France: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about France.

  • Covering about 640,000 square km, France is one of the largest countries in western Europe. It is separated from England by the English Channel and has both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines.

  • France is bordered by Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Belgium. It is also bordered by two of the world’s smallest independent states, Monaco and Andorra, and has several overseas territories.
  • France is the world’s most visited country, attracting 84 million people each year. Popular destinations include the capital Paris, the Riviera, Brittany, Provence and the Loire Valley.
  • The 324 metre tall Eiffel Tower has become the symbol of France and is one of the world’s most visited monuments. It was the world’s tallest structure when built in 1889.
  • The popular art movement Impressionism had its beginnings in France. Paris is also home to the world’s greatest art museum, the Louvre, with almost 400,000 works of art.
  • France has been producing wine since Roman times, and it has some world famous wine producing areas. France is also known for its food, especially cheese which comes in over 1,000 varieties.
  • One of the most famous French men was the Emperor Napoleon. Apparently, it is illegal in France to name a pig Napoleon.

Flag of France

  • France was actually under British rule for almost 300 years when Eleanor of Aquitaine married Henry II. Today, England and France are linked by the 40 km Channel Tunnel.
  • One of the most important events in French history was the 1789 French Revolution, when the peasants revolted. Over 20,000 people were beheaded by the guillotine, including King Louis XVI.
  • New York’s Statue of Liberty was made in France and then given to the US as a gift. The statue’s face was probably modelled on the wife of the sewing machine maker, Isaac Singer.