Website currently under development - Re-opening in 2025

Interesting France Facts

10 France Facts

France Facts – 10 Fun and Interesting Facts!

Home to the Mona Lisa, The Eiffel Tower, Red Wine and much more, France is a cultural haven! With its language being spoken across the world, learning French is popular amongst millions of people! We have taken a look at some of the lesser known France facts to offer a different insight into this Western European country. If you are planning to learn French abroad or just want to discover more about the country for an upcoming visit, these France facts we have researched and compiled are perfect to start your journey with.


10 France Facts:

1.  Shortest Royal Reign

While Louis XIV holds the title of the longest reigning monarch in history at 26,407 days, one of his descendants wasn’t as fortunate. Louis XIX holds the record for having the shortest reign of any monarch in the world.

France Facts - Monarchy

Officially listed as reigning for only 20 minutes, Louis XIX followed his father’s example and abdicated in less than half an hour during the July Revolutions in 1840.


2. Camouflage

While today we are used to seeing soldiers wearing a multitude of camouflage patterns, the French army was the first to develop the pattern during the First World War. The first dedicated camouflage unit was dispatched by the French army in 1915. Shortly thereafter other armies picked up the concept and word, which directly translated means ‘to make up for the stage’.


3. Marrying the Deceased

It is technically legal to marry a dead person in France! This loophole in the law does have some caveats however. There must be proof that the recently deceased had intentions to wed the claimant. The claim must then be approved by several civil servants and the family of the deceased.

A recent and public example of this was the marriage of Étienne Cardiles and his civil partner, Police Captain Xavier Jugelé who had been shot and killed during the 2017 Paris terror attacks.


4. The Origins of Cinema

Paris was host to the first-ever public film screening in March 1895. The Lumière brothers premiered their 46-second film ‘Workers Leaving the Factory’ at the Grand Café in Paris to a small crowd to demonstrate the new technology.

France Facts - Workers Leaving the Factory

In December of the same year, they followed it up with an extended piece showing multiple scenes of French life for which they charged an admission.


5. Most Visited Museum in the World

Home of the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, The Louvre is one of the most famous museums in the world! It also holds the title of the most visited museum, with nearly 10,000,000 visitors a year.

The Louvre in Paris

In the past couple of years, numbers have lowered due to the ongoing pandemic, but it still remains the top museum for art and history lovers across the world!


6. Largest Country in the European Union

France is currently the largest country in the European Union and third in Europe as a whole. At over 543,000 square kilometers, France only follows Ukraine and Russia in size rankings across the whole continent. With Ukraine’s attempt to join the EU, France may lose the top slot within the Union, but for now, it remains the largest. In contrast, Malta is the smallest of all EU countries with a landmass of only 316 square kilometres.


7. Snails For Dinner

Eating snails, or escargot, is synonymous with French cuisine and not without reason. It is estimated that 16,000 tons of snails are eaten in France every year! That breaks down to roughly 500 per resident, per year!

Escargot on a plate

While the initial thought of eating these molluscs can be off-putting, many find that after sampling the local delicacy they are a lot tastier than one would initially expect! This is one of the more tasty France facts.


8. French in England

The link between England and France goes back centuries. Neighbours with just a small stretch of water between the two, the history between the two nations has featured war, collaboration, and the exchange of language.

Bayeux Tapestry

So much so that between 1066 and 1352 French was classed as the official language of England. While the majority of the population, the Norman conquest introduced French as the official language which was adopted by the nobility.


9. Most Visited Country in the World

With its history and culture, France is a popular destination for tourists and visitors from across the globe. So much so that France is officially the most visited nation in the world! Over 90 million international visitors made the journey to the home of macaroons in 2019.


10. Smaller than Texas

Despite being the largest country in the EU, France remains relatively small compared to other nations around the world. When comparing to the US for example, it is almost unbelieve able that France is smaller than the state of Texas!

Texas road

France’s 543,000 square kilometres of land could fit with space to spare into Texas’s 695,000 square kilometres. In fact you could fit France and Greece combined into the southern state!


Interesting France Facts

With its mixture of art, history and culture, it is no wonder millions of people visit France every year. For those who visit, learning French prior to their visit can help make their experience even more enjoyable. What better way to learn French than in France itself! At Cactus, we offer a range of language holidays and courses to suit everyone. With a variety of languages and destinations to choose from, you can be sure to find your perfect course with us.

Are you looking to find out more about language holidays abroad? Cactus Language Holidays Brochure gives you all the information you need for your next unforgettable experience! Learning a language have never been easier and is a great way to start uncover a different culture.

Free Language Holiday Brochure


  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Cactus language offers the following types of language courses:

Online language courses: online classes for over 20 different languages
Evening language courses: evening language classes for over 20 languages across the UK, including London
Language holidays: worldwide immersion courses in the country of the language
Junior language camps: immersion programmes for children and teens across the world
Private tuition: tailor-made and corporate language training solutions throughout the world

  • EAQA
  • WYSE
  • British Chambers of Commerce