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Destination France, a virtual travel guide to the "Grande Nation". This page aims to give you a broad overview of France's art, culture, people, environment, geography, history, economy and government.
Beside a country profile with facts and figures, the page contains links to sources which provide you with all the information you need to know about this European nation, e.g.: official web sites of France, addresses of French and foreign embassies, domestic airlines, city- and country guides with extensive travel and tourism information on accommodation, tourist attractions, events and more like weather information, maps, statistics and local newspapers from France.

 
Assemblée Nationale
National Assembly Paris © Mairie de Paris - France
 

French Republic | Republique Francaise

Country Profile


Flag of France
Flag of France - the Tricolore



Background:
Since prehistoric times, France has been a crossroad of trade, travel, and invasions. Three basic European ethnic stocks--Celtic, Latin, and Teutonic (Frankish)--have blended over the centuries, to make up France present population.
Today France is one of the most modern countries in the world and is a leader among European nations. Since 1958, it has constructed a presidential democracy, resistant to the instabilities experienced in earlier parliamentary democracies. In recent years, its reconciliation and cooperation with Germany have proved central to the economic integration of Europe, including the advent of the euro in January 1999. Presently, France is at the forefront of European states seeking to exploit the momentum of monetary union to advance the creation of a more unified and capable European defense and security apparatus.


border countries: Andorra, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Spain, Switzerland
 

where in Europe is France?
Official Name:
Republique Francaise
short form: France
int'l long form: French Republic
int'l short form: France

ISO Country Code: fr

Time:
Time Zone: Central European Time (CET)
Local Time = UTC +1h
Actual Time: Sun-Nov-23  11:31
DST: March - October (UTC +2h)

Country Calling Code: +33

Capital City: Paris
Paris
The Romans called it Lutetia.

Other Cities:
Other Cities in France
List of links to official French city sites.

Government:
Type: Republic.
Constitution: The Constitution of 4 October 1958.

Geography:
Location: Central western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay and English Channel, between Belgium and Spain, southeast of the UK; bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain.
Area: 551,500 km² (220,668 sq. mi.); largest west European country.
Terrain: Mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south, Alps in east.

Climate: Generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean; occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind known as mistral.

People:
Nationality: French.
Population: 65.3 million (2012)
Ethnic groups: Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Sub-Saharan African, Indochinese, and Basque minorities.
Religion: Roman Catholic 90%.
Language: French.
Literacy: 99%.

Natural resources: Coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorospar, gypsum, timber, fish.

Agriculture products: Wheat, cereals, sugar beets, potatoes, wine grapes; beef, dairy products; fish.

Industries: Machinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aircraft, electronics; textiles, food processing; tourism

Exports partners: Germany 14.9%, Spain 9.6%, UK 9.4%, Italy 9.3%, Belgium 7.2%, USA 6.8% (2003)

Imports partners: Germany 19.1%, Belgium 9.4%, Italy 9%, Spain 7.4%, Netherlands 7%, UK 7%, USA 5.4% (2003)

Currency: Euro (EUR)


Note: External links will open in a new browser window.  

Official Sites of France

Présidence de la République française
The Elysée Palace - President of France.



The French Parliament comprises of:
Assemblée nationale
The French National Assembly.
Sénat français
The French Senate (in French).

Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication
Full contents in French.

Service-Public.fr
A portal to French government agencies and services.

Ministère de l'Outre-Mer
The Ministry for the French Overseas Departments of French Guiana, French Polynesia, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, New Caledonia and Réunion.

web culture France Diplomatie - Ministère des Affaires Etrangères
Information on France by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Diplomatic Missions
French Mission to the United Nations
France is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
Embassy of France
Washington D.C.
Directory of French representations abroad (in French)
List of French diplomatic missions around the world.
Embassies and consulates in France
List of foreign missions in France.

Statistics
INSEE - Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques
The National Institute of Statistics - France in facts and figures.

Weather
Meteo France
French and international weather.

Maps
Map of France
Political Map of France.
Google Earth Google Map France
Searchable map and satellite view of France.
Google Earth Google Map Paris
Searchable map and satellite view of France's capital.
Google Earth Google Map Eiffel Tower
Satellite view of the Eiffel Tower.
Google Earth Google Map Palace of Versailles
Annotated map and satellite view of Palace of Versailles.

Map of Europe
Political Map of Europe.
 

French Newspapers and Magazines

AFP
Agence France-Presse - news and photo agency.
L'Express
National and international news. (in French)
Les Echos
Business and Finance Information. (in French)
Le Figaro
French daily with national and international news. (in French)
Le Monde
National and international news. (in French)
great site Le Monde diplomatique
International news and backgrond information.
Le Parisien
National and international news. (in French)
Libération
National and international news. (in French)
Nice-Matin
Regional and national news. (in French)
Paris Match
Magazine Paris Match. (in French)
La Tribune
Business and Finance Information. (in French)
 

 

Arts & Culture

La bibliothèque nationale de France
The National Library of France.
Centre Georges Pompidou
Modern Art Museum.

royal Chateau de Versailles
Reflections of the French Monarchy.

Festival International du Film de Cannes
Cannes International Film Festival, the Official Site.
La Grotte de Lascaux
The Cave of Lascaux.
Jules Verne
Jules Verne website.
The National Library of Public Information (BPI)
Napoléon
Commander Bonaparte's home page.
French Museums
List of Links to the most important French Museums.
great site Réunion des Musées Nationaux
National Museums Directory.
Musée du Louvre
The Louvre Museum.
 




 

Business & Economy

Banque de France
The French Central Bank.
Bourse de Paris
Association of French Stock Exchanges (Euronext France).

