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France

Description of France

France is located in the western part of Europe. It shares a border with Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Spain, and Italy. To the south of the country is the Mediterranean Sea. There is a long Atlantic coastline on the western part of the country and in the north is the English Channel.

For more than 20 years, France has been the most popular tourist destination in the world. It is one of the most geographically diverse countries of all of Europe. The cities of the country have some of the greatest treasures in all of Europe.

History

Since the Neolithic period, France has been populated. There are prehistoric caves found in the Dordogne region some of which were used as temples and others were lived in. There are remarkable paintings of hunters and animals found in these caves.

Written history started in France when the territory was invaded by the Romans from 118 BC to 50 BC. Starting at this time, the territory that is now known as France became a part of the Roman empire. The Gaul’s, who were the Celtic people that lived there before the Romans invaded, were referred to as the Gallo romans.

When the Roman empire fell, the areas that were left were inhabited by gallo-romans and the barbaric easterners. The legacy left behind by the Romans can still be seen in the country today, especially in the southern areas of the country where there are still Roman circuses that are used for bull fights and concerts throughout the year. Many of the main roads of the country follow the routes that can be traced back to more than 2000 years ago. You can also see the organization of many of the old town centers.

The feudal system took over France for the next few centuries. This ended during the 16th century. This led to the “modern” state of France with the borders being fairly close to the ones in place today. Louis XIV was the king for 72 years from 1643 through 1715 and he was likely the most powerful monarch of the time extending French influence into the western part of Europe.

This era and the next century saw France expand to other continents. This began many wars with the other colonial empires, mostly England and Spain. These countries all were fighting over control of the Caribbean, South America, North America, southeast Asia, and Africa.

The country became a republic during the 20th century and the king no longer rules. There is an election held every 5 years. Some of the current issues that face the country include further integration into the European Union and adopting common economic standards.

Visiting France

When you think of France, it is likely that you first think of Paris and the Eiffel Tower. Aside from Paris there are many other places to visit in the country as well.

Bordeaux is a bustling city that is famous for its wine. There are also many great historic sites to discover. The city is listed as being an outstanding urban and architectural location by the World Heritage Site. Lyon, which is the second largest city of the country, offers a gorgeous old center as well as many roman ruins. Strasbourg is one of the headquarters for the European Union and offers a character all of its own, with many influences from Germany. One of the best places of the south is Montpellier. It offers many fun cafes and monumental buildings. In the western part of the country you will find Nantes, which is a beautiful city that is the home of many great monuments.

The French Riviera offers many wonderful places to visit as well. Cote d’Azur was once the location for the rich and famous. It is now popular among the general tourist crowd as well. The beautiful bays, sandy beaches, lovely towns, and rocky cliffs have made this one of the best cruising and yachting destinations of the world. Nice attracts nearly 4 million visitors each year who enjoy the stony beaches the city has to offer. Avignon offers splendid ramparts and the Palais des Papes was the former seat of popes. Saint Tropez becomes overcrowded during the summer months; it is quite nice during all of the other seasons. This is the same for Cannes; you want to visit during the off season to truly enjoy all that it has to offer.

Some facts about France

Population of country 64,768,389 people
Area of France 547,030 sq. kilometers
Located on the continent some forest damage from acid rain; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution from urban wastes, agricultural runoff (EU)
Capital of France Paris
Currency at France Euro (EUR)
Domain Zone .fr
Phone country code 33
FIPS code of France FR

Gallery of France

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France video guide

More information about France

Climate of France:
  • metropolitan France: generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean
  • occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind known as mistral French Guiana: tropical
  • hot, humid
  • little seasonal temperature variation Guadeloupe and Martinique: subtropical tempered by trade winds
  • moderately high humidity
  • rainy season (June to October)
  • vulnerab
Terrain of France:
  • low and nearly level sandy coral islands with narrow fringing reefs that have developed at the top of submerged volcanic mountains, which in most cases rise steeply from the ocean floor
France also has such useful resources as: metropolitan France: coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorspar, gypsum, timber, fish; French Guiana: gold deposits, petroleum, kaolin, niobium, tantalum, clay.

Top cities of France


City Name Population State Coordinates
1 Paris 2,138,551 people Ile-de-France 48.85341 x 2.3488
2 Marseille 794,811 people Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur 43.29695 x 5.38107
3 Lyon 472,317 people Rhone-Alpes 45.75 x 4.85
4 Toulouse 433,055 people Midi-Pyrenees 43.60426 x 1.44367
5 Nice 338,620 people Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur 43.70313 x 7.26608
6 Nantes 277,269 people Pays de la Loire 47.21725 x -1.55336
7 Strasbourg 274,845 people Alsace 48.58342 x 7.74296
8 Montpellier 248,252 people Languedoc-Roussillon 43.6 x 3.88333
9 Bordeaux 231,844 people Aquitaine 44.83333 x -0.56667
10 Lille 228,328 people Nord-Pas-de-Calais 50.63333 x 3.06667
11 Rennes 209,375 people Bretagne 48.08333 x -1.68333
12 Reims 196,565 people Champagne-Ardenne 49.25 x 4.03333
13 Le Havre 185,972 people Haute-Normandie 49.4938 x 0.10767
14 Saint-Etienne 176,280 people Rhone-Alpes 45.43333 x 4.4
15 Toulon 168,701 people Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur 43.11667 x 5.93333
16 Angers 168,279 people Pays de la Loire 47.46667 x -0.55
17 Grenoble 158,552 people Rhone-Alpes 45.16667 x 5.71667
18 Dijon 149,782 people Bourgogne 47.31667 x 5.01667
19 Nimes 148,236 people Languedoc-Roussillon 43.83333 x 4.35
20 Aix-en-Provence 146,821 people Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur 43.5283 x 5.44973
21 Brest 144,899 people Bretagne 48.4 x -4.48333
22 Le Mans 144,515 people Pays de la Loire 48 x 0.2
23 Amiens 143,086 people Picardie 49.9 x 2.3
24 Tours 141,621 people Centre 47.38333 x 0.68333
25 Limoges 141,176 people Limousin 45.83153 x 1.2578
26 Clermont-Ferrand 138,681 people Auvergne 45.78333 x 3.08333
27 Villeurbanne 131,445 people Rhone-Alpes 45.76667 x 4.88333
28 Besancon 128,426 people Franche-Comte 47.25 x 6.03333
29 Orleans 124,149 people Centre 47.91667 x 1.9
30 Metz 123,914 people Lorraine 49.11911 x 6.17269

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