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France

 

France Destinations Travel Guide

 

 

 

Language: French

Currency: Euro

Calling Code: 33

 

 

 

Travel Destinations in France

 

Île-de-France (France)

Château de Vincennes

Chateau de Vincennes a medieval citadel that is most famous for execution of Louis Antoine upon the orders of Napoleon.

Paris

Paris or City of Lights is the capital of France as well as its largest city. It gained notoriety as being the capital of sophisticated culture and life.

   

 

Alsace and Lorraine (France)

Château d'Andlau

Château d'Andlau is a two story medieval castle that barely survived years of negligence and was almost sold piece by piece.

Chateau de Froensbourg

Unique architectural feature of Chateau de Froensbourg is that part of rooms and halls of this citadel is cut into a cliff of a mountain.

Château de Guirbaden

Medieval castle known as Château de Guirbaden is the largest citadel in Alsace region of France.

Château de Greifenstein

Château de Greifenstein is a medieval castle situated in the Griffon Mais Forest on the outskirt of a small French town of Saverne.

Château de Hohbarr

Château de Hohbarr is a medieval castle located in Saverne in the department of Bas-Rhin in France.

Château de Hohenfels

Château de Hohenfels is a medieval citadel that is partially dug into the cliffside. Underground parts of the castle are well preserved.

Château de l'Ortenbourg

Château de l'Ortenbourg is a ruined medieval citadel near a town of Scherwiller in the Bas- Rhin department. It was built in the 13th century.

Château de Kintzheim

Château de Kintzheim is a medieval castle that stands on a strategic hill overlooking a village of Kintzheim below in the Bas- Rhin department.

Château de Ramstein (Alsace)

Château de Ramstein is a dilapidated medieval castle in Scherwiller. Its name is a German in origin and can be translated as Crow Stone.

Château de Ramstein (Lorraine)

Château de Ramstein is a ruined medieval castle in Lorraine province. It was used to control strategic hill overlooking Zinselbach Valley below.

Château de Wangenbourg

Château de Wangenbourg.is one of the largest and most impressive medieval citadel in the country. It kept its original appearance and charm.

Château du Bernstein

Château du Bernstein is a medieval castle that sits on top of ruins of several forts from different time periods including the prehistoric fortress.

Château du Birkenfels

Château du Birkenfels is a medieval citadel that is situated just outside of the town of Ottrott in Bas- Rhin department.

Château du Grand-Geroldseck

Château du Grand-Geroldseck is a ruined medieval citadel on the outskirts of town of Haegen in the Bas- Rhin department in Alsace, France.

Château du Fleckenstein

Chateau du Fleckenstein is a beautiful that is literally dug into the mountains it stands on.

 

Château du Frankenbourg

Despite year of neglect Frankenbourg Castle is still a magnificent example of medieval architects and military engineers.

Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg

Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg was constructed in the 12th century in the Vosges mountains overlooking a strategic location over Alsatian plain.

Château du Grand Ringelstein

Château du Grand Ringelstein is a ruined castle that stands on beautiful sandstone cliffs near a town of Oberalash, Bas- Rhin department of France.

 

Neuf-Brisach

 

Neuf-Brisach is historic settlement that arouse on the site of the former fortress in Haut-Rhin department of France.

 

Strasbourg

 

French medieval city of Strasbourg is one of the most colorful and interesting cities in the country.

 

 

Aquitaine (France)

Château de Beynac

Medieval castle Château de Beynac was constructed in the 12th century by the barons of Beynac.

Château de Biron

Castle Château de Biron is situated in Dordogne département of France. This military citadel was constructed in the 12th century.

Château de Bourdeilles

Medieval castle Château de Bourdeilles located in Dordogne département was constructed in 1183 and named after legendary Frankish Queen.

Château de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle

Medieval Château de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle in Périgord takes a strategic high location over river Dordogne valley.

Fort du Portalet

Fort du Portalet is an old French fortress turned to prison. It is said to be haunted by ghosts of those who lived here.

