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All About France

New skyscrapers in Paris?

The new Tour Duo for the Left Bank in Paris A ban limiting new buildings has been lifted in Paris, allowing sky scrapers to built to just over half the height of the Eiffel Tower. One plan is for the Tour Duo - two towers half the height of the Tour Eiffel on the Left Bank. The ban has been in place since the Tour Montparnasse was finished in the 1972 and Parisians shocked by the ‘black gravestone’, two years later in 1974 banned new building exceeding seven storeys. Horror at building tall in Paris is not a recent thing. English Designer William Morris often went to the...  Read more >

Le spam ou le software – how many ‘Englishisms’ have made their way into the French language

A row erupted recently over plans to teach some French university courses in English. However, the incorporation of ‘Englishisms’ into the French language is nothing new, just as there are many French terms in common use in the English language. French was the official language for 300 years of the English court, as well as in law and administration, after the Normal conquest of England in 1066 dramatically altered the course of English language and French counterparts replaced many of the English upper classes. Over time, the two languages have fused to form modern English but...  Read more >

30 Interesting Facts About France

30 facts you may not know about France France has won more Nobel Prizes for literature than any other country. Twenty percent of the French population live in and around Paris. All other areas are known as countryside. France has 28 UNESCO World Heritage sites. More than 400 types of cheese originate in France. Charles VIII advocated the wearing of square-toed shoes to hide the fact that he had six toes on one foot. French was the official language of England for more than 300 years. French (and English) are the only languages taught in every country in the world....  Read more >

Lascaux - A step back in time

A visit to the Lascaux Caves was one of the most thought provoking experiences I had recently. Seeing the artwork on the walls (well the replicas of, more of later) that is thought to be up to 20,000 years old, is truly amazing and puts perspective into life today. A little background The Paleothic cave paintings at Lascaux are one of the largest and earliest examples of human artistry. The paintings cover the walls in the complex of caves with nearly 2000 figures of animals, human figures and abstract art. The most popular paintings are of horses, 364 in total. Other figures...  Read more >

Public Holidays in France

There has been a bit of confusion in some areas of France today with some shops shut and some open. (It is VE Day today and Ascension Day tomorrow.) Therefore, we thought this list of public holidays for the rest of the year might be useful. Labour Day / May Day Fête du Travail - The international Labour Day  Wednesday, 1 May 2013 Victory in Europe Day  Victoire 1945  Celebrates the end of hostilities in Europe in world War II Wednesday, 8 May 2013 Ascension Day  Thursday, 39th day after Easter Thursday, 9 May 2013 Whit Monday Lundi de Pentecôte  7th...  Read more >

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