Countries of the World
Welcome in France !


Welcome here ! Bienvenue ici !
My name is Lucile, I am 15 years old and I am from France.
This time, I make a blog about France, my beautiful country !
Everybody like France and want to come here...then, if you have never been there, you'll see all about France...


France is composed of 22 regions : Aquitaine, Haute-Normandie, Basse-Normandie, Pays de la Loire, Bretagne, Pays de la Loire, Poitou-Charentes, Aquitaine, Midi-Pyrénées, Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence-Alpes-Cotes d'Azur, Rhone-Alpes, Franche-Comté, Alsace, Lorraine, Champagne-Ardenne, Nord-pas-de-Calais, Picardie, Haute-Normandie, Basse-Normandie, Centre, Ile-de-France, Bourgogne, Auvergne, Limousin, Corse and don't forget all the islands and parts of the world which are French : French Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean ( Tahiti, New-Caledonia, Wallis-et-Futuna,...), Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Carribean sea, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon near Canada in the Atlantic Ocean, French Guiana in South America, Mayotte and Reunion in the Indian Ocean.
The surface of France is 675 417 km² for 64 102 000 inhabitants.
The national language is French and the capital is Paris.




This is the French flag with the anthem of this country, that you can hear there.


Allons enfants de la Patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Contre nous de la tyrannie,
L'étendard sanglant est levé,
L'étendard sanglant est levé,
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats ?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes !

Aux armes, citoyens,
Formez vos bataillons,
Marchons, marchons !
Qu'un sang impur,
Abreuve nos sillons !
Arise, children of the fatherland,
The day of glory has arrived !
Against us, the tyranny's,
Bloody banner is raised,
Bloody banner is raised,
Do you hear in the fields
The howling of these savage soldiers ?
They are coming into your midst
To cut the throats of your sons, your wives !

To arms, citizens,
Form your battalions,
Let us march, let us march !
May tainted blood,
Water our fields !




The French population is mainly christian and muslim. But there are also some jews, protestants and buddhists.




The French currency is the Euro ( like 15 other countries in Europe : Slovenia, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, San Marino, Vatican, Finland, Luxembourg, Germany, Ireland, Austria and Monaco. )


1 Euro = 100 cents.
Each country have its own face ( For example : France is represented by a tree ).


Our national language is French. It is right French is difficult to learn but it is also right that it is a beautiful language ! If you want to learn it, go on these sites :
here.
here.
here.
here.




Discover some French songs ( Rock, pop, classical sound, rap, r'n'b,... ):
1-Dis-moi of BB Brune.
2-Schengen of Raphael.
3-New Soul of Yael Naim.
4-U-turn Lili of Aaron.
5-On s'attache of Christophe Mae.
6-J'traine des pieds of Olivia Ruiz.
7-Divine Idylle of Vanessa Paradis.
8-Le vent nous portera of Noir Désir.
9-J't'emmène au vent of Louise Attaque.
10-Avec tout mon amour of Melissa.


The monuments :


The Eiffel Tower :

The Eiffel Tower is an iron tower built on the Champ de Mars beside the Seine River in Paris. The tower has become a global icon of France and is one of the most recognizable structures in the world.
Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower is the tallest building in Paris and one of the most recognized structures in the world. More than 200 000 000 have visited the tower since its construction in 1889, including 6 719 200 in 2006, making it the most visited paid monument in the world. Including the 24 m antenna, the structure is 325 m high (since 2000), which is equivalent to about 81 levels in a conventional building.

When the tower was completed in 1889 it was the world's tallest tower — a title it retained until 1930 when New York City's Chrysler Building was completed. The tower is now the fifth-tallest structure in France and the tallest structure in Paris, with the second-tallest being the Tour Montparnasse, although that will soon be surpassed by Tour AXA.

The metal structure of the Eiffel Tower weighs 7 300 tonnes while the entire structure including non-metal components is approximately 10 000 tonnes. Depending on the ambient temperature, the top of the tower may shift away from the sun by up to 18 cm because of thermal expansion of the metal on the side facing the sun. The tower also sways 6-7 cm in the wind. As demonstration of the economy of design, if the 7300 tonnes of the metal structure were melted down it would fill the 125 meter square base to a depth of only 6 cm , assuming a density of the metal to be 7.8 tonnes per cubic meter. The tower has a mass less than the mass of the air contained in a cylinder of the same dimensions, that is 324 meters high and 88.3 meters in radius. The weight of the tower is 10 100 tonnes compared to 10 265 tonnes of air.