     

 

Basse-Normandie (Lower Normandy) (France)

Mont- St.- Michel

Medieval walled town of Mont- St.- Michel is one of the most interesting and unique medieval settlements in France.

     

 

Brittany (France)

Carnac

Carnac is ancient archeological site located in Morbihan department of France. It was created by ancient people to track movement of sun and planets.

Château de Vitré

Château de Vitré Castle was constructed in the late 11th century by baron Robert I of Vitré on a site that was formerly occupied by a wooden fortress.

Saint Malo

 

Medieval town of Saint Malo is located on the island in the mouth of Rance River where it flows into the Atlantic Ocean.

 

 

 

Centre (France)

Château de Chenonceau

Château de Chenonceau is a magnificent former royal residence that stands on a bridge in Indre- et- Loire département of France.

Château de Chinon

Medieval castle of Château de Chinon is located on the banks of Vienne river in the city of Chinon, Indre-et-Loire in France.

 

   

 

Champagne-Ardenne (France)

Château de Sedan

Medieval Château de Sedan became famous in the nineteenth century as a place where French Monarchy was finally defeated.

Reims

 

Starting with Clovis, king of France in 446 AD many French Kings came to Reims for coronation in the Cathedral of the city.

Rocroi

 

Rocroi is a former fortified citadel that was turned into a civilian settlement over time.

 

 

 

Haute-Normandie (Upper Normandie) (France)

Château d'Arques-la-Bataille

Castle Château d'Arques-la-Bataille was constructed in the 11th century by William of Talou, uncle of William the Conqueror.

Château de Conches-en-Ouche

Château de Conches-en-Ouche a french medieval castle in the Upper Normandy region of France.

 

Château de Gisors

Château de Gisors, a Motte-and-bailey castle in the Upper Normandy region of France.

 

Château de Tancarville

Château de Tancarville castle located in Tancarville, Seine-Maritime departement was constructed in the 11th century.

Château d'Harcourt

Château d'Harcourt is located in Harcourt, Eure département in France. Harcourt Castle was constructed in the 11th century.

 

Château d'Hardelot

Château d'Hardelot is located in Hardelot, Pas de Calais departement of France. Although the original structure date back to the 12th century much of the structure today was added in the 19th and 20th century.

Château d'Ivry-la-Bataille

Château d'Ivry-la-Bataille is a medieval citadel that was constructed in 10th- 13th century.

 

Château Gaillard

Château Gaillard is a large medieval concentric castle in the Upper Normandy region of France that was constructed by English king Richard the Lionheart.

Rouen

Rouen is a famous medieval French city where Joan of Arc was burned after accusation of witchcraft.

     

 

Languedoc-Roussillon (France)

Cévennes National Park

Cévennes National Park covers 913 km² of mountainous terrain in the French Lozère and Gard départements of France.

Nîmes

 

Pont du Gard

Pont du Gard is an ancient Roman aqueduct and a bridge that stands here for over 2000 years.

 

 

Limousin (France)

Oradour-sur-Glane

Oradour-sur-Glane a site of a horrible massacre of french civilians by the Nazis.

Towers of Merle

Towers of Merle is a complex of medieval defensive structures situated in the French wilderness.

   

 

Midi-Pyrénées (France)

Montsegur

Medieval Montsegur castle a stronghold of the legendary cathars that opposed Catholic Church.

Pyrenees National Park

 

Pyrenees National Park is situated in Hautes-Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Atlantiques departments. This nature reserve covers an area of 457 sq km.

   

 

Pays de la Loire (France)

Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud

Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud is a former Catholic monastery that served as a prison for criminals and even political opponents of Vichy regime.

Nantes

 

   

 

Picardy (France)

Wolfsschluct II

Wolfsschluct II (gorge or ravine of the wolf in German) or simply W2 is an abandoned headquarters of Adolf Hitler during World War II.

     

 

Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (France)

Arles

Arles is a major town in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of South France.

 

Avignon

Avignon is widely known as the 'City of Popes' since it became the official seat of the Roman Catholic Church between 1309 to 1423.

