From the louvre museum and The Eiffel Tower to the beret and cheese. France is glamourous and delicious. Keep reading to learn more about France facts and secrets.
Wave the flag
The French flag has 3 stripes. They are blue, white and red. Blue and red are the colors of Paris, the capital of France. White represents a royal French Family. The flag is often called “Tricolor” which means “three colors”.
In 1792, volunteers from Marseille marched to Paris and performed a song called “Chant de guerre pour l’Armée du Rhin”, (“War Song of the Army of the Rhine”). This event became very popular with the French to the extent that the song became the national anthem of France. The song was renamed “La Marseillaise” to honor the volunteers.
Today, “La Marseillaise” is still the national French anthem.
Listen to the song.
Pin On The Map
France is the largest country in Western Europe. It shares its borders with Belgium, Germany, Spain, Andorra, Luxembourg, Italy and Switzerland. The nation also lies on the Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
La Manche separates France from England. The two countries are connected by an undersea tunnel.
The highest point in France is the peak of Mont Blanc. It’s also the highest mountain in the Alps at 4,808 m (15,774 feet).
They are many rivers that run through France. The Loire is the longest river in the country and The Seine is the most famous one. The seine flows through the capital, Paris.
Look in the history book
France is a very old country. Around 2500 years ago, a ruler, named Julius Cesar, conquered the land and Gaul became part of the Roman Empire. This lasted till the 5th century. In that century, a group called the Franks invaded the region. The Latin word “Francia” means “the land of the franks”.
Age of Power
Many princes and kings ruled France. This included Charlemagne. He ruled the region in the 8th century. Charlemagne founded the Holy Roman Empire and controlled vast parts of Europe.
Sparks of change
Royal families ruled the country for many centuries. However, this changed on July 14, 1789. On that day, a furious crowd attacked the Bastille. The Bastille was a famous prison that represented the power of the king. This event started the French revolution. The revolution lasted for more than 10 years. After that, Napoléon Bonaparte became the leader of the country and called himself an “Emperor.” The leader started The Napoleonic Wars and controlled a huge part of Europe. In the End, Napoléon was exiled to the island of Elba.
France took part in both world wars. In the First World War, Germany invaded France. France witnessed the end of WWI. On 28 June 1919, Germany signed The Treaty of Versailles with the Allied powers to end the war. This event took place in the Palace of Versailles in Paris.
On 10 May 1940, Germany invaded France again. This time was in the Battle of France, also known as the Fall of France. This battle was part of WWII.
France also played a vital role in WWII’s ending. On Tuesday, 6 June 1944, the allied powers operated the largest seaborne invasion in history in Normandy, France. The Normandy landings, also known as D-Day was a turning point in the war which ended in the defeat of German forces.
After the end of WWII, leaders met in Paris to sign The Paris Peace Treaties in 1947.
Since the end of the two world wars, France stayed one of the powerful country in Europe and the world. In 2016, leaders from almost every country in the world met in Paris to sign The Paris Agreement. This deal aims to slow down climate change.
Take a walk
It’s the most visited city in Europe. It’s The louvre. It’s La Tour Eiffel. It’s no brainer to suggest visiting the country’s famous capital. A walk in Paris’ streets can make you feel its history and mystique. Here are some places you shouldn’t miss in the city of lights.
In 1503, Leonardo da Vinci started to paint the Mona Lisa. Later on, it became the most famed piece of art in the world. The Mona Lisa is the most distinguished painting in the louvre. However, the museum offers much more than da Vinci’s masterpiece. From the Horse tamers and The Coronation of Napoleon to the Winged Victory of Samothrace and The Wedding at Cana, The Musée du Louvre has more than 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 works of art making it the most visited museum in the world with more than 9 million tickets sold in 2019.
