Chapter 4 France


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Chapter 4

  • France


France

  • Country name: French Republic, France

  • Capital: Paris

  • Location: Western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay and English Channel, between Belgium and Spain, southeast of the UK; bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain

  • Border countries: Andorra, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Spain, Switzerland.





Government type: republic

  • Government type: republic

  • Population: 60,180,529 (July 2003 est.)

  • Languages: French 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)

  • Religions: Roman Catholic 83%-88%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%-10%, unaffiliated 4%

  • GDP – per capita: purchasing power parity - $26,000 (21st in the world) (2002 est.)



Industries: machinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aircraft, electronics; textiles, food processing; tourism

  • Industries: machinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aircraft, electronics; textiles, food processing; tourism

  • Currency: euro (EUR) (CIA, World Fact Book)



Important Facts

  • The top destination in the world

    • 77,0 million international tourist arrivals
    • $ 32,3 billion international tourism receipts (the third after US and Spain) (WTO, 2003)
  • Coastline: 3.427 km

  • Terrain: mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; remainder is mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south, Alps in east



Climate: generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean; occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind known as mistral (CIA, World Fact Book)

  • Climate: generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean; occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind known as mistral (CIA, World Fact Book)



Selling Points

  • Paris, museums, cathedrals, food, skiing, palaces, specialty tours (wine, culinary, hiking etc.), Versailles, mountain climbing, the Louvre, beaches, the Eiffel Tower, shopping, L’Arc de Triomphe, nightlife, the Champs Elysees, sidewalk cafes, health spas, carnivals, casinos, the Left Bank, Notre Dame, festivals, architecture, walled medieval towns, the Alps, the coasts, scenery, canal trips and art and culture



Main Attractions

  • Attractions with more than one million visitors

    • Disneyland Paris 12,500,000
    • Tour Eiffel, Paris 6,368,537
    • Louvre Museum, Paris 5,265,000
    • Chateau de Versailles 2,652,292
    • Musee d’Orsay, Paris 2,240,808
    • Arc de Triomphe, Paris 1,218,113
    • (1999)


Brief History and Its Influence on Architecture

  • In 120 BC, Romans occupied France.

  • Followed by the medieval religious orders

    • St Jean Baptistery in Poitiers, the Trinity Chapel on the Bay of Cannes
  • 1125, Gothic style began in the design of cathedrals

    • Such as the ones in Reims, Chartres, Mont-Saint-Michel
  • Renaissance influence

    • In the homes and chateaux of the Loire Valley


Paris

  • The Latin Quarter (meeting place for intellectuals and students), on the Left Bank of the Seine River

    • Boulevard St. Michel, St. Germain des Pres (oldest church in Paris), Rue Mouffetard (narrow road full of market stalls every morning, cafes, patisseries, boulangeries), Luxemburg Gardens, Pantheon (Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo)
  • Hotel des Invalides (military museum holding Napoleon’s tomb)

  • Eiffel Tower

  • Lle de la Cie (the island in the Seine, the Cathedral of Notre Dame)

  • Bateaux-Mouches (boat trips on Seine)



Bridges on the Seine ( 36 bridges in Paris, one of the most beautiful, Port Alexander III)

  • Bridges on the Seine ( 36 bridges in Paris, one of the most beautiful, Port Alexander III)

  • The Georges Pompidou Center (an example of 1970’s architecture, inside the building – the Musee National d’Art Moderne (the world’s largest contemporary-art museum, Picasso)

  • Bastille (was site of the prison, July Column in center of square and modern Opéra de la Bastille, Voltaire)

  • Louvre Museum (Mona Lisa, more than 350.000 art work, Rembrandt section), glass pyramid

  • The Place de la Concorde (3300 year-old Egyptian obelisk of Rameses III from the temple at Luxor)

  • Place Vendome, Rue de St. Honore - place of designers (Hermes, Gucci, etc)



The old opera house (ceiling repainted by Marc Chagall), the Avenue de l’Opera

  • The old opera house (ceiling repainted by Marc Chagall), the Avenue de l’Opera

  • Boulevard des Champs Elysees (with shops, showrooms, sidewalk cafes, cinemas), the Arc de Triomphe

  • Hill of Montmartre, the Sacre Coeur Basilica (nice view over Paris), Montmartre Cemetery (graves of Degas, Offenbach, Berlioz)

  • Cabaret shows (e.g. Moulin Rouge)

  • Musee d’Orsay (impressionist collection)

  • La Defense, La Grande Arche (modern part of Paris, famous with its modern architecture)



Vicinity of Paris

  • Chartres

    • one of Europe’s best known cathedrals
    • constructed in pure Gothic style (1194-1225)
  • Disneyland Paris

    • France’s top tourist attraction, over the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre
  • Fontainebleau

    • Palace in a huge forest, home of Marie Antoinette, Napoleon


Giverny

  • Giverny

    • home of the impressionist painter Claude Monet, the beautiful garden he painted
  • Loire Valley

    • the valley famous with its chateaux, countryside and villages
    • Usse (home of the Sleeping Beauty legend), Clos Luce (Leonardo da Vinci lived, died, buried), Azay-le-rideau, Chambord, Amboise.
    • barge cruises are available to see the valley (e.g. Burgundy, Canal du Midi, etc.)


