France

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.

zeljko soletic
La galerie des Glaces - Château de Versailles (Hall of Mirrors- Palace of Versailles)
zeljko soletic
Museum of Eroticism (Musee de l'Erotisme)
Kacper Kotowoda
Barrage Vauban
Michel MALHERBE
Rca Sustentation2
cotan jacques
Yvoire Village France
cotan jacques
Yvoire Village France
françois paris
château d'Eguisheim
françois paris
châteaux d'Eguisheim
françois paris
tour et vignes d'eyquem
Eric-Bardot-Chappaz
Annecy et le massif des Bornes, Haute-Savoie,France
Jerome Boccon-Gibod
Place du Château - Strasbourg
Jürgen Matern
Marble Courtyard in the Castle of Versailles
benjamin-suzanne
Le Quai Debilly
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Marché Aligre
Andy Bryant
Lac Lerie Plateau Emparis France
Mark Peterson
View from the Eiffel tower
Ruediger Kottmann
Paris from the Eiffel Tower
Carsten T. Rees
Ronchamp, Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut by Le Corbusier, View from the South-East
Arnaud Chapin
Free Fly Skydiving in Péronne
dieter kik
Swarm of Bees by the Beehive