The France Page - Regions
When the French régions were created in the middle of the 20th century, it was decided to gather Barrois, Three Bishoprics, and Lorraine proper into a single region. Barrois was too small to become a région in its own right, while the Three Bishoprics were a territory without any real unity. It was decided to call the région "Lorraine" only, with no mention of Barrois, the Three Bishoprics, or any of the small principalities formerly part of the Holy Roman Empire.
Lothringia experienced great prosperity during the 12th and 13th centuries under the Hohenstaufen Emperors, but this prosperity was terminated in the 14th century by a series of harsh winters, bad harvests, and the Black Death.During the Renaissance, prosperity returned to Lothringia under Habsburg administration, until the Thirty Years' War devastated large parts of southern Germany. Most of Elsaß was ceded to France at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, which marked its start, along with Alsace, as a contested territory between France and Germany (French-German enmity).In which from 1871 until 1918 a large part of the region was part of the German Empire as the Imperial Province Elsaß-Lothringen.
Lorraine is the only French region to have borders with three other countries: Belgium (Wallonia), Luxembourg, and Germany (Saar, Rhineland-Palatinate). It also borders the French regions of Franche-Comté, Alsace, and Champagne-Ardenne. The location of Lorraine led to it being seen as a strategic asset and as the crossroads of four nations, it had a very important role in European affairs. Lorraine also has many rivers run through it, which include the Rhine, Moselle, Meurthe, and Meuse.
Most of Lorraine has a clear French identity. For this reason, Bismarck only annexed about a third of today's Lorraine to the German Empire following the Franco-Prussian War. The disputed third, known as Moselle, had a culture not easily classifiable as either French or German, possessing both Romance and Germanic dialects. Like many border regions, Lorraine was a patchwork of ethnicities and dialects, sometimes not even mutually intelligible with either French or German.
Despite the French government's 'single language' policy, the local Germanic dialect still survives in the northern part of the region. It is known as Lorraine Franconian in English, francique or platt (lorrain) in French (not to be confused with lorrain, the Romance dialect spoken in the region). This is distinct from the neighbouring Alsatian language, although the two are often confused. Neither has any form of official recognition.
Like most of France's regional languages (such as Breton, Provençal and Alsatian) Lorraine Franconian is being largely replaced by French since the advent of mandatory public schooling in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Cross of Lorraine
During World War II, the cross was adopted as the official symbol of the Free French Forces (French: Forces Françaises Libres, or FFL) under Charles de Gaulle.
The capitaine de corvette Thierry d'Argenlieu suggested the adoption of the Cross of Lorraine as the symbol of the Free French, both to recall the perseverance of Joan of Arc (whose symbol it had been), and as an answer to the Hakenkreuz.
In his General Order n° 2 of 3 July 1940, vice-admiral Émile Muselier, then chief of the naval and air forces of the Free French for only two days, created the bow flag displaying the French colours with a red Cross of Lorraine, and a cocarde also featuring the Cross of Lorraine.
Appropriately, de Gaulle is memorialised by a gigantic 43-meter high Cross of Lorraine at his home village of Colombey-les-Deux-Églises.
The cross was also carried on the fuselages of aircraft flying on behalf of the Forces Aériennes Françaises Libres (FAFL) from 1940 to 1943 to distinguish them from the aircraft of the Vichy French air force, which continued to sport the traditional roundels of the French air force (Armée de l'Air), dating from World War I.
The Cross of Lorraine was later adopted by Gaullist movements such as the Rally for the Republic (RPR).
The use of the potato in Lorraine can be traced back to 1665 and it is used in various traditional dishes of the region such as the potée lorraine. The Breux potato, which takes its name from the village of Breux in the north of the Meuse, is considered to be excellent by experts due to the perfect conditions of the area. Smoked bacon is also a traditional ingredient of the cuisine of Lorraine. It is used in various traditional dishes of the region, including the famous Quiche Lorraine. The mirabelle plum of Lorraine is the emblematic fruit of Lorraine. It is used in pies and other desserts, as well as in alcoholic beverages.
Traditional dishes in the region include:
* Quiche Lorraine
* Pâté lorrain (chopped pork and veal flavoured with white wine and baked in puff pastry)
* Potée lorraine (a stew of smoked meats and sausages, with cabbage and root vegetables)
* Andouille (tripe sausage)
* Wine The most well-known wine of the region is the pinot noir of Toul. There are vineyards in the valley of the Moselle, the valley of Seille, the valley of Metz, and the valley of Sierck.
* Beer Historically, Lorraine was the location of many breweries, including the Champigneulles, Vézelise, Tantonville, Ligny-In-Barrois, Uckange, and Metz.
Today, these breweries have closed down, but there are still breweries operating in the region, including Les Brasseurs de Lorraine in Pont-à-Mousson.
With 44 billion euros, Lorraine generates 3.4% of France's GDP, and ranks 8th out of the 22 regions of France. The logistics and service sectors have experienced the strongest growth in recent years while the traditional industries (textiles, mining, metallurgy) have experienced a decline and consequently the region has experienced a major difficulty with a rising unemployment rate that is near the national average.
Source: Wiki under GNU
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