Category: Europe

The oldest tourist types at all counts Pilgrim tourism. Places of pilgrimage and pilgrimage can be found in European countries with predominantly Catholic and Greek Orthodox populations.

The location of the spas and health resorts often follows geological guidelines such as fracture zones and faults. A concentration of medicinal baths can also be seen in areas of former volcanic activity such as the French Massif Central. A favorable bioclimate, such as stimulus intensity or particularly pure air, can also determine the choice of location here.

City trips are currently one of the fastest growing market segments in tourism. Points of attraction are, on the one hand, historical places, monuments, museums, theaters, exhibitions, etc. On the other hand, shopping and entertainment options largely determine the choice of travel destination. A trend towards “event tourism” can be observed, in which temporary large-scale events in sport (e.g. European or world football championships) or in the cultural sector (e.g. art exhibitions or music weeks) exert a great attraction on visitors. The area of ​​city tourism also includes professionally motivated business travel and trade fair and congress travel. Overall, the big cities have the lowest seasonal fluctuations and the highest number of visitors. The European capitals and metropolises in particular clearly stand out here, for example Vienna with around 5.8 million guest arrivals (2013; compared to 2007: 4.2 million) and an average length of stay of 2.2 days. For more information about the continent of Europe, please check

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

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.


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

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

Greece Early History

Greece Early History

Early period (until around 800 BC): The scene of Greek history in the broader sense is the entire area of ​​the Mediterranean world settled by the Greeks, in the narrower sense the peninsula called “Hellas” by the Greeks, “Graecia” by the Romans, the associated Greek-populated islands and the islands of the Aegean Sea. Here migrated since the late 3rd millennium BC. Indo-European tribes (Aegean migration) and mixed with the Mediterranean pre-population of the Karer, Leleg and Pelasger. They first founded the Middle Helladic culture (Helladic culture), then from around 1600 under the influence of Minoan Crete (Minoan culture) the late Helladic or Mycenaean culture (also Aegean culture).

At that time, larger territorial rulers evidently emerged with fortified centers (Mycenae, Pylos, Argos, Athens, Thebes) and a developed administration (clay tablet archives in the Greek linear script B). The early Greeks, who bore the name Achaeans (Achaeans), also spread to Crete and put an end to the Minoan culture there. The early Greeks also settled on other islands in the Aegean Sea, on Cyprus and on the west and south coasts of Asia Minor.

The Mycenaean culture found its end around 1200, probably also due to the invasion of the Sea Peoples. In the 12th century, the Dorians immigrated via Thessaly and the Gulf of Corinth (Doric migration). They settled large parts of central Greece and the Peloponnese (only remnants of the early Greeks were found in Arcadia) and also occupied the islands of Crete, Rhodes and Kos as well as the southwest of Asia Minor. At the same time, the Aeolians and the Ionians were partly driven to Asia Minor (1st Greek colonization). In the dark centuries that followed (around 1200–800 BC) the Greek people received their final form. The Greek dialects developed as well as a common religion and a common myth, which was initially passed down orally in individual songs before it was first summarized in Homer’s epics in the 8th century.

The archaic period (around 800–500 BC) was shaped by the Greek nobility, who derived their descent from gods or heroes and whose extensive property allowed them a knightly way of life. The cross-community relations of the Greek nobility led to a culturally shaped Greek national consciousness (the name »Hellenes« for all Greeks is first attested to around 700 BC) and promoted the development of Dodona, Delphi and Olympia to common Greek sanctuaries.

At the same time, among the nobility, who had politically disempowered kingship almost everywhere (except in Sparta and Cyrene), the municipal state of the polis with annual officials (prytans, archons), council (bule) and people’s assembly (ekklesia) emerged. The nobility also took the lead in the great Greek colonization that opened up almost all of the coasts of the Mediterranean and Black Sea to Greek colonization. The shifts in property that occurred in the wake of colonization and trade, as well as the training of hoplite tactics (hoplite) led since the 7th century to an intensification of the differences between the nobility and the people, which enforced the codification of the legal norms that had been handed down orally up to then: laws of Zaleukos in Lokroi (today Locri, Calabria), of Charondas in Katane (today Catania, Sicily), the Drakon and the Solon in Athens. There Solon also carried out a debt repayment in 594 and replaced the ruling pure blood aristocracy with a timocratic four-class system based on wealth differences (timocracy).

In Sparta in the 6th century, under the influence of the ephors, the privileges of the nobility were restricted in favor of the community of equals (Homoioi) who were prepared for warrior life through common upbringing and common meals. Elsewhere, the antagonism between the nobility and the people led to the appearance of tyrants who exploited social injustices to create a personal power (e.g. Peisistratos in Athens, Kleisthenes in Sikyon, Theagenes in Megara). The archaic period is characterized by the wide spread of political and cultural activities, with the East initially being the leader, spiritually and economically (oldest coins in Lydia and Ionia in the 7th century). Here the Aeolians, Ionians and Dorians had united in alliances of cities, but nevertheless fell under foreign sovereignty, first the Lydians, then 546 the Persians, who installed or promoted tyrants in the cities. The leading city was Miletus with the famous Apollo shrine at Didyma, the home of the philosophers Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes as well as the geographer Hekataios. Of the very numerous colonies of Miletus, v. a. Abydos on the Hellespont and Amisos on the Black Sea, Sinope (Sinop), Trebizond, Odessos (Varna), Olbia at the mouth of the Dnieper, Istros at the mouth of the Danube and Pantikapaion (Kerch). In addition to Miletus, Ephesus, the home of Heraclitus, particularly flourished with its world-famous Temple of Artemis.

The rich Smyrna was already around 600 BC. Destroyed by the Lydians. The Ionian Phokaia became very wealthy through trade with Spain and founded the colony of Massalia (Marseille) on the coast of Gaul around 600. Of the islands, Chios was considered the birthplace of Homer, Lesbos gained fame through Alkaios, Sappho and Pittakos, Samos through its tyrant Polycrates. In the motherland next to Thessaly, where the noble Aleuads ruled in Larisa, the Scopades in Krannon and the Echekratids in Pharsalus, v. a. Thebes, the home of Pindar to name, which gained hegemony over Boeotia in the 6th century. The ore-rich trading town of Chalkis on Evia founded numerous colonies in the west, such as Kyme (Cumae) and Rhegion (today Reggio di Calabria) in southern Italy and Zankle (Messina), Katane, Naxos and Leontinoi in Sicily. Corinth, which gained great power under the tyrants Kypselus and Periander (around 620-550 BC), also had numerous colonies, for example on the Adriatic. Leukas, Ambrakia (Arta) and Apollonia, also the island of Korkyra (Corfu), in Sicily Syracuse and on the Chalkidike Potidaia. Under his tyrant Pheidon Argos also gained greater power at times. In southern Italy, Sybaris held a hegemonic position until his fall (510 BC).

Sparta and Athens held a special position. The Spartans were finally able to win Messenia in the 7th century and thus had the largest land area of ​​a Greek polis (about 8,400 km 2, two fifths of the Peloponnese). In the 6th century they also achieved hegemony in the Peloponnese through the establishment of the Peloponnesian League. The Spartan government was in the hands of the small stratum of full Spartan citizens (originally around 10,000) on whom the citizens of the laconic country towns, the Periöks (around 50,000), were politically dependent. V. a. the serf helots (about 150,000). The population pressure in Sparta, which made the conquest of Messenia possible, eased as early as the 6th century. Since full citizenship was tied to a certain land ownership (Kleros, Doric Klaros), the fear of property sharing led to a decrease in the number of children. War losses and the consequences of the severe earthquake of 464 BC The number of full citizens decreased further, so that in the 4th century measures against the decline in the birth rate were taken in vain. In order to maintain their master position, the Spartans isolated themselves more and more from the outside world. The lively cultural life of the 7th and early 6th centuries (the poets Terpandros, Alkman, Tyrtaios and Stesichoros worked in Sparta at that time) gave way since the middle of the 6th century to an intensification of pre-military training in youth education and community life, which made Sparta a single army camp (according to Plato).

With Attica, Athens possessed the second largest territory of a Greek polis (together with Salamis 2,650 km 2; the territories of the other Greek states as a rule did not even reach 1,000 km 2). After Solon’s archon, the size of the Attic territory favored the formation of regional groups under the leadership of individual nobles. Finally, around 560, Peisistratos was able to establish a tyranny, which he asserted after being expelled twice and in 527 bequeathed to his sons Hippias and Hipparchus (Hipparchus). After the elimination of Hipparchus by the murderers Harmodios and Aristogeiton 514 and the expulsion of Hippias 510, Kleisthenes 508/507 carried out a reorganization of the state, which allowed all rural communities (Demen) of Attica to send their representatives directly to the newly created Council of Five Hundred. The ten new Attic phyls, which were newly established in place of the four old gentilian phyls, one third each from the area around Athens, the coastal and inland areas, eliminated the regional differences and became the basis of the new military order, with Athens becoming the strongest power Central Greece made.

