France

Brianna Millwood

Why did you choose this country?

I choose this country because it is beautiful and I wouldn't mind living there one day. Plus Paris is in France. My mom always talks about her and me moving there.

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What geographical (land, water) facts did you find?

- Fertile plains cover two-thirds of France, which is the largest country in Western Europe. With more than half the land under cultivation, France leads the European

- The mountain ranges are mostly in the south, including the Alps, Pyrenees, and Massif Central.

- Forests cover one-third of the land area in France.

- The north is humid and cool, while the south is dry and warm. Geographic size: 212,935 square miles

- Geographic size: 212,935 square miles

- Two thirds of France is mountains and hills, with the Alps, Pyrenees and Vosges ranges. Mont Blanc in the Alps is the highest mountain in Europe.

- Metropolitan France is the part of France that is located in Western Europe to the southeast of the United Kingdom along the Mediterranean Sea, the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel.

- The country also has several overseas territories which include French Guiana in South America and the islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean Sea, Mayotte in the Southern Indian Ocean and Reunion in Southern Africa.


http://geography.about.com/od/francemaps/a/france-geography.htm

http://www.kidport.com/RefLib/WorldGeography/France/France.htm

http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/france-facts/#close

What interesting historical facts did you find?

- The French Army was the first to use camouflage in 1915 (World War I) – the word camouflage came from the French verb ‘to make up for the stage’. Guns and vehicles were painted by artists called camouflagers.

- Paris was originally a Roman city called "Lutetia".

- During World War 2, when Hitler visited Paris, the French cut the lift cables on the Eiffel Tower so that Hitler would have to climb the steps is he wanted to reach the top.

- The Mosque of Paris helped Jews escape the Nazis by giving them Muslim IDs during World War 2.

- Potatoes were illegal in France between 1748 and 1772.

- Paris, France, was the first western capital to have a mayor of African descent in 1879.

- The "Hundred Year War" against England, between 1337 to 1453, included disasters such as the king of France (Jean le Bon) being kept prisoner in London for years, another king (Charles VI) becoming crazy, a terrible defeat in Azincourt (1415) but, finally, came Jeanne d'Arc (1429) and the final victory.

- After Waterloo (June 18, 1815), France was crushed by a large coalition, Paris occupied, Napoleon exiled ; in spite of the huge losses of 20 years of wars, the country recovered within a few years.


http://www.expatica.com/fr/about/30-interesting-facts-about-France_109142.html

http://www.factslides.com/s-France

https://www.understandfrance.org/France/History.html

What cultural facts (traditions, language, religion, food, art, music. Etc.) did you find?

Traditions:

- The French celebrate the traditional Christian holidays of Christmas and Easter. They mark May Day, also known as Labor Day, on May 1. Victory in Europe Day on May 8 commemorates the end of hostilities in Europe in World War II. Bastille Day is celebrated on July 14. This is the day the Bastille fortress in Paris was stormed by revolutionaries to start the French Revolution.

Language:

- French is the dominant language of the country’s 66 million residents, but there are a number of variants based on region. French, the official language, is the first language of 88 percent of the population, according to the BBC.

Religion:

- Catholicism is the predominant religion of France. In a survey by the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP), 64 percent of the population (about 41.6 million people) identified themselves as Roman Catholic. According to a 2010 survey by the Pew Research Center, 7.5 percent (4.7 million people) are Muslim. Pew estimated that the Jewish population was 310,000; there were 280,000 Buddhists and 30,000 Hindus. Nearly 18 million people practiced folk religions, "other" religions or no religion ("unaffiliated").

Food:

- Food and wine are central to life at all socioeconomic levels, and much socializing is done around lengthy dinners. While cooking styles have changed to emphasize lighter fare, many still associate French cooking with heavy sauces and complicated preparation. Some classic French dishes include boeuf bourguignon — a stew made of beef braised in red wine, beef broth and seasoned with garlic, onions and mushrooms — and coq au vin, a dish made with chicken, Burgundy wine, lardons (small strips or cubes of pork fat), button mushrooms, onions and optional garlic

- A traditional French dish is coq au vin--- chicken in Burgundy wine, lardons (small strips or cubes of pork fat) button mushrooms, onions, and garlic.

Art:

- Art is everywhere in France — particularly in Paris and other major cities — and Gothic, Romanesque Rococo and Neoclassic influences can be seen in many churches and other public buildings. Many of history’s most renowned artists, including Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Camille Pissarro, sought inspiration in Paris, and they gave rise to the Impressionism movement. The Louvre Museum in Paris is among the world’s largest museums and is home to many famous works of art, including the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.

Clothing:

- Paris is known as the home to many high-end fashion houses, such as Dior, Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Chanel.

- Many French people dress in a sophisticated, professional and fashionable style.

- Typical outfits include nice dresses, suits, long coats, scarves and berets.


http://www.livescience.com/39149-french-culture.html

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The first city I would visit in France is....

Paris

I would visit here because....

Paris is beautiful and I would love to go there. Plus I want to see the Eiffel Tower.

This stop would help visitors understand the country better because....

Paris is the Capital of France and is very popular. The population is 2.244 million.

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The second place I would visit in France is....

Marseille

I would visit here because....

You can go fishing and drive your boats there. The population is 1.6 million.

This stop will help visitors understand the country better because....

Marseille is in the southern part of France. And a lot of people would want to fish and sell their catches to make money especially if they just moved to France.
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The third place I would visit in France is....

Colmar

I would visit here because....

Its old town has cobblestone streets lined with half-timbered medieval and early Renaissance buildings. These buildings are beautiful and I would love to see them.

This stop will help visitors understand the country better because....

Colmar is a town in the Alsace region of northeastern France, near the border with Germany. Its old town has cobblestone streets lined with half-timbered medieval and early Renaissance buildings.
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