• Library Explorer

30 Fun Facts About France - Interesting Facts

The French Republic; is known as the 'heart of art' in Europe with its architecture, cultural richness, and works. France is a very popular country in terms of tourism. Perhaps many of you have been to or want to go to France. But what do you know about France? In this article, we have listed interesting and entertaining information about France. Here Are 30 Fun Facts About France


Dinan, France
Dinan, France

1. France is the largest country in the EU and is sometimes referred to as the 'hexagon'


France is the largest country in the European Union, covering a total area of 551,695 square kilometers. However, it is only the third-largest country in Europe, behind Ukraine and the European part of Russia. About a third (31%) of France is forest, making it the fourth most forested country in the EU after Sweden, Finland, and Spain. This country is sometimes called "L'hexagone" because of its hexagonal shape. However, in the forests, unlike many countries, you can find mansions and castles with excellent historical artifacts.


Louvre Museum


2. France is the world's most popular tourist destination


It may be time to brush up on your French language skills, because according to the latest tourism figures, France is among the most visited destinations. In 2018, 89.3 million people visited the country, making it the most visited place in the world. If you have researched French culture and food before, it will not be difficult to understand. The capital of the country, Paris, is also the third most visited city in the world after Bangkok and London. At the same time, the Louvre Museum in Paris is the most visited museum in the world, and you can find it in our article on the most visited museums in the world.


3. French was the official language of England for nearly 300 years.


It's hard to imagine that between December 1066 and 1362, French was the official language of England. But William The Conqueror, after leading the Norman conquest and later the invasion of England in 1066, introduced Anglo-Norman French to the nation. This was spoken by members of the royal family, aristocrats, and powerful officials, some of whom could not speak English! But in 1362, Parliament passed the English Act making English the official language of government. This was because Norman French was used for claims, but was largely unknown to the common people of England, who had no knowledge of what was said in court. The arrival of the French greatly changed the Anglo-Saxon English formerly known to the Normans. Because some English words could not be spoken by the French nobility.


4. Louis XIX was king of France for just 20 minutes, the shortest reign ever


Yes, you read it right. The French King had only 20 minutes of royal fame after the abdication of his father, Charles X, leaving him to ascend to the French throne in July 1830. After this short time, Louis-Antoine abdicated in favor of his nephew, the Duke of Bordeaux. This makes him the shortest ruler in history. At the very least, he shares the surprising record with Crown Prince Luís Filipe, who became technically the king of Portugal after his father was killed in the French Revolution. But he, too, was wounded and died 20 minutes later.


Liberté, égalitié, fraternité


5. 'Liberté, égalitié, fraternité' or 'freedom, equality, fraternity' is the national motto


The famous slogan first appeared during the revolution (1789-1799) and was written into the 1946 and 1958 constitutions. You'll still see it today on coins, postage stamps, and government logos; often with the 'Marianne' symbolizing the victory of the Republic. Even now these words are used in protests. The legal system in France is still largely based on the principles laid down in Napoleon Bonaparte's Civil Code after the revolution in the 1800s. If you look a little further, you can see that Napoleon Bonaparte's laws were far more impressive than his conquests and wars.


6. The French army became the first to use camouflage in 1915. (World War I)


Now an interesting fact about France. The word "camouflage" actually comes from the French verb "to set the stage". This is because the French army was the first to create a special camouflage unit in 1915. Weapons and vehicles are painted by artists called camoufleur. The following year, the British Army did the same and formed its own camouflage division under Lieutenant Colonel Francis Wyatt. Special Affairs Park was known as RE (Royal Engineers). But of course, the first camouflage used by the French army was mixed with this man, his first uniforms were a blue blouse and red pants in 1915, and it wasn't that hard to spot a French soldier.


marry


7. You can marry a dead person in France!


A rather shocking fact about France is that, under French law, you can marry after death in exceptional circumstances. This is provided that you can prove that the deceased wanted to marry you while he was alive. You must also get permission from the President of France. The most recent confirmed case was in 2017, when the wife of a gay police officer shot by a jihadist on Paris' Champs-Elysees was granted permission to marry after his wife's death. This may give you a degree of symbolic relief.


8. French invented, hairdryer, and hot air balloon


Many thanks for the useful inventions we know, some of which have become an indispensable part of our daily lives. For example, French inventor Nicolas Appert was the inventor of the airtight food container. In 1809, he put glass jars in boiling water to preserve food. Pierre Durand later invented the tin can. I don't think we can imagine a food industry without them. Braille was developed by Louis Braille, who was blind as a child. Meanwhile, doctor René Laennec invented the stethoscope at a hospital in Paris in 1816, and Alexandre-Ferdinand Godefroy patented the world's first hair dryer in December 1888. The hot air balloon was made by the Montgolfier brothers, who introduced the world's first public balloon in 1783.


supermarkets

9. France becomes the first country in the world to ban supermarkets from throwing away food


Here is a French fact to be proud of. In February 2016, France became the first country in the world to ban supermarkets from throwing away or destroying unsold food. Stores now have to donate excess food to food banks and charities. In October, all French supermarkets were also banned from destroying food to prevent people from searching for food in bins. Other countries should take France as an example so that big companies can contribute to their humanity without burdening anyone.


movies

10. The first public screening of a film was in 1895 by the Frenchman Lumière.


The Lumière brothers, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas and Louis Jean were famous for their cinematography systems and the short films they produced between 1895 and 1905. The famous duo held the world's first public movie screening on December 28, 1895, in the world-famous movie theater; Great Cafe in Paris. His directorial debut was La sortie des ouvriers de l'usine Lumière (Workers leaving the Lumiere factory). The 5-second black and white film completely stunned the audience by showing the workers leaving the Lumière factory. In 1895, Louis Lumière said that the cinema was "an invention without a future". Some people have very broad visions, but others like Louis Lumiere can be quite wrong and backward.


11. The oldest living person was a French woman named Jeanne Louise Calment.


The largest fully verified age experienced by any human being is 122 years and 164 days. Jeanne Louise Calment was born on February 21, 1875, in France. She witnessed the opening of the Eiffel Tower in 1889, two World Wars, and the invention of television, modern motor cars, and airplanes. Interestingly, life expectancy for women in France was 85.3 years in 2018 and 79.4 years for men. France ranks 14th in the world in terms of life expectancy. It would be nice to be able to interview such a person about witnessing the greatest history-changing events in the world and ask how she felt.


12. France legalized same-sex marriage in 2013


When French President Françoise Holland signed the law on May 18, 2013, France became the 9th country in Europe and 14th in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. Although polls at the time showed that around 50% of the French public supported it, not everyone was happy with it. In fact, thousands of people defending the so-called 'Family Values' took to the streets to protest. However, with the changing world and especially with the new generation and young people growing day by day in politics, same-sex marriage has been legalized in France.


13. France has more Nobel laureates in literature than any other country


With 15 French individuals winning the prestigious award since 1901, it's fair to say that France has produced some of the world's most influential writers and thinkers. The most famous poets, novelists, and writers of France are René Descartes, Voltaire, Charles Baudelaire, Blaise Pascal, Gustave Flaubert, and Victor Hugo. It would not be wrong to say that there were mostly philosophers, especially French writers, during the revolution period, rather than writing a good novel among them.

mont blanc