Greece Early History

Tour de France History

Tour de France History

The Tour de France is the world’s most famous multi-stage race for professional cyclists, which is held annually in France in July.

But what is the “Grand Boucle”, as the Tour de France is affectionately known by the French, so special? And how can it be explained that thousands and thousands of fans stand on the streets of France in the summer to cheer for a few seconds of rushing cyclists? To understand this, it is worth taking a look at the history of the tour.

The first Tour de France took place in 1903. Henri Desgrange (* 1865, † 1940) as editor-in-chief of the sports newspaper “L’Auto” and his staff had the idea and the courage to organize a cycling race across France over several days and stages. They struggled with a poor circulation of their newspaper. To increase sales, they decided to organize a bike race across France. On July 1, 1903, sixty daring racing drivers set off for Lyon in front of the “Réveil-Matin” inn in Paris, the first stage of 467 km. This was followed by another five stages with similar distances and intermediate stops in Marseille, Toulouse and Bordeaux and Nantes. The last stage ended again in Paris on July 19th. At the finish at the Prinzenpark, the remaining drivers were enthusiastically welcomed by 20,000 spectators. Only a third made it to Paris. The winner of the first edition was the Frenchman Maurice Garin (* 1871, † 1957), who among other things won three of the six stages. The tour was also successful for the organizers and their newspaper. Nothing stood in the way of a repetition in the following year.

The second edition was to be a great test for the young Tour de France and its organizers. On the almost identical course, last year’s winner Maurice Garin once again proved to be the strongest. However, the race was overshadowed by countless scams and manipulations. Parts of the audience, presumably at the behest of some drivers, threw nails on the road and even got physical to eliminate unpleasant opponents of their own favorites. Other drivers secretly used the train or the car to reduce debris. Maurice Garin received food from officials in an unauthorized manner and obviously influenced the race with his helpers. Because of these incidents, the organizers subsequently disqualified several drivers, including the first four of the overall classification, in December 1904. The fifth-placed Frenchman Henri Cornet (* 1884, † 1941) was declared the official winner of the second edition.

Despite the scandals, daring racing drivers set out on a modified course across France in 1905. Thanks to revised regulations and drivers who fought fairly, the third event went mostly smoothly. The race established itself in the following years and reinvented itself again and again through a wide variety of measures: A larger number of stages, which were on average a little shorter than in the early years. Changing routes along the national border and approaching more and more new regions in France. In 1910, for the first time in the history of the Tour de France, the Pyrenees were included in the program, and a year later the high Alpine passes as well. At that time, the drive through the high mountains was an unimaginable ordeal due to poor road conditions, partly snow-covered paths and the difficult weather conditions. Octave Lapize (* 1887, † 1917), who mastered the first Pyrenees passes fastest in 1910 and later also won the Tour de France, insulted the organizers as a “murderer” (“Vous êtes des assassins. Oui, des assassins!” «).

It was not until the outbreak of World War I that the annual competition for victory on the country roads of France stopped. The time during and immediately after the war years (1914-18 and 1940-1946) were the only times the Tour de France did not take place. Between the two world wars in the 1930s, Henri Desgrange decided, still director of the Tour de France, replacing the teams sponsored by well-known companies with national teams. His goal was to put the individual driver back at the center of the race and not the power play and money of the corporations that bought the best drivers away from each other. He also introduced a mountain prize and a time trial, in which the drivers had to tackle a stage alone against the clock, either individually or together with the team. His strategy worked, the race was livened up and attracted more and more spectators.

After the Second World War, Jacques Goddet (* 1905, † 2000) took over the office of tour director and had to maneuver the tour through the economically and politically difficult post-war years, always looking for the optimal form of organization: the tour started in foreign cities (for the first time 1954 in Amsterdam), return to company teams for economic reasons (1960), introduction of a prologue (a short time trial under 10 km at the start of a Tour de France) and the creation of new stimuli such as sprint ratings, time credits and mountain finishes. Goddet also establishedas the destination of the Tour de France, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris, where it first ended in 1975. Since then, the winners, as well as all the other drivers who have survived the tour to the end, have been celebrated by the countless spectators on this magnificent boulevard in the heart of Paris.

Tour de France History


Hydra and Monemvasia, Greece

Hydra and Monemvasia, Greece


An island with style

The small Greek island is located in the Aegean Sea and is off the Peloponnese peninsula. She belongs to the group of sarons. Like many of its neighboring islands, Hydra is particularly popular with day tourists. Daily ferry connections exist for example from Piraeus or Ermioni. Journeys to Hydra can only be made by ship, as the island does not have an airport.

Peace and relaxation far from mass tourism

An almost unwooded and rocky island awaits the visitor, which is characterized by dreamlike bays and picturesque villages. The originality and tranquility that Hydra exudes are intensified by the car ban. There is a network of hiking trails that connect the small towns with one another. If you don’t just want to get around the island, which is around 20 kilometers long and 4 kilometers wide, you can do so with a taxi boat or on the back of a donkey. The pack animal is still an important means of transport today.

The cultural island life

The main town of the same name has some sights to offer. The church of the former Panagia monastery, the Byzantine Museum or the Naval Museum are definitely among them. But Hydra is not just a study trip destination. The numerous bars, cafés and restaurants around the small harbor exude a Mediterranean island feeling and invite you to relax. Artists and intellectuals have always valued the inspiring backdrop. A cultural highlight is the Saronic Chamber Music Festival, which also takes place on Hydra every year from late July to early August.

Dream beaches and paradisiacal bays

In addition to churches and monasteries, which are also located in more remote areas of the island, it is above all the beaches that exert a special charm. The quiet bays can be easily reached from the port by taxi boat. A few kilometers east of the main town is Mandraki. The stone beach has a sufficient tourist infrastructure. There is a hotel and various water sports on offer. Also west of the main town you can enjoy the sun and the sea on the beach of Vlyhos.


If you are on holiday on the famous Greek peninsula Peloponnese, you cannot avoid the small town of Monemvasia. The city, which was founded in the sixth century, can look back on a unique history. The most important starting point in the 5,000-inhabitant city are the ruins of a former Byzantine fortress on a 300 meter high rock plateau in the upper town. There are numerous remains of centuries-old Byzantine houses and public buildings around the fortress. From the upper town you also have a fascinating overview of the Peloponnese. Another major draw for tourists and locals in Monemvasia is the restored Agia Sofia Church. In the so-called lower town of Monemvasia, which has been extensively restored in recent years,

Picturesque beaches and delightful surroundings

At the foot of the rock plateau, which is already visible from afar, there are numerous picturesque beaches that are extremely popular with both beach holidaymakers and water sports enthusiasts. The city’s most popular beach is around 1,000 meters long Kakavos, which is surrounded by small hotels and a few cafes. The surroundings of Monemvasia also offer other attractive destinations for an excursion. The region with its unique flora and fauna can be explored on the well-developed hiking and cycling trails.

Elafonissi beach

Elafonissi – these ten letters not only stand for unadulterated holiday happiness, but also for wonderful blue water and an unusually romantic pink beach. Undoubtedly, this is a pearl among the beaches of Crete. Anyone who speaks of Elafonissi as an island must know that this island is only a few meters away from Crete. The Mediterranean only reaches the knees for holidaymakers and thousands of people pass this strait every day in the main season.

Home to endangered sea turtles

And they are then rewarded with paradisiacal conditions and a sandy beach that is not afraid of comparison with the Caribbean. Elafonissi measures just 1300 meters in its longest extension and is four hundred meters wide. The entire island landscape is under intensive nature protection, because this is also the home of the endangered saltwater turtles with the Latin name Caretta Caretta. Beach life is particularly popular with families, as the children can safely splash around in the warm water here in the shallow sea. In some areas, Elafonissi resembles a large lagoon with weak waves.

Memory of a ship disaster

If you go to the island of Elafonissi, you should have drinks in your luggage, because there is no kiosk here. Several paths lead across this barely inhabited area. A wooden cross and a lighthouse are reminiscent of a ship disaster on the beach. In 1907, the passenger ship “Imperatrix” sank off Elafonissi, and forty passengers lost their lives. There is also a small chapel designed to keep memories of a 1928 massacre alive. It is said that numerous Greeks were murdered by Turkish invaders at the time. The shells that give the sand its special color are pink. A reef in front of the beach is the Eldorado for vacationers who like to dive or snorkel. Sun loungers and parasols can be rented on Elafonissi. And there are also a couple of chemical toilets.

Monemvasia, Greece

Valley of the Rocks

Valley of the Rocks

Dramatic idyll: The Valley of the Rocks

For some hikers, the Valley of the Rocks in Exmoor National Park has almost dramatic features. Others are so fascinated by the idyllic landscape in the “Valley of the Rocks” that it takes their breath away. Most outdoor freaks among holidaymakers choose the twin cities of Lynmouth and Lynton as the starting point for their excursions through one of the most impressive nature reserves in England.

