France, in Western Europe, encompasses medieval cities, alpine villages, and Mediterranean beaches. Historically and culturally among the most important nations in the Western world, France has played a significant role in international affairs. France is one of the major economic powers, ranking with the United States, Japan, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. French culture greatly influences the development of art and science, particularly anthropology, philosophy, and sociology.

Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, the Alps and the Pyrenees, France provides a geographic, economic, and linguistic bridge joining northern and southern Europe. It is Europe's most important agricultural producer and a leading industrial power.

France is renowned for its wines and sophisticated cuisine. Paris, its capital, is famed for its fashion houses, classical art museums including the Louvre, and famous monuments like the Eiffel Tower.

Among France's other major cities are Lyon, located along an ancient Rhône valley trade route linking the North Sea and the Mediterranean; Marseille, a multiethnic port on the Mediterranean founded as an entrepôt for Greek and Carthaginian traders in the 6th century BCE; Nantes, an industrial centre and deepwater harbour along the Atlantic coast; and Bordeaux, located in southwestern France along the Garonne River.

France is a one-hour flight from London, England and a 5.5-hour flight from New York, USA. It shares borders with Belgium to the North East, Germany and Luxemburg in the East as well as with Switzerland, and with Italy to the South East.

The Pyrenées, a mountain range to the South of France, form a natural border between Spain and France. The highest mountain in France is Mont Blanc, which is 4,810 m (15,780 feet high) and stands at the border between France and Italy.

Mainland France is divided into 27 regions and these into 101 departments. The Mediterranean island of Corsica belongs to France. Of the 101 departments there are also 5 ROM ('régions d'outre mer' or overseas regions) also belonging to France: French Guyana in South America, Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean, and La Reunion and Mayotte in Africa in the Indian Ocean.

The climate of France is favourable to cultivation. Most of France lies in the southern part of the temperate zone, although the subtropical zone encompasses its southern fringe. All of France is considered to be under the effect of oceanic influences, moderated by the North Atlantic Drift on the west and the Mediterranean Sea on the south.

Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron has been President of France since 14 May 2017. He became the youngest president of his country at the age of 39. Most French people are extremely interested in political debates. According to many French people, a president the likes of Donald Trump is unimaginable, and they think Trump's political career would have been destroyed a long time ago.

As of January 2020, the population of France was 67 million people. French is the official language in France and is also the second major language in Europe. Today, French is the second most studied language after English and spoken by more than 300 million people around the world as a first or second language. It is estimated that 94 percent of French children know English as their second language. Most French people are taught (mandatory) two foreign languages at school.


France is a secular country in which freedom of religion is a constitutional right. French religious policy is based on the concept of laïcité, a strict separation of church and state under which public life is kept completely secular.

According to a survey held in 2016 by Institut Montaigne and Institut français d'opinion publique (IFOP), 51.1 percent of the total population of France was Christian, 39.6 percent had no religion (atheism or agnosticism), 5.6 percent were Muslims, 2.5 percent were followers of other faiths, and the remaining 0.4 percent were undecided about their faith. Estimates of the number of Muslims in France vary widely. In 2003, the French Ministry of the Interior estimated the total number of people of Muslim background to be between five and six million. The current Jewish community in France is the largest in Europe and the third largest in the world after Israel and the United States, ranging between 480,000 and 600,000, about 0.8 percent of the population as of 2016.

French people are "supposed" to be catholic, but fewer and fewer attend mass. Catholicism has been the predominant religion in France for more than a millennium, though it is not as actively practised today as it was. Among the 47,000 religious buildings in France, 94 percent are Roman Catholic. During the French Revolution, activists conducted a brutal campaign of de-Christianisation, ending the Catholic church as the state religion. In some cases clergy and churches were attacked, with iconoclasm stripping the churches of statues and ornaments. After alternating between royal and secular republican governments during the 19th century, in 1905 France passed the 1905 law on the Separation of the Churches and the State, which established the principle of laïcité.

To this day, the government is prohibited from recognizing any specific right to a religious community (except for legacy statutes like those of military chaplains and the local law in Alsace-Moselle). It recognizes religious organisations according to formal legal criteria that do not address religious doctrine. Conversely, religious organisations are expected to refrain from intervening in policy-making. Certain groups, such as Scientology, Children of God, the Unification Church, and the Order of the Solar Temple are considered cults ("sectes" in French), and therefore do not have the same status as recognized religions in France. Secte is considered a pejorative term in France.

The laïcité (secularism) issue is very important and a few years ago the government decided to forbid religious signs and Islamic veils in all schools, except for universities.

A Firm No To Communautarism

France hates and vigourously fights against communautarism. Communitarianism is a philosophy that emphasizes the connection between the individual and the community. Its overriding philosophy is based upon the belief that a person's social identity and personality are largely molded by community relationships, with a smaller degree of development being placed on individualism.

Although the community might be a family, communitarianism usually is understood, in the wider, philosophical sense, as a collection of interactions, among a community of people in a given place (geographical location), or among a community who share an interest or who share a history. Communitarianism usually opposes extreme individualism and disagrees with extreme laissez-faire policies that neglect the stability of the overall community.


The current French flag is known as 'Tricolore' for its blue, white, and red stripes. It was created as part of the French Revolution in 1794.

One of the most identifiable pieces of music in the world, "La Marseillaise" was written in 1792 and became the official anthem of France in 1795.

Liberté, égalitié, fraternité (meaning "Liberty, Equality and Fraternity" or brotherhood) is the national motto of France. It first appeared near the time of the Revolution (1789-1799), and was written into the constitutions of 1946 and 1958. Today it is on coins, postage stamps, and government logos, often alongside 'Marianne' who symbolizes the 'triumph of the Republic.'

France is sometimes known as The Hexagon due to the fact that it has six sides.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation (OECD) ranks France 12th out of all OECD countries. Most workers in France have a workweek of 35 hours. Most have five weeks of vacation each year. French workers retire younger than other OECD countries. In the 2012 report, the average retirement age was 59.7 years for men and 60 for women, compared to the OECD averages of 64.2 and 63.3. People can claim a state pension at age 62 in France, which is one of the lowest retirement ages in the world.


The French Revolution is one of the most important events in the country's history. It began when a number of people stormed the Bastille (prison). They overthrew the monarchy and took control of the government. Following the French Revolution and the subsequent Reign of Terror, General Napoleon Bonaparte seized control of the French government in 1799. Five years later he declared himself Emperor of France.

