60 Stunning Facts About France

France is a large and diverse country in western Europe. France is well-known and loved for its cuisine and wines. The country of France is divided into 22 official regions. These regions are further subdivided into departments. The Rhone-Alpes region is located to the north of the Mediterranean coast. It is home to the French Alps, which are well-known among both tourists and locals. So, here are 60 fascinating facts about France that you may not be aware of.

  1. The name of the country France is derived from the Latin Francia, “which means land or kingdom of franks.”
  2. The official name of France is French Republic or République Française.
  3. Potatoes were banned in the country between 1748 and 1772. The French parliament forbids the production of potatoes, thinking it cause leprosy.
  4. In the year 1891, Claude Monet won 100,000 francs which was the highest price of that time in the French national lottery. While in 2011, somebody won €24 million, which is the highest price in France history of lotto.
  5. Since 1959, posthumous marriage is legal in the country, which means you can legally marry a dead person if the marriage was already planned and then should be approved by the president.
  6. France is the most visited and one of the favorite tourist destinations on the planet. In 2018 about 89.4 million tourists visited the country, which is the highest among all the nations. It also ranks in the third position in terms of revenue from tourism.
  7. Tour de France cyclists ride 110 miles and burn an average of 6,071 calories each day. This is equivalent to 9.3 burger king whoppers burgers, 20.9 slices of dominos pizza, and 57.8 bananas.
    The Tour De France Championship
  8. The country is divided into 22 metropolitan regions, out of which are five overseas regions, which is as Dom-Toms.
  9. There is only one stop sign in the entire capital city of Paris. The sign is situated at the exit of a building.
  10. There was a king named Louis XIX who became the king of France for just 20 minutes.
  11. In 1791, France became the first modern country to legalize the same-sex sexual activity. While on 18 May, they passed a law for same-sex marriage.
  12. France is the biggest country in the entire Europe union and 50th in the world. It is also sometimes referred to as a hexagon because of its six-sided shape.
  13. France has an official motto since the french revolution which Liberté, égalitié, fraternité means liberty, equality, and fraternity.
  14. During the 19th and 20th century the French empire was the second-largest colonial empire just after the British empire. It is estimated that they ruled 8 percent of the entire world’s land.
    Rosss via Wikimedia Commons (French Empire)
  15. In 1915, the French army became the first army to use camouflage.
  16. A French woman named Jeanne Louise Calment is the oldest human on the planet. She was born on 21 February 1875 and died on 4 August 1997. So she lived for 122 years and 164 days.
  17. France’s most significant sporting moment came at the 1998 Soccer World Cup when the country hosted and won.
  18. French president Charles de Gaulle is included in the Guinness Book of world records for surviving 32 assassination attempts.
  19. The first public transport system was introduced in the country. It was introduced in 1662 and was invented in the form of horse-carried wagons.
  20. Leonardo da Vinci made Château du Clos Lucé in Amboise, France, his home from 1516 until his death in 1519.
  21. France has the highest peak in the entire European continent, known as the mount blanc peak. The mountain peak has an elevation of 15,771 feet(4,807 meters). It is located in the alps and lies across the French- Italian border, and even reaches Switzerland.
  22. The 1998 Tour de France was known as the “tour of shame,” as fewer than 100 riders crossed the finish line after several teams were disqualified for taking performance-enhancing drugs.
  23. France is the 4th biggest consumer of alcohol on the planet. The average person in France consumes 11.8 liters of pure alcohol per year.
  24. There are five major rivers in the country. Loire river being the longest river which stretches over 1005 Km (625 Miles).
  25. In the 1980s, the French developed their own Internet model called the Minitel (or Minitel telematics system), which made France a world leader in household telematics but also hindered the eventual adoption of the Internet.
  26. Since 1910 it is illegal to kiss on railway stations and especially on the platforms. However, there is no formal punishment these days.
  27. France hosted the first Olympics Winter Games in the year 1924 in Chamonix and again in Grenoble (1968) and Albertville (1988).
  28. Special medals are given to the citizens of the country who have successfully raised several children with dignity. The medals are known as La Médaille de La Famille Française (Medal of the French Family) and are categorized into three types that are Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
    Personne95 via Wikimedia Commons (Médaille famille française)
  29. France has the most time zones than any country in the world. They have 12 different time zones, and it is because of their overseas territories.
  30. Some important inventions took place in the land of France. Some of them are the stethoscope(1816), the first pencil sharper(1828), hot air balloon (1783), mayonnaise (1756), hairdryer(1888), aqua water oxygen supply(1943), Pasteurization(1864), photography(1822),sewing machine(1830), First bicycle with pedal power(1868),ramjet engine (1913), smokeless gunpowder(1884) and rechargeable lead-acid battery(1859).