Wild goat territory

The Valley of the Rocks was the declared territory of a herd of wild goats for a long time before the coast of the Bristol Channel was discovered by nature lovers. One of the most interesting and varied hikes through the labyrinth of rocks leads from Lynton along the banks of the East River Lyn to the so-called South West Coast Path. This leads right along the cliffs in a spectacular section. Those who take on the hardships of this demanding tour will be rewarded with spectacular views.

Roaring sea and steep cliffs

After the difficult climb, a trip on the Cliff Railway is recommended, which commutes between Lynmouth and Lynton and which has earned the reputation of being the steepest water-operated railway on the globe. The romantic coast with the “valley of the rocks” is visited by connoisseurs of this region especially in the weeks of spring. Then the meadows are green and the omnipresent gorse opens its yellow flowers. And all of this from the perspective of the often roaring sea at the foot of the steep cliffs.

A treasure trove for geologists

For geologists, this area not far from Exmoor is a real treasure trove, as the Devonian rocks are rich in fossils. The valley found its way into literature as early as 1797 when, after a joint visit, the writers William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote a prosaic story they called “The Wanderings of Cain”. The wife of the Australian composer Miriam Hyde was so taken with the idyll of the Valley of the Rocks in 1974 that she subsequently put an important piano piece on the sheet music.

Why Porthcurno Beach is worth a visit

A beach for everyone
Porthcurno Beach is in the Cornwall region of southern England, near the town of Penzance. The beach has been convincing young and old for decades with its white, clean sand and turquoise-blue water. If the conditions are right, surfers get their money’s worth. The beach is also extremely popular with families with children or study travelers.

Fascinating wildlife up close

Observing animals in the wild is certainly a formative experience. On the beach of Porthcurno it is not uncommon to see dolphins in the immediate vicinity of the beach. With a little luck you can spot porpoises or minke whales. Bird lovers will delight in the rare chough birds that breed around Porthcurno Beach each year.

Numerous attractions around Porthcurno

The gardens of Penberth and Chygurno in Lamorna are in the immediate vicinity of the beautiful sandy beach. A visit to the historic Minack open-air theater from 1932 is worthwhile on the one hand because of the fabulous view and on the other hand because of the open-air theater performances.

After about 30 minutes on foot, you will reach the granite rock Logan Rock.

The best travel time

In the summer months, a day trip to Porthcurno Beach is most worthwhile. Whether swimming, bathing or paddling – everyone gets their money’s worth here! There is also a lot to discover in the colder months: For example, seals can be observed near the beach all year round. Millions of rare birds reside around the picturesque landscape of Porthcurno Beach in autumn and spring. Regardless of the season, moderate hikes to the nearby Lands End headland are ideal.


Wild Yorkshire countryside

Swaledale is very interesting for study tour participants as it has a history that goes back to prehistoric times. The special wildflower pastures on which the Swaledale sheep graze are interesting for botanists.

Swaledale: In the footsteps of the Vikings

Danish Vikings once settled in Swaledale. All places in the valley are named after the Viking families who lived and worked there. Travelers will find their traces throughout the region and the ruins of abbeys of the monks who succeeded the Vikings in the Middle Ages. The small museum in Reeth has an interesting exhibition about Swaledale in the former school. The old forge at Gunnerside reports on the mining of lead in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Swaledale is a prime hiking area between May and the end of September. The starting point for many circular hiking trails, mountain bike trails and the Coast-to-Coast Walk is the village of Reeth. In August the Swaledale Festival and the mountain bike festival “Ard Rock” take place. The motorcycle off-road race “Scott Trial” is known nationwide.

Valley of the Rocks

Estonia Geography

Estonia Geography

Estonia’s land border with Latvia runs 267 km, with Russia it runs 290 km. From 1920 to 1945, Estonia’s border with Russia, established by the 1920 Tartu Peace Treaty, extended beyond the Narva River in the northeast and beyond the town of Pechory (Petseri) in the southeast. This territory, amounting to about 2,300 square kilometers, was incorporated into Russia by Stalin at the end of World War II. For this reason, the borders between Estonia and Russia are not yet defined today.

Estonia is located on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea in the Gulf of Finland, in the northwestern part of the rising Eastern European shelf between 57.3 ° and 59.5 ° N and 21.5 ° and 28.1 ° E. The elevation Average reaches 50 meters and the highest point in the country is the Munamägi Suur in the southeast at 318 meters. There are 3,794 kilometers of coastline marked by numerous bays, straits and inlets. The number of islands and islets is estimated at about 1,500. Two of them are large enough to constitute different counties: Saaremaa and Hiiumaa. A small group of meteor craters, the largest of which is called Kaali, is located in Saaremaa, Estonia.

Estonia has more than 1,400 lakes. Most are very small and the largest, Lake Peipus (Peipsi in Estonian) is 3,555 km2. There are many rivers in the country. The longest of them are Võhandu (162 km), Pärnu (144 km), and Põltsamaa (135 km). Estonia has numerous bogs and swamps.

Estonia is shared between the Central European and Eastern European provinces of the Circumboreal Region in the Boreal Kingdom. According to the WWF, the territory of Estonia belongs to the Sarmatian mixed forest ecoregion.

Administrative divisions

The Republic of Estonia is divided into fifteen counties (Maakonnad), which are the administrative subdivisions of the country. The first documented mention of Estonia with political and administrative subdivisions comes from Henry of Livonia’s Chronicle, written in the 13th century during the Northern Crusades.

A maakond (county) is the largest administrative subdivision. The county government (Maavalitsus) is headed by a provincial governor (Maavanem), who represents the national government at the regional level. Governors are appointed by the Estonian Government for a five-year term. Several changes were made to county boundaries after Estonia became independent, notably the formation of Valga County (from parts of Võru, Tartu and Viljandi counties) and Petseri County (area acquired from Russia with the Tartu Peace Treaty 1920).

During the Soviet regime, Petseri County was annexed and ceded to the Russian SFSR in 1945, where it became one of the Pskovs districts. The counties were again re-established on January 1, 1990 on the borders of the Soviet-era regions. Due to the many differences between current and historical designs, historical boundaries are still used by ethnology, better representing cultural and linguistic differences.

Each county is divided into municipalities (omavalitsus), which is also the smallest administrative subdivision in Estonia. There are two types of municipalities: an urban municipality – linn (city), and a rural municipality – vald (parish). There is no other distinction between them. Each municipality is an autonomous government unit with its representative and executive bodies. Municipalities in Estonia cover the entire territory of the country.

A municipality may contain one or more populated places. Tallinn is divided into eight districts (linnaosa) with limited autonomy (Haabersti, Kesklinn, Kristiine, Lasnamäe, Mustamäe, Nõmme, Pirita and Pohja Tallinn).

Municipalities range in size from Tallinn with 400,000 residents to Ruhnu with just 60. As more than two thirds of the municipalities have a population of less than 3,000, many of them have seen the convenience of cooperating in the provision of services and the performance of administrative functions. There have also been calls for an administrative reform to merge the smaller municipalities together.

As of March 2008, there were a total of 227 municipalities in Estonia, 33 of them urban and 194 rural.


According to educationvv, Estonia is located in the northern part of the temperate climate zones and the maritime and continental climate transition zone. Because Estonia (and all of Northern Europe) is continuously heated by maritime air influenced by the heat content of the North Atlantic Ocean, it has a more benign climate despite its northern latitude. The Baltic Sea causes differences between the climate of the coastal and inland areas. Estonia has four seasons of almost equal length. The average temperature ranges from 16.3 ° C (61.3 ° F) in the Baltic Islands to 18.1 ° C (64.6 ° F) inland, in July, the warmest month, and -3.5 ° C (25.7 ° F) in the Baltic Islands – 7.6 ° C (18.3 ° F) inland, in February, the coldest month.

The average annual temperature in Estonia is 5.2 ° C. The average temperature in February, the coldest month of the year, is -5.7 ° C. The average temperature in July, which is considered the hottest month of the year, is 16.4 ° C. The climate is also influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Atlantic Current and the Icelandic Minimum, which is a known area. due to the formation of cyclones and where the mean atmospheric pressure is lower than in neighboring areas. Estonia is located in a humid area where the amount of precipitation is greater than the total evaporation. Average rainfall in 1961 – 1990 it ranged from 535 to 727 millimeters (21.1 to 28.6) per year and was strongest in summer. There were between 102 and 127 days of rain per year, and average rainfall was most abundant on the western slopes of the Sakala and Haanja Highlands. The snow cover, which is deeper in the south-eastern part of Estonia, usually lasts from mid-December to the end of March.

Estonia Geography

Italian Theater

Italian Theater

Italian theater. The Italian theater encompasses the forms of play that were often still in Latin in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, as well as the Italian-language theater of the former states and today’s Italy. It can claimto have had a decisive influence on the development of the performing arts in Europesince the Renaissance; Major impulses for European culture came from the Italian opera (opera), the Commedia all’italiana (Commedia dell’Arte), but also from the Italian theater architecture (Teatro Olimpico, Teatro Farnese) and stage design techniques (backdrops, Peep box stage, illusion stage). In contrast to theater in other European countries, the development of Italian theater took place in the context of particular interests tied to city-states and less to the central power of the church.