The French Revolution changed the social and political landscape of France. It ended monarchy, feudalism, and took power from the Catholic church. It influenced people in countries all over Europe and brought forth new ideas such as liberty, freedom, the abolishment of slavery, and women's rights.


French people look to the state as the primary guardian of liberty, and the state in turn provides programs of amenities, including free education, health care, and pension plans. Social Security is not "free" in France. On average, the government takes approximately 45 percent of a person's gross salary with the employee contributing 15 percent and the employer contributing the rest. Most French people have a "mutuelle" (complementary private insurance) so that whatever medical needs they have, they are refunded. Homeless people have the same rights that even the wealthiest people have for medical care and surgeries.

A centralist tendency is often at odds with a long-standing theme of the French nation: the insistence on the supremacy of the individual. On this matter historian Jules Michelet remarked, "England is an empire, Germany is a nation, a race, France is a person."

In 1962, French President Charles de Gaulle said, "Only peril can bring the French together. One can't impose unity out of the blue on a country that has 265 varieties of cheese."

French Cheese

Charles de Gaulle was born in 1890 and he died in 1970. In 1962 he said that France had 265 varieties of cheese. Present day 2020 France has approximately 1,000-1,600 distinct types of cheese, grouped into eight categories, 'les huit familles de fromage.'

There can be many varieties within each type of cheese, leading some to claim that the actual number is approximately 1,000 types of cheese, instead of 1,600. France has hundreds of dairy companies and each region has its own cheeses. French cheeses reflect an extensively rich cultural diversity.

French Cuisine

French cuisine developed throughout the centuries influenced by the surrounding cultures of Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium, in addition to its own food traditions on the long western coastlines of the Atlantic, the Channel, and inland.

In the 14th century, Guillaume Tirel, a court chef known as "Taillevent," wrote Le Viandier, one of the earliest recipe collections of medieval France. In the 17th century, chefs François Pierre La Varenne and Marie-Antoine Carême spearheaded movements that shifted French cooking away from foreign influences and developed France's own indigenous style.

Cheese and wine are a major part of the cuisine. They play different roles regionally and nationally, with many variations and appellation d'origine contrô lée (AOC) regulated appellation laws. French cuisine is known for its freshness and high quality dishes.

French gastronomy was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2010. French food culture, according to UNESCO, is important for bringing people together to enjoy the art of good eating and drinking, the power to create togetherness, the pleasure of taste, and the balance between human beings and the products of nature.


French monks and the Romans mixed unfermented grape juice, known as must, with ground mustard seeds (called sinapis) to make "burning must," mustum ardens. That is the source of the name "must ard."

Dijon mustard is traditional mustard of France, named after the town of Dijon in Burgundy, France, which was the center of mustard making in the late Middle Ages and was granted exclusive rights in France in the 17th century. First used in 1336 for the table of King Philip VI, it became popular in 1856, when Jean Naigeon of Dijon replaced the usual ingredient of vinegar in the recipe with verjuice, the acidic juice of unripe grapes. Approximately 90 percent of mustard made each year in France is Dijon or Dijon-style, and approximately 70 percent is made in the Dijon area.

Grey Poupon mustard became popular in America in the 1980s when American tastes broadened from conventional American yellow mustards. Grey Poupon's 1984 Rolls-Royce TV commercial about the upscale mustard created a huge increase in sales.

The name of the car limousine is originally from the France region of Limousin. The first cars with five or more passengers, excluding the driver, were popular at the end of the 19th century.


The French word for snail is escargot. Not all snails are edible and it is the land snail that is most often eaten. Approximately 100 registered snail farms existed in France in 2015. In France, people eat approximately 500,000,000 snails per year. They are often served with garlic, parsley, and butter.

About French Fries

French Fries were not invented in France. They were invented in Belgian.

The French Baguette
(Born From Necessity)

France has one of the highest densities of bakeries in the world. In France, by law, a bakery must make everything it sells from scratch in order to have the right to be called a bakery. Bread is an important part of French culture.

The French baguette is an iconic, delicious, and extremely popular symbol of French bread. A law passed in 1920 banned bakers from starting work before 4am and they could not work later than 10pm. This made it difficult to have fresh bread in bakeries in the early morning hours, so an innovative new loaf, the baguette, was developed as a fast-baking solution.

A massive ten billion baguettes are baked and sold each year in France. There are strict laws governing traditional baguette production. To be a baguette it must only contain four ingredients: water, flour, yeast, and salt. It must have no preservatives and each baguette must weight 250 grams, which is slightly less that nine ounces.

Paris holds an annual contest for the city's best baguette. Approximately 200 eligible bakers submit two baguettes each to be judged on quality, appearance, smell, taste, and crunch. The winner wins €4000 and a contract to supply the French president fresh baguettes each day for one year.

The Croissant

One beloved food that generally represents French cuisine is the delicious croissant. However, the croissant was not invented in France. The forerunner to the croissant was the kipferl, first documented in the 13th century in Austria. In late 1839 a Viennese baker in Paris introduced it and the French love affair with the croissant began.

French Desserts

France has some of the most decadent desserts in the world. Éclair au chocolat, macarons, puff pastries, tarte tatin, crêpes, flaky pastry profiteroles, pain au chocolat, soufflé, paper thin pancakes, crème brûlée custard, praline flavored Paris-Brest-Paris, layered pastry mille-feuille, sponge cake Madeleines, French apple pie, French lemon tarts, prune cake Far Breton, L'escargot chocolat pistache pastry, clafoutis, Rum soaked Baba au Rhum, chocolate mousse, meringues, and fine chocolates.

Popular Dishes

A national French dish is Pot-au-Feu, a stewed meat and vegetable dish.

Boeuf bourguignon is a stew made of beef braised in red wine, beef broth, and seasoned with garlic, onions, and mushrooms.

Coq au vin, is made with chicken, Burgundy wine, lardons (small strips or cubes of pork fat), button mushrooms, onions, and optional garlic.

Frog legs are one of the better-known delicacies of French and Chinese cuisine. The taste and texture of frog meat is between chicken and fish.

French Wine

French people actually drink far less wine nowadays, but as always, the wine they drink is of excellent quality.

France is one of the top two preeminent producers of wine in the world, competing for first place with Italy. France is famously known for its incredible vineyards with Champagne, Burgundy, and Bordeaux being its three finest wine regions.

