23 Fun Facts About France
Date: May 1, 2023
Estimated reading time: 3 min
Did you know that France is the largest country in the European Union? Or that the hot air balloon was invented in France?
From its iconic landmarks and longstanding history to its stunning architecture and delicious cuisine, there’s so much to learn about this beautiful and fascinating country!
In this article, we’ll share some fun and intriguing facts about France.
And as always, we encourage you to turn this exciting reading session into a fun game by creating a quiz for your kids at the end of it!
- Evidence shows that the first people to settle in France did so 2 million years ago.
- The first camera phone was invented in France in 1997 by Philippe Kahn. The founder took a photo of his daughter before sending it to his friends and family.
- The Eiffel Tower, located in Paris, was originally built temporarily for the 1889 World’s Fair to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the French Revolution. It was meant to be taken down after 20 years.
- During the 18th century, French replaced Latin as the universal language of diplomacy and culture. Today, it’s still the second most-studied language in the world, with 120 million learners.
- The Louvre Museum in Paris is the largest art museum in the world. Today, there are over 35,000 works of art on display in the museum and over 550,000 in storage!
- The French Revolution in 1789 saw a radical societal and political change in France. It’s one of the most important events in the history of the country, and it had a lasting impact on France and the world.
- The French currency is the Euro. It was officially introduced in 2002 and replaced the Franc as part of the European monetary union.
- Besides its cuisine, France is also known for its fashion, with Paris being considered the world's fashion capital.
- The Palace of Versailles, located outside of Paris, was the primary residence of French kings from the 1680s (Louis XIV) to the French Revolution (Louis XVI).
- The Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles features 357 mirrors.
- The Tour de France is the world’s most prestigious bicycle race due to its difficulty. It was first held in 1903 and covers over 3,600 km across France.
- The French national holiday Bastille Day is celebrated on July 14th to commemorate the storming of the Bastille prison, a royal fortress, during the French Revolution.
- France has been the world’s first tourist destination for more than 25 years!
- The Normans, originally from Scandinavia, settled in the northwest of France during the 10th and 11th centuries, significantly influencing French culture.
- France is often referred to as the hexagon by French people due to the country’s hexagonal shape.
- Mainland France is divided into 27 regions and 101 departments.
- France has 12 overseas territories, including French Guiana in South America, Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean, and several Pacific islands such as New Caledonia.
- In 1830, King Louis XIX became the king of France for just 20 minutes, making his reign the shortest reign of a king in the world’s history.
- Throwing edible food away became illegal in France in 2016. Instead, unsold edible food must be donated to people in need.
- With French people consuming over 27 kgs of cheese every year, cheese is, without a doubt, a quintessential french food. Experts estimate that between 1200 and 1500 types of cheese can be found in France, and 400 of them are made in the country.
- Football is the most popular sport in France. The French national football team is nicknamed ‘Les Blues’ and has won two world cups, in 1998 and 2018.
- 31% of France is covered in forests, making it the fourth most forested country in the European Union.
- In 1863, a Corsican pharmacist, Angelo Mariani, inspired the Coca-Cola recipe by mixing Peruvian coca leaves with white wine!
Ready For More Fun Adventures?
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