60 Amazing Facts that will surprise you About France | Amazing Facts 4U
Land & Geography
- France is the largest nation in Western Europe having a population of about 66 million. Fact is France is the most visited country in the world, with over 80 million visitors every year.
- France is also referred as L’Hexagone as it looks like the geometrical shape hexagon.
- It has nearly 3000 miles of seashore, with three major water bodies: the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and the English Channel.
- The Alps mountain range on the border of France and Italy is home to France’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc, which stands at 4,807m high (15,771 ft).
- France is the only country in Europe that has 5 major water systems and 7 different mountain ranges running through and around it.
- Amazing fact is if you count everything, including overseas territories, then France claims the first title by covering 12 time zones. The United States would be the runner-up with 11 and then Russia with 9.
- France was once a British colony for over 3 ½ centuries. The hatred towards the British, still continue to this day.
- France got its independence from the monarchy on 14th of July 1789. This day is also called as the “Bastille Day.”
- The Statue of Liberty was made in France, and transferred to the United States as a gift for the 100th anniversary of its independence in 1876. The statue was created by renowned French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. Amazing fact is it traveled to the USA in 350 parts before being rebuilt there.
- France is where the gothic art and the Baroque style of architecture were born.
- Amazingly soldiers arrived to fight the Battle of Marne in World War I – not on foot or by military airplane or military vehicle – but by taxi cabs. France took over all the taxi cabs in Paris to get soldiers to the front.
- Rivers played a major role in transportation before the introduction of railways; France has 24 rivers and majority of the metropolitan areas got their names from these rivers.
Places / Architecture
- France was the first country in the world to introduce the gothic architecture style, and use it widely during the reign of King Phillip.
- France receives amazing 65 million visitors annually.
- Paris is called as the “City of lights” as it has nearly 296 illuminated sites that consist of hotels, fountains, churches, national buildings, bridges, etc.
- The Louvre is the most visited and largest art museum in the world . It has some of the world’s most iconic paintings and sculptures . The famous Mona Lisa painting is on display in this museum.
- A glass pyramid stands outside the Louvre museum as a tribute to the ancient Egyptians and their amazing world.
- Eiffel Tower was built in the year 1889 by Gustave Eiffel as the entrance point for a fair. It is one of the most visited monuments in the world.
- French government wanted to tear down the tower after the fair, but its popularity made them not to do so. There are 1665 steps in the Eiffel Tower.
- Out of 400 people who have committed suicide since the opening of the Eiffel Tower, 2 survived. One of them, a lady, by falling on a car. She recovered and later married the car’s owner!
- The Millau Bridge in southern France is the world’s tallest bridge and France’s tallest structure. At its highest point, it stands 343m (1125 ft) above the ground.
- Amazingly in France there is a place called ‘Y’
- An underground rail tunnel, known as the Channel Tunnel carrying both road & rail traffic , joins England and France. It runs beneath the English Channel, connecting Folkestone, Kent in England and Coquelles, near Calais in France.
- Amazing fact is there’s a Coffee Shop in France where not saying “hello” and “please” makes your coffee more expensive.
- Verdon Gorge in France is the 2nd largest gorge in the world; this is where Provence meets the Alps.
- Disney land, California, and Orlando was so popular among Europeans that Disney decided to build the only one in Europe in outside Paris, France
People Customs & Culture
- The most popular religion in France is Roman Catholic followed by Islam.
- There are over 1 million illegal immigrants in France fighting for equal right among the French people today.
- French’s love cheese. Amazingly there are in fact over 1000 different types available in the French market.
- Beer is considered a luxury drink saved for special occasions, wine is free with most meals.
- It is normal to take 3-hour lunches on work days while indulging in wine unsparingly.
- People automatically kiss any friend, or friend of friends you don’t know on the cheek, even between men.
- French people have habit of shrugging their shoulders while responding to questions.
- Amazing fact is that you can find close to 1000 varieties of cheese in France.
- People commonly queue at the bakery every morning to get breakfast.
- Average French citizen eats 500 snails per year.
- It isn’t uncommon to tell your boss or customers “that’s not part of my job” when asked to do something.
- People don’t hesitate to park car against the bumper of the car in front of you.
- You shall find very few shops open on Sundays and also open over lunch.
- April Fools’ Day celebrated on April 1, is believed to have originated in France in the year 1564 as France switched to Gregorian calendar and those who were not aware of this change believed April 1st to be French New Year and were teased as fools on this day.
- 1 in 5 people in France have experienced depression making it the most depressed country in the world consuming highest quantity of antidepressant or tranquillizer drugs.
- Human rights originated in France. The “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen” was passed on 1789.
- Since 1789, the form of government has been changed 9 times in France. These include 5 times Republics, 2 times Empires and 2 times Constitutional Monarchies.
- Amazingly in France, the law guarantees everyone five weeks of vacation, and most full-time workers get two full months vacation.
- France has the highest tax on wealth in Europe.
Economy & Corporates
- France has one of the largest networks of railroads in the world.
- The country is one of the largest and finest wine producing nations in the world. producing amazing 20% of the world’s wine.
- France is the world’s largest net exporter of electricity (75% of which is derived from nuclear energy).
- France is the only agriculturally self-sufficient country in Europe.
- The first Flight of the supersonic concord took place from the French city of Toulouse, instantly becoming the fastest commercial plane in the world. It was was retired in 2008 due to environmental concerns.
- The makers of Levis jeans were originally founded in the city of Nimes, France which made jeans, an overnight sensation.
- The French invented the metric system during the French revolution.
- The French invented an early version of the Internet called Minitel. As long ago as 1984, French people could pay bills and shop from the comfort of their own home using the Minitel service.
- Amazing fact is that French is the official language in 30 countries!
- The distress code “Mayday” comes from the French for help me, M’Aide!
- The largest French speaking city in the world is Kinshasa (Congo) with 10 million inhabitants.
- What is called “French Kiss” in England and America is known as an “English Kiss” in France.
- In France, megabytes are called mega-octets because Megabyte would be a dirty word!
- France has won 13 Nobel Prizes for literature more than any other country in the world.
- The most famous road bicycle race in the world, the Tour de France zig zags through the France covering almost 2100 miles for the world title.
By Amazing Facts 4U Team