Champagne is a French sparkling wine. Many people use the term Champagne as a generic term for sparkling wine, but in the European Union and some countries, it is illegal to label any product Champagne unless it came from the Champagne wine region of France and is produced under the rules of the appellation. Champagne is produced from specific types of grapes grown in the Champagne region following rules that demand, among other things, specific vineyard practices, sourcing of grapes exclusively from designated places within the Champagne region, specific grape-pressing methods, and secondary fermentation of the wine in the bottle to cause carbonation.

Burgundy wine is wine made in the Burgundy region in eastern France. Burgundy has a higher number of appellations d'origine contrôlée (AOCs) than any other French region, and is often seen as the most terroir-conscious of the French wine regions. The practice of delineating vineyards by their terroir in Burgundy goes back to medieval times, when various monasteries played a key role in developing the Burgundy wine industry.

A Bordeaux wine is any wine produced in the Bordeaux region of southwest France. Average vintages produce over 700 million bottles of Bordeaux wine, ranging from large quantities of everyday table wine, to some of the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world. More than 8,500 producers or châteaux makes Bordeaux wine. There are 54 appellations of Bordeaux wine.

French wines can reach astronomical prices. In 2014, Sotheby's sold a 114-bottle lot of DCR Romanee-Conti wines in Hong Kong for more than EUR 1.45m to an anonymous Asia-based buyer, a world record for a single wine lot. That is approximately EUR 1,619 per standard glass.

The Palace of Versailles

Until the French Revolution, France was a monarchy. The Palace of Versailles was built in the 17th century. It was the principal royal residence of France from 1682, under Louis XIV, until the start of the French Revolution in 1789, under Louis XVI. It is located in the department of Yvelines, in the region of Île-de-France, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) southwest of the centre of Paris.

The palace is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its Hall of Mirrors, its Royal Opera, and its gardens. Tourists visit the private apartment of Louis XIV, which features a Guard Room, two antechambers, a chamber, and a cabinet. There is also the king's private apartment. It is grand with numerous rooms, including a dog room and a mirror room. Tourists must be part of a guided tour group to visit the king's apartment suite. The Palace of Versailles is one of the most recognizable homes in the world.

Mont Blanc

France is famous for its luxurious ski resorts and skiing tracks in the French Alps. Mont Blanc is the second-highest mountain in Europe after Mount Elbrus. It is the eleventh-most prominent peak in the world. The Mont Blanc massif is popular for outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, trail running, and winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding. The most popular route is the Goûter Route, which typically takes two days.

Mont Blanc lies along the French-Italian border, which cause debates surrounding the ownership of the massif. In 2015 the Italian prime minister claimed the three tallest peaks of the mountain, even though they are in France, according to Google Maps. Also, part of the mountain is in Switzerland.

The French Riviera

Côte d'Azur is the Mediterranean coast of southeastern France and it is known as the French Riviera. Each year it hosts approximately 50 percent of the world's most expensive yachts. The French Riviera includes famous luxurious resorts like Cannes and Saint-Tropez, but also Monaco - the independent micro-state which is famous for Monte Carlo and its casinos. The main promenade in Cannes is lined with lavish shops like Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Saint-Tropez is known for its glitzy nightlife.

As a tourist centre, the French Riviera benefits from 310 to 330 days of sunshine per year, 115 kilometres (71 miles) of beautiful coastline and beaches, 18 golf courses, 14 ski resorts, and 3,000 restaurants.

The Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival is in Cannes, France located on the French Riviera. The population of the city is over 75,000 people. The festival lasts approximately two weeks. It previews new films of all genres, including documentaries, from around the world. Founded in 1946, the invitation-only festival is held annually (usually in May) at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. It is one of the "Big Five" film festivals, alongside the Venice Film Festival in Italy, the Berlin International Film Festival in Germany, the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada, and the Sundance Film Festival in the United States. The Big Five are internationally acclaimed for giving creators the artistic freedom to express themselves through film. On March 20, 2020, organizers announced the postponement of the Cannes Film Festival 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Claude Monet & Henri Matisse

France is famous for its 'beaux-arts' (fine arts). Paris is considered the culture capital of the world. France has been home to many influential and great painters, artisans, and sculptors. To name several: Edgar Degas, Eugene Delacroix, Edouard Manet, Camille Pissarro, Henri Rousseau, Henri Matisse, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Marcel Duchamp, Paul Gauguin, Paul Cézanne. The most notable French sculptor was Auguste Rodin. The two most notable French artists were Claude Monet and Henri Matisse.

Auguste Rodin was a brilliant sculptor. Because he departed from sculpture traditions, many of his most notable sculptures were criticized during his lifetime. Eventually he was compared to Michelangelo and recognized as a great artist of the era. He is considered the father of modern sculpture. His 1902 sculpture "The Thinker" is one of the most famous sculptures ever.

Oscar Claude Monet was a French painter, a founder of French Impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein air landscape painting. The term "Impressionism" is derived from the title of his painting Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise), which was exhibited in 1874 in the first of the independent exhibitions mounted by Monet and his associates as an alternative to the Salon de Paris.

Monet's ambition of documenting the French countryside led him to adopt a method of painting the same scene over many times in order to capture the changing of light and the passing of the seasons. From 1883, Monet lived in Giverny, where he purchased a house and property and began a vast landscaping project that included lily ponds that would become the subjects of his best-known works. He began painting water lilies in 1899, first in vertical views with a Japanese bridge as a central feature and later in the series of large-scale paintings that was to occupy him for the next 20 years of his life.

Henri Émile Benoît Matisse was a French artist, known for both his use of color and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter. Matisse is commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso, as one of the artists who best helped to define the revolutionary developments in the visual arts throughout the opening decades of the twentieth century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture.

The intense colorism of the works he painted between 1900 and 1905 brought him notoriety as one of the Fauves (wild beasts). Many of his finest works were created in the decade or so after 1906, when he developed a rigorous style that emphasized flattened forms and decorative pattern. In 1917, he relocated to a suburb of Nice on the French Riviera, and the more relaxed style of his work during the 1920s gained him critical acclaim as an upholder of the classical tradition in French painting. After 1930, he adopted a bolder simplification of form. When ill health in his final years prevented him from painting, he created an important body of work in the medium of cut paper collage.

His mastery of the expressive language of color and drawing, displayed in a body of work spanning over a half-century, won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art.

Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh was Dutch, born in Zundert in the Netherlands in 1853. During his time in France, he lived in Paris, Arles and Saint-Remy-de-Provence, and finally in Auvers-sur-Oise outside Paris. He spent much of his life at a painter in France. In 1888, after a few years living in Paris, van Gogh moved to the South of France. The unique light in Provence fascinated him and the quality of life there suited him.

