flourishes, and an illustrious patron, A. de la Pouplinière, protector of Rameau, encourages new attempts. Towards 1780 France is at the forefront of musical nations.

But the Revolution interrupts this development bringing a great decadence in French musical art. Gossec, Lesueur, Méhul compose patriotic songs for immense choirs, sometimes accompanied by artillery salvoes. The favor of the general public turns to the theater; the violinist P.-F. Baillot will hear the quartets of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven under the Empire, but until the middle of the century. XIX chamber music is cultivated only in cenacles. Under the Restoration, Rossini and the Italian masters triumph, having as rivals only F-.A. Boïeldieu, whose graceful and sensitive melodies will be enjoyed throughout Northern Europe, D.-F. Auber, a somewhat cold but very lively stylist, L.-J. Hérold, France David, J.-FE Halévy. In 1828 Auber gives with La Muette de Portici the first model of the French romantic Grand Opéra. The following year Rossini with Guglielmo Tell definitively consecrates this genre, in which the French opera to Gluck-Méhul, the Italian to the Rossini and the German to the Weber are merged. This international genre, called “French opera” or Grand Opéra, was very popular all over the world and found its most advanced manifestation in the works of J. Meyerbeer, an Italianized and later broken German, gifted with great theatrical sense and skill in use. of voices and instruments. Robert the Devil (1831), The Huguenots (1836), The Prophet (1849) are models of this grandiloquent genre and far from the true French tradition. Meanwhile H. Berlioz wrote, amid the indifference of the public, Beatrice et Bénédict and the admirable score of the Troyens, which enjoyed success after the author’s death. At first Ch. Gounod’s Faust seemed revolutionary work, which today no longer seems so, but the voluptuous charm of the melody, the delicacy of the instrumentation have earned Faust a popularity that has not yet ceased.

France Music - From Lulli to Berlioz - Rameau and Gluck

France Music – Berlioz and the Modern School

France Music – Berlioz and the Modern School

From Berlioz, as from Wagner in Germany, the whole modern French musical movement derives. This great artist, still not sufficiently appreciated, broke the conventions of classicism by opening all the ways in which his successors set out. In 1829, with the Symphonie fantastique, he inaugurates new processes of development (especially the system of the conductor motif), creates the symphonic poem and renews the art of orchestration. He claims the rights of symphonic music in France when it seemed there was no place other than the theater. C. Saint-Saens and E. Lalo, initiators of the rebirth that occurs after 1870, are to a large extent his disciples and spiritual heirs.

Franck played a large part in this renewal of French music, especially for chamber music and organ music: while Lalo and Saint-Saens were above all brilliant harmonists, he maintained the tradition of contrapuntal writing. His disciples, V. d’Indy, E. Chausson, A. Magnard, G.-M. Witkowsky, J. Guy Ropartz, continued in the path he traced, saving polyphonic traditions and thus facilitating the resumption of counterpoint practices we are witnessing today.

Lalo with his orchestral and harmonic researches (especially in Namouna), and E. Chabrier with his exquisite sense of harmony, and with his subtle combinations of timbres, paved the way for Gabriel Fauré, Claude Debussy and Paul Dukas.

According to, the opera house is now reopening to the French. Succeeding Gounod, who appears as a leader, G. Bizet, Saint-Saëns and Massenet create works such as CarmenSamson et DalilaManon and Werther, which exerted great influence throughout Europe. Gustave Charpentier (Louise, 1900), Alfred Bruneau, Georges Hüe, Gabriel Pierné, Raoul Laparra, Henri Rabaud, Gabriel Dupont, Samuel Rousseau, Henry Février, etc. In light music, Léo Delibes and Emmanuel Chabrier stood out, and operetta, with J. Offenbach, France Hervé, A.-Ch. Lecocq, Claude Terrasse, André Messager, continued the brilliant tradition, still illustrated today by the scores of Reynaldo Hahn and M. Yvain. However, the great operas that renewed the conception of opera in France were not by opera specialists, but by composers who dedicated themselves to it incidentally: C. Debussy (Pelleas et Mélisande, 1902), P. Dukas (Ariane et Barbe – Bleue), M. Ravel (L’heure espagnoleL’Enfant et les sortilèges), A. Roussel, A. Honegger (JudithAntigone), D. Milhaud, etc.

