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100,000 People or Less: France

Good Morning!!! Today's post is going to be about cities in France that have 100,000 people or less. A friend of mine from France wrote about the two cities we will be looking at. Below the two he has written about I will be adding three more cities. Enjoy!!


Hello World, this is France

Welcome to you, if you're reading me for the first time.

If you are also an Indiana Jones fan, an adventure lover, a person who likes a change of scenery or simply a fan of tranquility as opposed to big cities, then I am pleased to introduce you to five cities in my country with less than 100,000 inhabitants where you can feel good and above all safe.

Before we begin, I suggest that you make yourself comfortable, have a drink and sit down on your couch. Are you ready now, I am, let's go.

Here are two cities that I'm going to introduce you to.

1. Avignon: 91,921 inhabitants

2. Ajaccio: 69,378 inhabitants



Avignon is a member from the Vaucluse department and the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur region, it is for me the best place to travel around nearby cities such as Arles, Orange or Nîmes.

A bit of History

Although Avignon finds its name during the Roman epic with Avennĭo Cavarum Avignon des Cavars, the oldest trace recognized to date, comes from the Greek people who mentioned Аὐενιὼν = Auenion or Άουεννίων = Aouennion.

Palace of the Popes

First of all, the Palace of the Popes, briefly seen in the photo above.

Built in 1335, this monument served as a fortress and residence for the popes between 1335 and 1394 when Pope Clement V settled in Avignon. Due to its central location in relation to the Christian world of the time, the city was also a good place for business. Furthermore, the bridge Pont Saint-Bénézet (popularly known as the Pont d'Avignon) was an asset for Avignon, it served as an unavoidable crossing point to connect Spain, Provence and Italy. The successor of Clement V nicknamed John XXII also chose Avignon as his place of residence. Upon his death in 1334, he was succeeded by Benedict XII, who decided to carry out important works to modify and enlarge what was to become the palace of the popes as we know it.

Avignon Festival

The Festival d'Avignon is the most important theatre and performing arts event in the world, in terms of the number of creations and spectators gathered since its creation in 1947.



Located in the South of Corsica, it is a wonderful place to discover its landscapes and to hear the famous Corsican song or simply to be close to the sea.


So much so that many French people find their sources with the Romans or the Greeks, Corsica when it comes from the people of the Genoese.

The great Corsican revolt against Genoa (1729-1769)

At the beginning of the 18th century, the territory of Corsica was under the domination of a powerful Italian city: Genoa.

It was very poor, famine prospered and the quality of life was precarious. The Genoese do nothing to facilitate the daily life of the population, the regime is particularly rough.

It was at this time that the Revolt was going to begin in 1729. The Genoese recently introduced a new tax. The feeling of exasperation is very strong in Corsica as the situation is already very difficult. In the village of Bustanicu, in Boziu, Genoese officers came to collect this tax. An old man known as Cardone (real name Defranchi) is mistreated since he cannot collect the amount he owes. His population defends him and stands up for him. The Genoese are then kicked out of the village and soon after, the revolt will spread to the surrounding villages. Everywhere, men took up arms in order to steal the goods of the Genoese.

Overwhelmed by the size of the revolt, Genoa had to call for reinforcements to pacify the Corsican patriots. However, new revolts quickly broke out.

On 30 January 1735, the delegates of the Corsican people met at the Cunsulta d'Orezza to proclaim their independence and promulgate a first constitution. In 1736, a German baron by the name of Theodore de Neuhoff was designated to become King of Corsica.

In 1739, the insurgents were defeated by the Genoese and the rebels were condemned to exile in Italy. Such is the case of Ghjacintu Paoli, father of Pasquale Paoli.

As a refugee in Naples, Pasquale Paoli made brilliant studies there where he distinguished himself. Later, he made a career in the Neapolitan army.

It was in 1755 that Pasquale Paoli reached the age of thirty when the Corsican patriots appealed to him. The city of Genoa was weakened and Corsica was once again declared independent.

Throughout Europe, the example of Corsica is cited. Where tyrannical kings ruled, Pasquale Paoli succeeded in founding a modern and free state.

Unfortunately, the dream will be short-lived. Genoa, riddled with debt, sells Corsica to the King of France. Confronted with the most powerful army in Europe, Pasquale Paoli's soldiers resisted, won battles as in Borgu but had to submit in May 1769 to the Ponte Novu.