Ecrins National Park

Ecrins National Park is located in the province of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur in South East France and 50 km South of Grenoble.

Mercantour National Park

Mercantour National Park is located in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur province of France. This protected area if covered by a network of hiking trails.

Verdon Gorge

 

Verdon Gorge is the deepest canyon in Europe. It is located in a province Provence- Alpes- Cote- D’Azur of France.

     

 

Rhône-Alpes (France)

Ardèche Gorge

 

Beautiful Ardeche Gorge in the South France is famous for its picturesque limestone cliffs.

Les Drus

 

Les Drus or Aiguille du Dru is a mountain in the French Alps in the Mont Blanc massif.

Lyon

 

 

Vanoise National Park

 

Vanoise National Park is a protected natyre reserve located in Tarentaise Valley in the French Alps.

 

 

Important Numbers

 

Embassies

 

Emergency numbers:

Ambulance (SAMU): 15

Fire (Sapeurs Pompiers): 18

Police (Gendarmerie): 17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US

2 Ave Gabriel, 75008 Paris

Tel. 02- 43 12 22 22

 

UK

35 Rue du Faubourg

St.- Honore, 75008 Paris

Consulate:

18bis Rue d'Anjou 75008 Paris

Tel. 01- 44 51 31 00

Canada

35 Ave Montaigne, 75008 Paris

Tel. 01- 44 43 29 00

 

Australia

4 Rue Jean Rey, 75015 Paris

Tel. 01- 40 59 33 00

 

 

History

The first mention of the ancient Germans appeared in the writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans. One of the first mention of the Germans dates back to '98. It was made by the Roman chronicler Tacitus (lat. Tacitus). The entire territory of modern Germany east of the Elbe (Slavic Laba) until the 10th century was inhabited by Slavic tribes. By the XII-XIV centuries, these lands gradually became part of various German state formations that made up the so-called Holy Roman Empire. As these territories became part of the German states for several centuries, the local Slavs were gradually almost completely assimilated by the Germans. This process lasted until the late Middle Ages and the beginning of a new time, and in some places, with the last, not yet fully assimilated Slavic people of Germany - Luzhans, it continues to this day.

After the collapse of the Roman Empire in Western Europe, the Frankish state was formed, which, after three centuries, under Charlemagne, turned into an empire (800 year). Karl's empire covered the territory of a number of modern states, in particular Germany. However, the empire of Charlemagne did not last long - the grandchildren of this emperor divided it among themselves, as a result of which three kingdoms were formed - the West Frankish (subsequently France), the East Frankish (later Germany) and the Middle Kingdom (soon divided into Italy, Provence and Lorraine).

Traditionally, the date of the founding of the German state is considered to be February 2, 962: on this day, the East Frankish king Otton I was crowned in Rome and became emperor of the Holy Roman Empire; this empire was a confederation of lands (German: Land), each of which had its own army and minted its own coin. At the head of the Holy Roman Empire was the emperor, elected by the council of electors, there was a body representing the land - the Reichstag (German: Reichstag). Each of the lands was an estate monarchy with a landtag (German: Landtag).

This situation continued until 1806, when, under pressure from Napoleon I, the Holy Roman Empire ceased to exist and its emperor began to bear only the title of Emperor of Austria. The number of German states was significantly reduced; the Rhine Union was created, which was also a confederation consisting of independent lands. At the head of the Rhine Union was the Federal President, who was the Emperor of the French, the body representing individual lands - the Bundestag (German: Bundestag).

The Congress of Vienna contributed to the further unification of the German states, as a result of which the German Union was formed from 38 German states, which also remained a confederation of independent lands. At the head of the German Union was the Federal President, who was the Kaiser of the Austrian Empire from the Habsburg dynasty, the Bundestag was the body representing the lands. The transformation of the monarchical German states from absolute monarchies to constitutional began - the conversion of the Landtags from irregular meetings of representatives to permanent qualified parliaments.

After the revolution of 1848, a conflict was brewing between the growing influence of Prussia and the Austrian Empire. This led to the war of 1866, in which Prussia won and annexed a number of German principalities. The German Union collapsed.

On August 10, 1866, the North German Union was created - a federal state with a form of government in the form of a dualistic monarchy, a single army and a single monetary system were created. In 1867, the North German Union Constitution was adopted, establishing the Federal Council (German Bundesrat), formed by the heads of state, and the Reichstag (German Reichstag), elected by the people, on the basis of universal suffrage, as legislative bodies, and the post of State President (German . Reichspräsident), which was the king of Prussia as head of state. The introduction of universal suffrage in the elections to the Landtags began.

On December 10, 1870, the Reichstag renamed the North German Union into the German Empire (German Deutsches Reich), and the President of the North German Union into the German Emperor (German Deutscher Kaiser).

Earl Otto von Bismarck was appointed chancellor of the German Empire. Political parties emerged: the Socialist Workers Party of Germany, the liberal German Progressive Party and the National Liberal Party, the conservative German Center Party and the German Conservative Party.

 

The growth of German national identity led the heyday of German culture, science and philosophy. In the 19th century, such distinguished figures as composer Richard Wagner, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, economist Karl Marx, writer Heinrich Heine, physicists Heinrich Hertz and Max Planck, among many others, created in Germany. The Germans Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler invented the car. Sigmund Freud laid the foundation for psychoanalysts.

In 1914, Germany entered the First World War. On November 4–9, 1918, Germany was swept by an anti-monarchist uprising, and the rebels began to form workers councils (arbeiterrat) at the enterprise level. On November 9, the King of Prussia fled to the Netherlands, where he abdicated soon, the German Empire was proclaimed the German Socialist Republic, on November 10 the General Meeting of the Berlin Workers' and Soldiers' Councils (Vollversammlung der Berliner Arbeiter- und Soldatenräte), elected provisional bodies of state power - the Executive Council of Workers' Workers and the Soldiers Councils of Greater Berlin (Vollzugsrat des Arbeiter- und Soldatenrates Groß-Berlin) and the Council of People's Commissioners (Rat der Volksbeauftragten), the latter consisted of representatives of the SPD and the recently left more left-wing Nez -volatile Social Democratic Party of Germany, Chairman of People's Representatives (Vorsitzende des Rates der Volksbeauftragten) have become the Social Democrat Friedrich Ebert, Philipp Shaydeman and independent Social Democrat Hugo Gaza. On December 16-21, 1918, at the last Imperial Congress of Workers 'and Soldiers' Councils, a constitution was decided to convene the 2nd German National Assembly, the Central Council of the German Socialist Republic (Zentralrat der Deutschen Sozialistischen Republik) was elected as the interim parliament, and the composition of the Council of People's Commissioners was approved . The elections to the Second German National Assembly took place on January 19, 1919, with the SPD taking the first place and on February 10, 1919, the Law on Provisional Imperial Power was passed, according to which the State Committee (Staatenausschuss) elected by the land governments and the National Assembly became the legislative bodies. elected by the people, head of state - the Imperial President, elected by the National Assembly, the executive body - the Imperial Ministry (Reichsministerium), appointed by the Imperial President, consisting of the Imperial Prime Minister Minister (Reichsministerpräsident) and imperial ministers. On June 28, 1919, a peace treaty was signed at Versailles between France, Great Britain and the USA on the one hand and Germany on the other, according to which the defeat of the latter was actually ascertained. West Prussia and Poznan moved to Poland, Alsace to France, Eipen to Belgium, Saar was transferred under the control of the League of Nations, German military formations were withdrawn from the Rhine Province, as a result of which an attempt was made to completely separate it from Germany. The Imperial army was disbanded, instead of it the Imperial defense limited in number (German Reichswehr) was created.

