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Fun Facts About France

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Do you want to know more about the country of France, which is rich in history and culture? Read on for some fascinating fun facts about France.

Fun Facts About France

Basic Facts About France

France is the largest country in Western Europe. It covers over 500,000 square kilometers.

It has a population of over 67 million people.

Its capital city is Paris and its national language is (surprise!) French.

France is a democratic republic that is semi-presidential. That means that the president and prime minister share the executive power.

The French flag is three vertical bars of color: blue, white, and red.

Are you curious about Frace? Read on for some interesting facts about France.

Fun Facts About France

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Fun Facts About France

Check out these interesting facts about the country of France.

1. France’s Nickname is “The Hexagon”

A hexagon is a six-sided shape.

If you are wondering why France has that as a nickname, simply look at a map!

The country is roughly the shape of a hexagon.

It has that shape due to its natural borders.

For example, it touches the Atlantic Ocean in the west.

The Pyrenees Mountains run along the southeast, separating France from Spain.

The Mediterranean Sea is the southern border.

The Alps run along France’s southeastern side. In the east, the Rhine River separates France from Germany.

The English Channel separates France from England to the north.

Fun Facts About France

2. There Are Over 1000 Varieties of French Cheese

France is the land of cheese, and no one makes it better.

47% of French people eat cheese on any given day.

It takes over 10 pounds of milk to make 1 pound of cheese. Most cheeses are made from the milk of cows, sheep, and goats.

Are the French the only ones eating their cheeses? No way! 

The French produce 1.8 million tons of cheese per year, much of which is exported around the world.

3. France Is Home to Marmots, the Adorably Fat Squirrels

Marmots are a kind of extra-large squirrel.

They are ground squirrels, which means they live in burrows in the rocky, mountainous areas of France.

They are social animals that live in colonies.

Marmots are herbivores, so they eat berries, grasses, and flowers.

Their most adorable behavior? Marmots love the sunbathe after hibernating all winter.

If you travel to the mountains of France in the spring, you may see a fuzzy marmot stretched out on a rock, basking in the sunshine.

Fun Facts About France

4. France Is Known for Fine Dining…and McDonald’s

France is chock full of fine-dining restaurants.

The French are known throughout the world for their amazing cuisine, especially their bread, wine, and cheese.

You would think that fast food restaurants would not be profitable in France.

But the most profitable McDonald’s restaurant is located in the heart of Paris, France along the Champs Elysees (also known as the most beautiful avenue in the world).

It appears that no one can resist McDonald’s fries!

5. Louis XIX of France Was King for 20 Minutes

Louis XIX (the 19th) had the shortest reign of any king of France.

In July of 1830, his father Charles X abdicated, giving up his claim to the throne.

Louis technically held the kingship for 20 minutes, as long as it took him to abdicate as well.

His nephew, the Duke of Bordeaux, became king. He was Louis Phillipe I.

Fun Facts About France

6. The French Invented Camo

The French are responsible for many great inventions: the canning process, tin cans, the hairdryer, the hot air balloon, and the Braille alphabet for the blind.

Here is another French first: modern camouflage. The word camouflage is French for “to make up for the stage.”

Although concealment has long been a part of warfare, the French camouflage unit of 1915 was the first modern use of camouflage (painting irregular patterns of different colors).

Guns and vehicles were painted with camo by artists called camofleurs.

Cannons were later painted with zebra-like stripes to conceal them from aerial view.

The camouflage design was developed by a French artist-turned-soldier Lucien Victor Guirand de Scevola.

He experimented with different designs to help soldiers blend in with the background, and he finally settled on the modern camouflage pattern.

The specialized camouflage unit was the first of its kind.

Fun Facts About France

7. The Most Visited Museum of the World Is in France

If you like art, you should definitely visit the Louvre Museum in France.

But you won’t be alone!

The Louvre receives 9-10 million visitors every year! That makes it the busiest art museum on the planet.

Thankfully, visitors can spread out since the Louvre is also the largest art museum in the world at 652,300 square feet. (It was once a palace!)

Why do people flock to the Louvre? In addition to its stunning architecture, the Louvre is the home to some of the most famous art in the world.

This includes the Mona Lisa by DaVinci and the Venus de Milo sculpture by Alexandros of Antioch.

But that’s not all. The Louvre has over 35,000 objects on display at a time (and that’s only 10% of its collection).

Fun Facts About France

8. In France You Might Find a Fish on Your Back!

You have heard of April Fools, but what about April Fish?

On April Fool’s Day in France, children run around and slap paper fish on people’s backs.

This tradition began when Charles XIV changed the calendar so the new year began in January, not the end of March.

Those who continued to celebrate the old new year were labeled with the insult “Poisson d’Avril” (April fish).

The tradition has loosely remained. Now anyone can be a “Poisson d’Avril” on April Fool’s Day!

9. The French Love to Eat Snails

Snails are a French delicacy.

The dish is called escargot, and it is widely popular in the country.

The snails are cooked with butter, garlic, wine, and chicken broth, transforming their taste and texture.

Snails are so popular that France must import 2/3 of its snails from nearby Eastern Europe.

But the best snails are native to France: the Helix pomatia snails are harvested from the Burgundy vineyards at the start of winter.

The French eat 33,000 tons of escargot every year!

Fun Facts About France

10. A Bike Race Cuts Through the Most Beautiful Parts of France

The Tour de France is the most famous cycling race in the world.

It has a rich tradition since the race is over 100 years old.

Starting in 1903, cyclists raced around the Paris suburbs.

The Tour de France has since expanded.

Now it covers 3200 km of roadway, from the scenic countryside to the towering mountains and finally to the beautiful streets of Paris.

The winner of the Tour de France wears a startling yellow jersey.

Fun Facts About France

Read More About France

If you enjoyed these fun facts about France, you may want to read more!

Learn About France for Kids

This book answers questions about France that any 8-12 would ask.

Not only does it cover the basic questions about life in France, it includes information about wildlife, industry, and landmarks.

Picture Book for Kids: France

A picture is worth a thousand words. These stunning photographs will bring France to life.

The book also includes facts and information about the country.

Let’s Eat France!

This original book contains over 1000 French recipes as well as biographies, history lessons, and maps.

It’s great for high school students and adults.

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