Late Middle Ages and Renaissance

Spiritual play and rediscovery of ancient dramas

As in other European regions, according to andyeducation, theatrical modes of expression developed in Italy from the late Middle Ages, initially in the form of spiritual play. With him biblical events were represented by priests and lay people. The venue was initially the interior of the church (as part of church services), later church and market squares and other parts of the urban space were used. The earliest reports of spiritual games in Italy concentrate on the middle of the 13th century (e.g. description of the performance of an Easter play in the Benedictine monastery of Montecassino in 1244). The theatrical presentation of biblical events combined with increasing technical effort, among other things. if angel, God the Father or Christ displayed floating with apparatus and fire and artificially generated noises (thunder) were used. Although the games in their early forms were presented in Latin, they were able to convey biblical content to a population that was often not able to read and write.

Forms of spiritual play presented in Italian probably did not emerge directly from the Latin-speaking, church-institutionalized performance tradition, but from vernacular and dialogically structured songs that originated from the middle of the 13th century and in which events from the history of Christianity were told. These songs were forerunners of living images that were presented in the course of sermons and visualized beliefs. The tradition of these so-called devozioni continued in the »Sacre rappresentazioni«, which emerged from the middle of the 15th century onwards with considerably increased stage technology and with the inclusion of the representation of action sequences. Especially the architect F. Brunelleschi was known for setting up such performances in the churches of Florence. In 1422 he staged the Ascension in Santa Maria del Carmine. Among other things, he had a castle (Jerusalem) and a mountain built inside the church, from which an actor as Christ went to heaven in the dome of the house of God.

From the rediscovery of ancient writings, the Italian theater culture drew the essential impulses for the development of secular theater, which was to decisively shape the European theater tradition. As a result of around the middle of the 15th century BC a. in Rome in the vicinity of the academy of J. Pomponius Laetus beginning reception of ancient dramas, first the comedies of Plautus and Terence, then the tragedies of Seneca were read and performed. The Terenz stage served as the venue for the comedies. Pope Leo X built the so-called Capitol Theater in 1513. Venice and Florence became further centers of theatrical art. The third, increasingly influential environment for the further development of theater turned out to be in the 15th century – after the church and academy – aristocratic society and the royal court: Biblical and mythological interludes, so-called intermedia (intermezzo), in performances of comedies and by means of parades (trionfi) Scenes (e.g. sea battles) re-enacted. The often spectacular events served in the context of court festivities v. a. political representation.

At the turn of the 16th century, the first comedies by contemporary authors were written. by L. Ariosto, Bibbiena and N. Machiavelli. G. G. Trissino wrote the earliest known Italian tragedy (“La Sophonisba”, 1524, first performance 1562; German “Sophonisbe”). The types of roles in comedy were included in the Commedia dell’Arte, which was conceived as improvisational theater, performed with masks and based on certain role constellations (including Herr – Diener). The shepherd’s play (shepherd’s poem), staged in the Mannerist style, also gained popularity. by T. Tasso.

With recourse to the architectural writings of Vitruvius (»De architectura libri decem«, completed after 27 BC; published in print 1486) through the reception of antiquity, theaters were built that became role models for European theater architecture (Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, built 1580–84; Teatro Farnese in Parma, built 1618–19). B. Buontalenti and his pupil Guilio Parigi (* 1571, † 1635) created the technical prerequisites for convertible stage equipment (transformation stage), for which they, among others. on periacts (used in Florence until the 1630s). Giovanni Battista Aleotti (* 1546, † 1636) and later Alfonso Parigi († 1656) worked on the stage set in the early 17th century. However, these stage technical innovations were not implemented in spoken theater, but rather by v. a. at opera and ballet performances.

17th and 18th centuries

Opera, Commedia dell’Arte and civic theater

Among the theatrical courtly festive events, opera became the most popular form of performance in the early 17th century. In the field of spoken theater, the impromptu art of the Commedia dell’Arte first gained popularity in Italy, then through traveling theater troupes across Europe. The games were played in courtyards and in mercantile places such as trade fairs and marketplaces.

The growing proportion of spectators from other sections of the population that went beyond court society is reflected in the growing number of municipal theaters in the 18th century. The Commedia dell’Arte, which is characterized by coarseness, came under increasing criticism in connection with enlightening-domesticating tendencies. C. Goldoni banished the lamented excesses of improvisational theater with his dramatic texts; it is the first time that the written fixation of theater plays is documented in Italy. While maintaining the basic constellations of figures, Goldoni continuedElaborated dialogues and character constellations countered the masquerade, he dissolved repetitive patterns of action through sophisticated dramaturgies, thematically he aligned the pieces more closely to the real contemporary conditions. As an alternative to this, C. Gozzi’s efforts around the middle and late 18th century to further develop the imaginative, harsh social reality and crude potential of the Commedia dell’Arte (especially in his fairy tale games, the »Fiabi«) can be understood.

Italian Theater

Poland Geography

Poland Geography

Poland – key data

Area: 312,685 km² (of which land: 304,255 km², water: 8,430 km²)

Population: 38.4 million (July 2011 estimate, CIA). Composition: Poland 96.7%,German 0.4%, Belarusians 0.1%, Ukrainians 0.1%, others and no information 2.7% (2002 census).

Population density: 123 residents per km²

Population growth: -0.062% per year (2011, CIA)

Capital: Warsaw (1.71 million residents, 2008)

Highest point: Rysy, 2,499 m

Lowest point: point near Raczki Elblaskie, -2 m

Form of government: Poland has been a republic since 1918. The current constitution has been in force since 1997. The Polish bicameral parliament consists of the lower house (Sejm, 460 members) and the Senate (100 senators). Poland has been a member of theEuropean Union.

Administrative division: 16 voivodships: Warmia-Masuria (Warmi? Sko-Mazurskie), Lublin (Lubelskie), Greater Poland (Wielkopolskie), Mazowieckie (Mazowieckie), Świ? Tokrzyskie (Świ? Tokrzyskie), Lower Silesia (Dolno? L? Skie), Subcarpathian region (Podkarpackie), Opole (Opolskie), Lesser Poland (Ma? Opolskie), Podlaskie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Pomerania (Pomorskie), Lubuskie, Silesia (? L? Skie), Lodsch (? ódzkie), West Pomerania (Zachodniopomorskie)

Head of State: President Bronisław Komorowski, since April 10, 2010

Head of Government: Prime Minister Donald Tusk, since November 16, 2007

Language: the official language in Poland is Polish (native language for 97.8%). 2.2% other languages ​​(mainly German, Ukrainian and Belarusian) 2002 census

Religion: Roman Catholic 89.8% (75% practicing), Orthodox 1.3%, Protestant 0.3%, other religions 0.3%, no information 8.3% (2002 census)

Local time: CET. Between the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October there is summer time in Poland (CET + 1 hour).
The time difference to Central Europe in both winter and summer 0 h.

International phone code: +48


Mains voltage: 220 V, 50 Hz

The Republic of Poland is a state in the east of Central Europe. Poland borders Germany to the west, the Baltic Sea to the north, the Kaliningrad region and Lithuania to the northeast, Belarus and Ukraine to the east, and the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic to the south. The total area of ​​the country covers 312,678 square kilometers; its north-south extension is 650 kilometers, the distance from west to east is 690 kilometers. Visit cellphoneexplorer for Brief Information About Poland.

Poland is characterized by five major landscapes: the Baltic Sea coast, the lake districts, the lowlands, the low mountain ranges and the high mountains.

Similar to Germany In Poland, the sea, the Baltic Sea in the north and the mountains, the Sudetes and Carpathians in the south, form the natural national borders. To the Baltic coast, it is followed by a belt of lake plateaus, which is replaced by flat lowlands in the middle of the country. In the south, the mountain ranges extend with their distinctive manifestations. Viewed from above, the Polish landscapes appear almost like strips running parallel and strung together.

The more than 500 kilometers long Baltic Sea coast consists mainly of wide beaches with very light, sometimes white sand. The beach slopes gently towards the sea and behind it stretches a dune landscape overgrown with pine forest. Characteristic of the Polish coast are the sandy and narrow spits small bays separated from the sea, which have similarities with lagoon and beach lakes. The Fresh Lagoon, located in the east of the Gdańsk Bay, is almost completely separated from the Baltic Sea, while the Hela peninsula protrudes deep into this bay without, however, forming a self-contained lagoon. The Polish Lake Districts are divided into the Pomeranian Lake District, the Greater Poland Lake District and the Masurian Lake District. The first two lake areas are predominantly covered by beech forests, while the Masurian Lake District to the east is covered with mixed spruce forests due to its continental climate. The Great Masurian Lakes, connected by canals, are also a popular travel destination because of their flora and fauna, some of which come from Siberia.

The lake districts are bounded in the south by the broad Polish lowland, the densely populated area of ​​which is divided into three regions: the Wielkopolska lowland in the west, the Central Silesian arable plain to the south and the Masurian lowland in the east.

