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Information about France

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Information about France

Facts about France

The (national) flag
Official name Republique Francaise, the republic of France
Surface 547.030 km² (13x the Netherlands) on the European mainland; the oversea territories (Frans-Guyana, Guadeloupe, Martinique en Réunion) are about 126.000 km².
Inhabitants 62.8 million (2016)
Population density 114 people per km²
Capital Paris
Currency The euro since 2002. 1 € is about $1.17 (2017)
Road network Almost a million kilometres paved, most of them in good shape
Fuel prices For actual fuel prices in all European countries see Autotraveler.ru.
Code licence plate F
Telephone countrycode 33
Internet countrycode .fr
Time difference GMT+1; the same time as in the Netherlands

Geographic data

France is the second largest country in Europe, with the fifth largest population in Europe.
Two thirds of France is mountains and hills, with the Alps, Pyrenees and Vosges ranges. Mont Blanc in the Alps is the highest mountain in Europe.
The Mediterranean coast includes the popular tourist area, the French Riviera. Its hot, dry summers and mild winters make it a popular beach area.

PopulationNaar boven

France is the third largest country in Europe after Russia and Ukraine. As of January 1, 2009, 65,073,482 people live in the French Republic. 62,448,977 of these live in metropolitan France, whereas 2,624,505 live in the French overseas departments and territories. Approximately 20% of the population of France lives in Paris and the metropolitan area surrounding Paris.
France has traditionally had a lower population growth rate than many of its neighbouring countries. The current population growth rate of France is approximately 0.5%. This has traditionally led to the need for France to accept immigrants to provide manpower needed for economic growth, often coming from former colonies.

LanguagesNaar boven

There are a number of languages of France. The French language is by far the most widely spoken and the only official language of France, but several regional languages are also spoken to varying degrees. Other languages are spoken by a substantial percentage of the population due to immigration.
A report written for the government by Bernard Cerquiglini in 1999 identified 75 languages within the French territory that would qualify for recognition under the government's proposed ratification of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. 24 of those languages are indigenous to the European territory of the state while all the others are from overseas areas of the French Republic (in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean and South America). More information on Wikipedia

HistoryNaar boven

France has a long and memorable history, often leading the way in European changes.
We have decided not to write a detailed history anymore, since we would have to cite other sources that are often on the internet already. Instead a few links with more information about French history:

Wikipedia, history of France from Wikipedia
University of North Carolina, French History Timeline
EuroDocs, history of France: Primary Documents

ClimateNaar boven

Four climatic types prevail in France. A true temperate maritime climate is found in the west, near the coasts, where winters are mild (7 deg C/45 deg F in January), summers are cool (16 deg C/61 deg F in July), and rainfall is frequent (800 mm/32 in) during 180 days of the year. A mid-latitude continental climate prevails in the interior of the country, with hotter summers Sun and cloud (average July temperature of 18 deg C/64 deg F in PARIS) and more rigorous winters (average January temperature of 2 deg C/36 deg F in Paris), and rain falls on fewer days of the year.
A mountain climate prevails at high elevations, where temperatures are influenced mainly by altitude, and winters are generally bitterly cold and prolonged. Precipitation increases with elevation and occurs in the form of snow in winter, many villages in the high valleys receiving more than 50 days of snow each year. Briancon, in the Alps, has a mean temperature of -2 deg C (28 deg F) in January, and 17 deg C (63 deg F) in July; annual precipitation averages 587 mm (23 in). A Mediterranean type of climate is found in a zone about 20 to 60 km (12 to 35 mi) wide along the Mediterranean coast. It is characterized by hot, dry summers, mild and humid winters, and a small number of rainy days during the year. In MARSEILLE, 550 mm (22 in) of rain falls during 60 days of the year, and the sun shines for more than 3,000 hours each year. The average temperature is 7 deg C (45 deg F) in January and 23 deg C (73 deg F) in July.

Flora and faunaNaar boven

France's flora and fauna are as varied as its range of topography and climate. It has forests of oak and beech in the north and center, as well as pine, birch, poplar, and willow. The Massif Central has chestnut and beech; the subalpine zone, juniper and dwarf pine. In the south are pine forests and various oaks. Eucalyptus (imported from Australia) and dwarf pines abound in Provence. Toward the Mediterranean are olive trees, vines, and mulberry and fig trees, as well as laurel, wild herbs, and the low scrub known as maquis (from which the French resistance movement in World War II took its name).

The Pyrenees and the Alps are the home of the brown bear, chamois, marmot, and alpine hare. In the forests are polecat and marten, wild boar, and various deer. Hedgehog and shrew are common, as are fox, weasel, bat, squirrel, badger, rabbit, mouse, otter, and beaver. The birds of France are largely migratory; warblers, thrushes, magpies, owls, buzzards, and gulls are common. There are storks in Alsace and elsewhere, eagles and falcons in the mountains, pheasants and partridge in the south. Flamingos, terns, buntings, herons, and egrets are found in the Mediterranean zone. The rivers hold eels, pike, perch, carp, roach, salmon, and trout; lobster and crayfish are found in the Mediterranean.
Of course France is also known for its wonderful cuisine. Cassoulet, baguettes, and of course ratatouille should be tried on any trip to France. When at home you can have a little bit of traditional French cuisine with the best ratatouille recipe.

The actual weather

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