Thanks for reading.



Thanks for continuing on. In this section I will add three more cities, each of them will have less people than the cities above.

1. Carcassonne- 49, 600 inhabitants

2. Vienne- 32, 293 inhabitants

3. Beaune- 24,173 inhabitants




Carcassonne is located in the south of France about 80 kilometres east of Toulouse. Its strategic location between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea has been known since the neolithic era.

The town's area is about 65 km2 (25 sq mi), which is significantly larger than the numerous small towns in the department of Aude. The rivers Aude, Fresquel and the Canal du Midi flow through the town.


The first signs of settlement in this region have been dated to about 3500 BC, but the hill site of Carsac – a Celtic place-name that has been retained at other sites in the south – became an important trading place in the 6th century BC. The Volcae Tectosages fortified the oppidum.

The folk etymology – involving a châtelaine named Lady Carcas, a ruse ending a siege, and the joyous ringing of bells ("Carcas sona") – though memorialized in a neo-Gothic sculpture of Mme. Carcas on a column near the Narbonne Gate, is of modern invention. The name can be derived as an augmentative of the name Carcas.

Carcassonne became strategically identified when the Romans fortified the hilltop around 100 BC and eventually made the colonia of Julia Carsaco, later Carcasum (by the process of swapping consonants known as metathesis). The main part of the lower courses of the northern ramparts dates from Gallo-Roman times. In 462 the Romans officially ceded Septimania to the Visigothic king Theodoric II who had held Carcassonne since 453. He built more fortifications at Carcassonne, which was a frontier post on the northern marches; traces of them still stand. Theodoric is thought to have begun the predecessor of the basilica that is now dedicated to Saint Nazaire. In 508 the Visigoths successfully foiled attacks by the Frankish king Clovis. Saracens from Barcelona took Carcassonne in 725, but King Pepin the Short (Pépin le Bref) drove them away in 759-60; though he took most of the south of France, he was unable to penetrate the impregnable fortress of Carcassonne.

A medieval fiefdom, the county of Carcassonne, controlled the city and its environs. It was often united with the County of Razès. The origins of Carcassonne as a county probably lie in local representatives of the Visigoths, but the first count known by name is Bello of the time of Charlemagne. Bello founded a dynasty, the Bellonids, which would rule many honores in Septimania and Catalonia for three centuries.

In 1067, Carcassonne became the property of Raimond-Bernard Trencavel, viscount of Albi and Nîmes, through his marriage with Ermengarde, sister of the last count of Carcassonne. In the following centuries, the Trencavel family allied in succession with either the counts of Barcelona or of Toulouse. They built the Château Comtal and the Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsus. In 1096, Pope Urban II blessed the foundation stones of the new cathedral.

Carcassonne became famous for its role in the Albigensian Crusades when the city was a stronghold of Occitan Cathars. In August 1209 the crusading army of the Papal Legate, Abbot Arnaud Amalric, forced its citizens to surrender. Viscount Raymond-Roger de Trencavel was imprisoned whilst negotiating his city's surrender and died in mysterious circumstances three months later in his own dungeon. The people of Carcassonne were allowed to leave – in effect, expelled from their city with nothing more than the shirt on their backs. Simon De Montfort was appointed the new viscount and added to the fortifications.

In 1240, Trencavel's son tried to reconquer his old domain but in vain. The city submitted to the rule of the kingdom of France in 1247. Carcassonne became a border fortress between France and the Crown of Aragon under the Treaty of Corbeil (1258). King Louis IX founded the new part of the town across the river. He and his successor Philip III built the outer ramparts. Contemporary opinion still considered the fortress impregnable. During the Hundred Years' War, Edward the Black Prince failed to take the city in 1355, although his troops destroyed the Lower Town.

In 1659, the Treaty of the Pyrenees transferred the border province of Roussillon to France, and Carcassonne's military significance was reduced. Its fortifications were abandoned and the city became mainly an economic centre that concentrated on the woollen textile industry, for which a 1723 source quoted by Fernand Braudel found it "the manufacturing centre of Languedoc". It remained so until the Ottoman market collapsed at the end of the eighteenth century, thereafter reverting to a country town.

Historical importance

Carcassonne was the first fortress to use hoardings in times of siege. Temporary wooden ramparts would be fitted to the upper walls of the fortress through square holes beneath the rampart itself, providing protection to defenders on the wall and allowing defenders to go out past the wall to drop projectiles on attackers at the wall beneath.




