Things to Know About France

France is one of the biggest nations in Europe. It is bounded on the northeast by Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg, on the southeast by Switzerland and Italy, and on the southwest by Spain. The English Channel separates the United Kingdom from France. The country is regarded as the gateway to Europe due to the presence of three big international airports, ferry terminals, and the French train service. You can’t speak about France without mentioning Paris, the country’s capital. Paris is one of the most magnificent capital cities in the world. France uses the Euro. France has a population of over 67.4 million people.

Geography

The geography of France is quite varied. The southeast coast, which is home to the French Riviera, has lovely beaches, while the south and east have towering mountains, including the snow-capped French Alps. Monte Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain, stands at a colossal 4,810m in the French Alps. France is the agricultural core of Europe, with wide, fertile plains dominating the majority of the north and west. The huge, wooded Massif Central – a collection of ancient mountains and extinct volcanoes – dominates Frances southern interior. France has a large land area to support a diverse range of flora and fauna as well. 

Climate

France has a temperate climate that is separated into four separate climatic zones. Western France’s marine environment provides average rainfall spread out across several days and just minor yearly temperature fluctuations. The continental climate of central and eastern France has chilly winters and scorching summers (the Champagne region, Burgundy, Alsace). The Mediterranean climate in south-eastern France is to account for hot, dry summers, with showers from October to April (when the weather is moist but pleasant) and plenty of sunlight all year. France’s highland environment offers considerable rainfall and snow three to six months a year above 600-800m heights.

Government

France is a republic, and its institutions of administration are outlined by the Constitution, more particularly by the present Constitution of the Fifth Republic. Since the beginning of the Fifth Republic, the Constitution has been amended multiple times, most lately in July 2008. The President is both the head of state and the head of the executive. As head of state and executive, the President of France has greater authority than presidents in most other European nations where the two responsibilities are separated. The President selects a prime minister, who then forms a government. The French parliament is divided into two houses, or chambers.

Foreign Relations

Since World War II, France has played a prominent international role, evolving from a large colonial power to the first and most ardent proponent of European integration, as well as a major promoter of wider international cooperation. Since the 1960s, France’s most significant bilateral relationship has been with Germany. France has been a founder member of the United Nations, NATO, and the European Coal and Steel Community since 1945. As a founding member of the United Nations, France has one of the Security Council’s permanent seats and is a member of the majority of its specialised and associated organisations. 

Economy

France is one of the world’s great economic powers, ranking among the United States, Japan, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Tourism, industry, and medicines drive France’s diverse economy. The government has largely or completely privatised several significant corporations, but it still has a substantial role in areas like electricity, public transportation, and military. Agriculture employs a very small percentage of the population. France is a worldwide industrial powerhouse in the automotive, aircraft, and railway industries, as well as cosmetics and luxury products. Furthermore, France has the most highly educated labour force in Europe, with the largest number of science professionals per thousand employees.

Languages Spoken

The official language, French, is spoken by 88 percent of the population. Because minority languages are not legally recognised, the majority of persons who speak them also speak French. German dialects and Flemish are used by around 90,000 individuals in the north-east of France. Around 1 million individuals along the Italian border speak Italian. Catalan languages are spoken by around 0.4 percent of the French population. Breton, a Celtic language, is spoken by 1.2 percent of the French population. Arabic, the country’s third most prevalent minority language. Kabyle and Antillean Creole are two immigrant languages from former French colonies.

Culture

Most people connect French culture with Paris, which is a hub of fashion, food, art, and architecture, but life outside of Paris is highly diverse and differs by location. Historically, Celtic, Roman, and Germanic civilizations influenced French culture. France developed into a kaleidoscope of local communities and cultures as a result of these influences. What applies to one community may not apply to another. Despite today’s rising global culture, France has worked to maintain the customs of its smaller villages. The French are very proud of their country and government, and are often angered by any disparaging remarks about it.

Important Facts

  • France is the most populous nation in the European Union, with a total land area of 551,695 square kilometres. Because of its six-sided design, the nation is also known as ‘l’hexagone.’
  • In 1903, the world’s most prestigious bicycle race was contested for the first time. Except for the two world wars, it has been held every year since. The race was postponed in 2020 owing to the coronavirus epidemic, but it still took place.
  • France takes great pleasure in its high-quality cheeses, as well as the variety available. To be more specific, up to 1200 different types of cheese are produced in France, weighing in at roughly 1 billion tonnes.
  • Did you know that photographing police personnel or police cars is illegal in France?
  • Louis XIX reigned as King of France for 20 minutes, the shortest reign in history.
  • That’s true, an entrepreneurial Parisian named Philippe Kahn created the camera phone in France in 1997.
  • Discarding or burning food was made illegal in France for the first time.
  • The term “Salut” is used both as a welcome and as a farewell. If you’re visiting France, don’t be shocked if your interactions with the locals start and conclude with the same word.

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