France

history, culture, food, etc.

Religion

France is a secular country where freedom of thought and of religion is preserved, by virtue of the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. A January 2007 poll found that 61% of the French population describe themselves as Roman Catholics, 21% as Atheists, 4% as Muslims, 3% as Protestants, 1% as Buddhists, and 1% as Jews.

Foods

Cheese and wine are a major part of the cuisine, playing different roles both regionally and nationally. The French typically eat a simple breakfast which consists of coffee, tea or hot chocolate with milk, and bread or croissants. Lunch and dinner are the main meals of the day. Formal four course meals consist of a starter course, a salad, a main course, and finally a cheese or dessert course.

Culture

Paris is center of an important number of fashion shows. Some of the world's biggest fashion houses (ex: Chanel) have their headquarters in France. Gothic art and architecture originated in France in the 12th century and then spread to all of Europe. In the 13th century, French craftsmen developed the stained glass painting technique. The final phase of gothic architecture, known as Flamboyant, also began in France in the 15th century before spreading to the rest of Europe. France is the birthplace of cinema and was responsible for many of its early significant contributions