France is a country that every traveler has or wants to visit, which is why it is the #1 tourist destination in the world. France has it all, delicious coffee, picturesque villages and world-renowned gastronomy, but also cultural richness as it continues to be the cradle of the Enlightenment, philosophy, literature and the visual arts. The country’s geographical diversity is also extensive, with long coastlines, mountain ranges and lush green valleys. France receives around 90 million visitors each year, attracted by its countless tourist attractions, urban chic cities, the sunny French Riviera, the windswept beaches of the Atlantic, the snowy resorts of the French Alps, the Renaissance castles of the Loire Valley.

Due to the influx of tourists to the country’s most important attractions and cities, and especially in Paris, room prices are skyrocketing.

France has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. Written history began in France with the Roman invasion in the 1st century BC. and the region was called Gaul.

With the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, the territories inhabited by the descendants of the Gallo-Romans and the French language took shape as their heritage.

During the Middle Ages, Charlemagne was crowned emperor of the new Western Roman Empire and united territories that included France as well as parts of modern Belgium, Germany and Italy.

A society based on the system of feudalism was gradually established. The struggle between the English and French kings in the 14th century is known as the Hundred Years’ War, and the most famous figure of this is Joan of Lorraine (Jeanne d’Arc), who is now considered a national heroine of France.

In the 16th century the feudal system collapsed and French influence spread to the rest of Europe. French became the international language of diplomacy and its culture spread throughout the world.

In the 17th century France’s colonial expansionism sparked wars with other colonial empires, notably England and Spain for control of the Americas and India. France was finally defeated in the Napoleonic Wars.

The French Revolution began in 1789. The king, Louis XVI, and his wife, Marie Antoinette, were captured and eventually executed by guillotine, and the first French Republic was established in place of the 1000-year-old monarchy. During the revolution, France also signed the first “declaration of human rights”.

The First World War was a traumatic period in the history of France, with millions of dead and material destruction.

World War II saw France occupied by Nazi Germany. In 1944, after the Allied landings in Normandy and on the Mediterranean coast, France was liberated from German occupation.

After the end of World War II, France went through a period of reconstruction and a new prosperity was achieved with the development of industry, and it has since become the second largest economy in Europe after Germany. France and Germany were among the first members of the Treaties that eventually evolved into the European Union.

In the post-war period France released almost all of its colonial possessions that claimed independence. Some colonies chose to remain under the regime of France and today are its “overseas possessions” and members of the European Union. These are Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte and Reunion. There are still autonomous regions, under the status of “enlarged self-government”, such as French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Saint Bartholomew, Saint Martin, the islands of Wallis et Futuna and Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

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