Saint-Tropez (Sant Tropetz in Occitan) is a town, 104 km to the east of Marseille, in the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of southeastern France. It is also the principal town in the canton of Saint-Tropez. It is located on the French Riviera, and it is known today for its famous and extremely wealthy summertime guests. It has been dubbed the 'playground to jetsetters, fashion models, and millionaires', and it is most-enduringly known as the place where the iconic Brigitte Bardot was "discovered" and for its role in the liberation of southern France during World War II. Saint-Tropez has had a varied history. It was a fifteenth-century military stronghold, an unassuming fishing village at the beginning of the twentieth century, and the first town on this coast to be liberated during World War II (as part of Operation Dragoon). After the war, it became an internationally-known seaside resort, renowned principally because of the influx of artists of the French New Wave in cinema and the Yé-yé movement in music. In latter years, it has been a resort for the European and American jet set and the inevitable hordes of tourists in search of a little Provençal authenticity and an occasional celebrity sighting. The inhabitants of Saint-Tropez are called Tropéziens, and the town is familiarly called "St-Trop". (source: www.wikipedia.org)
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.