The Col du Galibier, the gateway to the valley of Serre-Chevalier
A panoramic view from the Col du Galibier in the Alpes.
Vue panoramique du Col du Galibier à 2642 mètre d'altitude.Ce col relie Saint michel de maurienne à B...
lonely bench on top of a hill near the Col de Lautaret, a famous French col in the Alps
panoramic view on top of the Col de Lautaret, a famous mountain col in the French alps with a table w...
The Col is open all year round, and provides good views of La Meije to the south-west and the Grand G...
Lac Lérié is on Plateau d'emparis, accessible from the east (Le Chazelet) in a few hours, or from the...
Panoram de 360º des de el cim de Dome de Neiuge des Écrins, als Alps dels Ecrins, feta l'Agost de 201...
France is affectionately referred to as "the Hexagon" for its overall shape.
French history goes back to the Gauls, a Celtic tribe which inhabited the area circa 300BC until being conquered by Julius Caesar.
The Franks were the first tribe to adopt Catholic Christianity after the Roman Empire collapsed. France became an independent location in the Treaty of Verdun in (843 AD), which divided up Charlemagne's Carolingian Empire into several portions.
The French monarchy reached its zenith during the reign of Louis XIV, the Sun King, who stood for seventy-two years as the Monarch of all Monarchs. His palace of Versailles and its Hall of Mirrors are a splendid treasure-trove of Baroque art.
The French Revolution ended the rule of the monarchy with the motto "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!" On July 14th, 1789 angry mobs stormed La Bastille prison and began the Revolution in which Louis XVI, his wife Marie-Antoinette and thousands of others met the guillotine.
One decade after the revolution, Napolean Bonaparte seized control of the Republic and named himself Emperor. His armies conquered most of Europe and his Napoleonic Code became a lasting legal foundation for concepts of personal status and property.
During the period of colonization France controlled the largest empire in the world, second only to Britain.
France is one of the founding members of the European Union and the United Nations, as well as one of the nuclear armed nations of the world.
Text by Steve Smith.