Reims

  • Reims

    • Principal city of the region where champagne is produced
    • Gothic cathedral (kings of France were crowned)
  • Versailles

    • King Louis XIV
    • magnificent halls, the Hall of Mirrors
    • big enough to house the king and his 3000 people in a single building
    • famous gardens, Petit Trianon (home-away-from-home for Queen Marie Antoinette)


Southeastern France

  • Aix-en-Provence

    • once a Roman spa
    • famous with its romantic streets
    • studio of painter Paul Cezanne
  • Carcassone (famous walled city, only completed one in Europe)

  • Arles

    • on the banks of the Rhone River
    • Vincent Van Gogh lived and painted


Cannes

  • Cannes

  • Marseilles

    • the second-most populous city in France
    • also an industrial port
    • examples of ancient and modern architecture (Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde Cathedral – 19th century basilica)
    • Puget sculptures at the town hall, Museum of the Roman Docks


Monaco

  • Monaco

    • tiny independent principality
    • Visited by gamblers, rich and famous or those who want to say they have been there
    • Casino de Monte Carlo
    • beaches, the Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium (former director Jacques Cousteau), Princess Grace Rose Garden, the Royal Palace.
    • Formula 1 and Tennis Tournament
  • Nice

    • most famous Riviera town
    • in summer (beaches and carnival), in winter (festivals)


has strong cultural heritage (Opera House, the Chagall Museum, fine-arts museum (Monet, Degas, Renoir and Rodin collections)

    • has strong cultural heritage (Opera House, the Chagall Museum, fine-arts museum (Monet, Degas, Renoir and Rodin collections)
    • Promenade des Anglais (very old and exclusive hotels)
    • Cagnes-sur-Mer (villa of Renoir)
  • Provence

    • famous with restaurants and scenery
  • The Riviera

    • also known as the Cote d’Azur
    • famous with its beaches
    • beautiful drive from Nice to Monaco
    • charming towns such as St. Raphael


St. Tropez

  • St. Tropez

    • poor beach, nice scenery
    • shopping, cafes, some museums, people-watch


Western France

  • Biarritz

    • major city of the Basque region
    • top beach resort for rich, famous and retired, golf courses, casinos, nightlife
  • Bordeaux

    • wine region
    • 18th century architecture in city of Bordeaux
  • Brittany

    • region of seaside towns and villages


Mont-Saint-Michel

  • Mont-Saint-Michel

    • founded in the 11th century
    • at high tide, it becomes an island, at low tide, it links to mainland
  • Normandy

    • full of history, William the Conqueror launched his invasion of England, Allies landed in World War II
    • beautiful scenery, old towns


Things to Remember

  • Museums, chateaux and other historic monuments (operated by the government) are closed on Tuesdays

  • should be avoided in August (weather and holiday season)

  • best in May-October (except August)



Hotel des Invalides

  • founded in 1671 by Louis XIV as accommodation for disabled and impoverished war veterans

  • the Royal Chapel (church) inside has 107 meters high dome

  • remains of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon I) from St Helena brought in 1840



Jardin de Luxembourg

  • most popular park in Paris, near the Sorbonne University

  • was design in 1612, in the 19th century opened for the public

  • at the center, there is a pond, children can rent small remote-controlled boats. There is also a puppet theatre.

  • popular with chess players



Pantheon

  • originally decided to be a basilica to serve as a tomb

  • accommodate the remains of the great men of France – some of the most famous buried here; Victor Hugo, Jean Monnet, Marie/Pierre Curie, Emile Zola



Eiffel Tower

  • the symbol of Paris

  • 320 meters high, made with 7000 tones of iron, and 7 million nails, has 1652 steps

  • the highest building until the completion of the Chrysler Building in New York in 1930

  • designed by the engineer Gustave Eiffel in 1889



Notre Dame de Paris

  • not the largest cathedral in the world, but maybe the most famous

  • construction started in 1163 and completed around 1340

  • masterpiece of Gothic art; the first cathedral built on a monumental scale, became prototype for future cathedrals in France

  • has several large rose windows, most impressive is 21 meters high



located on the Ile de la Cite, a small island on Seine (there are three islands on Seine in Paris)

  • located on the Ile de la Cite, a small island on Seine (there are three islands on Seine in Paris)

  • Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Emperor in 1804

  • restored between 1991 and 2001



Pont Alexander III

  • considered most beautiful bridge in Paris by many

  • decorated with lampposts and sculptures of cherubs and nymphs

  • each of the ornaments on the bridge was created by a different artist

  • in 1896, the first stone was laid by the Russian Tsar Nicholas II. It was named after his father, Tsar Alexander III.



