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    Vatican City: Vatican Museums. Go Now!

    Vatican City
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FranceThe name France comes from the historic Franks, more specifically the Latin word Francia, which means "country of the Franks." The origin of the word Frank is unknown, but seems to either have meant "free" or "lance," which is named after one of the Frank's favored weapons, a throwing ax.


France is a large country that has always attracted people due to its geography. Today tourists flock to the country in huge numbers, but historically people were attracted to the fertile lands and many rivers. This lifestyle based on agriculture and raising animals has been at the heart of French culture for centuries and even today French culture seems to be perfectly defined with family and friends at a table filled with incredible foods and wines.

Farming has always been an important part of the French culture and even today many people live a lifestyle rooted in farming and the lands. This lifestyle is based on the seasons, the weather, and the foods that can be grown. Historically this was focused on foods for survival, but today a significant percentage comes in the form of grapes grown for wines, a representative of the country's shift in focus from working day to day to survive to today's relaxed and easy going culture where time is not important.

Despite the seemingly relaxed state of France today, the country hasn't always been so passive. In fact, France has led numerous movements and was among the first countries in the world to push social programs to protect the rights of the lower class and minorities. Of course with these social changes, they also insisted on keeping short work weeks so life can be enjoyed.

The culture in France is about lifestyle and lifestyle in France is about enjoying life. Today the people love hiking the mountains, taking a leisurely bike ride, or just relaxing on the southern beaches. Life is also about indulgences, including excellent foods and breads as well as wines. Time around the table with family and friends is more important than work or money in France as this lifestyle defines their culture and their culture is defined by their lifestyle.

Of course there's more to life in France than just good food, good wine, and good friends. This culture is rooted in the country's history and their traditions. In fact the people are proud of their history and past in many ways as the architecture, foods, religion, language, and lifestyle are all important aspects of their past and their present, each helping to define their nation and their culture in its own way, which makes France truly one of a kind.

France's flag came about in 1790 during the French Revolution. Blue and red were the colors of Paris's militia, which was added to white, which is considered the "ancient French color." The flag is commonly referred to as Le drapeau tricolore, which roughly translates to "French Tricolor."

Name: French Republic
Independence: 486; July 14, 1789 (Fete de la Federation celebrated)
Capital: Paris
Currency: Euro
Population: 65,951,611 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: French (Celtic & Latin)
Language: French
Religion: Roman Catholic

Information for France was last updated: March, 2014 ● View our: Sources & Special Thanks