Currency: Euro (EUR)
Listen to the national anthem
France was once part of the Gaul Kingdom during the Iron Age and was occupied by numerous Celtic tribes.
France got her name from the invading Frank's, a pagan 'army' of Germanic tribes who joined the Romans who were themselves invading the Gauls, around the 3rd century. Today, the Germans call France Frankreich - Empire of the Franks.
Marseille, is the oldest and second biggest city in France and was founded around 600 BC by the Ionian Greeks, who named it Massalia.
France's empire started around the early 17th century and grew at a staggering rate, becoming second largest after the British Empire. At its height, it held 5% of the worlds total population, some 110 million people. The empire building lead to conflicts of interest especially with the British which led to a huge reduction in land during the 1700's.
France is a part of the European Union also known as the Euro zone which has its own flag and National Anthem! We all know about the Euro Currency which was introduced in 1999, but before this, France had its own currency, the franc. The first franc was made of gold and was introduced in 1360 to pay for the ransom of King John II of France.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris is the most visited paid monument in the world. It was originally built in 1889 and was used as the entrance arch to the World's Fair of that year. In 2010, this impressive piece of architecture saw the 250 millionth visitor. It is estimate that over 7 million visitors visit the monument every year.
The French Revolution (1789 - 1799) helped create the French national anthem "La Marseilllaise". On 25th April 1792, Roguet de Lille was asked by his host Dietrich, the mayor of Strasbourg to compose a song that would rally the troops to defend their homeland. The tune reflects the invasion of France by the armies of Prussia and Austria. In 1795, the anthem was adopted as France's first national anthem. During Napoleon Bonaparte's reign, the "La Marseillaise" was dropped. In 1992, an attempt to change the words was unsuccessful. It was said that to sing about drenching French fields with Prussian and Austrian blood was ridiculous and unsuitable.