Fairytale French Chateaux

Paris offers all the attractions of a modern metropolis, but it can also be an enchanting experience for a traveler weary of the city’s hustle and bustle to explore the majestic French countryside. A drive or railway trip through the country will allow you to experience all that France has to offer, and historic castles are some of the most popular attractions outside the capital. With dozens of these medieval structures still standing, a vacation in France can also be […]

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April in Paris

Springtime is upon us, which means that there’s no better time of year to enjoy the City of Lights. Strolling tree-lined boulevards is an ideal occupation for locals and travelers alike, and enjoying the romantic atmosphere of the city’s many green spaces is one Parisian activity that is absolutely free. Although the Tuileries and Luxembourg gardens might get all the attention, you can experience Paris in bloom in dozens of smaller gardens off the beaten path. Why fight crowds when […]

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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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The Politics of France

The ConstitutionA popular referendum approved the constitution of the Fifth Republic in 1958, greatly strengthening the authority of the presidency and the executive in relation to Parliament. The executive branchFrance has an original system with an executive headed by two officials: the President and the Prime Minister. The President of the Republic [img]325|left|Jacques Chirac[/img]Under the constitution, a president was originally elected for a seven year term; this however has now been reduced to five years. The president names the prime […]

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Armstrong says Wednesday is key day in Tour de France

FOR THE FIRST TIME: The Tour de France, in its 91st edition, features an individual time trial that will move up the winding face of the famous L’Alpe d’Huez. Cyclists will battle the clock while climbing 3,707 feet. There will be no teammates to pull the

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Celts

The Celts are an indigenous people of central Europe with large numbers in the United Kingdom, in France, and in Ireland where they are in the majority. The first literary reference to the Celtic people as keltoi or hidden people, is by the Greek Hecataeus in 517 BC. “Celt” is pronounced /kelt/, and “celtic” as /keltIk/ (in SAMPA). The pronunciation /seltIk/ should only be used for certain sports teams (eg. Boston Celtics NBA team). The Origins of the CeltsThe Urnfield […]

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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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Regions and Departments

The dÈpartements (or departments) are administrative units of France, roughly analogous to British counties and now grouped into 22 metropolitan and four overseas rÈgions. They are subdivided into 342 arrondissements. Administrative role Each dÈpartement is administered by a Conseil GÈnÈral elected for six years, and by a prÈfet appointed by the French government and assisted by one or more sous-prÈfets based in district centres outside the departmental capital. An administrative reform in 1982 transferred some of the prÈfet’s powers to […]

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Louis XVI

[img]737|left|Louis XVI|[/img]Louis XVI of France (August 23, 1754 – January 21, 1793) succeeded his grandfather (Louis XV of France) as King of France on May 10, 1774; he was crowned on June 11, 1775. His father, the dauphin, had died in 1765. On May 16, 1770 he married Marie Antoinette, daughter of Francis I of Austria and Empress Maria Theresa , a Habsburg. They had four children: Marie-Therese Charlotte (December 20, 1778 – October 1851); Louis-Joseph-Xavier-FranÁois (October 22, 1781 – […]

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