The first and second levels are accessible by stairways and lifts. A ticket booth at the south tower base sells tickets to access the stairs which begin at that location. At the first platform the stairs continue up from the east tower and the third level summit is only accessible by lift. From the first or second platform the stairs are open for anyone to ascend or descend regardless of whether they have purchased a lift ticket or stair ticket. The actual count of stairs includes 9 steps to the ticket booth at the base, 328 steps to the first level, 340 steps to the second level and 18 steps to the lift platform on the second level. When exiting the lift at the third level there are 15 more steps to ascend to the upper observation platform. The step count is printed periodically on the side of the stairs to give an indication of progress of ascent. The majority of the ascent allows for an unhindered view of the area directly beneath and around the tower although some short stretches of the stairway are enclosed.

Maintenance of the tower includes applying 50 to 60 tonnes of paint every seven years to protect it from rust. In order to maintain a uniform appearance to an observer on the ground, three separate colors of paint are used on the tower, with the darkest on the bottom and the lightest at the top. On occasion the colour of the paint is changed; the tower is currently painted a shade of brownish-grey. On the first floor there are interactive consoles hosting a poll for the colour to use for a future session of painting. The co-architects of the Eiffel Tower are Emile Nouguier, Maurice Koechlin and Stephen Sauvestre.




Bretagne (or Brittany,) positioned in far northwestern France, is the country's agricultural and fishing region. It's a popular resort and vacation area (especially summer and fall) because of its rugged Atlantic Ocean and English Channel coastlines, quaint little harbor towns, historic lighthouses, sailing and windsurfing venues, white sandy beaches, and for its authentic and enchanting maritime culture.

The French flock here on their summer holidays, and they're joined by other travelers, and for very good reason. Beside the unique ambiance of the Bretagne Region, local attractions include Iles d'Ouessant, the walled town of St-Malo, the stunning abbey on nearby Le-Mont-Saint-Michel, and the prehistoric monuments at Carnac.

Bretagne is the region where I live. My city is called Pontivy and it is in the center of the region ( in Morbihan ). It's an average city known for its history. A monk called Ivy built a bridge nearby over the river Blavet in the 7th century, and the town is named after him ("pont" being the French for "bridge"). From November 9, 1804, the name was changed to Napoléonville after Napoléon Bonaparte, under whom it had around 3000 inhabitants. After his downfall, it was renamed Pontivy again, then later Bourbonville, and Napoléonville again after Napoléon III came to power.


Arc de Triomphe :

The Arc de Triomphe is a monument in Paris, France that stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, also known as the Place de l'Étoile (Star Square). It is at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. The arch honours those who fought for France, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. On the inside and the top of the arc there are all of the names of generals and wars fought. Underneath there is the tomb of the unknown soldier.

The Arc is the linchpin of the historic axis (L'Axe historique) — a sequence of monuments and grand thoroughfares on a route which goes from the courtyard of the Louvre Palace to the outskirts of Paris. The monument was designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1806, and its iconographic program pitted heroically nude French youths against bearded Germanic warriors in chain mail and set the tone for public monuments, with triumphant nationalistic messages, until World War I.

The monument stands 49.5 metres in height, 45 metres wide and 22 meters deep. It is the largest triumphal arch in existence. Its design was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus. The Arc de Triomphe is so colossal that three weeks after the Paris victory parade in 1919, marking the end of hostilities in World War I, Charles Godefroy flew his Nieuport biplane through it, with the event captured in a newsreel.


The Sacre Coeur Basilica :

The Sacré-Cœur Basilica is a Roman Catholic basilica and popular landmark in Paris, France, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The basilica is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city.
The original purpose of constructing a church dedicated to the Sacred Heart, with its origins in the aftermath of the French Revolution among ultra-Catholics and legitimist royalists, developed more widely in France after the Franco-Prussian War and the ensuing radical Paris Commune of 1870-71. Though today it is asserted to be dedicated in honor of the 58,000 who lost their lives during the war, the decree of the Assemblée nationale, 24 July 1873, responding to a request by the archbishop of Paris by voting its construction, specifies that it is to "expiate the crimes of the communards". Montmartre had been the site of the Commune's first insurrection, and many hard-core communards were forever entombed in the subterranean galleries of former gypsum mines where they had retreated, by explosives detonated at the entrances by the Army of Versailles. Hostages had been executed on both sides, and the Communards had executed Georges Darboy, Archbishop of Paris, who became a martyr for the resurgent Catholic Church. His successor Guibert, climbing the Butte Montmartre in October 1872, was reported to have had a vision, as clouds dispersed over the panorama: "It is here, it is here where the martyrs are, it is here that the Sacred Heart must reign so that it can beckon all to come". Today it is viewed as a tacit acknowledgement of the massacre of the communards by the Versailles army.

In the moment of inertia following the resignation of the government of Adolphe Thiers, 24 May 1873, François Pie, bishop of Poitiers, expressed the national yearning for spiritual renewal— "the hour of the Church has come"— that would be expressed through the "Government of Moral Order" of the Third Republic, which linked Catholic institutions with secular ones, in "a project of religious and national renewal, the main features of which were the restoration of monarchy and the defense of Rome within a cultural framework of official piety", of which Sacré-Coeur is the chief lasting monument.

The decree voting its construction as a "matter of public utility", 24 July, followed close on Thiers' resignation. The project was expressed by the Church as a National Vow and financial support came from parishes throughout France. The dedicatory inscription records the Basilica as the accomplishment of a vow by Alexandre Legentil and Hubert Rohault de Fleury, ratified by Joseph-Hippolyte Guibert, Archbishop of Paris. The project took many years to complete.
















Overseas department is a designation under the 1946 Constitution of the Fourth Republic that was given to the French colonies of Guadeloupe, Martinique in the Caribbean, French Guiana in South America, and Réunion in the Indian Ocean. These overseas departments have the same political status as metropolitan departments and are integral parts of France, similar to how Hawaii is a state and an integral part of the United States. They are represented in the National Assembly, Senate and Economic and Social Council, elect a Member of the European Parliament, and also use the euro as their currency.

Saint Pierre and Miquelon became an overseas department in 1976, but its status changed to that of an Overseas collectivity in 1985. The status of overseas departments is identical to metropolitan departments, but differs from that of overseas collectivities and overseas territories.

Since 1982, following the French government’s policy of decentralisation, they have elected regional councils with powers similar to those of the regions of metropolitan France. As a result of a constitutional revision which occurred in 2003, these regions are now to be called overseas regions; indeed the new wording of the Constitution gave no precedence to the phrase overseas department or overseas region, though the latter is still virtually unused by the French media.


The Louvre :

The Louvre in Paris, France, is one of the most famous and most visited museums in the world. This art museum is located on the Right Bank in the 1st arrondissement between the Seine River and the Rue de Rivoli.

The structure originated as the palace during the Capetian dynasty under the reign of Philip II. The building holds some of the world's most famous works of art, such as Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne, and Madonna of the Rocks, Jacques Louis David's Oath of the Horatii, Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People, and Alexandros of Antioch's Venus de Milo. The equestrian statue of Louis XIV constitutes the starting point of the "axe historique", but the palace is not aligned on this axis.

The central courtyard of the museum, on the axis of the Champs-Élysées, is occupied by the Louvre Pyramid, which serves as the main entrance to the museum.
The Louvre Pyramid is a glass pyramid commissioned by then French president François Mitterrand and designed by I. M. Pei, a Chinese-American architect. The construction work on the pyramid base and underground lobby was carried out by Dumez : it was inaugurated in 1989. This was the first renovation of the Grand Louvre Project. The Carre Gallery, where the Mona Lisa was exhibited, was also renovated. The pyramid covers the Louvre entresol and forms part of the new entrance to the museum.


La Seine :

The Seine is a major river of north-western France, and one of its commercial waterways. It is also a tourist attraction, particularly within the city of Paris.


Les Champs - Elysées :

The Champs-Élysées is the most prestigious and broadest avenue in Paris. Its full name is "Avenue des Champs-Élysées". With its cinemas, cafés, and luxury specialty shops, the Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in the world, and with rents as high as $1.50 million a year for 1 000 square meters of space, it remains the 2nd most expensive strip of real estate in the world (the first in Europe) after New York City's Fifth Avenue. The name refers to the Elysian Fields, the place of the blessed in Greek mythology.

The Champs-Élysées is known in France as La plus belle avenue du monde ("The most beautiful avenue in the world"). The arrival of global chain stores in recent years has slightly changed the character of the avenue, and in a first effort to stem these changes, the Paris City government (which has called this "banalization") decided in 2007 to ban the Swedish clothing chain H&M from opening a store on the avenue.

The avenue runs for 2 kilometres through the 8th arrondissement in northwestern Paris, from the Place de la Concorde in the east, with its obelisk, to the Place Charles de Gaulle (formerly the Place de l'Étoile) in the west, location of the Arc de Triomphe. The Champs-Élysées forms part of the Axe historique. One of the principal tourist destinations in Paris, the lower part of the Champs-Élysées is bordered by greenery (Marigny Square) and by buildings such as the Théâtre Marigny and the Grand Palais (containing the Palais de la Découverte). The Elysée Palace is a little bit to the north, but not on the avenue itself. Further to the west, the avenue is lined with cinemas, cafés and restaurants (most notably Fouquet's), and luxury specialty shops.


Le Chateau de Versailles :

The Palace of Versailles, or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles.
In French, it is known as the Château de Versailles. When the château was built, Versailles was a country village; today, however, it is a suburb of Paris. From 1682, when King Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in 1789, the Court of Versailles was the centre of power in Ancien Régime France. Versailles is therefore famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy which Louis XIV espoused.

As the central and most remarkable feature of Louis XIV’s third building campaign, construction of the galerie des glaces — The Hall of Mirrors — began in 1678. To provide for the galerie des glaces as well as the salon de la guerre and the salon de la paix, which connect the grand appartement du roi with the grand appartement de la reine, architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart appropriated three rooms from each apartment. This entailed the suppression of the salon de Jupiter, the salon de Saturn, and the salon de Vénus from both the king and queen’s state apartments, as well as the terrace that separated the two apartments. The principal feature of this famous galerie is the seventeen mirror-clad arches that reflect the seventeen arcaded windows that overlook the gardens. Each arch contains twenty-one mirrors with a total complement of 357 used in the decoration of the galerie des glaces. The arches themselves are fixed upon marble pilasters whose capitals depict the symbols of France. These gilded bronze capitals include the fleur-de-lys and the Gallic cockerel or rooster. Many of the other attributes of the Hall of Mirrors were lost to war for financial purposes, such as the silver table pieces and lamp holders were melted by order of Louis XIV in 1689 to finance the War of the League of Augsburg.


The Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris :

Notre Dame de Paris, known simply as Notre Dame in English, is a Gothic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in Paris, France, with its main entrance to the west. It is still used as a Roman Catholic cathedral and is the seat of the Archbishop of Paris. Notre Dame de Paris is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. It was restored and saved from destruction by Viollet-le-Duc, one of France's most famous architects. The name Notre Dame means "Our Lady" in French.

Notre Dame de Paris was one of the first Gothic cathedrals, and its construction spanned the Gothic period. Its sculptures and stained glass show the heavy influence of naturalism, giving them a more secular look that was lacking from earlier Romanesque architecture.

Notre Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress. The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave. After the construction began and the thinner walls (popularized in the Gothic style) grew ever higher, stress fractures began to occur as the walls pushed outward. In response, the cathedral's architects built supports around the outside walls, and later additions continued as such.

The cathedral suffered desecration during the radical phase of the French Revolution in the 1790s, when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. During the 19th century, an extensive restoration project was completed, returning the cathedral to its previous state.


Mont Saint-Michel :

Mont Saint-Michel is a rocky tidal island in Normandy, France. It is located approximately one kilometer off the country's north coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches.

