The territory of modern France began to be settled at the end of the 2nd millennium BC by the tribes of the Celts. With the development of the Roman Empire, the Romans began to penetrate here, who called the local population Gauls. Their dominion over Gaul lasted more than 5 centuries. From the 5th to the 8th century AD, the Romans gradually began to be oppressed by the Germanic tribes, and by the beginning of the 7th century the Frankish state was created. The Germanic languages began to mix with Latin, on the basis of which the French language arose. The rule of the Carolingian Empire, and later the Capetian dynasty, led to the fragmentation of France. The situation was complicated by the soldiers with England for some territories. The world famous national heroine Joan of Arc participated in the Hundred Years War with England (1337-1453).
In the second half of the 16th century civil religious wars broke out. Catholics and Protestants fought for over 30 years. Their clashes ended with the victory of the Catholics and the accession to the French throne of Henry IV, the ancestor of the Bourbon dynasty. Check a2zdirectory for old history of France.
In the 17th century, France became a single centralized state, an absolute monarchy was established in the country. At this time, long-term wars were fought with Austria, England, Spain and Holland, as a result of which France significantly expanded its territory, and the entire secular society of Europe began to speak French.
At the end of the 18th century, the French Revolution took place. The monarchy was overthrown and a new bourgeois society was born. Today, Bastille Day is a national holiday in France. The beginning of the 19th century is remembered for the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte. He founded the First Empire in France. With his conquests, