FRANCE

Getting to France has never been easier. Take your car over on the ferry and you’ll be free to enjoy France at your own pace, enjoy a relaxing train journey or chill in your air-conditioned coach as you are chauffeured there. Whichever way you travel you’ll be there in no time ready to enjoy your tour de France.

France, in Western Europe, encompasses medieval and port cities, tranquil villages, mountains and Mediterranean beaches. Paris, its capital, is known worldwide for its couture fashion houses, classical art museums including the Louvre and monuments like the Eiffel Tower. The country is also renowned for its sophisticated cuisine and its wines. Lascaux’s ancient cave drawings, Lyon’s Roman theater and the immense Palace of Versailles are testaments to its long history.

Capital: Paris
Prime minister: Manuel Valls
Population: 66.03 million (2013) World Bank
Neighboring countries: Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Monaco, Andorra

French is a Romance language, belonging to the Indo-European family. It descended from the spoken Latin language of the Roman Empire, as did languages such as Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian, Catalan and others. French has evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France’s past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

The Franc

was a currency of France. Between 1360 and 1641, it was the name of coins worth liver tournois and it remained in common parlance as a term for this amount of money. It was reintroduced (in decimal form) in 1795. It was revalued in 1960, with each new franc (NF) being worth 100 old francs. The NF designation was continued for a few years before the currency returned to being simply the franc; the French continued to reference and value items in terms of the old franc (equivalent to the new centime) until the introduction of the euro in 1999 (for accounting purposes) and 2002 (for coins and banknotes). The French franc was a commonly held international reserve currency in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Euro

The currency in France is the euro, the same as in other European Union countries.

The euro is divided into 100 cents.

  • There are eight different coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 euros.
  • There are seven different bank notes, for the following amounts: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros
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