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The largest skiable domain in the Pyrenees is known as Grandvalira! It stretches over 193km of pistes including the resorts of Soldeu, El Tarter, Pas de la Casa, Grau Roig, Canillo & Encamp. The ski area covers such a wide area so it is definately worth having a Grandvalira piste map on you. You will find Grandvalira piste maps in just about every hotel reception, plus the ticket windows by the foot of the pistes. It is best to carry a piste map with you to help you find your way around, but it also has the mountain restaurants and facilities marked on so you can set meeting points for your group and all get together for lunch!
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.