Although van Gogh painted some of his most extraordinary masterpieces in Arles and St Remy de Provence, he only lived there for approximately two and a half years. He was in Arles for roughly 18 months before spending about a year in an asylum hospital in St Remy de Provence.

He did almost 150 paintings during his year in St Remy. Tourists are able to visit some of the actual landscapes that he painted. He discharged himself from the hospital and moved to the Auberge Ravoux in Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris. He lived there until his death on 29 July 1890, at the tragically young aged of 37.

A popular tourist attraction in Provence is the digital art display space, Carrières de Lumières, near to Les Baux de Provence. Digital images of famous paintings are projected onto the walls of the quarries with musical accompaniment. It is an incredible exhibit. The 2019 show was dedicated to van Gogh.

The Place Félix Rey was once the central square of the hospital where Vincent Van Gogh was treated at the end of the 19th century. This scene was immortalized in several of his paintings. In recent years, restoration has made the square looks much as it would have looked like during van Gogh's time. Today, the building is the town library.

The Vincent van Gogh Café is a popular tourist spot nowadays and one of the well-known scenes in his paintings.

In Saint Remy de Provence, tourists visit Saint Paul de Mausole, the asylum (a Romanesque cloister) where van Gogh was a patient. It is still a psychiatric hospital. There is a museum in one wing of the beautiful Romanesque cloister especially dedicated to when van Gogh was at Saint Paul's. Tourists may visit a reconstruction of van Gogh's room.

Outside of the hospital is Vincent van Gogh Field. Tourists are allowed to stroll around and view twenty large-scale reproductions of van Gogh's most famous paintings, set in the actual locations where they were painted.

Those who enjoy cycling can explore the outskirts of St Remy on bike. The route takes cyclists through the landscapes that inspired van Gogh. This route can also be taken on foot or by car.

The tourism office organizes guided tours of St Remy, including some of locations relating to van Gogh. The tours last 1.5 hours.

The Estrine Museum has a short film about Vincent van Gogh's life and work and the landscapes he painted. There are also excellent temporary art exhibitions at the museum.

Novelists & Philosophers

France has produced some of the world's most influential writers and philosophers. Descartes and Pascal are from the 17th century, Voltaire is from the 18th century, Baudelaire and Flaubert are from the 19th century, and Sartre and Camus are from the 20th century. To date, France has won more Noble Prizes for Literature than any other country.

A few additional famous French writers include Honore de Balzac, Alexandre Dumas, Emile Zola, Jules Verne, Gaston Leroux, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and Victor Hugo.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is one of the most translated and best-selling books.

Victor Hugo's famous work Les Miserables, inspired a popular play and Oscar-winning movie. There is an unwritten law that states that every city in France must have a road named after Victor Hugo. Avenue Victor-Hugo in Paris can be found in the 16th arrondissement, and is also where the novelist lived.

Longest Novel In The World

In Search of Lost Time (French: À la recherche du temps perdu), also translated as Remembrance of Things Past, is a novel in seven volumes by Marcel Proust (1871-1922). It is his most prominent work, known for its length and its theme of involuntary memory, the most famous example of which is the "episode of the madeleine," which occurs early in the first volume. It gained fame in English in translations by C. K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin as Remembrance of Things Past, but the title In Search of Lost Time, a literal rendering of the French, became ascendant after D.J. Enright adopted it for his revised translation published in 1992.

The seven-volume novel took Proust nearly 13 years to complete. It is 3,200 pages (the word count sometimes equals 4,000 pages, depending on the edition) and contains over 1.2 million words. It is the longest novel ever published in the world. In addition to writing the longest novel, Proust also wrote the longest sentence, with 847 words.

The French expression, "La madeleine de Proust" (Proust's madeleine) references a section in Swann's Way. The section describes a moment in which the narrator's mother serves him a madeleine and tea. Proust describes the moment in great detail. The narration reminded him of a time when his mother gave him the same snack as a child.

Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas was a French writer. His works have been translated into numerous languages, and he is one of the most widely read French authors. Many of his historical novels of high adventure were originally published as serials, including The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, and The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later.

His novels have been adapted since the early twentieth century into nearly 200 films. Prolific in several genres, Dumas began his career by writing plays, which were successfully produced. He also wrote magazine articles and travel books. His published works totaled 100,000 pages. In the 1840s, Dumas founded the Théâtre Historique in Paris.

His father, General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie, was born in the French colony of Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti) to Alexandre Antoine Davy de la Pailleterie, a French nobleman, and Marie-Cessette Dumas, an enslaved Black woman.

Because he was black, Alexandre Dumas suffered from racism for most of his life.

Marie Curie

Marie Skłodowska Curie was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist. She fled to France from Poland to survive. She conducted pioneering research on radioactivity from her laboratory in Paris. As part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes, she was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and the only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two scientific fields. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris.

French Music

The music of France reflects a diverse array of styles. In the field of classical music, France has produced several prominent romantic composers, while folk and popular music have seen the rise of the chanson and cabaret style.

Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville patented the phonautograph in France in 1857. It is the earliest known sound recording device in the world. France's music industry has produced many internationally renowned artists, especially in the nouvelle chanson and electronic music.

The city of Paris has been an important center for European music since the Middle Ages. It was noted for its choral music in the 12th century, for its role in the development of ballet during the Renaissance, in the 19th century it became famous for its music halls and cabarets, and in the 20th century for the first performances of the Ballets Russes, its jazz clubs, and its part in the development of serial music.

Paris has been home to many important composers, to name a few: Jean-Baptiste Lully, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Niccolò Piccinni, Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, Jacques Offenbach, Georges Bizet, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Hector Berlioz, Paul Dukas, Gabriel Fauré, César Franck, Charles Gounod, Jules Massenet, Vincent d'Indy, Camille Saint-Saëns, Erik Satie, Igor Stravinsky, and Sidney Bechet.

In France at least 40 percent of the music on private radio stations must be of French origin. Since 1996, the country's top media regulator the Conseil Supérieur de L'Audiovisuel (CSA) has been charged with enforcing this French law. The CSA also requires half of the French music quota to be less than six months old.

The English Channel

Even though it is the English Channel, it is still something that France is famous for. The body of water that separates France and England is the busiest shipping area in the world, and known worldwide for the iconic underwater tunnel.

