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.
While Louis XIV holds the title of the longest reigning monarch in history at 26,407 days, one of his decedents wasn’t as fortunate. Louis XIX holds the record as having the shortest reign of any monarch in the world.
Officially listed as reigning for only 20 minutes, Louis XIX followed his fathers example and abdicated in less than half an hour during the July Revolutions in 1840.
While today we are used to seeing soldiers wearing a multitude of camouflage patterns, the French army were 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 there after other armies picked up the concept and word, which directly translated means ‘to make up for the stage’.
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.
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 small crowd to demonstrate the new technology.
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.
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 as the most visited museum, with nearly 10,000,000 visitors a year.
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!
France is currently the largest country in the European Union and third in Europe as a whole. At over 543,000 square kilometres, 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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