Main Page   Gazetteer  

Welcome to the France Portal!
Bienvenue sur le Portail France !

Flag
France
Map of France in the world and position of its largest single land territory in continental Europe.
Map of France in the world and position of its largest single land territory in continental Europe.

France (French: [fʁɑ̃s] Listen), officially the French Republic (French: République française), is a transcontinental country predominantly located in Western Europe and spanning overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Its metropolitan area extends from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea; overseas territories include French Guiana in South America, Saint Pierre and Miquelon in the North Atlantic, the French West Indies, and many islands in Oceania and the Indian Ocean. Due to its several coastal territories, France has the largest exclusive economic zone in the world. France borders Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Andorra, and Spain in continental Europe, as well as the Netherlands, Suriname, and Brazil in the Americas via its overseas territories in French Guiana and Saint Martin. Its eighteen integral regions (five of which are overseas) span a combined area of 643,801 km2 (248,573 sq mi) and over 67 million people (). France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre; other major urban areas include Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Lille, Bordeaux, and Nice.

Inhabited since the Palaeolithic era, the territory of Metropolitan France was settled by Celtic tribes known as Gauls during the Iron Age. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, leading to a distinct Gallo-Roman culture that laid the foundation of the French language. The Germanic Franks formed the Kingdom of Francia, which became the heartland of the Carolingian Empire. The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned the empire, with West Francia becoming the Kingdom of France in 987. In the High Middle Ages, France was a powerful but highly decentralised feudal kingdom. Philip II successfully strengthened royal power and defeated his rivals to double the size of the crown lands; by the end of his reign, France had emerged as the most powerful state in Europe. From the mid-14th to the mid-15th century, France was plunged into a series of dynastic conflicts involving England, collectively known as the Hundred Years' War, and a distinct French identity emerged as a result. The French Renaissance saw art and culture flourish, conflict with the House of Habsburg, and the establishment of a global colonial empire, which by the 20th century would become the second-largest in the world. The second half of the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Catholics and Huguenots that severely weakened the country. France again emerged as Europe's dominant power in the 17th century under Louis XIV following the Thirty Years' War. Inadequate economic policies, inequitable taxes and frequent wars (notably a defeat in the Seven Years' War and costly involvement in the American War of Independence), left the kingdom in a precarious economic situation by the end of the 18th century. This precipitated the French Revolution of 1789, which overthrew the Ancien Régime and produced the Declaration of the Rights of Man, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day.

France reached its political and military zenith in the early 19th century under Napoleon Bonaparte, subjugating much of continental Europe and establishing the First French Empire. The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of European and world history. The collapse of the empire initiated a period of relative decline, in which France endured a tumultuous succession of governments until the founding of the French Third Republic during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. Subsequent decades saw a period of optimism, cultural and scientific flourishing, as well as economic prosperity known as the Belle Époque. France was one of the major participants of World War I, from which it emerged victorious at great human and economic cost. It was among the Allied powers of World War II, but was soon occupied by the Axis in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, the short-lived Fourth Republic was established and later dissolved in the course of the Algerian War. The current Fifth Republic was formed in 1958 by Charles de Gaulle. Algeria and most French colonies became independent in the 1960s, with the majority retaining close economic and military ties with France.

France retains its centuries-long status as a global centre of art, science and philosophy. It hosts the fifth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the world's leading tourist destination, receiving over 89 million foreign visitors in 2018. France is a developed country with the world's seventh-largest economy by nominal GDP and tenth-largest by PPP; in terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy and human development. It remains a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and an official nuclear-weapon state. France is a founding and leading member of the European Union and the Eurozone, as well as a key member of the Group of Seven, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and La Francophonie. (Full article...)

Read more about France, its history and people
Refresh with new selections below (purge)

Cscr-featured.png
Featured article – show another

This is a Featured article, which represents some of the best content on English Wikipedia..

Catherine de' Medici's building projects included the Valois chapel at Saint-Denis, the Tuileries Palace, and the Hôtel de la Reine in Paris, and extensions to the château of Chenonceau, near Blois. Born in 1519 in Florence to an Italian father and a French mother, Catherine de' Medici was a daughter of both the Italian and the French Renaissance. She grew up in Florence and Rome under the wing of the Medici popes, Leo X and Clement VII. In 1533, at the age of fourteen, she left Italy and married Henry, the second son of Francis I and Queen Claude of France. On doing so, she entered the greatest Renaissance court in northern Europe.

