Does it exist is it true that France developed the invention of the hot balloon? Is it illegal to kiss on trains? Find out these 30 facts that will make you smile about France.
If you’re a resident of France or just passing through the country, knowing some basic facts about France can help you understand it better; you’ll also impress your fellow attendees on the next trivia night. Prepare to test your French skills when we present the 30 most interesting facts regarding France that could delight you.
1. France is the biggest country within the EU and is often referred to as the hexagon
France is the largest nation within European Union, covering a total area of 551,695 square km. It is, however, the third largest country in Europe, following Ukraine in the European part of Russia. About a third (31 percent) of France is covered in forest.
It is also the fourth most forested state within the EU, in addition to Sweden, Finland, and Spain. It is also described as a hexagon due to its hexagonal shape.
2. France is the most visited tourist destination
It’s time to improve your French ability since France is the perfect place to be according to the most recent figures on tourism. 89.3 million tourists visited the country in 2018, making it the top-visited destination worldwide. The capital city of the country, Paris, is also the third most frequented capital city of the globe just behind Bangkok and London. It’s time to pack!
3. French became the primary English language in England for around 300 years
It isn’t easy to believe it was French that was the language of the state of England 1066 between 1066 and 1362. However, after William the Conqueror fought the Norman conquest and the subsequent capture of England in 1066 and 1066, he established Anglo-Norman French in the nation.
This was the language of royalty, aristocrats, and high-powered officials, many of whom couldn’t even speak English! However, in 1362 Parliament approved the Pleading in English Act, which made English an official medium of the government.
This was because Norman French was used for Pleadings but was inaccessible to the people of England, who did not know what was said in the courtroom.
4. Louis XIX reigned as the King of France for only 20 minutes, making it the shortest reign
Yes, you read that right. The French King only had 20 minutes of royal glory owing to the time death of his dad, Charles X abdicated, leaving his successor to the French throne at the end of July. After a brief period, Louis-Antoine abdicated in favor of his nephew, The Duchess of Bordeaux.
This makes him the second-shortest reigning monarch of all time. He has the record with Crown Prince Luis Filipe, who technically was crowned the King of Portugal following his father’s death. Murdered. However, he also passed away from a wound just 20 minutes later.
5. “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite” or “liberty, equality, fraternity, and equality ” is the nation’s motto
This famous slogan first emerged during the Revolution (1789-1799) and was included in the Constitutions of 1946 and 1957. You can still see it on postage stamps and logos of the government, usually alongside “Marianne,” which symbolizes the triumph of the republic.
The legal system of France is founded on the principles laid by Napoleon Bonaparte’s Code Civil after the Revolution during the 1800s.
6. The French Army was the first to employ camouflage in 1915 (World War I)
This is an exciting detail about France. The word “camouflage” originates directly from a French verb meaning ‘to set an appearance for the stage.’ The French Army was the first to develop a special camouflage division in 1915.
The paint on vehicles and guns was done by camofleurs artists who painted the cars and guns. The next year The British Army followed suit. It formed its camouflage division under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel Francis Wyatt. It was called The Special Works Park RE (Royal Engineers).
7. In France, you can get married to an unmarried person!
A shocking fact concerning France is that, under French law, you can get married posthumously in certain circumstances. It is subject to the condition that you can prove that your deceased loved one intended to match when they were alive.
It is also necessary to get approval from the French president. The most recent approval case was in 2017, when the spouse of a gay policeman who was killed in Paris’s Champs-Elysees by an Islamist was allowed to wed his deceased partner.
8. The French invented hairdryers, tin cans, and hot air balloons
We can count on our French, who is to be credited with many of the inventions we enjoy today. For example, French inventor Nicolas Appert developed the idea of using sealed glass jars set in boiling water to preserve food in 1809.
Pierre Durand later invented the Tin Can. Braille was developed in the 1880s by Louis Braille, who was blinded when he was a young child. Meanwhile, a physician Rene Laennec invented the stethoscope at the hospital situated in Paris in 1816. Alexandre-Ferdinand Godefroy patented the World’s first hair dryer in 1888.
Montgolfier’s brothers developed the impressive balloon that was hot to the air. Joseph and Etienne launched the first-ever public display of a balloon that was not tied in 1783.
9. France is the very first nation in the World to prohibit the throwing away food waste by supermarkets
Here’s a French thing to be proud of. In February 2016, France became the first nation in the World to stop stores from throwing away or decomposing unsold food items. Stores must now donate surplus food items to food banks and charitable organizations.
Supermarkets with more than 400 square meters that are found to be sinning quality foods nearing their best-before dates are subject to hefty penalties of up to 75,000 euros or two years in prison. In addition, all French supermarkets are prohibited from destroying food items to deter “dumpster divers” from digging in rubbish bins. Great idea, France!
10. First public showing of a film was held by French Lumiere in 1895
The Lumiere brothers, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas and Louis Jean, were famous for their cinematographed motion-picture system and the short films they made in 1895 and 1905. The renowned duo held the first ever public film screening on the 28th of December 1895 in the Grand Cafe in Paris.
Here is some fascinating information concerning France that you need to know before you visit France so that you can discover France quickly.