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30 Interesting Facts About France

30 facts you may not know about France

  1. France has won more Nobel Prizes for literature than any other country.
  2. Twenty percent of the French population live in and around Paris. All other areas are known as countryside.
  3. France has 28 UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  4. More than 400 types of cheese originate in France.
  5. Charles VIII advocated the wearing of square-toed shoes to hide the fact that he had six toes on one foot.
  6. French was the official language of England for more than 300 years.
  7. French (and English) are the only languages taught in every country in the world.
  8. Celebrities who can speak French include Mick Jagger, Elton John and John Travolta.
  9. In 1396, a pig was found guilty of the murder of a child in France and hung.
  10. The number of times that the French kiss each other on meeting varies according to region, with 5 kisses being the norm in Corsica.
  11. It is against the law to kiss on French railways.
  12. French kiss began as a derogatory term by the English, reflecting their view of the French as being overly concerned with sex.
  13. France has the greatest number of ski resorts.
  14. In 2003, a survey found that the French have more sex than any other nationality. At the time, they also had the highest life expectancy.
  15. The hot air balloon, the parachute and the submarine are all French inventions.
  16. The French guillotine was last used in 1977.
  17. More than 15,000 were beheaded using the guillotine.
  18. The Eiffel Tower is painted every 7 years.
  19. The most popular attraction in Paris is Disneyland, which is visited by 13 million people a year. The Eiffel Tower is visited by 5.5 million.
  20. The croissant actually originated in Austria, not France.
  21. It is illegal to take photographs of French police officers.
  22. The tides in Brittany and Normandy are the strongest in Europe, with a 15 metre difference in the levels between low and high tide.
  23. A 2007 survey showed that the French are the biggest consumers of medicines in Europe.
  24. Until 1964, French wives were forbidden from opening a bank account or applying for a passport without their husband’s permission.
  25. French is spoken by 270 million people worldwide – almost as much as the population of the United States.
  26. Foie Gras dates back 4,500 years to ancient Eygpt.
  27. There are 40,000 chateaux in France
  28. In France, it is possible, in exceptional circumstances, to marry a dead person, provided the marriage had been agreed during their lifetime.
  29. It is illegal to name a pig Napoleon in France.
  30. There is a Victor Hugo street in every town in France in honour of the Les Miserables author.

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