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Historie

The oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from approximately 1.8 million years ago. Humans were then confronted by a hard and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras which led them to a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Paleolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved: Lascaux (approximately 18.000 BC).
At the end of the last glacial period (10.000 BC), the climate softened and from approximately 7,000 BC, this part of Western Europe entered the Neolithic era.

In 600 BC, Ionian Greeks, founded the colony of Massalia (present-day Marseille), on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. This makes it France's oldest city. At the same time, some Gallic Celtic tribes penetrated parts of the current territory of France, and this occupation spread to the rest of France between the 5th and 3rd century BC.
Around 125 BC, the south of France was conquered by the Romans, who called this region Provincia Romana ("Roman Province"), which over time evolved into the name Provence in French.
From the beginning of the 5th century AD, the Barbarian Invasions resumed, and Germanic tribes, such as the Vandals, Suebi and Alans crossed the Rhine and settled France of and other parts of the collapsing Roman Empire

In 498, Clovis I was the first Germanic conqueror after the fall of the Roman Empire. to unite all of the Frankish tribes under one ruler, changing the form of leadership from a group of royal chieftains to rule by a single king and ensuring that the kingship was passed down to his heirs. He is considered the founder of the Merovingian dynasty, which ruled the Franks for the next two centuries.
In 751 Pepin the Short, seized the crown of Francia from the weakened Merovingians and founded the Carolingian dynasty. Pepin's son, Charlemagne, reunited the Frankish kingdoms and built a vast empire across Western and Central Europe.
The Carolingian dynasty ruled France until 987, when Hugh Capet, was crowned King of the Franks. His descendants – the Capetians, the House of Valois, and the House of Bourbon – progressively unified the country through wars and dynastic inheritance into the Kingdom of France, which was fully declared in 1190 by Philip II Augustus.
The monarchy reached its peak during the 17th century and the reign of Louis XIV. By turning powerful feudal lords into courtiers at the Palace of Versailles, Louis XIV's personal power became unchallenged. Remembered for his numerous wars, he made France the leading European power.
After the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, the absolute monarchy was abolished and France became a constitutional monarchy.

Napoleon Bonaparte took power in a coup d'état in 1799 becoming First Consul and later Emperor of the French Empire (1804–1814/1815) His armies conquered most of continental Europe, while members of the Bonaparte family were appointed as monarchs in some of the newly established kingdoms. These victories led to the worldwide expansion of French revolutionary ideals and reforms, such as the Metric system, the Napoleonic Code and the Declaration of the Rights of Man. After the catastrophic Russian campaign, Napoleon was defeated and the Bourbon monarchy restored. About a million Frenchmen died during the Napoleonic Wars.
After his brief return from exile, Napoleon was finally defeated in 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo, the monarchy was re-established (1815–1830), with new constitutional limitations.

In 1852, the president of the French Republic, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, Napoleon Bonaparts nephew, was proclaimed emperor of the Second Empire, as Napoleon III. Napoleon III was unseated following defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and his regime was replaced by the Third Republic. (1870 - 1940)
The French Fourth Republic was the republican government of France between 1946 and 1958, governed by the fourth republican constitution. The Fourth Republic saw an era of great economic growth in France and the rebuilding of the nation's social institutions and industry after World War II, and played an important part in the development of the process of European integration which changed the continent permanently.
In 1958 Charles de Gaulle founded the French Fifth Republic and served as its first president from 1959 to 1969.

I have visited France several times

The pictures of these trips, are not yet available; i have to digatalize them first.


In march 2004 I visited French Guiana

it was part of my visit to Suriname
These are the places i have seen

Saint Laurant du Maroni


In april 2015 I will visit New Caledonia

it's part of the West Pacific Odesey

Please let me know when you're having questions.
i would be pleased to help you.

Things to do and other tips

not available

This illustrate's my memories of France:

Mont Saint-Michel; A strategic fortificated island only
600 metres from main land.

See my "Things to do" pages for more pictures.
These are divided in:

"France" (not available yet)
"French Guiana"
"New Caledonia"

When i'am visiting a country i like to be prepared;
That's why i 'm reading books;looking at travel maps etc.

See my "Things to read" pages for Books/Maps about
France