Louvre Museum

  • one of the largest museums in the world, maybe the most famous

  • displays about 300.000 works, among them some world-famous like the Monalisa from Leonardo da Vinci is present

  • the latest addition to the Louvre was the glass pyramid entrance (one of the finest examples of a combination of modern and historic architecture) designed by I. M. Pei



Place de la Concorde

  • largest square in Paris (8 hectares)

  • sculptures stand all around the square symbolizing eight French cities

  • In 1792, during the French revolution, a guillotine was installed at the centre of the square. 1119 people were beheaded, including Marie Antoinette.

  • at the square, there is a 33 century old obelisk brought back from Luxor in 1833.



Opera Garnier

  • most important symbol of 19th century Baroque style

  • designed by Charles Garnier for Emperor Napoleon III

  • the largest theatre in the world by acreage (not seating capacity, 2200 seats)

  • interior is very luxuries, can be compared with the corridors in Versailles



construction started in 1862, not completed until 1875, partly because an underground lake was discovered. The small lake still exists under the building. It was the hiding place of the “Phantom of the Opera” in Paul Leroux’s famous play.

  • construction started in 1862, not completed until 1875, partly because an underground lake was discovered. The small lake still exists under the building. It was the hiding place of the “Phantom of the Opera” in Paul Leroux’s famous play.

  • after the modern Opera de Paris Bastille’s opening in 1989, now mainly used for ballet performances

  • its large ceiling was painted by Marc Chagall in 1964



Champs-Elysees

  • world’s most beautiful avenue

  • place of entertainment with cinemas, cafes, also where prestigious companies have headquarters



Arc de Triomphe

  • built in the honor of Napoleonic armies

  • stands 49 meters high at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle

  • adorned with many reliefs, most of them commemorating previous battles (including Napoleon’s victory over the Turkish – battle of Aboukir)



At the top of the arc, there are 30 shield, representing one of Napoleon’s successful battles

  • At the top of the arc, there are 30 shield, representing one of Napoleon’s successful battles

  • 12 street radiate from the circular square. The streets are named after French military leaders



Sacre Couer Basilica

  • located on Montmartre, where is known for its many artists who have been omnipresent since 1880

  • Roman-Byzantype style basilica, stands in sharp contrast with other contemporary buildings in France (Romanesque style)

  • built as moral condemnation of the signs of Paris which believed to be the cause of the defeat of the French army against Prussia in 1870



Musee d’Orsay

  • former railway station (Gare d’Orsay)

  • has one of the most prominent site along Seine opposite Louvre

  • built in the beginning of the 20th century, after 30 years, around 1930, platforms became too short for the trains. In 1939, the place was out of use as a train station. Over time, it was used as a parking lot, theatre location, reception centre for prisoners of war



in 1978, decided to be used as a museum for 19th and 20th century art – including art forms of sculptures, photos, films etc. After its restoration, opened in 1986

  • in 1978, decided to be used as a museum for 19th and 20th century art – including art forms of sculptures, photos, films etc. After its restoration, opened in 1986

  • contains 2300 paintings, 1500 sculptures, 100 other objects

  • contains works from Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Van Gogh



La Defense

  • at the end of the I. World War, plans were made to develop the axis of the Arc de Triomphe, not realized because the Great Depression in 1930s.

  • in 1951, the area was chosen as an office center

  • in 1958, development of the area was started

  • now, international business district of Paris

  • Grande Arche de la Defense; the project was initiated by the French president Mitterrand who wanted a XXth century Arc de Triomphe



106 meters high white building with middle part left open, sides contain offices, lift can be taken to the top (a nice view of Paris of 4km further)

  • 106 meters high white building with middle part left open, sides contain offices, lift can be taken to the top (a nice view of Paris of 4km further)



Chateau de Versailles

  • at the time of Louis XIII, it was a modest hunting lodge

  • Louis XIV turned it into a royal palace, abandoned Louvre for this

  • until 1789, used as the royal palace

  • In 1837, decided to be converted into a museum



For More Info

  • France

  • http://www.discoverfrance.net/

  • Bridges in Paris

  • http://www.lcpc.fr/en/sources/paris/index.dml

  • Bateaux-Mouches

  • http://discoverfrance.net/France/Transportation/Water/Bateaux-Mouches.shtml#

  • Chateau de Versailles

  • http://.chateauversailles.fr




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