Col Du Pourtalet
The Col du Portalet marks the top of the Pyrenean pass between the Vallée d'Ossau in France to the north and the Vallée de Tena in Spain to the south.
This stunning location is generally snow-covered between October and May, but during the summer months offers outstanding hiking and views.
Positioned at the top of the Col du Portalet, this derelict border control sits between the Vallée d'...
This overview shows the church in the background and Formigal ski resorts. Formigal is one of the mos...
Parque en el centro de Formigal. Se aprecia la escultura monumento al esquiador, y al esquí en genera...
Formigal is a town in the Pyrenees Oscense belonging to the municipality of Sallent de Gallego. Its s...
La iglesia románica o mozárabe del despoblado Basarán, hoy día trasladada a Formigal, vista desde su ...
Enclavada en un entorno espectacular, con vistas a las pistas de la estación de esquí de Formigal, se...
Tena valley since Formigal.
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.