France Real Estate
Information about France
France, officially the French Republic, is a country located in Western Europe, with several overseas islands and territories located on other continents. It is often referred to as L’Hexagone ("The Hexagon") because of the geometric shape of its territory. France is the 19th most populous country in the world. It's largest cities are Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Toulouse, Nice, and Nantes. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its m...ain ideals expressed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. Metropolitan France is bordered (clockwise from the north) by Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra, and Spain. France's overseas departments and collectivities also share land borders with Brazil and Suriname (bordering French Guiana), and the Netherlands Antilles (bordering Saint-Martin). France is linked to the United Kingdom by the Channel Tunnel, which passes underneath the English Channel. France is divided into 26 administrative regions. 22 are in metropolitan France (21 are on the continental part of metropolitan France; one is the territorial collectivity of Corsica), and four are overseas regions.
France is ranked as the first tourist destination in the world, ahead of Spain (58.5 million in 2006) and the United States. France features cities of high cultural interest (Paris being the foremost), beaches and seaside resorts, ski resorts, and rural regions that many enjoy for their beauty and tranquillity (green tourism). Aside from casual tourism France attracts a lot of religious pilgrims to Lourdes, a town in the Hautes-Pyrénées département, that hosts a few million tourists a year. Northern France is the home of some of the most important Gothic cathedrals and basilicas, the first of these being the Saint Denis Basilica (used as the royal necropolis); other important French Gothic cathedrals are Notre-Dame de Chartres and Notre-Dame d'Amiens.The end of the Hundred Years' War marked an important stage in the evolution of French architecture. The Eiffel Tower is an icon of both Paris and France. More recently French architects have combined both modern and old architectural styles. The Louvre Pyramid is a good example of modern architecture added to an older building.
France is the largest country in the European Union and the second largest in Europe. It has been a major power for many centuries. France is one of the founding members of the European Union. It is also a founding member of the United Nations, and a member of the Francophonie, the G8, NATO, OECD, WTO and the Latin Union. It is one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and owns the largest number of nuclear weapons with active warheads and nuclear power plants in the European Union. France is also the most energy independent Western country due to heavy investment in nuclear power. A member of the G8 group of leading industrialised countries, it is ranked as the sixth largest economy by nominal GDP.
Paris is the capital of France and the country's largest city. It is situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region (also known as the "Paris Region"; French: Région parisienne). The city of Paris, within its limits largely unchanged since 1860, has an estimated population of 2,167,994 (January 2006), but the Paris aire urbaine (or metropolitan area) has a population of over 11 million, and is one of the most populated metropolitan areas in Europe. An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres, and its influence in politics, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities. According to 2005 estimates, the Paris urban area is Europe's biggest city economy, and is fifth in the world's list of cities by GDP. Paris and the Paris Region, with €533.6 billion (US$731.3 billion) in 2007, produces more than a quarter of the gross domestic product (GDP) of France. The Paris Region hosts 38 of the Fortune Global 500 companies in several business districts, notably La Défense, the largest purpose-built business district in Europe. Paris also hosts many international organizations such as UNESCO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the informal Paris Club. Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with 45 million tourists every year in the Paris Region, 60% of whom are foreign visitors. There are numerous iconic landmarks among its many attractions, along with world-famous institutions and popular parks.
Marseille is the second city of France. It forms the third-largest metropolitan area, after those of Paris and Lyon, with a population recorded to be 1,516,340 at the 1999 census and estimated to be 1,605,000 in 2007. Located on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean, Marseille is France's largest commercial port. Marseille is the administrative capital (préfecture de région) of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, as well as the administrative capital (préfecture départementale) of the Bouches-du-Rhône department. Its inhabitants are called Marseillais.
Lyon also spelled Lyons, is a city in east-central France in the region Rhône-Alpes. Lyon is a major center of business, situated between Paris and Marseille, and has a reputation as the French capital of gastronomy and having a significant role in the history of cinema with Auguste and Louis Lumière. Lyon located at 470 km from Paris, 320 km from Marseille, 160 km from Geneva, 280 km from Torino, 450 km from Milano and 600 km from Barcelona. The local professional football team, Olympique Lyonnais, has increased the profile of Lyon internationally through participation in European football championships. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais. Together with its suburbs and satellite towns, Lyon forms the second-largest metropolitan area in France after that of Paris, with the population of its urban area estimated to be 1,783,400 and that of its metropolitan area 4,415,000. Its urban region (Urban Community of Lyon), represents half of the Rhône-Alpes région population with three million inhabitants. Lyon is also a major industrial center specializing in chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries. The city also contains a significant software industry with a particular focus on video games. Lyon is the préfecture (capital) of the Rhône département, and also the capital of the Rhône-Alpes région. The city is known for its historical and architectural landmarks and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lyon was historically known as the silk capital of the world. The city is known as the culinary capital of France. It also hosts numerous international headquarters like Interpol, Euronews, International Agency for Research on Cancer or Cité Scolaire Internationale de Lyon.
Toulouse is a city in southwest France on the banks of the River Garonne, 590 km away from Paris and half-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. With 1,102,882 inhabitants the Toulouse metropolitan area is the fifth-largest in France. Toulouse is the home base of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus, Galileo positioning system, the SPOT satellite system, and CNES's Toulouse Space Centre (CST), the largest space center in Europe. Thales Alenia Space, Europe's largest satellite manufacturer, and EADS Astrium Satellites, EADS's satellite system subsidiary, also have a significant presence in Toulouse. Its world renowned university is one of the oldest in Europe (founded in 1229) and, with more than 120,000 students, is the second-largest university campus of France after Paris. Toulouse was the capital of the former province of Languedoc (provinces were abolished during the French Revolution). It is now the capital of the Midi-Pyrénées region, the largest region in metropolitan France. It is also the capital of the Haute-Garonne department.
Nice is a city in southern France located on the Mediterranean coast, between Marseille, France, and Genoa, Italy, with 347 060 inhabitants in the 2006 estimate. The city is a major tourist centre and a leading resort on the French Riviera (Côte d'Azur). It is the historical capital city of the County of Nice (Comté de Nice). Nice has a Mediterranean climate: the city enjoys mild temperatures most of the year; rainfall is very moderate and mainly concentrated in the darkest part of the year (September to March). It is a windy city, especially in spring. Nice is the seat of the Chambre de commerce et d'industrie Nice Côte d'Azur. It manages both the Nice - Côte d'Azur Airport and the Cannes - Mandelieu Airport, as well as the Port of Nice. Nice has the second market of national interest in France and the country's first port cement manufacturer. It also has a large number of museums and hotels.
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