France is a country of unique elegance. It is much admired for the beauty and richness of its culture, language, music, film, architecture, landscape, cuisine, fashion and perfumes – to mention just a few. It is easy to see why France is the most visited country in the entire world.
The influence France has played in the world’s history and culture is significant. French was the predominant language of diplomacy from around the Renaissance (1490s – 1527) up until the mid 20th century.
In fact, French is still one of the official languages used by the United Nations, the European Union, NATO and UNESCO.
While the population of mainland France is only around 66 million, there are another 150 million native French speakers in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Oceania and Antarctica, as well as in Belgium, Switzerland, Monaco, Luxembourg and the small Italian region of Aosta Valley.
French is still the main European foreign language taught at schools in Australia and New Zealand.
66 million, approx.
LAND SIZE: 643.801 sq.km
Generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winters and hot summers in the Mediterranean
CAPITAL CITY: Paris
(2.3 million people approx.)
LARGEST CITY: Paris