In 1889, Paris hosted “The Universal Exposition.” This astonishing event attracted more than 32 million visitors. Each and every one of them gazed in awe at the wonder of iron, Eiffel Tower. This staggering structure held the record of the tallest building in the world from 1889 to 1930 at 324 meters (1,063 ft) tall. Till this day, tourists still flock to take pictures near the building. Besides, it’s the favorite destination for romantic marriage proposals (😉 😉).
Lyon is one of the oldest cities in France with monuments that date back to the time of the Romans. The ancient part of the city reached the UNESCO World Heritage in 1998.
Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourviere
You may have heard of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris. But did you know that there was another Notre-Dame? This jaw-dropping church is near the old part of Lyon overlooking The Saone River. The stunning site has numerous paintings and mosaics. A mosaic is an image made of small pieces of colored stone, glass or ceramic.
The wind in Marseille has the scent of history fused with Fish! This southern city is blessed with its people and ports. Here are some places you should visit in Marseille.
The Vieux Port (old port)
The Old Port is located in the west of Marseille. It’s fair to say that it witnessed the birthplace of the city. Throughout history, the city was special due to this spot. Ships from all over the world anchored at that place. Now, tourists enjoy taking ferries from the port to enjoy the glamour of the Mediterranean Sea. Many people also enjoy walking through the fish market near the port and rewarding their taste buds at the famous seafood restaurants there.
Le Jardin des Vestiges
Le Jardin des Vestiges is located near the old port. This amazing garden has traces of the city’s history. The site includes remains that date back to the times of the Greeks and Romans. Walking through the paths of the garden and watching the ancient remnants of walls and warehouses is like turning the pages of a history book.
The French Riviera is the Mediterranean coast of southeastern France. It has some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. Nice is the capital of The French Riviera. It’s the best place for those who like the warmth as the sun there shines 320 days a year! Nice offers to its visitors more than sun and sand.
Place Massena is the most famous square in the coastal city. It is home to musicians playing the guitar by the road and young singers chanting songs of love and loss. Place Massena hosts the annual Niece carnival which dates back to 1294. Over one million guests come from all over the world to enjoy the colorful parades and shows.
Meet the people
More than 67 million people live in France. 11 million people live in the capital, Paris. Paris is a destination for fashion lovers. Every year, top designers from all around the world present their finest works in Paris Fashion Week. This event is one of the most important shows in the world of clothing.
Art and literature are very important in France. The country is known for its famous painters such as Claude Monet and Edgar Degas. Many writers and authors grew up and lived in France. This includes Victor Hugo and Alexander Dumas. Dumas is well-known for his novels, The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo.
The French celebrate many holidays. Bastille Day, or the national day of France, is one of the biggest holidays in the nation. It’s celebrated on July 14. The holiday celebrates the beginning of the French revolution.
France has one of the most powerful economies in the world and its part of the G7. This group includes the top seven economies in the world. France exports many products to other countries. This includes planes, cars and cheese!
Football is the most popular sport in the country. The nation hosted the World cup twice, in 1938 and 1998. The French team also won the cup twice. The first one was at home in 1998. The second cup came 20 years later in 2018 in Russia.
France is also known for the “Tour de France”, which is the most prestigious bicycle race in the world. Bikers compete across France for more than 3 weeks! This annual event first started in 1903.
Take a bite
Speaking about Food in France can be tricky. The country is home to a lot of food critics and they may have strong opinions about our recommendation. So we will try to be careful.
Is it bread? Is It pastry? Honestly, we don’t know. But one thing is for sure, the Croissant is a flavorsome treat and a must to try when you visit France. Croissants can have many fillings such as cream, chocolate, fruit and almond.
Always Eat it hot!
It may not be as famous as Croissants. But it’s certainly mouth-watering. This beef stew flavored with carrots, onions and garlic is often served with potatoes or pasta! “Bon appétit”
France is known for its cheese! How many flavors of cheese do you think the French have? Take a guess! Is it 7? 8? 50? No, it’s actually over 400 flavors of cheese in France. There are even maps of cheese to guide you through your tasting journey in La République française!