The south-east of Poland is formed by the predominantly plateaus Uplands shaped. They are divided into the Lesser Poland highlands with the Kraków-Czestochowa Jura, the Kielce and Sandomierz highlands with the Holy Cross Mountains, and the Lublin hill country. In the south-west and south of Poland, the Sudetes and Carpathians form the country’s natural borders. In contrast, the Beskids stretch through almost the whole of southern Poland. The Tatras are divided into the High Tatras and the Western Tatras. In the High Tatras lies the Rysy, Poland’s highest peak, at 2,499 meters.

Poland’s most important and longest rivers are the Vistula with 1,047 kilometers, the Oder with 854 kilometers, the Warthe with 808 kilometers and the Bug with 772 kilometers.

Best travel time for Poland

A country of this size has enough places that can be visited all year round. Most vacationers visit Poland from May to October if that weather is warmer. The peak tourist season is July and August when schools and universities are on vacation and most Polish workers and employees take their annual vacation. During this time, Poland can be very crowded, especially in the particularly attractive regions such as the Baltic Sea beaches, the Masurian Lakes, the Carpathian Mountains, Warsaw and Krakow.

In July and August, of course, the means of transport are also full and often booked out well in advance. Accommodation is harder to find and sometimes more expensive than in the low season. Fortunately, many schools that are empty during the holidays act as youth hostels, as do dormitories in the big cities. Most theaters are closed in July and August.

If you want to avoid the tourist crowds, travel either in late spring / early summer (mid-May to June) or between summer and autumn (September to October). These times are comfortably warm, ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, horse riding and canoeing. In addition, many cultural events take place.

The rest of the year, from mid-autumn to mid-spring, is colder and darker. Nevertheless, during this time you can visit urban sights or enjoy the cultural life in Poland. Of course, hiking and other outdoor activities (apart from skiing) are less enjoyable during this period. Most campsites and youth hostels are closed during this time.

The ski season is between December and March. The Polish mountains are spectacular, but the infrastructure (hotels and chalets, elevators and drag lifts, cable cars) is still not that well developed. The Polish winter sports centers are Zakopane and the Tatra Mountains.

Poland Geography

How to Get to Belgium

How to Get to Belgium

Airplane: Belgium’s most famous international Airline is Brussels Airline. It came from a merger of SN Brussels Airline with Virgin Express. The only other airline in Belgium is VLM Airlines. See mcat-test-centers for best cities to study in Belgium.

For example, flights to Belgium from Germany offer the Lufthansa, KLM from the Netherlands, British Airways from Great Britain and Air France from France. Ryanair offers low-cost flights from Glasgow ‘s Prestwick Airport and Dublin and Shannon to Charleroi. Air Lingus also flies from Dublin to Brussels.

The flight time from London to Brussels is around an hour and ten minutes. A flight from London to Antwerp takes about the same time.

Airports: the main airports in Belgium are in Brussels (BRU), Antwerp (ANR), Charleroi (CRL, about 55 kilometers south of Brussels) and Liège (LGG).

Ship: there are three car ferry routes between Belgium and Great Britain. The tariffs and timetables vary greatly, depending on seasonal demand. Companies that offer ferry travel to and from Great Britain are:

P&O (Zeebrugge – Hull, crossing time approximately 14 hours), Superfast Ferries (Zeebrugge – Rosyth in Scotland; crossing time approximately 18 hours), Transeuropa Ferries (Ostend – Ramsgate; crossing time about four hours).

Rail: the French rail network is operated by the Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français (SNCF). From France, Thalys express trains take passengers quickly from Paris to Brussels, but also to Antwerp, Mons and Liège several times a day. Trains run once a day from Paris to Ghent, Kortrijk and Leuven.

Train connections between Germany and Belgium are also offered by Thalys. Trains from Cologne run to Brussels several times a day. There is also a connection between Cologne and Liège. Normally, journeys with Thalys are more expensive than with Deutsche Bahn. However, the company offers cheaper return tickets.

The Dutch rail network is operated by Nederlands Spoorwegen (NS). Thalys trains connect Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam with numerous Belgian cities. Trains run from Amsterdam several times a day to Antwerp and Brussels.

The Channel Tunnel or Eurotunnel enables a land connection between Great Britain and France. The Eurostar high-speed train uses the Channel Tunnel for its connections between London and Paris and London and Brussels. Trains run from London to Brussels’ Gare du Midi several times a day. The tickets include the option that travelers can travel to any train station in Belgium at no extra charge. A traveler can decide whether he wants to get off the bus in Brussels or whether he prefers to go to Bruges or Ghent. There are a number of tariffs for traveling on the Eurostar. Tickets can be purchased at any of the UK’s main train stations.

The Eurotunnel vehicle service operates between the terminals in Folkestone (Great Britain) and Coquelles (5 km southwest of Calais in France). Cars, motorcycles and bicycles with their passengers are transported by train from the mainland to the British Isles and vice versa. The trains run 24 hours, every day of the year, with four departures an hour at peak times. During the 35-minute crossing, passengers can either remain seated in their cars or stretch their legs in the air-conditioned, soundproofed train. The whole process, including loading and unloading, takes about an hour.

The fares for using the Eurotunnel vary greatly depending on the vehicle you are taking with you, the time of year, the day of the week and the time of day. The tariffs are significantly higher at peak times. But there are also special tariffs such as Short-Day-Saver and five-day FlexiPlus.

Car: the most important motorways to and in Belgium are the European route E 19 from the Netherlands, the E 40 from Germany, the E411 from Luxembourg and the E17 and E19 from France.

There are no controls at the border crossings to Belgium. There are plans to introduce a motorway toll on entry into Belgium.

Bus: With the increasing availability of cheap flights, bus travel within Europe is no longer the cheapest option. For those who prefer to stay on the ground, however, they are always a good alternative to air travel, including to Belgium.

Eurolines is the only bus company that offers trips between France and Belgium. The buses sometimes run several times a day from Paris to Brussels, Antwerp, Mons and Liège. The timetable also includes trips from Paris to Ghent, Kortrijk and Leuven.

The most important company for bus trips between Belgium and Germany is Deutsche Touring / Eurolines. There are daily buses from several German cities, such as Aachen, Frankfurt and Cologne, to Belgium. Buses from Frankfurt go to Brussels and Liège, for example.

Bus trips between Belgium and the Netherlands are also offered several times a day by Eurolines. From Amsterdam there are buses to Antwerp, Brussels and Bruges.
Eurolines buses from Great Britain to Belgium leave several times a day from London’s Victoria Station bus station and take travelers to Brussels, Antwerp and Liège. Busabout offers an alternative to Eurolines. The UK-based company is targeting younger travelers. However, there is no upper age limit. Busabout offers three different round trips through the north, south and west of Europe. On the northern route, from May to October, buses also run via Bruges on the way from Paris to Amsterdam.

How to Get to Belgium

Old Town of Riga (World Heritage)

Old Town of Riga (World Heritage)

According to extrareference, the foundation of Riga in 1201 goes back to Bishop Albert I von Buxhövden. The later Hanseatic city of Riga is the second oldest city to be founded on the Baltic Sea after Lübeck. The old town documents the long history of the Hanseatic city, which is also known for its Art Nouveau buildings, wooden houses and fortifications. The center of the historic town center is the market square with the town hall, the house of the Blackheads and the Roland column. The cathedral was built in the 13th century.

Old Riga: Facts

Official title: Historic city center of Riga
Cultural monument: Old town with the cathedral and episcopal tombs such as those for Bishop Berthold (d. 1198), the Petrikirche and the Johanniskirche, the Eckens convent, the Dannenstern house, the “Three Brothers” ensemble, the Sweden Gate, the only still preserved city gate in Riga, and the Art Nouveau buildings in Alberta iela, Albertstraße, such as No. 7/9 based on a design by Alfred Aschenkampff
Continent: Europe
Country: Latvia
Location: Riga
Appointment: 1997
Meaning: in the former Hanseatic city the most important concentration of Art nouveau buildings in Europe

Old town of Riga: history

1198 first documentary mention of the city
1209 first mention of the Petrikirche
1211 Start of construction of the cathedral
1282 Joins the Hanseatic League
1297 first mention of the Johanniskirche
1415 Mention of the oldest house from the “Three Brothers” ensemble
1547 Big city fire
1582-89 Reconstruction of the Church of St. John
1667-94 Reconstruction of the Church of St. Peter
1694-95 Construction of the Dannenstern house
05/10/1721 Lightning strike in the tower of the Petrikirche, which then burns to the ground
1733 Consecration of the Reformed Church
1899 first building in Art nouveau style on Albertstrasse (Alberta iela)
1953-58 Restoration of the “Three Brothers” ensemble
since 1991 Riga again the capital of independent Latvia
1999 True to the original reconstruction of the magnificent House of the Blackheads, built in 1334 and destroyed in the war, on the town hall square on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the city
2010 Appointment of Riga as European Capital of Culture 2014 (with Umeå)

“Riga, which has long been famous, I saw you: mountains of sand all around, Riga itself is in the water.”

