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France is an independent country located in Western Europe. It is one of the largest nations in Europe coming third after Russia and Ukraine. France as a name means a "country of Franks." Franks are people of German origin who ruled the country after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 5BCE (Robb 10).
Archeological evidence has shown that the Neanderthals were the first people to inhabit France followed by the Homo sapiens. During 1,400 to 500 BCE, the Celtic Gauls lived in the area. At around 55BCE, France came under the rule of Julius Caesar. Under the Roman Empire, Lyon grew to be the largest city in France. During the 5 to 10BCE, it was ruled by Carolingian and Merovingian dynasties.
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One of the key facts about the history of France was when the William the Duke of Normandy, won several battles and sat on England's throne in 1066. Later the English invaded France and this war is famously known as the Hundred Years' War that lasted from 1337-1453. Bastille Day is on 14 July 1789, the day the French revolution dethroned the monarchy (Robb 19). This is the same day that the French celebrate their independence day. The tune of the national anthem is borrowed from the song that the men of Marseille sang as they marched to Paris as a support for revolution.
France has a diverse and rich cultural heritage. It is famous for rich architecture, art, music, cuisine, language, and fashion. Its cosmopolitan population contributes the diversity and richness of the French culture. Language is the most significant cultural identity of the French people. Although there are many dialects in France, about 90% of the population speaks the language and it is directly allied to France's culture.
Art is one of the significant features of French culture. France has been home to the world's renowned artists. The art in France dates back to cave paints at Niaux, Font de Gaume, and Les Combarelles among others. These paintings date thousands of years ago. Artists like Francis Picabia, Claude Monet were popular French artists. Victor Hugo who wrote Notre Dame's Hunchback was a French man. Pablo Picasso, the renowned Spanish writer lived in France as from 1904 and his works greatly influenced art in the nation of France (Forbes and Michael 17). The globally popular Louvre Museum, Picasso, and Osray Museum portray the value of art by France. All of these museums house valuable collections of art.
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France's cuisine has a very rich variety of foods. Any person who wants to comprehend the French culture has to understand their recipes and food. It has the best cuisine globally with both provincial and classical styles. France cuisine is considered complete when it has cheese and fine wine. Classical French Cuisine has all the classical French dishes. This food is rich in variety, filling and has many cream based sauces. Haute Cuisine is extremely sophisticated and classical. The food is rich, elaborate, and elegant. The meals are very heavy because a lot of cream is used. The finest ingredients are used and the presentation of meals is the most important part of this cuisine. Cuisine Nouvelle was developed at around 1975. It is against the classical French and Haute Cuisine. The portions are smaller and cream sauces are avoided thereby making the foods to be les rich. This cuisine emphasizes on fast cooking, seasoning and a less elaborate presentation. Cuisine du terroir emphasizes on local specialties. It focuses on fresh food and direct farm produce. The meals vary from traditional baguette with cheese and fine wine to a meal that has more than ten courses, different kinds of cheese and wines (Kwintessential). These meals can last for hours since the French believe in good dining while relaxed. It is important to note that France's culture is shaped by language, art, and cuisine.