King Francis set his daughter-in-law an example of kingship and artistic patronage that she never forgot. She witnessed his huge architectural schemes at Chambord and Fontainebleau. She saw Italian and French craftsmen at work together, forging the style that became known as the first School of Fontainebleau. Francis died in 1547, and Catherine became queen consort of France. But it wasn't until her husband King Henry's death in 1559, when she found herself at forty the effective ruler of France, that Catherine came into her own as a patron of architecture. Over the next three decades, she launched a series of costly building projects aimed at enhancing the grandeur of the monarchy. During the same period, however, religious civil war gripped the country and brought the prestige of the monarchy to a dangerously low ebb. (Full article...)
List of Featured articles

Cscr-featured.png
Featured biography – show another

Fauré in 1907
Gabriel Urbain Fauré (12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist, and music teacher of the Romantic Music era and genre. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th-century composers. Among his best-known works are his Pavane, Requiem, and nocturnes for piano. Although his best-known and most accessible compositions are generally his earlier ones, Fauré composed many of his greatest works in his later years, in a harmonically and melodically much more complex style.

Fauré was born into a cultured but not particularly musical family. His talent became clear when he was a small boy. At the age of nine, he was sent to a music college in Paris, where he was trained to be a church organist and choirmaster. Among his teachers was Camille Saint-Saëns, who became a lifelong friend. After graduating from the college in 1865, Fauré earned a modest living as an organist and teacher, leaving him little time for composition. When he became successful in his middle age, holding the important posts of organist of the Église de la Madeleine and director of the Paris Conservatoire, he still lacked time for composing; he retreated to the countryside in the summer holidays to concentrate on composition. By his last years, Fauré was recognised in France as the leading French composer of his day. An unprecedented national musical tribute was held for him in Paris in 1922, headed by the president of the French Republic. Outside France, Fauré's music took decades to become widely accepted, except in Britain, where he had many admirers during his lifetime.

Selected fare or cuisine – show another

Hunter's chicken
Hunter's chicken

Hunter's chicken (chicken chasseur; French: poulet chasseur, poulet à la chasseur and poulet sauté chasseur) is a chicken dish that is a part of French cuisine. The primary ingredients in hunter's chicken are sautéed chicken and a reduced chasseur sauce prepared using tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, white wine, brandy and tarragon.

Several other dishes from around the world share these names; yet each version is very different, with few to no similarities besides the use of chicken. (Full article...)
List of fare/cuisine articles

Symbol support vote.svg
Good article – show another

This is a Good article, an article that meets a core set of high editorial standards.

Tsamere at a charity football match for Le rêve de Clara in November 2013
Tsamere at a charity football match for Le rêve de Clara in November 2013

Arnaud Tsedri (born 11 March 1975), better known by the stage name Arnaud Tsamere (French: [aʁno tsamɛʁ]), is a French comedian, actor, television presenter and sports journalist. Born in Bordeaux and raised in the Yvelines, he joined the Déclic Théâtre group after quitting his sales job. There, he acted in plays and participated in improvisation events. He wrote his first one-man show, Réflexions profondes sur pas mal de trucs, in 2002 with Arnaud Joyet, and his second, Chose Promise, in 2007 with Joyet and François Rollin. His third, Confidences sur pas mal de trucs plus ou moins confidentiels, has been performed since 2014. He has attended numerous comedy festivals and is currently a member of the Ligue Majeure d'Improvisation.

Tsamere's television career began when he presented the weather forecast on Canal+. From 2010, he became well known for appearing on France 2's sketch comedy show On n'demande qu'à en rire—and its short-lived spin-off the ONDAR Show—after he was discovered by Laurent Ruquier; he often performed sketches with Jérémy Ferrari. He also plays Captain Sport Extrême in the comedy science fiction programme Hero Corp. In 2014, he hosted TMC's Canapé Quiz; he has also appeared on various French talk, sports and game shows. Tsamere has acted in several films, including the short Being Homer Simpson with Philippe Peythieu and Véronique Augereau, and Fonzy, a 2013 adaptation of Starbuck. (Full article...)
List of Good articles

Featured pictures

Did you know – show different entries

Macarons on sale.

Topics

Major articles. Linked categories are listed in bold typeface.

Geographic topics

Major articles. Linked categories are listed in bold typeface.

Categories

Category puzzle
Select [►] to view subcategories

Related portals

Things you can do

Clipboard.svg
Wikipedia:France-related tasks
view • editdiscusshistorywatch

French Wikipedia

Wikipedia-logo-v2-fr.svg
There is a French version of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Wikiproject

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

More portals

Discover Wikipedia using portals

Parent portals: Europe | European Union

Purge cache