Riga has held a prominent position in Europe for eight centuries and is the center of the country’s economy and culture. Literature and art provide information about the legendary founding of the city. In one of the popular folk tunes one hears the verses.

Riga is mentioned in the Indrikus Chronicle as early as 1198. According to my historian, the beginning of the settlement probably goes back to the 10th to 11th centuries. However, the year 1201 is considered the official year of the city’s foundation, which is associated with the name of the Bremen canon Albert. A typical Hanseatic city developed over the course of the city’s history. The silhouette of the old town is determined by the expanse of the Daugava and the towering medieval towers. The medieval heart of the city has expanded over the centuries with the aesthetics of an architecture that embraces the Romanesque as well as the postmodern. Art nouveau, which you will not find anywhere else in the world in this form, as well as medieval architecture and that of the 19th century, is a defining feature of the cityscape: They all reflect the creative human spirit in their own way as masterpieces. The city is like an open-air museum, to which each epoch has added something characteristic – instead of standing still, striving for development. This is expressed in numerous significant buildings of unique value. These include the cathedral with the monastery buildings and the cloister, the construction of which began in 1211 and ended with the church tower built in Baroque style, the church of St. John with its Renaissance design, the church of St. Peter from the 13th century, its wooden one The tower built at the time of its completion was the tallest of its kind in Europe at more than 120 meters. Not to be forgotten are the “Three Brothers” ensemble in Gothic and Baroque styles, the German Theater built in 1863.

The respect for the cultural heritage of past generations has been characteristic of urban development for centuries. An old legend tells that Riga will sink in the floods of the Daugava as soon as the city is completed, and the residents of the Latvian metropolis always remember this tradition.

The city’s orientation towards Western Europe came in the early Middle Ages with the German settlers, whose influence was diminished over the centuries by Poles, Swedes and Russians. Due to its geographical location, Riga has always been an important and growing center of industry and trade. As a member of the Hanseatic League, the city was part of a European trade network. But it was also an important center of science and culture. Famous musicians such as Franz von Liszt, Robert Schumann and Richard Wagner found a grateful audience for their music within Riga’s walls.

Riga, to be compared with the melodious sound of music, has retained human dimensions: the city is green, flowed through by playful Art Nouveau and has remained livable thanks to the harmonious juxtaposition of different architectural styles, and the old town is a pearl of urban architecture: a city that can be understood that is valued and carefully preserved.

Old Town of Riga (World Heritage)

Interesting Buildings in Antwerp, Belgium

Interesting Buildings in Antwerp, Belgium

Interesting buildings and structures

Alcatel-Lucent Bell NV
This building is located in the Kievit district of Antwerp. It is the headquarters of Alcatel-Lucent, one of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of telecommunications and network equipment.
The company was created on December 1, 2006 from the merger of the French group Alcatel and the US group Lucent Technologies. But the company had existed in the city under various names for 100 years.
In the Antwerp office, research and development takes place on a wide range of technologies that will shape the networks of tomorrow, such as fixed line broadband technologies, IP and video traffic.
It should be mentioned that one of the seven Bell research facilities is located here.
The company moved into its current location in February 2006. The building was constructed between 2004 and 2005 according to plans by the Brussels architects Jaspers & Eyers.
Copernicuslaan 50
2018 Antwerp
Tel.: 0032 – (0) 3 – 240 40 11

Anna Bijns House
The Anna Bijns House was the birthplace and home of the writer and poet Anna Bijns. As the house is privately owned, it cannot be visited. It is known as “De Cleyne Wolvinne” (The Little Wolf).
Anna Bijns (1493-1575) was born on March 5, 1493 in Antwerp and later taught at a school here. In her best-known work “Chambres de Rhétoriques”, she published mainly religious and moralizing poems as well as polemical rhymes against Luther and the Reformation. She died on April 10, 1575 in her native Antwerp.
Grote Markt 46

station Antwerp train station is considered to be one of the most beautiful train stations in Europe – if not in the world. The current building from 1899 and 1905 was given a 186 m long and 66 m wide station hall made of steel – based on a design by the engineer Clement Van Bogaert. The hall got its height of 43 m not least because of the exhaust gases from the steam locomotives. The stone entrance building was built in the eclectic style by Louis de la Censerie – based on the models of the Lucerne train station and the Pantheon in Rome. The station was inaugurated on August 11, 1905 by King Leopold II (1835-1909) under the name Antwerpen-Centraal.

Beguinages were the residential complexes of the beguines in the Netherlands and the Flemish part of Belgium defined on commit4fitness. Beguines were understood to be women from the 12th century – often widows – who lived together and celibate Christian values ​​without being nuns with a corresponding vow. They were partially persecuted by the Inquisition and transferred to the Catholic orders in the early modern period. Parts also joined the Protestants.
The local beguinage is a little hidden in the city center, which makes it an oasis of calm here.
Visitors can stroll between the small houses from the 16th century and visit the church of St. Catherine from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. as well as strolling through the garden with its fruit trees and the pond.
Rodestraat 39
2000 Antwerp

Boerentoren, KBC Tower
The Bauernturm (Boerentoren) was the first skyscraper on mainland Europe. The building of what was then the credit bank was opened in 1932. Nowadays, after restoration work between 1970 and 1975, it has a height of 97 m with 25 floors and a height of 97 m, originally it was only 87.5 m.
The plans for the building, which was erected in Art Deco, come from the Belgian architects Émile Van Averbeke (1876-1946), Joseph Smolderen (1889-1973) and Jan Vanhoenacker (1875-1958).
The name of the building comes from the fact that most of the credit bank’s customers were farmers. The building is used by the credit bank’s successor, the KBC Group.
Eiermarkt 20
Email: [email protected]

The Braemhuis of the important Belgian architect and professor René Braem Anthony (1910-2001) was built by him and his wife between 1957 and 1958.
After 1999, Braem gave the building to the public sector so that it could be used as a kind of “house museum”. The house and its interior reflect the architecture of the post-war period in a special way.
The visitor will find furniture in Italian and Danish design, office furniture made of metal and his drawing tables. A number of Braem’s sculptural works are also on display.
The architecture archive contains several hundred sketchbooks and several thousand architectural drawings by him.
After the Horta Museum in Brussels, this museum is a successful example of the representation of Belgian post-war architecture.
Menegemlei 23
2100 Antwerp-Deurne

Huis Guiette
The Huis Guiette is an early example of the architectural style of modernism. It was designed in 1926 by the Franco-Swiss architect Le Corbusier (1887-1965) and is the only building in Belgium that was designed by Le Corbusier.
The house was then completed in 1927 as the home and studio of the Belgian painter René Guiette (1893-1976). In 1985 it was extensively renovated by Antwerp-born architect Georges Baines (1925-2013).
The privately used building is now a listed building and is not accessible to the public.
Populationslaan 32

Cultural center deSingel
The deSingel complex houses an international art and culture center in its buildings. The center is an open house for contemporary art and houses architecture, dance, music and theater in its building. The beginnings go back to plans by the architect Léon Stynen (1899-1990), whose ideas in 1968 led to a building with a timeless architectural appearance. In 1980 the Red Hall – a hall for theater, dance and music theater – and the Blue Hall – a concert hall – were added and the house increasingly developed into an international art center. The official opening took place on November 4, 1980 in the presence of the then royal couple. Also worth mentioning are the Small Hall – a flexible multi-corner hall – and the Black Hall – a classroom for students at the Conservatory. It is interesting that Radio 2 Antwerp is based here, as well as a new restaurant and bar, an exhibition room, a multimedia room, an art shop, a theater, a dance studio and rehearsal rooms for music ensembles.
Desguinlei 25
2018 Antwerp
Tel.: 0032 – (0) 3 – 24 828 28

New Arcades
The New Arcades (Nieuwe Gaanderij) were built immediately after the war and connect the Huidevettersstraat and the Korte Gasthuisstraat.
In this relatively small shopping center you will find boutiques but also a well-stocked optician and a jewelry shop.
The shopping center is particularly noteworthy as a post-war building from 1945.
2000 Antwerp

Oudaan Police Tower
The police tower is now an administrative building, which was built between 1952 and 1967 according to the plans of the important architect and professor René Braem Anthony (1910-2001) from Antwerp,
Everdijstraat – Oudaan 5

Town hall
The town hall with its magnificent 67 m long facade occupies the west side of the “Grote Markt”. The original building dates from 1564. After a fire as a result of the Spanish invasion, only the outer walls of the building were left.
The town hall was repaired again in 1579 and was affected by various renovations until the 19th century. The building is considered an outstanding example of the Brabant Renaissance.
Grote Markt

The Sankt-Anna-Tunnel (Sint-Anna-Tunnel) is a 570m long pedestrian and bicycle tunnel that leads under the Scheldt. The inner diameter of the tunnel is 4.30 m
and two wooden escalators lead to the tunnel tube to a depth of 31 m below the surface of the earth.
The entrance on the left bank of the Scheldt in Linkeroever is next to a car park – near the Van Eeden metro station. The entrance on the old town side is on Sint-Jansvliet. The two entrance buildings are made of yellow bricks.
After the First World War, a new district with high-rise buildings and terraced houses was built on the left bank of the Scheldt opposite the historic city center.
The Sankt Anna Tunnel was built in the 1930s together with the Waasland road tunnel to connect the district with the city center. Both tunnels were inaugurated on September 10, 1933.
German units severely damaged the tunnel in the course of their retreat battles in 1944. It was not completed again until 1949. An exhibition with pictures of the tunnel construction in the 1930s and the reconstruction after the Second World War can be found in the entrance on the left side of the Scheldt. The entire tunnel system is a listed building.


