The French Republic, or France, is a country located in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra, and Spain.
It is a founding member of the European Union.
National motto: Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité (French; Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood)
Official language; French
Area; 547,030 km²
Currency; Euro, French euro coins (Prior to 1999: French franc)
Time zone; UTC +1 (CET)
National anthem; La Marseillaise
Internet TLD; .FR
Phone Calling Code; 33
Though the French monarchy is often dated to the 5th century, France's continuous existence as a separate entity begins with the 9th-century division of Charlemagne's Frankish empire into an eastern and a western part.
The eastern part can be regarded the beginnings of what is now Germany, the western part that of France.
Charlemagne's descendants ruled France until 987, when Hugh Capet, Duke of France and Count of Paris, was crowned King of France.
His descendants, the Capetian dynasty, ruled France until 1789, when the French overthrew their monarchy during the French Revolution.
Although ultimately a victor in World Wars I and II, France suffered extensive losses in its empire, wealth, manpower, and rank as a dominant nation-state.
Since 1958, it has constructed a presidential democracy (known as the Fifth Republic) that has not succumbed to the instabilities experienced in earlier more parliamentary regimes.
In recent decades, France's reconciliation and cooperation with Germany have proved central to the economic integration of Europe, including the introduction of the euro in January 1999.
Today, 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 political, defense and security apparatus.
It is also one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
For a more information about France see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France)
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, December 2005
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
This information was correct in December 2005. E. & O.E.
Sarolta, my daughter and I visited France during our trip around Europe on our Eurail Pass in 1978.
We came over by a Sea Link Ferry from Folkestone, England to Bologne-sur-Mer in France.
After some sightseeing in Bologne, we grabbed a train to Paris to experience all that the city could offer for us.
Exploring France and many other countries on the continent we returned quite a few times in Paris.
We both enjoyed France.
In 2003, Hui Chin and I wanted to checkout the Eurostar train and traveled from London to Paris.
Spent some time sightseeing in Paris by sightseeing tour buses and on foot to see what was there to see.
From Paris we wanted to go to Lourdes, but there was a Railway strike, between Dax and Lourdes, so we had some fun getting there and back to Dax, you will see that later in that part of the our story.
After getting back and spending some time exploring Dax, we wanted to go to Fatima and Lisbon in Portugal through Hendaye, more about that on the relevant pages.
After checking out Portugal,Spain and Ceuta (Spanish real estate in Africa), we traveled back to France and visited Mulhouse and Strasbourg.
Amazing, what you can do on a two month Eurail Pass. It's all here, if you look for it.
Hui Chin and I were fortunate enough to be given another chance to travel around in Europe and France in particular while we waited for our visa to Mali because we wanted to visit Timbuktu in 2004.
We were told that only in Paris we can get the visa to visit Mali, as it is a former French colony. Later we found out, that we could have got our visas at Bamako's, - Mali's capital - International Airport too.
We had to wait ten days for the visas so we had some time to travel around in France and further around in Europe.
In 2005 Hui Chin and I visited a few cities, towns and country side in France.
We have found a few very interesting places as you will see looking some of my pages.
During 2006 on our way to Hungary's celebrations of the 1956 Freedomfight's 50th Anniversary, we spent some time again to visit another few very interesting places in France.
My photos are on some of these pages.
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
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