Size: Total area: 674,843km2
Population: Population: 65,073,482 (January 1, 2009 estimate)
The immediate neighboring countries of France are:
Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra, Spain, Brazil, Suriname, Netherlands.
The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in France. Currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and some large hotels, though you will get a better exchange rate at the ATMs. Major credit cards are widely accepted, as are travelers cheques, particularly in major tourist destinations. Foreign currency is not accepted.
France is a semi-presidential representative democratic republic, in which the President of France is head of state and the Prime Minister of France is the head of government, and there is a purifier, multi-party system. The government exercises executive power. Legislative power is vested in the government, Senate and National Assembly. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.
French is the sole official language of France since 1992.
77 regional languages are spoken.
The languages of metropolitan France include:
• French: 42,100,000 (92%)
• Occitan: 1,670,000 (3.65%)
• German and German dialects: 1,440,000 (3.15%)
• Oïl languages (excl. French): 1,420,000 (3.10%)
• Arabic: 1,170,000 (2.55%)
France is a secular country as freedom of religion is a constitutional right.
According to 2007 poll people has responded to the following religions:
Of other religions or being without opinion (10%),
French art consists of the visual and plastic arts (including architecture, woodwork, textiles, and ceramics) originating from the geographical area of French. Historical surveys of French art typically begin with Pre-Romanesque art, Romanesque art, and Gothic Art, but some surveys, such as André Chastel's French Art, include discussions of prehistoric art, Celtic art and Roman art within France.
The history of French architecture runs in parallel with its neighboring countries in Europe, with France being home to both some of the earliest pioneers in many architectural styles, and also containing some of the finest architectural creations of the continent.
French cuisine is a style of cooking originating from the nation of France. French cuisine was codified in the 20th century by Georges Auguste Escoffier to become the modern version of haute cuisine. Gascon cuisine has also been a great influence over the cuisine in the southwest of France. Many significant regional dishes have become both national and regional taste. Many dishes that were once regional have proliferated in variations across the country. Cheese and wine are a major part of the cuisine, playing different roles regionally and nationally with their many variations.
The Culture of France and of the France people has been shaped by geography, by profound historical events, and by foreign and internal forces and groups. From the late nineteenth century, France has also played an important role in modern art, cinema, fashion and cuisine.
There are a number of languages of France. The France language is by far the most widely spoken and the only official language of France, but several regional languages are spoken to varying degrees.
The country has a wide variety of indigenous fold music, as well as styles played by immigrants from Africa, Latin America and Asia. In the field of classical music, France has produced a number of legendary composers, while modern pop music has seen the rise of popular French hip hop, techno/funk and pop performers.
The Cinema of France comprises the art of film and creative movies made within the nation of France or by French filmmakers abroad. France was the birthplace of cinema and was responsible for many of its early significant contributions. French cinema includes slower plotlines, strong character development, and a deviance from happy or conclusive endings. Apart from its strong indigenous film tradition, France has also been a gathering spot for artists from across Europe and the world. For this reason, French cinema is sometimes intertwined with the cinema of foreign nations.
The most-watched sport in France is football. Other popular sports include rugby union, handball, basketball, cycling, sailing and tennis.
The national stadium is the Stade de France.
Visit famous French cities like Bordeaux, Cannes, Chamonix, Chartres, Clermont-Ferrand, Limoges, Marseille, Nice and Paris. Below a list of the official city sites of important cities in France.
1) Paris: The French capital, the Romans called her Lutetia.
2) Avignon: A city full of history, temporary the residence of the Pope (1309-1377).
3) Aix-les-Bains : The spa town in eastern France in the Rhone-Alpes région, near Lac du Bourget.
4) Bordeaux: Famous for its wines.
5) Camembert: The village in the Orne département of Normandy where the famous French cheese is originated from.
6) Cannes: A small French city with a Film Festival.
The popular mountaineering and winter sports resort in the Haute-Savoie in eastern France.
8) Chartres: Famous for its cathedral, one of the World Heritage Sites.
9) Clermont-Ferrand: The city in the Auvergne region, one of the oldest cities of France, surrounded by a chain of volcanoes.
10) Clichy: Quiet Days in Clichy. Etc…