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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

14. Europe's highest mountain is Mont Blanc in the French Alps


At 4,807 m, Mont Blanc is officially the highest mountain in Europe. Climbing to the top takes a challenging 10 to 12 hours. But if you're not up for it, you can take a 20-minute ride to Europe's highest cable car at the nearby Aiguille du Midi for an amazing view from the top. Discover other great places to visit in France. If you are going to take a trip to the Alps, this is the place for you and let's not say that there is a French brand called Mont Blanc.


15. World's first artificial heart transplant and face transplant performed in France


The heart transplant took place in December 2013 at the Georges Pompidou Hospital in Paris. The bioprosthetic device, which mimics the contractions of a real heart, is powered by an external lithium-ion battery and is about three times the weight of a real organ. Batteries need to be refreshed at certain times, so it's not a solution that works forever. French surgeons were also the first to perform face transplants in 2005. Of course, the most important thing is not only to have a face transplant but also that the skin accepts that face.


Louvre Museum

16. Louvre is the most visited museum in the world


Famous for 9.6 million visitors in 2019, the Louvre is the most visited museum in the world. Located in the heart of Paris, the magnificent museum houses approximately 38,000 artifacts and artifacts from prehistoric times. These include the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and the famous glass Louvre Pyramid decorated in the courtyard by IM Pei. Not surprisingly, the Louvre is one of the busiest places to visit in Paris. For this, you can take a look at our article about the most visited museums. Before visiting the Louvre museum, make a list of the things you are curious about, otherwise, it will not be easy to visit the entire museum.



france food

17. French gastronomy awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2010


France became famous for its delicious food, which was added to the list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO in 2010. By emphasizing the importance of French gastronomy, experts aim to celebrate the most important moments in the lives of individuals and groups in this way. as well as a social tradition that emphasizes the function of unity for the coming together of friends and family and the strengthening of social ties. It doesn't often surprise you that there is a phrase called growing up in French cuisine. We can say that the French have a very wide and elite culinary culture and it is quite a lot. They turned even a dish normally made by the poor, such as Ratatouille, into a dish served in upscale restaurants.


18. France produces the world's most expensive wine bottle


Of course, France is not only famous for its cuisine but also produces some of the best wines in the world. A 73-year-old French Burgundy bottle became the most expensive wine bottle ever sold at auction for $558,000. A 1945 Romanee-Conti bottle sold at Sotheby's to a private Asian collector for more than 17 times the original estimate of $32,000. If you love wine you probably know French wines.


19. A 'fish' may be stuck in your back on April 1st


Here is a strange fact about France. If you're lucky enough to be in the country on April 1, don't be surprised if the kids stick a paper fish on your back and call you "Poisson d'avril" (April fish). This tradition originated in the 16th century by King XIV of France. So if you're planning a trip to France in April, you should always watch your back and check your back.


snails

20. The French eat about 30,000 tons of snails a year.


Here's a slimy truth about France. According to Reuters, the French eat about 30,000 metric tons of snails a year. But about two-thirds of the snails eaten in France come from Eastern Europe and the Balkans. If you've had snails in France, they've come a long way to get to your plate. The classic French delicacy (served with garlic, parsley, and butter) remains a popular staple of French cuisine. Although snails are used in cream and other industries, it's up to you to taste this flavor unique to French cuisine.


21. Live snails must have a ticket to board the bullet trains


No, we are not making this up! According to French law, it is illegal in France to carry live snails on a fast train without their own ticket. In fact, any pet under 5kg must be a paid passenger. In 2008, a Frenchman was fined when a ticket inspector caught him carrying creatures in a TGV. Fortunately, France's state-owned rail company SNCF lifted the fine.


croissant

22. The croissant is actually 13. invented in Austria in the century


That's right, believe it or not, the beloved French cake we all know and love is actually a kipferl adaptation; 13.Viennese specialty dating back to the century. According to the story, August Zang, an Austrian artillery officer, founded a Vienna bakery in Paris in 1839. He decamped to serve kipferl and quickly became popular with locals. So much so that, in fact, French imitators began creating their own French versions, which they called croissants because of their crescent shape. Of course, wherever you go in the world right now, when you say croissants, everyone will think of France, and I don't think Austria can easily reclaim this reputation.


baguette

23. Turning a baguette inside out is considered bad luck in France.


The French are a suspicious bunch! According to folklore, putting a baguette or a loaf of bread on the table puts people around you at risk of misfortune or worse, death. This interesting superstition comes from the Middle Ages when executioners were allowed to buy things from shops without paying. Therefore, bakers would leave them an overturned loaf of bread. And if you touch the bread or put a loaf upside down, you should put a cross on it before you eat it to avoid bad luck. Of course, we don't know how many people believe it now, but we can say that it was once quite powerful.


