France is located in Western Europe and has a population of 66.2 million people. Its capital and largest city is Paris, which has a population of 2.34 million people. France is a Republican country and according to The World Bank, it is considered a high income country. French is the country’s official language. The former currency was the franc, but it is currently the euro.
The Eiffel Tower
Not only is Paris the capital of France, but it is also one of many travel destinations the country has. The Eiffel Tower is the most famous monument in the country. In 1889 France was hosting the World’s Fair to mark the one hundredth year anniversary of the French Revolution. It had a competition where over one hundred competitors built a monument that would be used as the exposition’s entrance. Gustave Eiffel’s company was the one that built the enormous monument. At first Parisians were skeptical about such a large structure because it could possibly be unsound and many thought it was an eyesore. The Eiffel Tower was only supposed to be temporarily,but in 1909 city officials opted to save it due to its value as a radiotelegraph station. The Eiffel Tower is the most visited tourist attraction in the world.
The Louvre Museum is the world’s largest museum and it is also a historic monument in France. It was originally built as a fortress in the twelfth century under Phillip II. Throughout the years many changes have been made to it. It officially became a museum during the French Revolution and is used to display the nation’s masterpieces. The Louvre is also home to the Mona Lisa and has been since 1797.
The Notre-Dame is a medieval Catholic cathedral. Construction began in the twelfth century, but it was not until three hundred years later that construction was completed. Inside the cathedral there are vast displays of artwork, furniture and a plethora of valuable items that the public can see. Mass is also held there three times a day. The Notre-Dame has been made famous by cartoons and movies. One famous movie is The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. The cathedral has thirteen million visitors each year.
France has both a president and a prime minister. The president is Francois Hollande. He first joined the Socialist Party in 1979 and in 2011 he was made chair of the party. He became president in 2012. The prime minister is Jean-Marc Ayrault who was also elected in 2012. He was a German teacher before going into politics. The country’s presidential term length is 5 years. The president is Head of State while the Prime Minister is Head of Government. The president is elected by the people and he appoints a prime minister.