Mont Saint-Michel was previously connected to the mainland via a thin natural land bridge, which before modernization was covered at high tide and revealed at low tide. Thus, Mont Saint-Michel has been compromised by several developments. Over the centuries, the coastal flats have been polderised to create pasture. Thus the distance between the shore and the south coast of Mont-Saint-Michel has decreased. The Couesnon River has been canalised, reducing the flow of water and thereby encouraging a silting-up of the bay. In 1879, the land bridge was fortified into a true causeway. This prevented the tide from scouring the silt round the mount.

On 16 June 2006, the French prime minister and regional authorities announced a €164 million project to build a hydraulic dam that will help remove the accumulated silt and make Mont Saint-Michel an island again. It is expected to be completed by 2012.



The Millau Viaduct :

The Millau Viaduct is a large cable-stayed road-bridge that spans the valley of the River Tarn near Millau in southern France. Designed by Norman Foster of Foster and Partners, and bridge engineer Michel Virlogeux, it is the tallest vehicular bridge in the world, with one mast's summit at 343 metres — slightly taller than the Eiffel Tower and only 38 m shorter than the Empire State Building. The viaduct is part of the A75-A71 autoroute axis from Paris to Béziers. It was formally dedicated on 14 December 2004 and opened to traffic two days later.


Some recipes...

French pancakes ( crepes ) :
2 cups flour
1 cup milk
3 eggs -- beaten
1 and 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 anb 1/2 tablespoons butter -- melted

Mix gradually the eggs, flour and sugar. Add the milk and melted butter slowly. The mixture will be quite thin. Mix and beat well.
Drop 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time in well greased (buttered preferably) frying pan, spreading the mixture by a turning movement in the frying pan until it starts to thicken. The pancake must be thin and cooked on both sides.

Chocolate mousse ( mousse au chocolat ) :
200 gm dark / plain / bittersweet chocolate
3 eggs, separated
250 ml double / whipping cream
35 gm caster sugar

Melt the chocolate slowly in a bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Let it cool for a couple of minutes, until you can stick your finger in without pain!.
Stir the egg yolks into the chocolate
Whisk the egg whites until very stiff and peaky, then slowly add the sugar a bit at a time, whisking again as each bit is added
Gently and slowly fold the egg whites, a spoonful at a time, into the chocolate. Don't be aggressive, you want to keep the volume of the eggs as much as possible.
Pour gently into the final bowls or ramekins and put in the fridge for a few hours.
Make an extra one so you can have a second mousse au chocolat when everyone else has gone home!

French Doughnuts Recipe ( Beignets de Carnaval ):
500 g (3 cups) of flour
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
200g (7 oz) sour cream
4 eggs
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder

Mix all the ingredients together, until the dough isn't sticky anymore. Add a little more flour if necessary. Using a rollpin, roll the dough to reach a thickness of 5-6 mm (1/4 inch). Cut the dough in a variety of shapes (squares, losanges or rounds).
Heat the oil, and fry the doughnuts until brown.
French doughnuts are delicious with a variety of sides: jams, chocolate spread, fruit, creams...

Langues de Chat :

9 tablespoons butter, softened
10 tablespoons white sugar
3 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, melted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease cookie sheets.
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg whites one at a time until batter is light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla. Mix in the flour just until blended. Dough will be a little stiff. Force through a pastry bag or cookie press with a medium star tip onto lightly buttered cookie sheets. Make each cookie about 3 inches long.
Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until straw-colored. When cool, dip one end of each cookie in melted chocolate and place on wax paper until chocolate hardens. Store in a cool place.
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A big part of my texts are taken from Wikipedia.


Thanks to have visited my site and I hope you'll come here soon !

If you want to visit my other websites about Korea ( blog of the month on February 2007 ), about Vietnam ( blog of the month on April 2007 ), about Sri Lanka ( blog of the month on October 2006 ), about Brazil, about Japan ( blog of the month on May 2007 ), about Sudan, about China ( blog of the month on July 2007 ), about Tanzania or about India ( blog of the month on September 2007 ).



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Welcome in France ! (Countries of the World)    -    Author : Lucile - France


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last update : 2008-05-16

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