France is one of the world most visit destinations. It’s not surprising as France has so much to offer from delicious wine to breathtaking French Landmarks, some of the most famous European Landmarks.
But France is even more than Paris, wine and cheese. It is history, its land and some strange laws – read and enjoy Interesting Facts about France

France Facts
official nameFrench Republic
size640,679 km2
population 67 million people
official languageFrench
religion51% Christian, 40% Ateist
flagName Tricolour: Blue, white, red
anthemLa Marseillaise
famous sitesPont de Gard, Louvre,

Geographical facts about France 

Size – With more than half a million square kilometers of territory, France is the second largest country in Europe other than Russia.  The only larger one is Ukraine, away to the East.  France is the largest country in European Union.

Rivers in France

As well as Paris’ River Seine, France has some of the best known river names in the world, including the Rhone and Loire made famous by the vineyards which are located in their valleys. Most French rivers flow west into the Atlantic, but others including the Seine run north to the English Channel, the Rhone flows south to the Mediterranean and the Rhine runs north along the German border before eventually meeting the North Sea at Rotterdam.

Read about the longest rivers in France

Mountains in France

Although much of France is flat, it is also famous for its mountains – Mont Blanc at over 4,800m is the highest mountain in non-Russian Europe and stands in the French Alps at France’s border with Italy.  The Pyrenees, another of Europe’s great mountain ranges, runs between France and Spain and peaks at almost 3,500m  But for sheer volume, the Massif Central covers over 15% of France’s area.  This vast chunk of mostly granite and metamorphic rocks raised up as the tectonic plates under the  Alps and the Pyrennees move together, forms a vast tilted plateau.  Much of the Massif Central plateau is as high or higher than the tallest peaks in the British Isles (about 1,300m).   

Facts about Mountains in France – Mount Blanc is the tallest mountain in Europe

France borders

France shares land borders with eight countries. The bordering countries of France are Belgium, Germany,  Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra and Spain. The longest border is shared with Spain and the shortest with Monaco.

Do you know How many time zones are in France? France has several overseas territories which means that it does have 12 different time zones, more than any other country in the world.

French Facts – French Flag

France – The Nation, its Language and Symbols

The Brief History of France

A short History of France: In 700 – 500 BC Celtic Gauls arrived in what we now call France. In 58 – 50 BC the Gauls were defeated by the Romans under Julius Caesar.  France remained part of the Roman Empire until 476 AD. (except of course the small area where Asterix lived) From the time of its independence from the Roman Empire, France was a kingdom for more than 13 centuries (interrupted by the British incursions during the Hundred Years War most notably by and Henry V at Agincourt) until the storming of the Bastille prison in the French Revolution in 1789. The French republic became an Imperial power Led by Napoleon, at the start of the nineteenth century.  In the twentieth century France was most renowned globally and especially in the USA for its excellent food, wines and sense of style.

Seat of the Catholic Church – In the town of Avignon (best known for the childrens’ song “Sur le Pont d’Avignon”) stands a palace once occupied by the (French) popes for most of the eighteenth century.  It all ended in tears with a rift between the Roman and French Churches but the palace remains.

Modern French Politics

In France, the President is elected by people in public elections every five years and he appoints the prime minister

French President Emmanuel Macron became the youngest president of France in 2017 at the age of 39 years old. He is the youngest head of state since Napoleon Bonaparte

One of the best known faces of the twentieth century was President Charles DeGaulle, a military General who led the Free French against the Nazis in WWII.  De Gaulle rewrote the nation’s constitution, and later as President formed the beginning of the European Common Market with Germany in 1957.  DeGaulle initially resisted a proposal by the UK to join the new Common Market (later known as the EC and then the EU), but eventually in 1973, Britain was allowed to join – only to leave again forty seven years later. 

Proud of its republican tradition of equality, France has always been one of the highest nations worldwide measured by government spending on social programmes as a percentage of GDP. In this it usually outstrips its rivals UK, USA and Germany.

Facts about French Food and Drink

The French are so famous for the quality of their food production and preparation that the simple French word for “kitchen” (cuisine) has been adopted worldwide to mean any nation’s typical foods and their preparation. Meanwhile the original  – French cuisine  – is such an important culture that UNESCO has recorded the “French Gastronomic Meal” on its world list of Intangible Cultural Heritage

French Cheese

There are about 1,000 varieties of French cheese, classed in about 400 types grouped into eight families – ‘les huit familles de fromage’.

French Wine

French wines are traditionally named by the region where they are grown rather than the variety of grape used for example Chablis is a region in north Burgundy which makes a distinctive white wine from the Chardonnay grape, using a slightly different method from that used with the same grape in other areas.  Other areas are not so strictly linked with single varieties.  The Vineyards of Bordeaux blend several different grape varieties to make their world-famous Clarets.
French drink more than ten billion glasses of wine each day and consume approximately 500 million snails every year. 


The most famous and strictly controlled regional wine name is champagne.  A sparkling wine bearing this word on its label may only be produced in the delimited region of the same name.  Other imitators can only label their products as “sparkling wine” or use their own names for it (for example Cava or Prosecco.)  Just to confuse us though, some other French producers will copy the methods of production traditionally used in the Champagne region and they are allowed to label their wines as “Methode Champenoise”

French toast is not French at all

French toast isn’t (just) French. It was popular all around Europe for as long as eggs and bread have been available and is documented in the 5th Century AD.  One story behind the name is that it was marketed in New York in the eighteenth century by one Joseph French but he forgot to add the apostrophe which would indicate that the recipe was his and the “French” name stuck

French diet

Despite France’s reputation as a culinary mecca and the high proportion of fat and oil in the typical diet, French males have the lowest percentage of obesity in Europe.  It has been suggested that this is because the acid in red wine helps break down dietary fat.  We think it’s because French people eat more gourme food and less processed rubbish.

France Facts
 France is known for fields of lavender

Facts about Tourism in France

Facts about Paris and its Landmarks

Famous French People

Jean Nico was a French doctor and diplomat in the mid seventeenth century.  He was the first to bring tobacco to France with gifts to the queen expounding its medicinal properties.  A century later Linnaeus named the tobacco genus Nicotiana after him and hence Nico gave his name to the drug nicotine.

Napoleon wasn’t so short. His height was 62 pre-metric French inches which were longer than modern British and American inches.  Allowing for the different measuring system, he stood at about 1.7m  – only a fraction under the typical male height of his time.  Napoleon was depicted as being short by British political cartoonist James Gillray and the image stuck.  Napoleon once said that Gillray’s cartoons “did more than all the armies of Europe to bring me down.”

Louis Pasteur was a French scientist who invented the process of pasteurization, to prevent microbial growth and preserve food items like milk. 

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

King of France Louis XIX had the shortest reign in history: 20 minutes in 1830. His father had abdicated the throne, and Louis followed him in abdicating in favour of his nephew, Henry V who reigned for all of seven days – by this time though the French monarchy was in a bit of a mess anyway since as we all remember, France had executed King Louis XVI three decades earlier and become a republic.

Greek flag

Do you want to learn more about Greece – Read Interesting facts about Greece

French Inventions

Strange Laws in France

French Superstitions 

Are the French superstitious? They would think so, with 38% of French claiming themselves to be superstitious.  However we think perhaps they are less so than the Italians and they are definitely less superstitious than the Montenegrins or Albanians.

Facts about Tour the France

Tour de France – also known as La Grande Boucle or Le Tour – a multi-stage, three-week road cycle race, organized cyclically in France – and often also in neighboring countries. The Tour de France cycle race has over been over 100 years history.

Odd and interesting facts about France

Interesting Facts about France – Pin it

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