Roman Vienne

The oppidum of the Allobroges became a Roman colony about 47 BC under Julius Caesar, but the Allobroges managed to expel them; the exiles then founded the colony of Lugdunum (today's Lyon). Herod Archelaus was exiled here in 6 AD. During the early Empire, Vienna (as the Romans called it—not to be confused with today's Vienna, then known as Vindobona) regained all its former privileges as a Roman colony. In 260 Postumus was proclaimed emperor here of a short-lived Gallo-Roman empire. Later it became a provincial capital of the Dioecesis Viennensis. Vienne became the seat of the vicar of prefects after the creation of regional dioceses. Regional dioceses were created during the First Tetrarchy, 293-305, or possibly later as some recent studies suggest in 313, but no later than the Verona List securely dated to June 314. The date of creation is still controversial.

On the bank of the Gère are traces of the ramparts of the old Roman city, and on Mont Pipet (east of the town) are the remains of a Roman theatre, while the ruined thirteenth-century castle there was built on Roman footings. Several ancient aqueducts and traces of Roman roads can still be seen.

Two important Roman monuments still stand at Vienne. One is the Early Imperial Temple of Augustus and Livia, a rectangular peripteral building of the Corinthian order, erected by the emperor Claudius, which owes its survival, like the Maison Carrée at Nîmes, to being converted to a church soon after the Theodosian decrees and later rededicated as "Notre Dame de Vie." (During the Revolutionary Reign of Terror it was used for the local Festival of Reason.) The other is the Plan de l'Aiguille, a truncated pyramid resting on a portico with four arches, from the Roman circus. Many popular theories have been advanced as to the original intent of this structure; there is even a legend of Pontius Pilate making it his tomb.

Christian Vienne

The provincial capital was an important early seat of a bishop and the legendary first bishop said to have been Crescens, a disciple of Paul. There were Christians here in 177 when the churches of Vienne and Lyon addressed a letter to those of Asia and Phrygia and mention is made of the deacon of Vienne (Eusebius of Caesarea). The first historical bishop was Verus, who was present at the Council of Arles (314). About 450, Vienne's bishops became archbishops,several of whom in the played an important cultural role, e.g. Mamertus, who established Rogation pilgrimages, and the poet, Avitus (498-518). Vienne's archbishops and those of Lyon disputed the title of "Primate of All the Gauls" based on the dates of founding of the cities compared to the dates of founding of the bishoprics. Vienne's archbishopric was suppressed in 1790 during the revolution and officially terminated 11 years later by the Concordat of 1801.

Burgundian Vienne

Vienne was a target during the Migration Period: it was taken by the Kingdom of the Burgundians in 438, but re-taken by the Romans and held until 461. In 534 the Merovingian-led Franks captured Vienne. It was then sacked by the Lombards in 558, and later by the Moors in 737. When Francia's king divided Frankish Burgundia into three parts in 843 by the Treaty of Verdun, Vienne became part of Middle Francia.

In the Kingdom of Provence

King Charles II the Bald assigned the district in 869 to Comte Boso of Provence, who in 879 proclaimed himself king of Provence and on his death in 887 was buried in the cathedral church of St. Maurice. Vienne then continued as capital of the Dauphiné Vienne of the Kingdom of Provence, from 882 of the Kingdom of West Francia and from 933 of the Kingdom of Arles until in 1032, when it reverted to the Holy Roman Empire, but the real rulers were the archbishops of Vienne. Their rights were repeatedly recognized, but they had serious local rivals in the counts of Albon, and later Dauphins of the neighboring countship of the Viennois. In 1349, the reigning Dauphin sold his rights to the Dauphiné to France, but the archbishop stood firm and Vienne was not included in this sale. The archbishops finally surrendered their territorial powers to France in 1449. Gui de Bourgogne, who was archbishop 1090–1119, was pope from 1119 to 1124 as Callixtus II.

The Council of Vienne was the fifteenth Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church that met between 1311 and 1312 in Vienne. Its principal act was to withdraw papal support for the Knights Templar on the instigation of Philip IV of France.


The archbishops did not give up their rights over it to France till 1449, when it first became French. Vienne was sacked in 1562 by the Protestants under the baron des Adrets, and was held for the Ligue 1590–95, when it was taken in the name of Henri IV by Montmorency. The fortifications were demolished between 1589 and 1636.