The Chunnel, as it is usually called, is a 50.45-kilometer rail tunnel which links Folkestone, Kent in England with Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais in Northern France. It carries Eurostar passenger trains, as well as the Eurotunnel Shuttle for the transport of vehicles, which is the largest transport of its kind in the world.

The English Channel is also considered by many to be the ultimate and most demanding long distance swim challenge. Swims are approximately 21 miles (32 kilometres).

Of the thousands of swimmers to have completed the challenge of swimming the English Channel, 63 per cent have been male. The average age of solo swimmers is 35.5 years old.

1875: Captain Matthew Webb was the first recorded person to swim the Channel for sport without the use of artificial aids. In 1875, Webb swam from Dover to Calais in less than 22 hours. This brought him great celebrity, and he performed many stunts in public. He died trying to swim the Whirlpool Rapids below Niagara Falls, a feat declared impossible.

1926: Enrique Tirabocchi (variously spelled Enrico Tiraboschi) was an Argentinian marathon swimmer who in 1926 became the fourth person to successfully swim the Channel. He was the first person to swim from France to England and finished the swim in 16 hours and 33 minutes, beating the record set by Matthew Webb when Webb was the first to make the crossing 51 years earlier.

1926: On her second attempt, 19-year-old Gertrude Ederle swam the Channel. She began at Gris Nez in France at 07:05 on the morning of 6 August 1926. 14 hours and 30 minutes later, coming ashore at Kingsdown, Kent, England, in a total time of 14 hours and 39 minutes, she became the first woman to complete the crossing. She also set the record for the fastest time, breaking the 16 hours and 33 minutes time set by Enrique Tirabocchi.

2012: The current fastest swimmer is Australian Trent Grimsey. He swam the Channel in six hours and 55 minutes in 2012.

The Tour de France

The Tour de France started in 1903. It is an annual men's multiple stage bicycle race primarily held in France. It has been described as the world's most prestigious and most difficult bicycle race.

French Grand Prix

France is one of the countries that have the honor of hosting Formula 1 races, and it is famous for the French Grand Prix. It is one of the oldest motor races in the world, and also the first Grand Prix. Monaco is another country that hosts the (Monte Carlo) Grand Prix. One of the greatest Formula 1 drivers of all time is from France - Alain Prost. He held the record for most wins for a long time. He is currently the fourth driver with most wins, preceded by Schumacher, Hamilton, and Vettel.


France was a pioneer in the automotive industry and is the 11th-largest automobile manufacturer in the world by 2015 unit production and the third largest in Europe (after Germany and Spain). The French car market has consistently developed. The top five French car brands are Renault, Peugeot, Citroën, Alpine, and Bugatti.

Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris is the only Disneyland in Europe. It is in Chessy, France, 32 km (20 miles) east of the centre of Paris. It has two theme parks, many resort hotels, Disney Nature Resorts, shopping, dining, an entertainment complex, a golf course, and several recreational and entertainment venues.

Disneyland Park is the original theme park, opening with the resort on 12 April 1992. A second theme park called Walt Disney Studios Park opened in 2002, ten years after Disneyland Park.

Disneyland Paris celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2017. Within 25 years of opening, 320 million people visited Disneyland Paris.

Disneyland Paris was the second Disneyland to open outside the United States, with Tokyo Disneyland being the first. Disneyland Paris is the only Disney resort outside of the United States that is fully owned by The Walt Disney Company.


The French perfume industry is legendary. Their products are in demand worldwide and are exported to over 100 countries. Some of France's most famous perfume brands are Vichy, L'Oreal, Lancôme, Guerlain, Clarins, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Lacroix, Givenchy, Christian Louboutin, Yves Rocher, and L'Occitane. Grasse in France is known as the world's capital of perfume.

French Fashion

France is famous for its influence in the fashion world. Paris is one of four fashion capitals of the world, hosting fashion weeks and other noteworthy fashion events. The other three fashion capitals are New York, Milan, and London. France has designer labels that dominate the fashion market. Some of the most prominent fashion brands include Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Chanel, Balmain, Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin, Thierry Mugler, Givenchy, and Pierre Cardin.

The Beret

France is famous for the beret, a flat-crowned hat that was originally part of military uniforms, but is now a fashion statement. The beret is commonly associated with French cultural identity. However, in 2020, very few French people wear a beret.

The Drowned Mona Lisa

The face of most CPR dolls in existence was modeled after an unidentified girl whose lifeless body was found in the Seine River in France during the late 1880s. She was never identified and she was called L'Inconnue.

The mesmerizing death mask of this unknown girl became a cultural icon in France. She captivated sketchers, painters, poets, and novelists, and her silent face was in numerous art workshops. Her likeness was reproduced in facsimiles sold in souvenir shops across Paris, Germany, and all of Europe. Philosopher and author Albert Camus described her as the drowned Mona Lisa.

Asmund Laerdal, a toy manufacturer from Norway, experimented with a new material that had just entered mass production: plastic. His company began in the early 1940s printing children's books and calendars, before making wooden toys. Using the new soft, malleable substance called plastic, he manufactured one of his most famous play-things: the "Anne" doll, which in post-war Norway was the acclaimed toy of the year with sleeping eyes and natural hair.

One day, Laerdal's young son nearly drowned. Laerdal pulled the limp boy from the water, forced water from his airway, and saved his life. When anesthesiologists approached Laerdal and told him they needed a doll to demonstrate a newly developed resuscitation technique - a procedure known as CPR - they found a receptive listener. With researchers, including the Austrian physician Peter Safar, who had helped pioneer the CPR method, Laerdal embarked upon a history-making project: making a life-sized mannequin that people could use to practice life-saving techniques. Laerdal knew how to create and manufacture play-dolls, but it was a challenge to make a realistic, functional mannequin that could reliably demonstrate the physical complexities of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Laerdal recalled a strange, enigmatic half-smile of a serene mask he had seen hanging on the wall at the home of his in-laws. It was L'Inconnue. Laerdal kept the name of his Anne doll, but gave the new mannequin L'Inconnue's face, a body of full sized adult dimensions, a collapsible chest for practicing compressions, and open lips to simulate mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Laerdal felt it was important that the mannequin be a female, suspecting that men in the 1960s would be reluctant to practice CPR on a male doll's lips. The mannequin was given the name Resusci Anne (Rescue Anne). In America, she was known as CPR Annie.

She has not remained the only CPR mannequin on the market, but she is considered the first and most successful "patient simulator" ever. She is responsible for helping hundreds of millions of people learn the basics of how to save a life with CPR. That incredible number is why she is often said to have the most-kissed face of anyone in history.

