Aquitaine: A Brief History

Church is Sarlat, Perigord, in the Aquitaine region of France.

Our direct ancestor, the Cro-Magnon man -named after a site in the Perigord- testifies to human habitation of what is now Aquitaine going back thousands of years. The caves of Lascaux, in France, contain some of the earliest known representational art, dating to between 17,000 and 15,000 years before the present. Vercingetorix surrenders to Julius Cesar. The Romans conquered “Aquitania” after a bitter fight against the Celts led by Vercingetorix, a local hero. The ensuing Pax Romana allowed the creation, […]

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The Eiffel Tower

[img]303|left|Eiffel Tower[/img]The Eiffel Tower is the most recognizable landmark in Paris and is known worldwide as a symbol of France. Named after its designer, Gustave Eiffel, it is a premier tourist destination, with over 5.5 million visitors per year. The tower received its 200,000,000th guest on November 28, 2002. The structure was built from 1887-1889 as the entrance arch for the Exposition Universelle (1889), a World’s fair at the centennial celebration of the French revolution. It was inaugurated on March […]

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History of Paris

The historical nucleus of Paris is the Ile de la CitÈ, a small island largely occupied by the huge Palais de Justice and the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. It is connected with the smaller Ile Saint-Louis, occupied by elegant houses built in the 17th and 18th centuries. A major characteristic of Paris is its tree-lined quays along the Seine River, in particular, along the Left Bank with its open-air bookstalls, the historic bridges that span the river, and the […]

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Map of France

<!–^~^302|center|Map of France^~^–>   Area: total: 547,030 sq km land: 545,630 sq km water: 1,400 sq km note: includes only metropolitan France, but excludes the overseas administrative divisions Area – comparative: slightly less than twice the size of Colorado Land boundaries: total: 2,889 km border countries: Andorra 56.6 km, Belgium 620 km, Germany 451 km, Italy 488 km, Luxembourg 73 km, Monaco 4.4 km, Spain 623 km, Switzerland 573 km Coastline: 3,427 km Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 24 nm continental […]

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The French Revolution

<!–^~^440|right|Louis XVI^~^–>France in 1789 was one of the richest and most powerful nations in Europe. Only in Great Britain and the Netherlands did the common people have more freedom and less chance of arbitrary punishment. Nonetheless, a popular rebellion would first to bring the regime of King Louis XVI of France under control of a constitution, then to depose, imprison, try, and execute the king and, later, his wife Marie Antoinette. Many factors led to the revolution; to some extent […]

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France unveils national rival to Google Earth

A clear view of your favorite French beach or monument is only a click away

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Merovingians

Descendants of the Salian Franks, this dynasty takes its name from Merovech, the ancestor of Clovis. The power of the first Merovingians was limited originally to the kingdoms of Cambrai, ruled by Clodio, and Tournai, governed by Childeric. Clovis (481-511), son of Childeric, soon extended his authority to all of Gaul. His conversion to Christianity  under the influence of his wife, the Burgundian princess Clotilda, paved the way for the Gallo-Roman population to recognize and accept him as king. Divided […]

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Regions of France

Regions oFrance has 26 rÈgions, which are further subdivided into dÈpartements. Alsace 67 Bas-Rhin 68 Haut-Rhin Aquitaine 24 Dordogne 33 Gironde 40 Landes 47 Lot-et-Garonne 64 PyrÈnÈes-Atlantiques Auvergne 03 Allier 15 Cantal 43 Haute-Loire 63 Puy-de-DÙme Basse-Normandie 14 Calvados 50 Manche 61 Orne Bourgogne (Burgundy) 21 CÙte-d’Or 58 NiËvre 71 SaÙne-et-Loire 89 Yonne Bretagne (Brittany) 22 CÙtes-d’Armor 29 FinistËre 35 Ille-et-Vilaine 56 Morbihan Centre (Val de Loire) 18 Cher 28 Eure-et-Loir 36 Indre 37 Indre-et-Loire 41 Loir-et-Cher 45 Loiret Champagne-Ardenne […]

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Napoleon III

<!–^~^441|left|Napoleon III^~^–> Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (April 20, 1808 – January 9, 1873) was the son of King Louis Bonaparte and Queen Hortense de Beauharnais; both monarchs of the Kingdom of Holland. He was elected President (1848-1852) of the Second Republic of France and subsequently Emperor (1852-1870), reigning as Napoleon III (Second French Empire). In a situation that resembles the case of Louis XVIII of France, the numbering of Napoleon’s reign assumes the existence of a legitimate Napoleon II of […]

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Vaux-le-Vicomte

[img]274|left|Vaux-le-Vicomte[/img]Once a small castle located between the royal residences of Vincennes and Fontainebleau in France, the estate of Vaux-le-Vicomte was purchased by a 26 year-old parliamentarian, Nicolas Fouquet in 1641. Fifteen years later, construction began on what was then the finest chateau and garden in France. This achievement was brought about through the collaboration of three men of genius whom Fouquet had chosen for the task: the architect Le Vau, the painter-decorator Le Brun and the landscape gardener Le NÙtre. […]

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