"FRANCE - QUICK OVERVIEW" France by vinc_bilb
France Travel Guide: 59,187 reviews and 161,496 photos
FAMOUS FRENCH PEOPLES (my judgement):
Jeanne d'Arc Joan of Arc (1412-1431 approx.)
Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821)
Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
Louis Pasteur (1822-95)
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944)
Charles DeGaule (1890-1970)
Coluche (1944 - 1986)
Zinedine Zidane (1972- )
and, In my view: Asterix le Gaulois is the 1st, without any doubt (comic books)
(more about Asterix...)
PS: The humour encountered is typically French (puns, caricatures of contemporary European real life, nations and French regions), which make translations difficult by losing some or most of the original jokes and spirit.
EAT and DRINK:
With its international reputation for fine dining, few people would be surprised to hear that French cuisine can certainly be very good (but can also be quite disappointing... )
Finding the right restaurant is therefore very important-try asking locals, hotel staff or even browsing restaurant guides for recommendations.
There are many places to try French food , from three-star Michelin restaurants to French "brasseries" or "bistros".
Champagne, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Rhone, the Loire Valley... France is the home of wine.
Western Europe country, France is the world's most popular tourist destination (78 million in 2006) boasting dozens of major tourist attractions, like Paris, Côte d'Azur (the French Riviera), the Atlantic beaches, the winter sport resorts of the Alps, the Castles of Loire Valley, Brittany: Mont Saint Michel.
My home country is renowned for its gastronomy (particularly wines and cheeses), history, culture and fashion.
France is divided into 22 administrative regions which themselves can be grouped into 7 main "cultural regions", which share common points, +DOM/TOM (Overseas territories and departments).
France is not "restricted" to Paris!
So, seems French peoples should be very happy to leave in a so "romantic" country. This is not systematically the case ...
Charles de Gaulle, famous complaint, is a good summary:
“Only peril can bring the French together. One can’t impose unity out of the blue on a country that has 265 kinds of cheese.”
A lot of variety, but temperate. Cool winters and mild summers on most of the territory. Cold winters with snow in the Mountainous regions.
Three main influences: Celt, Roman and Frank
France has been populated since the Neolithic period (Lascaux caves)
First invasion of the territory by the Romans (BC), move to the "Gallo-romans" culture (language, architecture). Major barbaric influence ()Mainly the Franks) after the fall of the Roman empire.
So, the French ethnic group does NOT exist, French is a mix (cultural, ethnic): there is no French race
2- Middle-Ages : Feudalism
Clovis, who died in 511, is considered as the first French king. Charlemagne (emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 800), was the first strong ruler.
The country was under attack by north warriors (the Vikings) and from the south by the Muslim Saracens.
This period was a very complex mix of periods of developments and recessions due to pandemic disease and continous wars.
In 1154 much of the western part of France went under English rule, struggle between the English and French kings between 1337 and 1435 (Hundred Years War) and the most famous figure is Joan of Arc.
3- The making of a modern state nation
The beginning of the XVIth century saw the end of the feudal system. Louis XIV who was king from 1643 to 1715 (72 years!!) was probably the most powerful monarch of his time. French influence (language and culture,...) extended deep in western Europe.
1789 saw the start of the French Revolution which led to the creation of the Republic. Although this period was also fertile in bloody excesses it was, and still is, a reference for many other liberation struggles.
Napoléon 1st reunited the country but his militaristic ambition which, at first, made him the ruler of most of western Europe were finally his downfall, "by arrogance". The end of the XIX century was the start of the industrialization of the country.
4- XXth and XXIst centuries
1905 saw the separation of the Church from the State. The French state carefully avoids any religious recognition.
World War I (1914 -18) was a disaster. A significant part of the male workforce had been killed and disabled and a large part of the country and industry destroyed. World War II (1939 - 45) also destroyed a number of areas and peoples.
Since the end of WWII France went through a period of reconstruction and prosperity came back with the development of industry. France and Germany were at the start of the Treaties which eventually became the European Union.
France is a republic with a President elected for a 5-year term, part and actor of the Europe Community (EU, Euro Zone, Shengen space,..).
- Pros:My home country, mix, peoples and French spirit
- Cons:Same (pros), English level, pessimism?
- In a nutshell:Contrasts and diversity, multi-cultural "heritages"
Adagio City Aparthotel offers apartments, services and accommodations to satisfy the needs of tourists on medium and... more travel advice
An other way for your holidays I used Gites de France and it could be an interesting alternative to the "classical"... more travel advice
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