cheese

24. France produces about 1.7 million tons of cheese per year in about 1,600 varieties


To say that the French love to eat cheese is an understatement. The dairy-chewing country produced around 1.7 million tons of cow's milk cheese in 2018 alone. There are also about 1,600 different types of French cheese grouped into eight categories. Fortunately, the French do not keep everything to themselves. In 2018, the country exported more than 679,000 tons of cheese, while in 2017 about 895,000 tons were sold on the French retail market. Of course, you can see people eating the best French wine and cheese in front of the Eiffel Tower. If you are interested in the history of the Eiffel, you can take a look at our article on the history of the Eiffel.


train platforms

25. French law prohibits couples from kissing on train platforms


Speaking of seemingly crazy laws and ordinances, this is totally bizarre. Kissing on the train platform is actually illegal in France. This old law was introduced in 1910 at the request of railroad chiefs who wanted to prevent the French from delaying the trains' movement. All kisses on the platform must be done before the train arrives. Here's that dramatic Hollywood kiss! If you heard the train, don't go too far, but I assure you how long they kiss before they delay the train is a bit of a curiosity. Juliette: Maybe in ancient times the lovers could not communicate for a long time, so they extended the kiss without breaking up.


Gare du Nord

26. Paris Gare du Nord is Europe's busiest train station


Gare du Nord in Paris is the busiest train station in Europe and the world (outside of Japan). More than 214 million passengers pass through each year. The original station was built in 1846, but it was too small for operations and was therefore demolished and rebuilt in 1889. Further expansion took place between the 1930s and 1960s. The station will also undergo further expansion work to prepare for the 2024 Olympic Games. This means increasing its capacity to 200,000 passengers per day. If you are a tourist, it is best to avoid excessive hours. If the increase continues like this, it seems that one day they will have to find new technology for this density.


27. The French rail network is the second largest in Europe and the ninth-largest in the world.


With a total length of 29,000 km, the French railway network is the second largest in Europe and the ninth-largest in the world. France was one of the first countries in the world to use high-speed technology. The state-owned Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF) introduced the TGV high-speed train in 1981. France's high-speed long-distance passenger services are known as Train à Grande Vitesse (TGV) and standard long-haul passenger. services are called Intercités. The length of the country's current high-speed network exceeds 1,550 km. The Tours-Bordeaux High-Speed ​​Train project adds another 302 km to the network. Although it's sometimes more expensive than planes, it's a good idea to travel all over France by train if you're afraid to take a plane or love the unique atmosphere of the train.


Tour de France

28. The Tour de France, the world's largest cycling race, is over 100 years old


On July 1, 1903, 60 cyclists started the first Tour de France from the Paris suburb of Montgeron. More than 100 years later, the event has grown to become the world's largest bicycle race, with approximately 198 cyclists competing for nearly 3,200 km (2,000 miles); Primarily around France in a series of stages over 23 days. At the 2013 Tour de France, nearly 15 million spectators lined up to watch the 21-stage course for centennial celebrations. Now, when the word bicycle is mentioned in the world, almost everyone thinks of the Tour de France, of course, racing here is a different prestige.


white dress

29. The tradition of wearing a white dress arose in France in 1499.


Most brides dream of walking down the aisle in a beautiful white wedding dress. The popular tradition originally began in France with Anne of Brittany and Louis XII of France. It wasn't until 1840, when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, that the popularity of the white dress really increased and the tradition settled. White has always symbolized purity and cleanliness, and of course, a wedding dress or wedding was not something normal people do, but now it has become an extremely popular traditional thing that almost everyone, noble, rich or poor, would want to wear.


30. At least 35% of all music played on private radio stations must be in French


If you're not a fan of French music, you can stick with your own playlist rather than tune in to a local radio station. After all, more than a third of the songs you'll hear will be in French. The French government first increased it to 40% in 1994 to protect France from what the government saw as an 'Anglo-Saxon cultural invasion'. But after a 24-hour rebellious boycott of French radio stations, French lawmakers voted in 2016 in favor of reducing the quota to 35%. Radio stations specializing in foreign music also have a 15% quota. Of course the French are very conservative in their language and culture, especially the ancients, they even set up an institution to answer the English words for the preservation of the French, but this may seem a bit like dictating something definite in the country of the nation. Freedoms if you don't like French music.


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