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 […]

Read More »

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 – […]

Read More »

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. […]

Read More »

The Treaty of Versailles

Treaty of VersaillesFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Treaty of Versailles of 1919 was the peace treaty that was created as a result of the six-month-long Paris Peace Conference of 1919 which put an official end to World War I. The treaty was ratified on January 10, 1920 and required that Germany accept responsibility for the war and was thus obliged to pay large amounts of compensation (known as war reparations). Like many other treaties, it is named for the […]

Read More »

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 […]

Read More »

History of France

Gaul Settled mainly by the Gauls and related Celtic peoples (apart from a shrinking area of Basque population in the south-west), the area of modern France comprised the bulk of the region of Gaul (Latin Gallia) under Roman rule from the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD. Franks In 486, Clovis I, leader of the Salian Franks to the east, conquered the Roman territory between the Loire and the Somme, subsequently uniting most of northern and central France […]

Read More »

Mona Lisa – La Joconde

[img]312|left|Mona Lisa[/img]Mona Lisa (also known as the Monna Lisa; Italian La Gioconda; French La Joconde), is a painting by Leonardo da Vinci showing a woman with an introspective expression-perhaps smiling would be the wrong word. It is the most famous painting in the world, going so far as to be iconic of painting, art, and even visual images in general. No other work of art is so romanticized, celebrated, or reproduced. It was accomplished between 1503 and 1506. Today it […]

Read More »

Alfred Dreyfus

Alfred Dreyfus (October 9, 1859 – July 12, 1935), French military officer best known for being the focus of the Dreyfus affair. Born in Mulhouse, Alsace, France, Dreyfus was the youngest of seven children in the family of a Jewish textile manufacturer who had accepted French nationality in 1871. The family had long been established in Alsace. He was accepted into the …cole Polytechnique for military training in 1877 and graduated in 1880 as a sub-lieutenant. His entry into the […]

Read More »

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 […]

Read More »

La Marseillaise

History La Marseillaise is a song written and composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle on April 24, 1792. Its original name is Chant de marche de l’ArmÈe du Rhin (Marching song of the Rhine Army). It became the rallying call of the French Revolution and was so-called because it was first sung on the streets by troops from Marseille upon their arrival in Paris. La Marseillaise was rearranged by Hector Berlioz around 1830. In 1917, after the collapse of […]

Read More »