People kneeling and coming face-to-face with someone whose life they will be attempting to save are the people who perform most CPR rescues. An unidentified dead girl from Paris - a Jane Doe who perished long before the CPR technique could have saved her - is how most were trained to do CPR.

French Carrier Pigeons

Homing pigeons have played an important role in war. Due to their homing ability, speed, and altitude, they were often used as military messengers. A carrier pigeon's job was dangerous. Nearby enemy soldiers tried to shoot down pigeons, knowing they were carrying important messages. Some pigeons became famous among the infantrymen. One pigeon, named "The Mocker," flew 52 missions before he was wounded.

A Blue Check pigeon hen named Cher Ami, was awarded the French "Croix de Guerre with Palm" for heroic service delivering 12 important messages during the Battle of Verdun. On her final mission in October 1918, she delivered a message despite having been shot. The crucial message, found in the capsule hanging from a ligament of her shattered leg, saved 194 U.S. soldiers of the 77th Infantry Division's "Lost Battalion." This brave bird lost a foot and one eye, but her message got through.

Among European armies, the French army is the only one that still has pigeons trained to carry and transmit messages. Even if this practice is regarded by some as unnecessary in the era of digitization and communication technologies, it is considered by military staff as necessary and as an important alternative in case of a breakdown in technologies.

Atop Mount Valerien 100 carrier pigeons wait in their coops. These brave feathered birds are registered for the draft, ready to answer the French army's call as their ancestors have done.


In 1915, the French Army became the first to create a dedicated camouflage unit. The word camouflage comes from the French verb meaning to make up for the stage. Its practitioners, many of whom were artists, were known as camoufleurs. They painted guns and vehicles.

President Françoise Holland signed the bill to legalize same-sex marriage into law on 18 May 2013. France became the ninth country in Europe and 14th in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.

Under French law, in exceptional cases you can marry posthumously, as long as you can prove that the deceased had the intention of marrying you and you receive permission from the French president. The most recent approved case was in 2017, when the partner of a gay policeman gunned down on Paris's Champs-Elysees by a jihadist was granted permission to marry his partner posthumously.

France was the first country to ban supermarkets from disposing unsold food. Since 2016, they must donate unsold food items that they wish to discard to food banks or charities.

The Provence region of France is known for its fields of lavender. During the spring, this makes the area a popular place to visit for tourists to see the lovely purple fields and to relish the wonderful scent.

In France, there is no central hot water supply. In big cities, water is heated in collective boilers. Usually central heat only works in lobbies of buildings. In most cases, each apartment has its own manual electric radiator. Some older buildings do not have updated wiring. Residents sometimes must choose want they need most, a hot stove or a warm radiator.

La Tete Carrée Library is an 85-foot-tall sculpture, a huge block that is the upper portion of a human face that houses a small library. Inside the box there are three floors full of books. The sculpture is titled Thinking Inside the Box.

The French did not invent the term, French kissing. Many people believe the term came from American and British soldiers during WWI. However, if you want authentic French kissing you can kiss a French person.

Roundabouts are popular, especially in major cities to reduce traffic and increase road safety. The French have more than 30,000 roundabouts. The number is more than half of all the roundabouts in the world. Apparently nobody knows exactly how many are in France, not even the Ministry of Transportation. Also, decorating them has become popular.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, a French woman from Arles named Jeanne Louise Calment was the oldest person in the world. She was born on 21 February 1875 and died on 4 August 1997. She lived 122 years and 164 days. Her longevity attracted media attention and medical studies of her health and lifestyle.

In France, it is illegal to deny that the holocaust happened.

In 1920 the Pope canonized Joan of Arc as Saint Joan of Arc. She was the young French woman who claimed to be directed by a divine voice, and who led French troops through English-occupied territory.

April Fish

If you are in France on 1 April, don't be surprised if children attempt to secretly tape paper fish to your back. April Fools' Day is known for poisson d'avril (April Fish). The tradition dates back to 1564. People, especially children, attempt to attach a paper fish to someone's back without being noticed.


French musicians Jean Hotteterre and Michel Danican Philidor invented the oboe in the 17th century. The instrument's success was established at the court of Louis XIV and spread across Europe. By 1700 most orchestras included oboes.

The Montgolfier brothers Joseph and Etienne became pioneers of hot air flight after the world's first public display of an untethered hot air balloon in 1783.

Louis-Sébastien Lenormand in France made the first recorded public parachute jump in 1783. He invented the modern parachute in the late 18th century. Lenormand also sketched his device beforehand. Two years later, in 1785, Lenormand coined the word "parachute" by hybridizing an Italian prefix para, an imperative form of parare = to avert, defend, resist, guard, shield or shroud, from paro = to parry, and chute, the French word for fall, to describe the aeronautical device's real function.

The "father of canning" confectioner Nicolas Appert used sealed glass jars placed in boiling water to preserve food in 1809. The later use of tin cans was the idea of Frenchman, Pierre Durand.

Physician René Laennec invented the stethoscope in 1816.

Louis Braille was a French educator and musician. In 1824 while a student at the Institution Nationale des Jeunes Aveugles (National Institute for Blind Children), Paris, he invented the Braille system of reading and writing for use by the blind or visually impaired. Blinded in both eyes as a result of an early childhood accident, he mastered his disability while still a boy. Braille's acute ear for music enabled him to become an accomplished cellist and organist. His musical talents led him to play the organ for churches all over France. A devout Catholic, he held the position of organist in Paris at the Church of Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs from 1834 to 1839, and later at the Church of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul.

Although hugely popular in the Netherlands, the bicycle was invented in France. Pierre Lallement, a French carriage maker, was supposedly the first person to obtain a patent for a two-wheeled vehicle with crank pedals, according to Livescience. Frenchmen René Olivier, Georges de la Bouglise, and Pierre Michaux have also been credited with the invention of the modern bike with their creation and marketing of pedals in the 1860s.

Alexandre-Ferdinand Godefroy patented a contraption that was the world's first hair dryer in 1888.

According to Life magazine, in 1889 Herminie Cadolle of France invented the first modern bra. It appeared in a corset catalogue. She originally called it the corselet gorge, and later le bien-être, or the well-being. At the time corsets were beginning to go out of fashion. Cadolle thought that they were oppressive. Cadolle's bras supported the female anatomy without being restrictive. So, one could say the bra was a feminist creation, born from the desire to wear comfortable clothing, made by women for women.