Assemblee des Chambres francaises de commerce et d'industrie (ACFCI)
Chambers of Commerce and Industry of France.
CCIP - Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie de Paris
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Paris.

Transportation

Airlines
Air France
The French Airline.

Airports
Aéroports de Paris
Official site for Orly and Roissy (Charles de Gaulle) airports.
Côte d'Azur International Airport
Third largest airport of France in terms of passengers.
Marseille Provence Airport
Marseille-Marignane Airport is the fifth busiest French airport by passenger traffic.
Saint-Exupéry International Airport
Lyon's international airport.

Rail
Eurostar
High-speed passenger train linking London, Paris and Brussels.
SNCF
The French Railroad.
TGV
A very fast French train.

French products
Cars
Citroën
Typical French cars.
Peugeot
Typical French cars.
Renault
More typical French cars.

Fashion & Cosmetics
Chanel
N°5
Christian Dior
Fashion & Fragrance.
Christian Lacroix
Couturier.
ELLE
International Fashion Magazine.
Jean-Paul Gaultier
Couturier.
Givenchy
Parfums Givenchy.
Lancôme
Le monde de Lancôme.
Louis Vuitton
Luxury Accessoires.
Lumière
Internet Fashion Magazine.
Prêt à porter Paris
Virtual Catwalk.
Vouge
International Fashion Magazine.
Yves Saint Laurent
Haute couture.

Wines & Champagne
Château Lafite Rothschild
Château-Margaux Moët & Chandon
Dom Pérignon.
Perrier-Jouët
Piper-Heidsieck
Pommery
Louis Roederer
Ruinart
Taittinger
Comtes de Champagne.
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin

Misc
Asterix
Asterix and Obelix Official Site.
Christofle
Arts de la table.
Danone
French yoghurt.
Evian
French Table Water.
 


Destination France - A Collection of Travel Guides to France

web culture France Diplomatie - Ministère des Affaires Etrangères
Comprehensive information on France by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Secretariat d'Etat au Tourisme
The site of the French Tourist Board provides extensive travel and tourism information.
 French Government Tourist Office
Offers comprehensive information for vacation, accommodation and leisure activities in France.

Beyond the French Riviera
Travel in Provence beyond the Côte d'Azur and French Riviera.
France.com
France Hotels, Paris Hotels and the France Travel Guide.
businessriviera.com
Business travel and tourism on the French Riviera.
ViaFrance
A guide to cultural events in France.

Paris (the City of Light)
Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau
The official travel and tourism guide to Paris.
great site Metropole Paris
Paris for lovers, dreamers, hopeless romantics and ordinary visitors.
Les Pages de Paris / The Paris Pages
Everything for the Paris Tourist.
Pariscope
Paris Magazine. (in French)
The Eiffel Tower
The official site of Eiffel Tower.
 
More Cities of France:
Cities in France
List of links to official French city tourist sites.

Hotels
 NEW  Hotels in France
Find Hotels in France.

 

Travel and Tour Consumer Information

 

Education

EduFrance
A gateway to higher education in France.
ENA - École Nationale d'Administration
The Nr. 1 education institution in France.
École Centrale Paris
The first Grande École.
École Polytechnique
Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris - ESSEC
Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po)
Université de Montpellier
The University of Montpellier, is one of the oldest universities in Europe, since 1220 (in French)
Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
Université Panthéon-Assas

Le Grandes École online
A list of links to the Grandes Ecoles.
A list of French Universities
by the Ministry of Education.

Science & Research
French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
The French Space Agency (CNES)
Sophia Antipolis Science Park
The technology park or more a high-tech cluster near Cannes/Nice.
 
 

History

 NEW 
History of France
France's history at a glance.
 

Corsica, Corse

Country Guides
Corsica Guide
Corsica Directory.
Go to Corsica
Complete guide for staying and leisure, hundreds of accommodation links.

Education
Université de Corse Pascal Paoli


 
 

Search

écila
Moteur de recherche.
Nomade
Web Guide. (in French)
Voila
Recherche sur le Web.

Additional Information on France

Creating French Culture
The relationship between power and culture in French history.
(A Library of Congress Exhibition with treasures from the Bibliothèque nationale de France)
Governments on the WWW: France
Open Directory: France
Wikipedia: France
The World Factbook -- France
 
 

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Overseas Departments of France: Guadeloupe | Martinique | French Guiana | Réunion
Overseas Countries: French Polynesia | New Caledonia


Other Countries in Western Europe
Austria | Belgium | Germany | Liechtenstein | Luxembourg | Monaco | Netherlands | Switzerland

Countries in the Mediterranean:
Albania | Algeria | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Croatia | Cyprus | Egypt | Gaza Strip | Greece | Israel | Italy | Lebanon | Libya | Malta | Monaco | Montenegro | Morocco | Portugal | Slovenia | Spain | Syria | Tunisia | Turkey

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Continents: Africa | The Americas | Asia | Australia/Oceania | Europe
 
 

Actually, there are more than five colors,

Baron de Coubertin would have loved to use them all.

Why is it, that Gay and Lesbian people still are victims of persecution, harassment, and assaults occasioning actual bodily harm or worse?
Our world would be much poorer and colder without the creativity and ingenuity of the colorful LGBT* culture.
So, get up, stand up, and don't let it happen again and again and again.

Nature made sure, that all men are able to love each other without distinction of gender. This ability empowers humans to care for and to help each other. Natures gift simply secures the survival of the species.
But in some societies this natural law has been neglected by religions, governments and other interest groups in favour for better controllable straight-laced communities.

But if you know what life is worth, You will look for yours on earth
(lyrics from the song Get Up, Stand Up)
Bob Marley



* LGBT - acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender

Declaration of Human Rights

Article I
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.