Aquitaine: A Brief History

Church is Sarlat, Perigord, in the Aquitaine region of France.

Our direct ancestor, the Cro-Magnon man -named after a site in the Perigord- testifies to human habitation of what is now Aquitaine going back thousands of years. The caves of Lascaux, in France, contain some of the earliest known representational art, dating to between 17,000 and 15,000 years before the present. Vercingetorix surrenders to Julius Cesar. The Romans conquered “Aquitania” after a bitter fight against the Celts led by Vercingetorix, a local hero. The ensuing Pax Romana allowed the creation, […]

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French History: Introduction

  The Fleur de Lys,the royal emblem History can be relived all throughout France. Prehistoric paintings decorate the walls of caves in the Southwest, whereas the Southeast is filled with bridges, acqueducts and amphitheaters built by the Romans over 2,000 years ago. The soaring spires of the great cathedrals are expressions of the religious faith that dominated the Middle Ages. Symbols of the Republic Royal grandeur and merchant wealth produced the Louvre and the immense ch‚teau of Versailles, the Loire […]

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Vercingetorix

Vercingetorix (died 46 BC), chieftain of the Arverni, led the great Gallic revolt against the Romans in 53 and 52 BC. His name in Gaulish means “over-king” (ver-rix) of warriors (cingetos). As described in Julius Caesar’s Gallic_Wars, Rome had secured domination over the Celtic tribes beyond the Provincia Narbonensis (modern day Provence) through a careful strategy of divide and conquer. Vercingetorix ably unified the tribes, adopted the policy of retreating to natural fortifications, and undertook an early example of scorched_earth […]

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Notre-Dame de Reims

For many centuries, this cathedral is where the Kings of France have been crowned. Today, it stands as one of the the most perfect architectural masterpieces of the Middle Ages.

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News Section

Latest News, Online Services, Print Media, Television & Radio

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Wars of Religion

The religious wars began with overt hostilities in 1562 and lasted until the Edict of Nantes in 1598. It was warfare that devastated a generation, although conducted in rather desultory, inconclusive way. Although religion was certainly the basis for the conflict, it was much more than a confessional dispute. “Une foi, un loi, un roi” (one faith, one law, one king). This traditional saying gives some indication of how the state, society, and religion were all bound up together in […]

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The Politics of France

The ConstitutionA popular referendum approved the constitution of the Fifth Republic in 1958, greatly strengthening the authority of the presidency and the executive in relation to Parliament. The executive branchFrance has an original system with an executive headed by two officials: the President and the Prime Minister. The President of the Republic [img]325|left|Jacques Chirac[/img]Under the constitution, a president was originally elected for a seven year term; this however has now been reduced to five years. The president names the prime […]

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Barge Cruises aboard Luxury Boats

You can enjoy France in a safe, confortable and beautiful cruise. It’s an unforgetable experience!

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Basque

<!–^~^236|left|Ciboure, Pays Basque^~^–>The Basques are an indigenous people who inhabit parts of both Spain and France. They are found predominantly in four provinces in Spain and three in France. This area is to be found around the western edge of the Pyrenees on the coast of the Bay of Biscay. Besides Spanish or French, a minority of Basques speak their own language, Euskara, which is not only distinct from French and Spanish, but utterly different from every other language in […]

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Regions and Departments

The dÈpartements (or departments) are administrative units of France, roughly analogous to British counties and now grouped into 22 metropolitan and four overseas rÈgions. They are subdivided into 342 arrondissements. Administrative role Each dÈpartement is administered by a Conseil GÈnÈral elected for six years, and by a prÈfet appointed by the French government and assisted by one or more sous-prÈfets based in district centres outside the departmental capital. An administrative reform in 1982 transferred some of the prÈfet’s powers to […]

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