France – Did You Know Facts
Read the following 24 facts about France and decide how your next ” France Tours ” would look like.
- France is the most popular country in the world for tourism, with 83 million tourists in 2012.
- France throughout history has controlled over 8% of the world’s land (the second largest colonial empire).
- Louis XIX became the King of France, reigning for only 20 minutes. He became King following the abdication of his father. Within 20 minutes he had abdicated to Henry V
- In France, ten billion baguettes are baked every year, with a law in place stating that a traditional French baguette must only contain flour, yeast and salt
- Eiffel Tower was built in the year 1889 by Gustave Eiffel for a fair, French government wanted to tear down the tower after the fair, but its popularity made them not to do so.
- Paris is called as the “City of lights” as it has nearly 296 illuminated sites that consist of hotels, fountains, churches, national buildings, bridges, etc.
- Among the European countries, France has the highest wealth tax.
- The word “salut” means both “hello” and “goodbye”.
- Mont-Blanc is the highest peak in France (4,810 meters).
- France has won the most Nobel Prizes for Literature than any other country in the world, and the second most in mathematics
- The Eiffel Tower is painted every 7 years
- French toast and french fries aren’t French inventions
- The croissant was actually invented in Austria
- The guillotine was last used in 1977
- The most visited spot is the Disneyland Paris.
- . An amusing fact is that the official language of United Kingdom was French for as many as 300 years.
- Every town in France has a Victor Hugo street.19. In very exceptional cases, you could marry a deceased person with the permission of the President20. Though France is the largest European country, when it comes to land area after Russia and Ukraine, nearly 20% of the French territory lies outside Europe in the overseas department and territories (DOM TOM).
- France’s official name is the French Republic (République Française) – it became a republic in 1792, after centuries of royal rule, as a result of the French Revolution. The Revolution started with the storming of the Bastille fortress on 14th July 1789, an event that is celebrated every year all over France on Bastille Day.
19. French is the official language and the first language of 88 percent of the population – however, there are various indigenous regional dialects and languages, such as Alsacian, Basque, Breton, Catalan, Occitan and Flemish. About one million French people living near the border with Italy speak Italian.
20. More than 80 percent of the population are Roman Catholic – plus some 5–10 percent are Muslim, 2 percent are Protestant, 1 percent are Jewish, and 4 percent are not affiliated to any religion. Perhaps surprisingly for a predominantly Catholic country, three-quarters of women of childbearing age use contraception.
21. In 2013 France sold more electric cars than any other European country – with 8,779 registered vehicles, France sold more than twice as many as Germany and Norway.
22. Yet France has Europe’s second highest birth rate – giving birth older hasn’t affected fertility rates though: France has Europe’s second highest birth rate (after Ireland) and accounts for more than half of the EU’s natural population increase.
24. At 29,000 km, the French rail network is the second largest in Europe (after Germany) and the ninth biggest in the world – France was one of the first countries in the world to utilise high-speed technology, introducing the TGV high-speed rail in 1981, and today has more than 1,550 km high-speed track. The Tours-Bordeaux high-speed project, due for completion in 2017, will add a further 302km. The first direct high-speed rail link connecting Paris with Barcelona in Spain opened at the end of 2013, with a journey time of under six-and-a-half hours.