Main sights

The two outstanding Roman remains in Vienne are the temple of Augustus and Livia, and the Plan de l'Aiguille or Pyramide, a truncated pyramid resting on a portico with four arches, which was associated with the city's Roman circus.

The early Romanesque church of Saint Peter belonged to an ancient Benedictine abbey and was rebuilt in the ninth century, with tall square piers and two ranges of windows in the tall aisles and a notable porch. It is one of France's oldest Christian buildings dating from the 5th century laid-out in the form of a basilica and having a large and well constructed nave. It also boasts a beautiful Romanesque tower and a magnificently sculptured South portal containing a splendid statue of Saint Peter. Today, the building houses a lapidary museum that holds a Junon head and the beautiful statue of Tutela, the city's protective divinity.

The Gothic former cathedral of St Maurice was built between 1052 and 1533. It is a basilica, with three aisles and an apse, but no ambulatory or transepts. It is 315 feet (96 m) in length, 118 feet (36 m) wide and 89 feet (27 m) in height. The most striking portion is the west front, which rises majestically from a terrace overhanging the Rhône. Its sculptural decoration was badly damaged by the Protestants in 1562 during the Wars of Religion.

The Romanesque church of St André en Bas was the church of a second Benedictine monastery, and became the chapel of the earlier kings of Provence. It was rebuilt in 1152, in the later Romanesque style.



Beaune is the wine capital of Burgundy in the Côte d'Or department in eastern France. It is located between Paris and Geneva. Beaune is one of the key wine centers in France, and the center of Burgundy wine production and business. The annual wine auction of the Hospices de Beaune is the primary wine auction in France. (The hospice structure, in the town center, being one of the best preserved renaissance buildings in Europe.)

The town is surrounded by some of the world's most famous wine villages, while the facilities and cellars of many producers, large and small, are situated in the historic center of Beaune itself, as they have been since Roman times. With a rich historical and architectural heritage, Beaune is considered the "Capital of Burgundy wines".

It is an ancient and historic town on a plain by the hills of the Côte d'Or, with features remaining from the pre-Roman and Roman eras, through the medieval and renaissance periods.

Beaune is a walled city, with about half of the battlements, ramparts, and the moat, having survived in good condition. The central "old town" or "vieille ville" is extensive. Historically Beaune is intimately connected with the Dukes of Burgundy.

Landmarks in Beaune include the old market (les Halles), the 15th-century Hospices, the Beffroi (clock tower), and the collegiate church of Notre Dame. Beaune is the main center for the "Burgundian tile" polychrome renaissance roofing style of the region.


Beaune is one of the wine communes of the Côte de Beaune subregion of the Burgundy wine region, which bears the name of this town. Although Beaune is lacking a Grand Cru vineyard in the commune, it is the hub of the region's wine business, as most of Burgundy's major négociants are here. Beaune is renowned for its annual charity wine auction on behalf of the Hospices de Beaune.

It is on the route des Grands Crus tourist trail among the vineyards. The road runs north from Beaune to Gevrey Chambertin and Nuits-Saint-Georges and south to Nolay, Saisy and Autun.

The Town

Beaune is the centre for wine industry services (such as tractors and equipment for vat-rooms) as well as a number of wine-related institutes and education facilities. The train station is served by TGV, through Dijon or Lyon.

There is a comprehensive "traditional" shopping area clustered around the central square with a focus on gourmet food, fashion, and wine, while large supermarkets, business parks, etc., are situated on the outskirts of town.

Beaune has a major fine food market on Saturdays, where there are a large number of stall holders supplying a broad selection of products and specialties from Burgundy and the surrounding regions. For example, Bresse chickens, Jura cheeses, small goods, spices, produce of every variety as well as seasonal specialties such as truffles. There is a smaller market on Wednesday, and special-event markets and fetes are held throughout the year.

Although Beaune is not primarily a tourist town but one centred on the wine industry, it nevertheless attracts a large amount of tourism. About five traditional smaller hotels are located within the city walls with around five chain hotels on the outskirts.

Beaune is one of a number of towns in Europe asserting a key role in the "invention of film"; a number of murals and other tourist attractions reflect this.

Technically Beaune is a commune in eastern France, a sub-prefecture of department 21, the Côte-d'Or department, in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region.


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