On June 30, 1919, the Second German National Assembly adopted the Constitution, according to which the legislative bodies were the State Council (Reichsrat), appointed by the land governments, and the Reichstag, elected on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot, the head of state - the State President ( German Reichspräsident) elected by the people, the executive body is the State Government (German Reichsregierung), consisting of the State Chancellor (German Reichskanzler) and state ministers (German Reichsminister), appointed by the State President and responsible to the Reichstag, the German Empire remained a federal state, consisted of lands, the legislative bodies of the land were parliament elected by the people, the executive bodies were state ministries (German Staatsministerium), consisting of prime ministers (Ministerpräsident) and state ministers (German: Staatsminister), representative bodies of local self-government - provincial parliament (Provinziallandtag, in the provinces of Prussia), Kreistag (German Kreistag), city assembly of commissioners (Stadtverordnetenversammlung), community offices (Gemeindevertretung), local government executive bodies - land committees (Landesausschuss, in the provinces of Prussia), district committees (Kreisausschuss), magistrates (Magistrat), community councils (Gemeins authorities in local units - land governors (Landeshauptman, in the provinces of Prussia), landrats (in the districts), burgomaster, constitutional oversight body - the State Court of Justice (Staatsgerichtshof), the highest court - the State ud (Reichsgericht).

 

The largest political parties were: the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the power-oriented workers' councils of the Communist Party of Germany (KKE), the liberal democratic - the German Democratic Party (DP), the conservative democratic party - the Center Party (PC), the liberal - the German People’s party (NNP), conservative monarchist - German National People's Party (NNNP). Three democratic parties (SPD, DP, HRC) formed the Weimar Coalition, which opposed revanchism, and if this coalition did not have an absolute majority in parliament, it entered into a large coalition with the NNP.

On January 30, 1933, the Reich Chancellor of Germany appointed the chairman of the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) Adolf Hitler. This event marked the end of the Weimar Republic. Germany was declared a unitary state, the landtags were abolished, the functions of the legislative bodies of the German lands were transferred to the appointed state governors, and the Reichsrat was also abolished. On February 1, 1933, the Reichstag was dissolved.

In 1933-1945, Germany pursued an aggressive expansionist and revanchist policy, which in 1939 led to the Second World War. The regime that existed in Germany under the Nazis is called the Third Reich.

After the unconditional surrender of Germany in World War II on May 8 (in the USSR on May 9) 1945, the German Reich was liquidated. The restoration of state independence of the German lands began, power from state governors was taken away and transferred to the restored Landtags by a temporary assembly (Beratende Versammlung). The land of Prussia was liquidated as a “source of militarism and reaction in Germany” by the Law “On the Elimination of the Prussian State” adopted on February 25, 1947 by the Allied Control Council. The provinces of Prussia gained independence. East Prussia, Silesia, Pomerania, Lower Silesia, Upper Silesia, Western Pomerania were liquidated, their territories were divided between the USSR and the Polish People's Republic. The Germans from these territories, as well as from the Sudetenland, were deported, and these territories themselves were settled by Poles, Russians, Czechs. Luxembourg's independence was restored, the Sudetenland returned to Czechoslovakia, Epen - Belgium, South Tyrol - Italy, Alsace was transferred to France. On the territory of the rest of the German-speaking states, occupation troops remained, four zones of occupation were formed to control the occupation forces:

French, which includes the southern part of Württemberg, the southern part of Baden and the southern part of the Rhine region and the Palatinate;
British, which includes the northern part of the Rhine region, Westphalia, Hanover, Braunschweig, Oldenburg, Schaumburg-Lippe;
American, which includes Bavaria, Hesse, the northern part of Baden and the northern part of Württemberg;
Soviet, which includes Saxony, Halle-Merseburg, Magdeburg, Anhalt, Thuringia, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg and Western Pomerania;
Berlin was also divided into four sectors.

First, political parties were allowed in the Soviet, and later in other areas of German occupation - the Communist Party of Germany (KKE) and all three parties of the former Weimar coalition — the SPD, the Democratic Party, and the Human Rights Council — were restored. However, soon the party elite of the Democratic Party together with the former members of the NNP create the Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP) (in the Soviet zone of occupation - the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)), and the party elite of the Human Rights Center together with the former members of the NNP create the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) As a result, DP and HR are marginalized.

