“France”, it’s not just a country but an emotion. I am always fascinated about the French culture- the magnanimous history, the exotic cuisine, the ever-updated fashion industry, the immense Eiffel Tower, the romantic atmosphere and the list goes on. France is an amalgamation of rich heritage and rational modernization. The love for France and its people has always kept me engaged in exploring more and more about France. Through this article, I just want to reveal to you some Interesting Facts About France.
Interesting Facts About France
Geographical Facts About France:
- In Western Europe, France is the largest country. Although, 20 percent of its territories are spread outside Europe, which are called Dom-Toms.
- France is also called “the hexagon” because of the six-sided shape that it forms.
- France has a long sea-shore that includes the English Channel, Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
- France is also a home to 7 mountain ranges and 5 river systems.
- Mont Blanc is the highest point in France.
- There are 12 different time zones used in France, means more than any other country in the world.
- Paris is the capital city of France.
- France tops the list of number of visitors from the world.
- France is the second largest economy in the Eurozone.
- French is the official language of France and also the second most learnt language in the world.
- France was officially declared a republic in the year 1792.
- France has accepted the motto of liberty, equality and fraternity.
- 80% of the French population account to be Roman Catholics.
History Of France:
- ‘France’ is a name derived from a Germanic tribe called “Franks” who took over most parts of the Roman Empire, after its collapse.
- Paris was named as “Lutetia” by the Romans. It was named as Paris in 5th century, after the fall of Roman Empire.
- Gothic art originated in France, somewhere around 12th The Abbey of St. Denis, in North France, is believed to be the first structure of Gothic architecture.
- France was the second largest colonial empire, after Britain.
- “La Marseillaise”, is the national anthem of France was originally composed in Strasbroug, not Marseillese.
- A very unusual part of history of France is a surprising fact that King Louis XIX was made a King only for 20 minutes.
- Great personalities like Napoleon, Louis Pasteur, Marie Curie, Voiltaire, Pascal etc. were from France.
- Leonardo da Vinci and Van Gogh also spent some of the years of their lives in France.
- Charles de Gaulle, a French President, holds a World Record in the Guinness Book, for surviving the highest number of assassination attempts, till date.
- France kept their flag white from 1814 to 1830.
Achievements and Inventions of France:
- French were the first people to use number plates for vehicles.
- Metric system was invented by the French.
- France is the second highest winner of most of the Nobel Prize for literature.
- Paris held the first ever International Scientific Conference in 1799.
- France is the first country in the world to conduct face transplant and heart transplant.
- France is the second producer of electricity through Nuclear Energy, in the world; and the first one in the Europe.
- Queen Mary 2, world’s most advanced and largest cruise ship, was built in France.
- Channel Tunnel, the underground rail tunnel in France, is one of its kinds.
- France is famous for its bicycle race called Tour de France.
- France has Millau Viaduct, which is the tallest building in the world.
- The Louvre, is one of the world’s most famous art galleries.
- Submarines, Hot air balloons, Margarine, Braille and Parachutes were invented in France.
- The Grand Prix racing also started in France.
- France is a home to many renowned and expensive fashion brands like Coco Chanel.
- In the world, Wines and liquors are produced in the highest amount in France.
- France is one of the few countries, where still cheques can be used to pay at restaurants.
- In most restaurants, wine is free, while beer is considered a drink of luxury.
- It is allowed to marry a dead person, in France.
- The entire France has no ‘Stop’ sign, except one in Paris.
- Cannes Film Festival, held in the Cannes region of France, in every May, is popular throughout the world.
- In France, there is a system to give medals to those people who raise several children, in a dignified way, successfully.
- It is also believed that one in five persons, in France, suffer from depression.
- Potatoes were not legally allowed in France, in the duration between the years 1748 and 1772.
- It’s an offence in France to name a pig ‘Napoleon’.
- France was the first country to legalize same gender sex.
- More than 90% of schools in France have condom vending machines.
- Any man can claim a child from a single mother to be his own, by announcing at the city hall.
- Till 2012, wearing trousers by women was not legal in Paris.
- Children Beauty Pageants are banned and punishable in France.
- France has April Fool’s Day since the 16th
- France is a home to the world’s finest wines.
- In France, it is a part of etiquette to give flowers in even numbers.
- It is also rude to be late by more than 10 minutes for a meal and not give an explanation for that.
- Kissing on the cheek is the most used form of greeting in France. It has to be on the left cheek first and then on the right one.
- “French Kiss” is popular throughout the world. Although, it is not legal to kiss on railways, in France.
- France has 22 regions and each of them have their own traditional attires.
- Table manners, especially arrangement on the table, are given much importance in France.
- When in France, you should not eat a fruit without peeling and slicing.
- It is an offence in France, if you click pictures of police vehicles and police officers.
Food and Beverages:
- More than 400 types of cheese are produced in France.
- French cuisine involves lots of ingredients and lots of efforts.
- Bread and cheese is a typical type of French meal. Wine is an important part of a French meal.
- The Cordon Bleu, is a cooking school in France, which is the most famous cooking school throughout the world.
- Every day about 2 cook-books are released in France.
- The legal drinking age is 16 for mild liquors and 18 for strong liquors.
- Surprisingly, French toast, French fries and croissants are not French, originally.
After telling you all these interesting facts about France, I will like to just end here by saying that if you have never visited France, just add this activity to your Wish List. Don’t just dream of a kiss under the Eiffel Tower, but discover the lesser known facets of France. Blend yourself in the colors of a French life, be a nomad for few days. When you visit France, don’t be just a tourist, but be a traveler!!!