Fun French Facts
With such a diverse history, geography and in the arts, there are tons of fun French facts to learn and enjoy. Below is just a sampling of interesting, intriguing and fun French facts to learn.
Landmarks in France
France is rich with landmarks and notable places. Here are just a few:
The Loire Valley
The Loire valley is known for its beauty, its wine production and interestingly its castles. The Loire valley is home to more than 300 châteaux. While most of them are privately owned, inquisitive tourists can still tour many of them. One of the most famous is Chenonceau.
The Eiffel Tower
Your kids can follow Gus and learn all about how and why the Eiffel tower was constructed.
The Palace of Versailles
Always fascinating, the palace of Versailles was once home to Marie Antoinette and King Louis the XIV. With gardens that are perfectly manicured, and a rich history that precedes the Revolutionary war the palace of Versailles epitomizes the rich decadence that was characteristic of Louis' monarchy.
The Caves of Lascaux
Take a tour of the caves of Lascaux where the first known man made drawings are recorded. Not only is France a mecca of cultural appeal for modern times, but her history is longstanding.
The Statue of Liberty
While the Statue of Liberty isn't a landmark in France, it was built by two French men. Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi and Gustave Eiffel (yep, the same guy who built the Eiffel tower), built and sent the Statue of Liberty to the United States in honor of America's centenary of independence.
Well Known French Stories
Everyone knows stories from France, although not everyone knows that those stories are originally from France. Keep reading and you might be surprised!
Perhaps one of the best known stories to come from a French author is the story of a little orphan girl who marched in two straight lines with her fellow orphans and Miss Clavel. Madeline was originally published in 1939, and has spawned television shows, movies, and merchandise to name a few things. Interestingly, the author Ludwig Bemelman, considered himself an artist rather than a writer.
Victor Hugo originally published Les Misèrables in 1862. However, it is best known by its various stage and screen adaptations. It was received with substantial criticism being called, immoral, overly sentimental and the fact that it sympathized with Revolutionaries made it none too popular. Victor Hugo also wrote The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
The literary genre of the fairy tale originated with Charles Perrault in the latter half of the 18th century. His best known stories include:
- Little Red Riding Hood
- Puss in Boots
- Sleeping Beauty
France is known for many, many things but the arts stands out as being one of their prominent cultural contributions to the world. With the aesthetics in their architecture as seen in Notre Dame, world renowned museums such as the Louvre and a government that actively seeks to preserve and promote the arts, France has much to boast about with regards to the arts.
Ballet is partially a French art form, with all the terminology and vocabulary being in French. Balanchine, who is the father of American ballet, and most known for his choreography of the Nutcracker, worked in France for a period after leaving Russia, and before coming to the US. Although it was Tchaikovsky that wrote the Nutcracker, it was based on a story by Alexandre Dumas, another famous French author.
The Louvre houses some of the most well known art in the world. It was originally a castle and later converted to the now famous museum. In addition, many art historians would argue that for many years Paris was at the forefront of artistic movements such as impressionism.
To Find Out More Fun French Facts
To find out more about France, you can check out the CIA fact book. The page is designed for kids and can make learning about France lots of fun!