France is a modern European state and a republic.
The French head of state is the President, elected by universal suffrage : the president governs through a Council of Ministers and a parliament made up of two chambers, the National Assembly (lower house) and the Senate (upper house).
Metropolitan France (France in Europe) has a population of slightly over 62 million
with a surface area of 547,030 km², or 211,209 sq. miles. France has land borders with Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Andorra. It is also bordered by the North Sea, the English Channel, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean.
The capital and the nation’s largest city is Paris. Apart from Paris by far the largest urban area in France, other major cities are Lyon, Marseille,Montpellier,Lille and Toulouse.
Metropolitan France (France in Europe) is divided, administratively, into 22 regions, and 96 counties, known as departments.
The official language is French, though regional languages such as Occitan, Breton and Alsacian are making a comeback.
One of the oldest nations in Europe, France – which the Romans called Gaule – is also a country with a very rich cultural and environmental heritage.
Saint Gervais sur Mare
Saint Gervais sur Mare is situated in Upper Hérault, bordered by Tarn and Aveyron. The village, which is at an altitude of about 350m, is surrounded by peaks rising to 1000 metres that form the dividing boundary between rivers flowing to the Mediterranean and rivers flowing to the Atlantic.
The village is approximately 45 km north of Béziers, 80 km west of Montpellier, and 17 km west of Bédarieux.
Saint gervais is a medieval village of the Haut-Languedoc dated from the end of the 10th century (966), a stopping place on the path to Santiagio de Compostella.
St Gervais is situated to the South of the Massif Central, in a region that geologists call the Montagne Noire. It is part of a vast mountain chain called the Hercynian chain, formed about 320 million years ago.The North of the commune is crossed by a coal field that was exploited at the beginning of the French Revolution until 1997 .