The French invented the concept of license plates for automobiles in 1893.

The first public screening of a movie was by French brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière on 28 December 1895. They used their invention the cinématographe (hence 'cinema') to show ten films that were approximately 50 seconds each at the Salon Indien du Grand Café in Paris. They made several more films but predicted that the cinema would be an invention without any future.

The international distress code "Mayday" comes from French M'aidez, meaning, "Help me!" Under the rules of radio signaling code, the word should be repeated three times (Mayday-Mayday-Mayday) by a vessel or aircraft that is in a life-threatening situation. The term Mayday-Mayday-Mayday was invented in 1923 by Frederick Stanley Mockford, a senior radio officer at Croydon airport, near London. Mockford was asked to think of a distress call that would be quikly understood. Much of the traffic at that time was between Croydon and Le Bourget airports.

Living in a post-WWII world, designer Louis Réard invented a style of women's swimwear that was regarded as scandalous at the time. He wasn't the first person to create a two-piece bathing suit, but he was the first to create a suit that showed the wearer's belly button. On July 5, 1946, he unveiled a daring two-piece swimsuit, the bikini, at the Piscine Molitor, a popular swimming pool in Paris. No models were willing to wear such revealing swimwear, so Rèard had to hire a stripper to model it.

The popular game Etch-a-Sketch was invented in the 1950s after French electrical technician André Cassagnes peeled a translucent transfer from a light switch plate and discovered his pencil marks remained on its underside, a result of the electrostatically charged metallic powder.

French surgeons performed the world's first face transplant in 2005.

The world's first artificial heart transplant occurred in December 2013 at the Georges Pompidou Hospital in Paris.

Interesting Information

Turning a baguette upside down is considered unlucky in France.

French was the official language of England for about 300 years, from 1066 to 1362.

Kilts originated in France, not Scotland.

In Europe, the French have more private swimming pools (2.5 million) and more second homes (3.5 million) in the countryside.

The French love pizzerias and McDonald's is very popular.

It is generally clamed that French people will criticize other people, especially when traveling in foreign countries. It is said that many French people have difficulty understanding why other people don't live like them. However, this seems to be a problem for numerous people, not only the French.

French people commonly have the habit of kissing friends and colleagues once or twice on both cheeks. However, because of COVID-19 this practice has ceased.

In France in 1499 the now popular tradition of a bride wearing a white dress for her wedding day originated.

A journalist once said, "French people are very proud of their intellectual and cultural TV programs, but they never watch them!"

There are over 130 television channels in France.

In France, nudity and occasional sexual erotic scenes are featured on TV. If it is depicted as "artistic" there is no censorship.

A Frenchman named Charles Perrault wrote Puss in Boots, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Little Red Riding Hood.

France has the most extensive railway system in Western Europe, with high-speed trains that can travel over three hundred kilometers per hour.

Despite France's reputation for romance, a 1910 law forbids couples from kissing on train platforms. Apparently, kissing delayed too many departures.

A person who can speak French fluently is known as a Francophone.

The French people call the English people les rosbifs, which translates to The Roast Beefs.

There is much more about France. Please research further on your own, if you wish to learn more.



Like many European cities, Paris was founded by the Romans, in the third century BC. Back then it was named Lutetia. In Latin, Lutetia means place near a swamp. The name Paris is from the Parisii, a Celtic community that lived on the banks of the River Seine.

The capital and most important city of France is Paris, one of the world's preeminent cultural and commercial centres. Paris is a major European city and a global center for art, fashion, gastronomy, and culture. Wide boulevards and the River Seine crisscross its 19th-century cityscape. The Seine River has been immortalized by artists and writers for centuries. But, it is not the only river in Paris. Another waterway, la Bièvre, runs through (more accurately - under) Paris.

Paris is a majestic city known as ville lumière. It is often referred to as The City of Light. Some say this is because of the role it took in the Age of Enlightenment. Others say it is because Paris was one of the first cities in Europe to install gaslights along its streets. Paris is also known as the City of Love, the Fashion Capital of the World, and as Literary Paradise.

Paris has often been remade, most famously in the mid-19th century under the command of Georges-Eugène, Baron Haussman, who was committed to Napoleon III's vision of a modern city free of the choleric swamps and congested alleys of old, with broad avenues and a regular plan.

Paris is a sprawling metropolis, one of Europe's largest conurbations, but its historic heart can still be traversed in an evening's walk. The Paris Métro ranks as the world's fourth largest public transport system. It has 302 stations.

As on January 2020, the population of Paris was almost 2.2 million people. Paris is one of the utmost desired tourist destinations in the world.

The Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Paris, standing since 1604. Perhaps the most popular bridge is the Pont des Arts, famous for its thousands of lovelocks, locks visitors secure to the bridge and decorate with love notes.

Paris is ten times older than many countries. Le Procope, in rue de l'Ancienne Comédie, 6th arrondissement, is called the oldest café of Paris in continuous operation. It was opened in 1686 by Sicilian chef Procopio Cutò (also known by his Italian name Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli and his French name François Procope), and was a hub of the artistic and literary community in 18th and 19th century Paris. The original café closed in 1872 and did not reopen as a café until the 1920s, so the claim of being the "oldest café in continuous operation" is not completely true.

There are roughly 1,200 bakeries in Paris, some are regarded as the top bakeries on the planet. Paris also has thousands of restaurants.

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower in Paris is an important symbol of France. Its iron-wrought lattice tower was originally constructed to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution. It is named after Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923), a French engineer who also worked with Auguste Bartholdi, designer of the Statue of Liberty that France gave to America on July 4, 1884. The Eiffel Tower was the main exhibition of World's Fair 1889. The Eiffel Tower is probably the most popular sight in France. On 28th November 2002, the Eiffel Tower received its 200,000,000th guest.

There are no legally displayed nighttime photographs of the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower lights were added in 1985. The lights are considered a work of art. According to copyright law of the European Union, any work of art is protected during the artist's lifetime, and then an additional 70 years. If you take photographs of the twinkling lights on the Eiffel Tower at night, you are breaking copyright law.

During the Nazi's Paris invasion in World War II, Hitler was about to fulfill his dream of standing on top of the Eiffel Tower, bringing his men with him. The French conspired to keep Hitler from doing so. The lift cables of the elevators had "mysteriously" been cut overnight. If Hitler wanted to reach the top of the tower, he would have to climb the steps. Hitler and his men stayed on the ground instead of attempting the 1,500-step journey.

