France is one of the leading nations of Europe and it has deep and varied history dating back to a prehistoric man till nowadays. From about 1,500 to 500 BC there lived the Celtic Gauls. Around 55 BC Julius Caesar took over the place. It is worth to be noted that Lyon grew to become the second largest city in the Roman Empire.
France remained under Roman rule until the 5th century. Between the 5th and 10th centuries the dynasties of Merovingian and Carolingian ruled France.
In 1066 William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, won several key battles and took the throne of England. The First Crusade was responsible for many of the great cathedrals that spread through the country.
There was a hundred years war in France from 1337-1453 which was devastating. Joan of Arc attempted to expel the English, and was later burned in Rouen, in 1431, for heresy.
During the Revolution in 18th century the history of France was forever changed. The citizens raided Invalides, took the weapons and stormed the Bastille. Then the riots began until Napoleon Bonaparte came to power, united the French and became the most distinguished emperor in the French history.
After the Second World War France was in ruins, its cities were in desperate need of rebuilding. Today, France is a very modern country, and one of the leaders of Europe.
Interesting facts about France
- Normandy gained its name from Viking settlers and the Duke of Normandy took the throne of England in 1066.
- Bastille Day, celebrated on July 14, 1789, is France’s Independence Day.
- National Anthem of France was the tune sung by the men of Marseille as they marched to Paris in support of the revolution.
- Every July, the Tour de France roars through the country starting in Strasbourg and ending in Paris 2,261 miles later. One of the most unique sporting attractions in the world, legions of tourist line up along the route to support their countrymen, party, and jump like on midnight on New Year’s Eve.
- Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Western Europe.
- The Eiffel Tower tops out at over 1,000 feet, containing 2 restaurants, a souvenir shop, a post office, snack bar, and a viewing area.
- Notre Dame Cathedral was started in 1163 and completed in 1330.
- The Louvre Museum is one of the largest museums in the world, with over 35,000 pieces of art, housed in a gigantic, 60,000 square feet building. Its most famous piece is Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
- French Cuisine is exceptional. There are dozens of different sizes and types of bread and hundreds of varieties of cheese produced all over France.