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Saturday, 21 February 2015

France

The name "France" comes from the Latin Francia, which means "country of the Franks."

France and Great Britain were joined by land until about 10,000 years ago when the English Channel was formed.

Ninth-century Kings of France include Charles the Bald, Charles the Fat and Charles the Simple.

For a long time during the Middle Ages, the kings only controlled Paris and the surrounding area, as much of the rest of France was in the hands of barons or English. During the Hundred Years War, the English controlled Paris from 1420 to 1437.

In 1558 Francis, Duke of Guise, retook Calais, England's last continental possession, for France.

The English nickname ‘Frogs’ for the French was originally applied to the Dutch during the 17th century Anglo-Dutch Wars.

France became the first country to adopt the metric system as its system for weights and measures on December 10, 1799.

The flag of France is a vertical tricolour of blue, white, and red. The tricolour design by Jacques-Louis David was first adopted on  February 15, 1794. The royal white flag was used during the Bourbon restoration from 1815 to 1830; the tricolour was brought back after the July Revolution and has been used ever since 1830.The Tricolour has become one of the most influential flags in history, with its three-color scheme being copied by many other nation.


During the 19th and early 20th centuries, France possessed the second-largest colonial empire in the world.

France is the EU’s largest country in area and the second largest (after Germany) in population.

France is the most visited country in the world. Around 82,000 foreign tourists visit France each year, more than the entire population.

The Louvre in Paris is the world’s most visited art museum.

There are 40,000 chateaux in France.

France has won the most Nobel Prizes for Literature - 16 to date. The UK comes next with 12.

The French are the world’s biggest consumers of mood-altering drugs - around 25% have taken anti-depressants or tranquillisers.

The average person in France sleeps 8.83 hours per day, the most in the developed world.

France is the leading agricultural producer and exporter in Europe. It is the only European country to be completely self-sufficient in basic food production.

France is a secular country and the constitution guarantees freedom of religion. The population is about 51% Roman Catholic, and 31% of people are agnostics or atheists.

Sources Daily Mail, Daily Express

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