A rich set of cultural resources, an attractive and varied landscape and a famous gastronomy and wines make France a major tourist destination. Tourism is a leading industry in France. The French themselves travel widely in their own country.
Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world. Monumental landmarks in Paris include the Cathedral of Notre Dame, the Louvre museum, the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, and the Georges Pompidou Center.
Other popular tourist destinations in France include the Riviera on the Mediterranean coast, with its numerous hotels and waterfront resorts, and the French Alps, which provide some of the world’s best skiing.
France (République Française) is the third largest country in Europe, after Russia and Ukraine, and the fourth most populous. It is a nation of varied landscapes, ranging from coastal lowlands and broad plains in the north, to hilly uplands in south central France, to lush valleys and towering, snow-capped Alps in the east.
The high, rugged mountains of the Alps border southeastern France. Mont Blanc, in the French Alps, is one of the highest points in Europe at 4,807 m. Rivers carved deep valleys in the Alps, and Ice Age glaciers gouged the valleys wider and deeper. These broad valleys offer a number of low passes that permit relatively easy travel through the mountains. Several major rivers drain France, including the Seine, Loire, Garonne, and Rhône.
The climate of France is generally temperate with three major variations: oceanic, continental, and Mediterranean.
The capital and largest city of France is Paris, located on the shores of the Seine, Paris dominates France economically, politically, and culturally. The second largest city of France is Marseille on the Mediterranean coast. Other major cities include Toulouse, a major manufacturing and trade center in southwestern France, Nice, a resort on the French Riviera and Nantes, a seaport on the Atlantic coast.
French is the official language of France and is spoken by the vast majority of people in the country.
For centuries the French have taken pride in the sophistication of their culture, the beauty of their spoken language, and their diverse accomplishments in literature, the arts, and sciences. The culture of France has profoundly influenced that of the entire Western world, particularly in the areas of art and letters, and Paris has long been regarded as the fountainhead of French culture.
Center of Paris
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