Annaberg-Buchholz, Germany Overview

Annaberg-Buchholz, Germany Overview

Annaberg-Buchholz – the secret capital of the Ore Mountains?

“If you are a rich Annaberg, you have a sack full of Schreckenberger.” – This was the motto soon after the first silver finds in the Ore Mountains: In 1491 a certain Caspar Nietzel came across a silver corridor on the 649 meter high Schreckenberg in the northwest of today’s Annaberg had triggered the so-called Berggeschrey, i.e. the beginning of silver ore mining in the Ore Mountains. After it was found on Schreckenberg, the Neustadt am Schreckenberg emerged in 1496, which was to be named Sankt Annaberg a short time later, after the patron saint of miners: St. Anna. In 1498 Annaberg received the right to mint and for a certain time coined the “Schreckenberger”, a well-known means of payment in the Holy Roman Empire.

Today’s town of Annaberg-Buchholz, consisting of two once independent communities, has around 22,500 residents and functions as the administrative seat of the Saxon district of Annaberg. The lovely town of Annaberg-Buchholz nestles against the slopes of Pöhlberg (832 meters) and Schreckenberg and is a popular holiday destination for people from near and far. It extends in the middle of the picturesque natural landscape of the Upper Ore Mountains.

Note: According to commit4fitness, Annaberg-Buchholz is a city located in Germany. The name of the city is also inseparably linked with Adam Ries (1492-1559): The German arithmetic master, who died in Annaberg in 1559, had been running an arithmetic school in Erfurt since 1518, where he wrote two of his arithmetic books and had them printed. From 1522/1523 he worked in Annaberg, where he would also spend the rest of his life. In the city he finished his algebra textbook “Coß” (only printed in 1992). Ries, who settled in the Annaberg Johannisgasse, works as a review writer, counter writer and tithe. His last work was published in 1550.

Information that applies to the entire country, e.g. currency, entry requirements, health issues, etc., is not shown here again. You can find it under Germany.

Name of the city Annaberg-Buchholz
Other names “Secret capital of the Ore Mountains”
Country Federal Republic of Germany
Location Annaberg-Buchholz is located in the German state of Saxony in the Ore Mountains.
Region Chemnitz
administrative district Annaberg district
Landmark St. Anna Church
Function of the city Administrative headquarters of the district of Annaberg,
supra-regional administrative and service center
Area 27.70 km²
Population 22,500
Ethnicities Va German
Languages Va German
Religions Va Protestant and Catholic Christianity In
addition, Methodists, Pentecostal churches, Adventists, New Apostolics, Mormons and Lorenzians
National currency Euro (1 € = 100 cents)
Mountains and elevations Annaberg-Buchholz is located in the Ore Mountains.
The highest peaks in the city are the Pöhlberg (832 meters) and the Schreckenberg (649 meters).
Official website of the city
Tourist center Tourist-Information Annaberg-Buchholz
Markt 1 (in the town hall)
09456 Annaberg-Buchholz
Tel: 0049 – (0) 3733 – 19433
Telephone code with country code 0049 – (0) 3733 – subscriber number
Time CET or CEST (Central European Summer Time) in summer
Line voltage, line frequency 230/400 volts and 50 hertz
License Plate ERZ (Erzgebirgskreis)

Annaberg-Buchholz: arrival and transport


Annaberg-Buchholz is located on the federal highways B95 and B101. With the Stollberg-West motorway junction, the city is also connected to the A72 motorway 25 kilometers away. In addition, the Saxon holiday route runs along Annaberg-Buchholz – the “Silberstraße”: This 140 km long first and longest holiday route in Saxony runs from Zwickau not only over Annaberg-Buchholz, but also over Schneeberg, Aue, Schwarzenberg, Ehrenfriedersdorf, Wolkenstein and Marienberg, Lengefeld, Brand-Erbisdorf, Freiberg, before it ends in Dresden.

The most important traffic rules in Germany, which of course also apply in Annaberg-Buchholz, can be found here >>>


In Chemnit / Jahnsdorf, about 28 kilometers from Annaberg, the nearest airfield is located. The closest airports are the Czech Karlovy Vary or Karlsbad (60 km), Leipzig-Altenburg (72 km), Dresden (103 km), Prague (118 km) and Leipzig / Halle (131 km).


There is a connection between Annaberg and Chemnitz via the Zschopautalbahn. This train then continues to Cranzahl or Bärenstein. This route is now operated by the Erzgebirgsbahn. There are two important stops in the city in Annaberg-Buchholz-Mitte and at the Süd Bahnhof.


BVO Verkehrsbetriebe Erzgebirge GmbH operates seven city bus routes in Annaberg-Buchholz, via which the entire city area can be accessed. There are also several regional bus routes. These connect Annaberg-Buchholz not only with the major cities in the region (such as Chemnitz, Dresden, Plauen or Karlovy Vary), but also with the smaller and surrounding villages.

Annaberg-Buchholz, Germany Overview

World Bank Business

World Bank Business

The business

The main purpose of the World Bank is to promote sustainable economic growth in order to reduce poverty in the recipient countries. This is done by offering loans and guarantees, as well as providing support in the form of analysis and advice. The bank is the world’s largest financier of development aid.

Projects supported by the World Bank can focus on, for example, education, health care, road construction, environmental protection or reforms of the financial sector and public administration.

The Bank works closely with the governments of the recipient countries, but also with non-governmental organizations and with other international bodies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the various UN specialized agencies and regional development banks.

The World Bank’s support for a country is based on an analysis of the causes of poverty in a recipient country. Based on the analysis, the World Bank then, in dialogue with the country’s government, develops a tailor-made assistance program that is described in so-called Country Assistance Strategies (CAS). The help can consist of financial support, advice or technical assistance.

Investments are made on the basis of achieving growth by building competence among representatives of the state and government, creating a functioning rule of law, developing stable financial systems and fighting corruption.

According to six strategic goals developed by Robert Zoellick, World Bank Governor 2007-2012, the work will focus on helping the poorest countries (mainly in Africa), preventing conflicts and supporting reconstruction in failing states, supporting middle-income countries as a majority of the world’s poor live there., safeguard public and public goods (not least the environment), expand cooperation with the Arab world, which is found to be poorly integrated into the world economy, and provide expertise and expertise.


The World Bank lends money to long-term development projects aimed at fighting poverty and creating growth. The bank is involved in approximately 1,700 projects in developing countries.

Middle-income countries can apply for loans from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), which is part of the World Bank. Middle-income countries include countries with a national income per capita between about $ 1,000 and $ 12,000 a year. The recipient country pays interest on the loan, which is repaid within 15 years. The first five years are usually free of charge. Projects must have a good chance of becoming profitable.

The International Development Fund (IDA), which is also part of the World Bank, provides long-term loans to the poorest countries. The loans are given on very favorable terms, which means that they are virtually exempt from interest and have a long repayment period, between 20 and 40 years, of which the first 10 years are amortization-free. However, the projects financed by IDA must also be considered commercially profitable. Thus, IDA’s lending deviates from pure development assistance activities.

Some countries, especially small island states, which have higher incomes may also borrow from IDA as their credit rating is too low for IBRD loans. Other countries have such a low income that they qualify for IDA loans, but still a high enough credit rating to be able to borrow from the IBRD as well. The latter include India, Pakistan and Indonesia. A total of 78 countries qualified for IDA credits in 2009.

To obtain a loan through IDA, a country must develop a credible strategy for combating poverty, a so-called PRSP (Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper; see also IMF: Progress). At the same time, IDA offers a special loan credit PRSC (Poverty Reduction Support Credit) which is given in parallel with the IMF’s so-called PRGF loan (see IMF: Progress) and which, like the latter, will support various structural and social reforms.

In 2008, the World Bank lent a total of $ 24.7 billion to 298 projects. The IBRD accounted for 13.5 billion, of which a third went to Latin America and the Caribbean and almost as much to countries in Europe and Central Asia. Of the $ 11.2 billion that IDA portioned out, just under a third was grants and the rest loans. Half of IDA’s money went to sub-Saharan Africa and a quarter to southern Asia.