In the Soviet zone of occupation, an attempt is made to recreate the likeness of the Weimar coalition, which leads to the creation of a "Democratic bloc", which includes the KKE, the SPD, the LDP, the East German CDU, whose governing body was formed on the basis of the parity of all parties included in the bloc. Similar blocks were created at the land level, on a parity basis of these parties, temporary land meetings were formed, which also included representatives of some public organizations. In April 1946, the SPD and the KKE in the Soviet zone of occupation merged into the Socialist Unified Party of Germany (SED), whose governing bodies were formed on the basis of the parity of the former communists and social democrats. The SDPG of the other three zones refused such a union, the KPD organizations became the organizations of the SEDG of these zones.

In 1946-1947, land and district assemblies, community councils (or community representations) elected by the population were recreated, and in the elections in them in the Soviet zone of occupation, in which the KKE and the SPD were merged into the SED, the SED received the majority, in the rest the majority received either SPD, or CDU.

 

On May 29, 1947, the United Economic Council for the United Economy (Wirtschaftsrat des Vereinigten Wirtschaftsgebietes), elected by the Landtags and the Land Council (Länderrat) elected by the land governments and the Administrative Council (Verwaltungsrat), formed by the Economic Council, was created in the British and American zones of occupation. In the Soviet zone of occupation, the German People’s Congress (Deutscher Volkskongress) arose, consisting of delegates from parties and public organizations, who elected from among its members the German People’s Council (Deutscher Volksrat). On March 1, 1948, the Bank of German Lands was established by the occupation administration of the British and American zones of occupation, which on June 20, 1948 began issuing the German mark.

In response to this, in the Soviet zone of occupation on July 20, 1948, a German issuing bank was established in the GDR, which began issuing cash, and on July 24, the issue of the German mark of the German issuing bank began. On September 1, 1948, a Parliamentary Council (Parlamentarischer Rat) was convened in Bonn, elected by the Landtags, which passed on May 8, 1949, and enacted the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany (Germany) on May 23 and elected the Federal President, recognized as the lands of the western zones of occupation. This basic law established the Bundesrat and the Bundestag as legislative bodies, the position of the Federal President (Bundespräsident) as head of state, and the Federal Government (Bundesregierung) as the executive body. In the Soviet zone of occupation, direct elections were held to the Third German People's Congress, which on October 7, 1949 put into effect the Constitution of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and elected the President. Under this constitution, the Länderkammer Chamber of Lands, the GDR People’s Chamber (Volkskammer) as legislative bodies, the President of the GDR (Präsident) as head of state and the government as the executive body were established by this constitution. In 1950, elections were held in the Bundestag and the People’s Chamber.

In 1951, the Bank of German Lands was transferred to Germany, in the same year the German Issuing Bank was transferred to the GDR. In 1952, the lands were abolished in the GDR, the territory of the state was divided into districts. April 25, 1952 Baden, Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern united in the land of Baden-Württemberg.

On June 7, 1955, the Bundeswehr armed forces were created, and the FRG itself was admitted to NATO. A year later, on March 1, 1956, the GDR armed forces were created - the National People's Army (NNA) (Nationale Volksarmee), and the GDR itself joined the Warsaw Treaty Organization (ATS). At the same time, at first both the Bundeswehr and the NNA were not numerous and were staffed by volunteers, however, in 1957 a conscription for active military service was introduced in the Federal Republic of Germany, and in 1962 a conscription for active military service was introduced in the GDR, and in the same year the NNA was introduced to East Berlin. In 1956, the Saar entered the FRG. In 1958, the Chamber of Land of the GDR was abolished, and in 1960 the post of President of the GDR was abolished.

In 1973, the GDR and the Federal Republic of Germany became members of the United Nations (UN).

On October 3, 1990, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and West Berlin were incorporated into the Federal Republic of Germany (Germany), the People’s Chamber and the Government of the GDR were abolished.

Germany has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation, which were established with the USSR in 1955 (GDR with the USSR in 1949).