Around 1890, many French artists made themselves completely free from the Wagnerian influence, instinctively going back to the abandoned tradition of the masters of the century. XVII and XVIII. Chopin’s anti-Germanic influence also contributed to this. Gabriel Fauré, in his lyrics and his piano pieces, of refined writing, obtains special coloring effects with a singular technique of modulation; Eric Satie in the piano pieces finds a little groping aggregations of notes that will soon become commonplace; finally Debussy writes his admirable melodies on Verlaine’s poems, his quartet, the Prélude à l’Après – midi d’un Faune, and renews the genre of vocal lyric, the technique of the quartet, the form of the symphonic poem and the art of orchestration. He imposes a conception of music as new as his technical procedures and renews the language of music. He rejects the laborious classical development, seeking a more immediate lyrical expression. With a few notes, with a few chords he expresses the subtlest feelings, the most fleeting impressions; and shunning the outward manifestations of force, he is able to discreetly express the most intense feelings. With him the ranges and modes of antiquity and the East re-enter music.

Meanwhile also M. Ravel, a revolutionary who relied on the past to innovate, like his teacher G. Fauré also created new means of expression. The so-called “impressionist” school, however, reduced Debussy’s marvelous intuitions into formulas while drawing every possible bias from the compositions of Fauré and Ravel; and he sacrificed too much to nuance, he was too pleased with hues and grace. Igor Stravinsky came to free the French musicians from the magic circle, who still ignored the experience of A. Schönberg and Bela Bartók, showing them the possibility of new effects obtained with polytonality, with the use of a singular polyphony opposite to vertical style of the Impressionists, but far from the horizontal style of the Franckian school, finally with the adoption of a metric dynamism that radically transformed the conception of rhythm then dominant. Stravinsky, honored the brutal expression of force.

It should be noted that the Impressionist school did not represent all French music. P. Dukas built his robust work on the sidelines, France Schmitt built colossal architectures, while V. d’Indy built powerful lyric dramas. M. Ravel himself in the Valses nobles et sentimentales used a harmonic style that announced Stravinsky, and Debussy reacted to the disciples seeking but more naked, less congested music.

After the World War we see A. Honegger and D. Milhaud, reacting against impressionism by making use of a vigorous polyphony; the first applies atonality without rigor, the second polytonality, reducing the procedures of Bela Bartók and Stravinsky to a system. A new romanticism is manifested in their works and they are not afraid to build oratories of colossal proportions.

Other young people, including France Poulenc and G. Auric, with less ambitions, tend to like (following the directions of the old Eric Satie) attracted by popular music and jazz.

Meanwhile Maurice Ravel, by taking over the new means offered by polytonality and the new counterpoint, keeps himself at the head of the French school, while A. Roussel acquires unexpected importance with vigorous and original works in which he shows the double aspect of his ingenuity, made of energy and of grace.

If we now consider the vast historical framework of French music as a whole, we can easily observe how different and sometimes apparently opposing elements contribute to it, born especially from two great trends: one aimed at simplicity and the strength of the popular soul. (Jannequin, Lulli, Méhul, Auber, Berlioz, Bizet, Charpentier, Honegger, Milhaud), the other to the most refined taste and sensitivity (Costeley, Couperin, Rameau, Fauré, Debussy, Ravel). And, to understand the spirit of the French musical tradition, both these historical currents must be taken into account.

France Music - Berlioz and the Modern School

France Music

France Music

According to, the teaching of O. Messiaen at the Paris Conservatory (harmony, since 1942; musical analysis, aesthetics and rhythm, since 1947) is of the highest importance for the development of French music in the second half of the century. Spiritual successor of R. Leibowitz – the first to introduce Webern’s dodecaphony in France -, he lays the foundations of the new music in a 1949 text, Quatre Etudes de rythme (in particular in the second, Mode de valeur et d’intensités), a model for those who referred to the post-Webernian style. At his school, and directly or indirectly at the school of Leibowitz, the major representatives of the avant-garde of the 1950s are formed in France, the most important of which is P. Boulez (see in this Appendix).

Alongside the works of Boulez of these years, the first compositions of Messiaen’s other pupils must be placed, including the Sonata for piano (1952) and Séquence pour voix et instruments (1950-55) by J. Barraqué (1928-1973), then arrived at the compositional principle he defined as the ” proliferating series ”; Le cercle des métamorphoses (1953) for orchestra, by M. Le Roux (b. 1923); the Mouvements for chamber orchestra (1958) and the Cahier d’epigrammes for piano (1964) by G. Amy (b.1936), who succeeded Boulez (1967) in the direction of the Domaine Musical and more recently arrived at a personal style in works such as Chin’amin Cha’anamin (1979); Paraboles (1964) and Cérémonie (1969) by P. Mefano (b. Basora, ῾Irāq, 1937), who was a pupil of Boulez himself in Basel and founder in 1972 of the musical animation group Ensemble international 2E 2M of Champigny.

