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King that reigned 20 minutes

The French king Louis XIX reigned for only 20 minutes, making his the shortest reign in the world, opposite the Portuguese crown prince Luis Felipe. Luis XIX abdicated. 1)

Cities built by Ancient Greeks

Beziers and Marseille are the two oldest cities in France. They were both built in the 6th century BC by the Ancient Greeks. 2)

Mont Blanc

The highest French peak is Mont Blanc which lies in the Alps. It is also the highest peak in Europe. 3)

Jacques Balmat and Michel Paccard

The first men to successfully climb Mont Blanc were Jacques Balmat and Michel Paccard. The men accomplished this on August 8, 1786. 4)


The French flag, called the Tricolore, consists of three vertical stripes. Looking from the left, they are colored blue, white, and red. Blue and red are considered the traditional colors of Paris. The white refers to the earlier royal flag. 5)


The guillotine was an instrument that became a symbol of terror during the French Revolution. It is named after its originator, the surgeon Joseph Ignace Guillotin. 6)

Posthumous weddings

Posthumous weddings have been legal in France since 1959. Usually partners of soldiers or policemen who have fallen in the line of duty take advantage of this right. 7)

Villages with funny names

In 2003, France decided to organize a summit of “villages with poetic or funny names”. The meeting was held in the village of Mingecobs (eat onions). Representatives from Beaufou (beautiful crazy), Cocumont (cuckold hill), and Saligos (dirty pig) showed up. 8)


Spain has its own town inside the French territory. Llivia is a Spanish exclave with 1.5 thousand inhabitants. The town became Spanish by virtue of the Treaty of the Pyrenees signed in 1659, which ended 24 years of fighting on the French-Spanish border and marked the common border between the two countries. The treaty included a clause that explicitly stated that towns in the mountainous part of the Pyrenees with municipal rights remained Spanish. Only after the treaty was signed was it realized that Llivia was not a village, but a town. It has remained Spanish ever since. 9)

Nicolas Sarkozy voodoo doll

In 2008, President Nicolas Sarkozy filed a lawsuit demanding withdrawal from the sale of the famous voodoo doll with his likeness. The court dismissed the suit saying that the doll was satirical and humorous in nature. The doll could not be regarded as an attack on human dignity. 10)

King for twenty minutes

Louis Anthony Bourbon, who became King of France after the abdication of Charles X (August 2, 1830) actually sat on the royal throne for only 20 minutes. 11)

Eiffel Tower sabotage

During World War II, when Hitler visited Paris, the French cut the cables in the elevator at the Eiffel Tower. This was to make it harder for Hitler to climb to the top of the tower - instead of an elevator, he had to use stairs. 12)

Eiffel Tower height

The total height of the Eiffel Tower is constant, but there are months during the year when the structure is smaller or larger. How is it possible? The structure is made of steel, which has a high coefficient of expansion under the influence of temperature. Depending on the season of the year its height changes. The highest is in the months of July and August. 13)

The largest museum in the world

The Louvre in Paris is one of the largest museums in the world. About 9 million tourists visit it each year. 14)

Ketchup ban

In France, children in French elementary schools are not allowed to eat foods with ketchup. 15)

france.txt · Last modified: 2022/03/18 04:35 by aga