  31. France gets the 4th spot in the world terms of UNESCO world heritage sites. The country has 41 of these sites; some of them are canal du midi, Amiens cathedral, and Bourges cathedral.
  32. The Gallic Rooster is the unofficial animal of France since the 1800s.
  33. France shares borders with Luxembourg, Belgium, and Germany to the north. Switzerland and Italy to the east and Spain to the south, Plus it is also connected to the English channel and bay of Biscay.
  34. Football is considered the country’s national sport, with 1,993,270 licensed players in the leagues. However, tennis and cycling are also referred to as national sports by some other people.
  35. France is the second-largest consumer of electricity from nuclear fuels in the world. The country has 58 operational plants and generated 395,908Gwh in 2018, which contributes to 71.7% of the country’s electricity needs.
    Stefan Kühn via Wikimedia Commons (Nuclear Power Plant Cattenom)
  36. In the French language, weather and temperature are denoted by the same words. The word “le temp” means both time and weather.
  37. In France, 92 percent of the total population speaks french, 3.65% speaks Occitan, 3.15% speak german and german dialects, 3.10% speak Oïl languages, and 2.55% speak Arabic.
  38. French is widely spoken in 29 countries. Some of them are Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, the Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, France, Haiti, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Monaco, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Switzerland, Togo, and Vanuatu.
  39. France once had a pure white flag; it was opted during the bourbon restoration period from 1815 to 1830.
  40. France is the 4th biggest exporter of agricultural products in the world.
  41. About 52.45% of the country’s total land area is agricultural land, and 33.52% of the land is arable land.
  42. The Eiffel tower is named after its designer Gustave Eiffel. The tower was built in the year 1889. It was almost destroyed in 1909 but was spared because it proved to be was proved as an ideal radio transmitter. The Eiffel tower is 1,063 (324 meters) high, including an antenna at the top.
    The Eiffel Tower ©Pixabay
  43. The Eiffel tower is the first man-made structure in the world that exceeded 1000 feet. Till 1930 it was the highest structure in the world and is the most-visited paid monument on the planet.
  44. The Eiffel Tower is painted every seven years, and painters apply 60 tons of paint every time to keep the tower looking young and beautiful.
  45. Over 31.23% or 171,020 sq. Km of the total land of the country is covered with forests.
  46. The top 5 exports of France are Aircraft products ($43.8 Billion), Cars ($26 Billion), Packaged Medicaments ($25.7 Billion), Vehicle Parts ($16.5 Billion), and Gas Turbines ($14.4 Billion).
  47. The top 5 imports of France are Cars ($40.1 Billion), Crude Petroleum ($23.3 Billion), Refined Petroleum ($20.4 Billion), Petroleum Gas ($17.3 Billion), and Vehicle Parts ($16.4 Billion).
  48. France is the biggest consumer of snails in the world, with around 30000 tons of consumption each year.
  49. The country is the fourth nation to acquire atomic and nuclear weapons. They tested their first atomic bomb in the Algerian Sahara in 1960.
    via Wikimedia Commons (Gerboise bleue nuclear test of France)
  50. Paris has the most restaurants than any city in the world and has about 44896 restaurants.
  51. In 2019 France had the longest life expectancy among women’s with about 85.9 years of age.
  52. The two oldest human-made building is found on the french land. Barnenez is located in northern Finistère, dating back to 4850 BC, and Tumulus of Bougon, which dates back to 4700 BC.
  53. The longest road or highway in France is the A10 motorway which is also known as the L’Aquitaine; it stretches over 549 Km and connects Paris and Bordeaux.
  54. The country has 41 billionaires, out of which Bernard Arnault tops the charts with a net worth of USD 76 billion.
  55. France is considered a Christian country, and in 2015 the religious breakdown of the country consists of 64.5% Christians,2% Muslims, 8% others, and 25.5 belonged to no religion.
  56. There are some complex caves in the Dordogne region of southwestern France known as Lascaux. The caves have some paintings which are 20000 years old.
    Lascaux via Wikimedia Commons (Lascaux cave painting)
  57. In June 2019, the town of Gallargues-le-Montreux recorded the highest temperature ever since in the country with 114.6 °F (45.9 °C). Whereas the lowest temperature ever recorded was in the month of January 1985 in the mouth, which noted −42 °F (−41 °C).
  58. From 1994 the radio stations in the country are forced to pay 40% of french music. However, the quota is now been decreased to 35 %.
  59. France is the second-largest cheese-producing nation in Europe. There are about 1600 different types of cheese produced in the country.
  60. France is the second biggest wine producer in the whole world. Every year, they produce 50-60 million hectares of wine, equivalent to 7-8 billion of bottles.
    PRA Assumed via Wikimedia Commons (French taste of wines)

  • POPULATION: 6.7 crores
  • POPULATION RANK: 65,273,511 th
  • GDP NOMINAL: $3.061 trillion
  • GDP RANK: 10th
  • CURRENCY: Euro and CFP franc
  • FOUNDED: 22 September 1792
  • FATHER OF THE NATION:Samuel de Champlain
  • TOTAL AREA: 643,801 km2
  • AREA RANK: 50th worldwide
  • CONTINENT: Europe
  • ARMY STRENGTH: 426,265
  • ARMY RANK: 7th
  • PER CAPITA INCOME: 50,460 PPP dollars (2019)


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