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France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country’s largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia. The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into East Francia, Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia, which became the Kingdom of France in 987, emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages, following its victory in the Hundred Years’ War (1337–1453). During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second-largest in the world.

The 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Catholics and Protestants (Huguenots). France became Europe’s dominant cultural, political, and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV.[12] In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, establishing one of modern history’s earliest republics and drafting the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation’s ideals to this day.

Capital: Paris
Population: 67 million

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Blog Posts:

France: Paris – 10 great things to do

We have both been to Paris many times and absolutely love visiting this beautiful city. The is something truly special …

France: Paris – Château de Fontainebleau

The Château de Fontainebleau is located in the small town bearing the same name and lies 40 miles (65 km) south-southeast …

France: Paris – Père Lachaise cemetery

The Père Lachaise cemetery takes its name from King Louis XIV\’s confessor, Father François d\’Aix de La Chaise. It is the …

France: Paris – Palais Garnier, Opera House

The Palais Garnier, also known as Opéra Garnier, is a 1,979-seat opera house at the Place de l\’Opéra in the 9th …

France: Paris – The dome of the Galleries Lafayette

Created by master glassworker Jacques Gruber in the “Art nouveau” or “Art déco” style, the dome ceiling of the Galleries …

France: Paris – The Louvre Museum

The Louvre, or the Louvre Museum, is the world\’s most-visited museum, and a historic landmark in Paris, France. It is the …

France: Paris – Sacré-Cœur & the Monmartre

The Sacré-Coeur, consecrated in 1919, is one of the most iconic monuments in Paris. At the top of the Butte Montmarte, it …

France: Maison la Roche – Le Corbusier

Designed and built between 1923 and 1925 by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, the Maison La Roche was widely photographed …

France: Paris – Statue of Liberty

The original Statue of Liberty sits prominently in New York Harbour, a gift from the people of France. The American …

France: Paris – Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles was the principal residence of the French kings from the time of Louis XIV to Louis XVI. …

France: Paris – Musee D’Orsay

Housed in a train station built for the 1900 World\’s Fair, the Musée d\’Orsay is known throughout the world for its rich …

France: Paris – the banks of the Seine

The banks of the River Seine through the heart of Paris are listed as UNESCO world heritage site due to the incredible …

France: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur – Eze

Perched on a hill over the Mediterranean Sea, the medieval French town of Eze is a must if you are visiting the Côte d\. …

France: Occitanie – Carcassonne

Carcassonne, a hilltop town in southern France’s Languedoc area, is famous for its medieval citadel, La Cité, with numerous …
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