Other students of Messiaen, including S. Nigg (1924-1960) and J.-L. Martinet (b.1912), adhere to the serial experience rather in a negative function with respect to tradition, quickly arriving at new experiences. Nigg in particular investigates a new universal language respectful of the communicative aspect of musical discourse: the renunciation of the dodecaphonic theory is already in the Concerto for piano and orchestra (1954) and in the Concerto for violin and orchestra (1957). Among his best works, the symphonic poem Jerome Bosch Symphonie (1960).

Outside serialism are H. Dutilleux (b. 1916), author of a Second Symphony in 1959 ; M. Constant (b. 1925), of which 14 Stations (1970) for 6 percussion instruments must be remembered; B. Jolas (b. 1926), who composed Musique de jour pour orgue (1975), a tribute to Bach and Monteverdi, and Stances for piano and orchestra (1987), with references to Chopin and Debussy.

The first reaction to post-Webernian serialism under the influence of J. Cage’s aleatory music dates back to the mid-1950s. Even Boulez, at first highly critical, with some works from these years heralds the overcoming of serial structuralism.

The aleatory music develops in France in the sixties, through composers not comparable to each other, such as A. Boucourechliev (b. Sofia 1925), author in 1967 of Archipel I for 2 pianos and 2 percussions; and the younger J.-C. Eloy (b.1938), who was a pupil of Boulez in Basel, author of Equivalences for 18 instruments (1963) and recently influenced by oriental music in Kamakala (1971), Gaku-Nô- Michi (1977) and Yo-In (1981).

The theoretical and compositional experience of C. Ballif (b. 1924), in charge of musical analysis at the higher conservatory of Paris, also belongs to post-serial research: he defined a writing system based on an eleven-note scale (metatonal). Among his most recent major works, Coup de dés (1979-81). Instead, M. Ohana (b. Casablanca 1914) turned to microtonalism with Sacral d’Ilx (1975) and Office des oracles (1975); and A. Banquart (b. 1934) who in 1976 composed A la mémoire de ma mort.

With the founding in 1948 of the Groupe de recherches de musique concrète of Paris by P. Schäffer (b.1910) with funding from the French radio, an address in electronic experimentation is established, destined to take on characteristics different from those of other European addresses in the same sector.

Aimed at the reproduction and reworking of sounds and noises existing in reality, Schäffer collaborated in those years together with P. Henry (b.1927) on the first significant elaborations of concrete music, such as the Symphonie pour un homme seul (1949-50) and the he opera Orphée, performed with a certain fanfare in Donauschingen in 1953. However, the most accomplished work of concrete music is for the first time with Deserts, for 7 instruments, 5 groups of percussion and magnetic tape (1950-54), by the French-American E. Varése (1883-1965), recorded at the Parisian center between 1954 and 1955. After Henry’s departure, who dedicated himself independently to electroacoustic music, Schäffer began a period of more rigorous experimentation at the end of the 1950s, also through the collaboration of younger composers, such as L. Ferrari (b. 1929), author in 1981 of Presque rien n. 2, broadcast by a loudspeaker orchestra; France-B. Mâche (b. 1935), which in 1979 presented Amorgos at the Metz Festival; and I. Maleć (b. Zagreb 1925), one of the most significant French composers in this sector, author of Cantate pour elle (1966) and of Vox, Vocis, France (1979).

One of the brightest figures in contemporary French music is that of the composer, as well as architect, philosopher and mathematician of Greek origin I. Xenakis (b. Brăila, Romania, 1922), who passed through the experience of concrete music working at the Schäffer center (Diamorphoses, 1957; Concret PH, 1958; Orient-Occident, 1960), therefore through a reworking of the principles of the alea by introducing the calculation of probabilities in the compositional procedure (“ stochastic music ”: Syrmos for 18 strings, 1959 ; Atrées (Hommage à Pascal) for 10 instruments, 1958-62); after the foundation in 1966 of the Equipe de mathématique et d’automatique musicales (Emamu) at the Ecole des hautes études in Paris, he turns his attention to the use of information technology.

Particular emphasis must be given to the work carried out in recent years by Boulez, especially through the foundation in 1976 in Paris of the Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique / Musique (IRCAM) at the Center Georges Pompidou and the creation of the Ensemble intercontemporain for performing contemporary music. In 1977 the IRCAM organized an important series of concerts (Passage du XX e siècle) with works by contemporary French and foreign authors: among others, P. Barbaud (b.1911), author of an ” algorithmic music ” ‘entrusted to the computer; M. Decoust (b. 1936), author of the electronic composition Interphone ; V. Globokar (b.1934), head of the instrument and voice department of IRCAM.

Grisey (b. 1946), founder in 1973 of the avant-garde group Itinéraire, belong to the younger generation ; T. Murail (b.1947), M. Levinas (b.1947) and H. Dufourt (b.1943).

France Music