(Statue of Liberty: America's iconic Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French. But, France made a few for France too. There are currently ten in France, with five in Paris.)

The Louvre

The Louvre, or the Louvre Museum, is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument. It was originally built to be a household castle at the end of the 12th century for French Kings. In 1692 the palace was converted to a museum by Louis XIV and displayed the royal collection. It is one of the most famous tourist and art attractions in Paris. It receives more than ten million visitors annually. It is known for the glass pyramid and Da Vinci's Mona Lisa painting.

Notre-Dame De Paris

This medieval Catholic cathedral is an iconic sight, and it is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. Notre-Dame is one of the top three tourist attractions in Paris. The bell of Notre-Dame tips the scale at 13 tons. It is as famous as the cathedral, and it also has a name - Emmanuel.

On 15 April 2019, a structure fire broke out beneath the roof. The building's spire collapsed, most of the roof was destroyed, and upper walls were severely damaged. Extensive damage to the interior was prevented by the stone vaulted ceiling, which largely contained the burning roof as it collapsed. Many works of art and religious relics were moved to safety, others suffered smoke damage, and some exterior art was damaged or destroyed. The cathedral's altar, two pipe organs, and its three 13th-century rose windows suffered little to no damage. Three emergency workers were injured.

President Emmanuel Macron launched a fundraising campaign which brought in pledges of over €1 billion as of 22 April 2019. There was controversy surrounding the potential restoration plans. Some architects proposed to modernize the church. The French Parliament passed a law that requires Notre-Dame to be rebuilt exactly as it was before the fire. A complete restoration could require twenty years or more. Eight months after the tragic fire the cathedral did not host Christmas services for the first time since 1803.

Sacré-Cæur Basilica

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as Sacré-Cæur Basilica, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris, France. A popular landmark, the basilica stands at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city. Sacré-Cæur Basilica is above all a religious (Catholic) building, shown by its perpetual adoration of the Holy Eucharist since 1885, and is also seen as a double monument, political and cultural, both a national penance for the defeat of France in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War and for the socialist Paris Commune of 1871 crowning its most rebellious neighborhood, and an embodiment of conservative moral order, publicly dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was an increasingly popular devotion since the visions of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in Paray-le-Monial. Paul Abadie designed the basilica. Construction began in 1875 and was completed in 1914. The basilica was consecrated after the end of World War I in 1919.

Place du Tertre

The Place du Tertre is a square in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, France. Only a few streets away from Montmartre's Basilica of the Sacré Cæur and the Lapin Agile, it is near the summit of the city's elevated Montmartre quarter. Place du Tertre was the heart of the prestigious Benedictine Montmartre Abbey, established in 1133 by King Louis VI. Montmartre Abbey thrived through the centuries and until the French revolution under the patronage of the Kings of France. Place du Tertre was opened to the public in 1635 as Montmartre village Central Square. From the end of the 18th century until World War One, the whole Montmartre Boheme could be seen here: painters, songwriters, and poets.

The Moulin Rouge

The globally renowned cabaret, The Moulin Rouge, is in the heart of Paris' Red Light District. It is a popular tourist attraction and the most famous French cabaret. Today, the theatre has approximately 80 performers on rotation year-round. It also has dinner meals and magic shows. The original building was built in 1889, and it is known for the red windmill on the roof. The original building burned down in 1915, and was closed for six years.

The cabaret has been an inspiration for numerous movies, documentaries, plays, and books. A popular 2001 film is Moulin Rouge, starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. In the 20th century, Moulin Rouge presented performances by several French celebrities, including Édith Piaf and Mistinguett.

Édith Piaf, a French singer-songwriter, cabaret performer, and film actress is noted as France's national chanteuse and was one of the country's most widely known international stars.

Mistinguett, born Jeanne Florentine Bourgeois, was a French actress and singer. Bourgeois made her debut as "Mistinguett" at the Casino de Paris in 1895 and went on to appear at venues such as Moulin Rouge, the Folies Bergère, and Eldorado. Her risqué routines captivated Paris, she became the most popular French entertainer of her time, and the highest-paid female entertainer in the world, known for her flamboyance and a zest for the theatrical. In 1919 her legs were insured for 500,000 francs.

Palais Garnier's Underground Lake

In 1862, Charles Garnier started building the famous Opéra de Paris, which would later be given his name, Palais Garnier. He encountered a serious issue; the swampy ground on which he planned to build endangered the building's foundations. He built a concrete liner filled with water to block infiltrations. Inaccessible to the public, the 10,000-cubic-meter lake is today used by the scuba divers of the Paris fire brigade for their training.

Of the numerous well-known symbols of Paris, the Palais Garnier's is one of those most closely associated with the city. It is beautiful but also famous, in part because of the attention it received because of Le Fantôme de l'Opé ra by Gaston Leroux in 1910. The story was published as a serial in Le Gaulois over a three and a half month period and shortly thereafter as a novel.

The story is a love triangle between Christine with her childhood friend, Raoul, and the phantom, Erik. Erik is a deformed architect who helped build the Opé ra de Paris while simultaneously and secretly building an underground palace for himself where a vast subterranean lake flowed.

Paris Saint-Germain

Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, commonly referred to as Paris Saint-Germain, Paris SG, or simply Paris or PSG, is a French professional football club based in Paris. They compete in Ligue 1, the top division of French football. PSG are France's most successful club, having won over forty competitive honours, including nine league titles and one major European trophy. Their home ground is the Parc des Princes.


Despite an incredible amount of traffic, there are no "Stop" signs and no "Do Not Enter" signs in Paris. Paris has a "Priority To The Right" across the whole city. Paris has traffic lights and on the Saint Exupéry dock, at the exit of a construction company, was the one and only "Stop" sign in Paris. In 2012, a "No Left Turn" sign replaced it. Paris holds the world record for the fewest number of stop signs.

There are more dogs in Paris than children.

'Fluctuat Ner Mergitur' is the motto of Paris. The Latin translation is "Tossed but not sunk" - in reference to a ship.

Paris has a lot of beautiful angels adorning churches, carved into stone facades of apartments, on many rooftops, and floating above fountains.

Paris is known for charming cobblestone streets leading to the city's many historical landmarks.

The most favorable season for visiting Paris is in autumn. Aside from the tranquil effect of the season upon the city, huge sales also fill supermarkets alongside free entrance fees to numerous museums and galleries.


There is much more about Paris. Please research further on your own, if you wish to learn more.