Info about France

Category: France - LYCEE ROBERT DOISNEAU in VAULX EN VELIN Created: 13 December 2013
Last Updated: Friday, 24 January 2014 20:01 Published: 13 December 2013
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France is located in Western Europe; its area is about 550,000 square km but France has also a lot of overseas territories, like Tahiti or the French Antilles.  The French territory opens up to many neighbouring countries and to many seas, such as the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean or the North Sea.  The highest peak in France (and in Europe) is Mont Blanc, located in the Alps.

Paris is the capital city and the largest metropolitan area; the other major cities are Marseille and Lyon (we are from the suburbs of Lyon).

 

France has a very long and rich history.  During ancient times, it was part of the Roman Empire.  After the decline and fall of this civilization, some dynasties expanded their control  over what was to become the kingdom of France.  Some kings, like Louis XIII and Louis XIV, established an absolute monarchy little by little, until the late 18th century.

The French revolution was a major turning point because it eventually drove France to democracy and republic.

During the 20th century, France had to cope with two World Wars. So, to prevent a new one from occuring and to preserve peace by promoting peaceful relationships, France was among the founding countries that created the United Nations and the European Union.

 

France is famous allover the world for its classical art such as painting and literature.  Among the most famous painters, there are Jacques-Louis David, a well-known artist of the late 18th century, Auguste Renoir or Claude Monet in the 19th century.

Nowadays, young people also know France for its comtemporary culture, like music and cinema.  Indeed many bands and DJs are famous worldwide, e.g. David Guetta, Bob Sinclar or Daft Punk who are performing with many stars in the world.  A lot of French movies received many awards, even Oscars, like La Vie en Rose or The Artist.

 

French literature became very various and rich thanks to the writers along centuries.  There are several kinds of writing styles or genres, like novels, short stories, plays and poetry.  As an example of a very French writer, there is Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, aka Molière, who wrote many comedy plays, or Marivaux.

During the 20th century, some authors changed the literary codes (the Nouveau Roman in the 1950s) and played with the language, like Ionesco.   They also sometimes adapted ancient myths to update the message of classical culture.

Many French books have been adapted into movies and musicals, even outside France, e.g. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo in which Hugh Jackman played Jean Valjean in 2012.

 

The most popular sports in France are football, rugby, cycling, swimming or judo.  Of course, as in many countries, football is the most practised sport.

Some teams are famous and known thanks to their nicknames, like 'Les Bleus', the French national football team that won the World Cup in 1998 against Brazil, or the handball team, aka 'Les Experts'.

Tennis and basketball are not as popular, but some French sportsmen practising these sports are very famous.  Tony Parker, for example, is the leader of the French team who won the Euro Basketball Championship in 2013, challenging Lithuania.

French sportsmen are not very successful in motor sports, even if Sébastien Loeb is a very famous rally driver.  He has been the most successful rally driver in the World Rally Championship history, thanks to his driving style.