External cooperation

According to commit4fitness, the World Bank works closely with the IMF, not least with regard to the HIPC initiative (see Progress). A 2007 report stated that there is room to strengthen cooperation, not least to better manage crisis situations, coordinate technical assistance and clarify the roles of the two institutions in the work of developing financial sectors. The Bank also works closely with a number of other UN agencies that also work to combat poverty in the world.

In addition to lending from the IBRD and IDA budgets, the World Bank also manages trust funds for assistance to particularly high-priority development needs. These funds are financed outside the World Bank’s own resources, mostly through contributions from about ten countries. The funds include multi-billion initiatives such as HIPC and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFTAM), as well as a wide range of smaller and more specialized projects.

The World Bank contributes to about 170 regional and global partnerships, often with similar purposes. In 2000, the Bank initiated an international collaboration between educational institutes in developing countries, the Global Development Learning Network. Co-financing of specific projects also occurs.

Technical assistance and research

An increasingly important part of the World Bank’s activities is technical assistance. This is given, among other things, in the form of the economic country analyzes that form the basis for designing aid programs for the recipient countries. Often, certain parts of the loans from IBRD and IDA are set aside for counseling, training and other forms of knowledge transfer. Technical assistance is also provided in the form of training in financial management and project analysis for officials from the member states’ public administrations.

The World Bank’s research forms the basis for how its work is designed and how the Bank prioritises the areas to be supported. The bank conducts a number of different research projects in different subject areas and regions. In addition to country analyzes, regional analyzes are produced each year that address various themes, such as regional trade, income distribution and work to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

In addition, the bank issues several reports. One example is the annual World Development Report, which analyzes obstacles to development in the world and provides recommendations for how to bridge them. Another annual report is Poverty Reduction and the World Bank, which examines the effects of the World Bank’s efforts to reduce poverty.

World Bank Business

The 10 most dangerous bridges in the world

The 10 most dangerous bridges in the world

Suspension bridges, motorway bridges, pedestrian bridges – there are many types of bridges, but which bridges are the most dangerous and where can they be found?

10th place – the “Indoboard Bridge” (Indonesia)

This bridge has to be listed among the top ten most dangerous bridges in the world, because as its name suggests, it is more like an indoboard than a trustworthy way of crossing a raging river. A lot of balance is required here every day because this bridge in Indonesia serves as a way to school for many children every day.

Place 9 – The Ghasa Suspension Bridge (Nepal)

This suspension bridge leads over the Jomsom Sadak gorge and connects a small village with the outside world. It is several hundred meters long and is at a dizzying height. Not only do people cross this bridge every day, but shepherds also drive their cattle over it. As a local, you may have gotten used to these circumstances sooner or later, but tourists need a lot of courage to start their way over this narrow bridge.

8th – Qu’eswachaka suspension bridge (Peru)

The Qu’eswachaka Bridge is a rope bridge that is made every year by hand and is made of braided grass and spans the Río Apurímac, so that residents in the area have a connection to the outside world. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since December 2013 and, due to its unsafe construction, also one of the 10 most dangerous bridges in the world.

7th – Sarawak Bridge (Malaysia)

This bridge, made of bamboo and thin struts, must never be entered by more than two people at the same time, otherwise it would collapse under the weight. On the left and right there is a kind of railing, also made of bamboo, but when you step on the swaying bridge it becomes immediately clear that this would hardly hold up in case of doubt. Fall between the bamboo sticks, inevitably land in the river below and get to know the local animals.

6th place – Kotmale Oya Bridge (Sri Lanka)

Leading through the impenetrable jungle, this bridge also serves to cross a river. The Kotmale is the fourth largest in his country and leads about 70 kilometers through Sri Lanka. If you fall through the holey boards that make up the bridge, you will be swept away by the torrents of the current. So it is a real adventure to cross this river.

5th place – bridge over the Alps (Austria)

There are also some worrying bridges in Europe that only the bravest people can walk on. This building in Austria may only be entered with a helmet, has tensioned ropes on the left and right, which serve as railings and stable wooden boards form the step surface, but these are much too narrow to offer enough space. The awe-inspiring sight of the mountain peaks below and between you will make you rethink this excursion.

4th – Canopy Walkway (Ghana)

This unusual bridge is located in the Kakum National Park in Ghana and consists only of a wooden beam and a network, which should ensure stability on both sides. Nevertheless, the Canopy Walkway does not inspire confidence, especially since you are on this bridge far above the tree tops of the park and can no longer see the other people among you. When you finally reach the end of the bridge, which is located on a tree trunk around which a kind of platform has been built, you will probably think of a climbing park.

3rd place – suspension bridge over the Baliem river (New Guinea)

Unbelievable but true here is the fact that this bridge runs both horizontally and vertically and therefore represents a real challenge for everyone. The wooden boards, some of which are far apart, can sometimes only be crossed by large steps. So be careful: here you have two options for getting to know the river below you.

Place 2 – Hussaini Bridge (Pakistan)

The boards are crooked, the ropes are loose and look like they are about to tear. Either way, you are dependent on the ropes on the left and right to hold on, otherwise it is not possible to cross this many hundred meter long bridge that runs just above the water.

1st place – tightrope walking over the Mekong (China)

This construction is not so much a bridge, but rather a construction made up of many tight ropes. One rope serves as a footboard, the other hangs over your head to cling to. Do not worry, tourists rarely get lost here, rather it serves many children as a way to school in the morning. This fact makes it the most dangerous bridge number 1.

tightrope walking over the Mekong

England Landmarks

England Landmarks

Detailed description of many of the major or interesting landmarks of England, which is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK)

Opera and theater

Georgian Theater in Richmond
In the old market town of Richmond is the second oldest theater that is still played today: the Georgian Theater. It was built in 1788 and has been preserved in its original form.

Royal Exchange Theater Manchester
The Royal Exchange Theater in Manchester is one of the oldest and most famous theaters in the city.

Minack Theater in Porthcurno
The Minack Theater in the small town of Porthcurno is located between granite cliffs directly above the sea, which allows for a breathtaking view. It was based on the model of a Greek amphitheater. Many demonstrations take place here in the summer months.

The two famous universities

Oxford University
The traditional university city of Oxford has a total of 35 colleges, which together form the undisputed number 1 attraction in the city. Many of the buildings are no longer accessible to the public, as the large number of visitors were incompatible with teaching. Others have certain opening times and can be viewed in small groups.

University College is the oldest in Oxford and was founded under Alfred the Great in the 9th century.

The bell tower, which has become the city’s landmark, dates from the 15th century. Across from University College is Queen’s College, which was founded in 1340; at the entrance the eminent architect Sir Christopher Wren erected a statue of Queen Caroline.

The main library in Oxford, the Bodleian Library, is on Broad Street and houses over 6 million books. Balliol College, Magdalen College and New College are also particularly worth seeing. The testimony takes place in the venerable Sheldion Theater, also built by Cjristopher Wren. The building is round and, with its fence decorated with busts, looks like a Roman theater.

Oxford University

Cambridge University
The second famous university in England is the University of Cambridge, an institution founded in 1209 that is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. According to the Times Ranking of 2009, it is in second place. This reputation is well deserved, as the university has produced more Nobel Prize winners than any other university on earth. It is in strong rivalry with Oxford, which is evident every year through the Boat Race when the respective university teams organize their eight races on the Thames (since 1829, by the way). Cambridge University is made up of 31 colleges, each of which has a certain degree of independence. The oldest of the colleges is Peterhouse, founded in 1284.

Ascot horse racing

The Ascot horse race is certainly the most famous horse race in the world. The third day of the Ascot racing week is the most important day of the event. This race covers a distance of 4,022 m for the Ascot Gold Cup, which was awarded for the first time in 1807. The Royal Ascot horse race has been held at Ascot Racecourse in Ascot since August 11, 1711. The racecourse is in Berkshire, south of Windsor Castle. The race was initiated by Queen Anne Stuart (1665-1714) and has been under the patronage of the British royal family ever since.
Special attention is always drawn to the incredibly imaginative hats worn by the women who attend the race and, for many, are often more exciting than the races themselves.


Boston Harbor
The former most important harbor for British textile exports is in Boston, 55 km from Lincoln. From here the Pilgrim Fathers set out to explore the New World in 1630.

Albert Dock in Liverpool
Since the Albert Dock in Liverpool was renovated and reopened in the 1980s, the city’s port has been revitalized both in terms of tourism and culture. In and around the warehouses, originally designed by Jesse Hartley in 1846, visitors now cavort in restaurants, shopping centers, museums and galleries.

Royal Dockyards in Brighton
The Navy shares this area with an exhibition on the historic port city; Even in the Middle Ages, sailing schooners were equipped here for sea battles.


The Central England Canal System The Central England Canal System was built in 1761 and was the primary route for freight across England until it was replaced by the railroad in 1963. It connects the natural rivers of the Midlands. Around 1805 the canal network covered a total of 4800 km, of which 3200 km are still navigable today and used for private transport and tourism. Many of the canals and locks are so narrow that they can only be navigated by the typical so-called narrow boats, which are now mostly private houseboats or are rented out to holidaymakers on a daily basis.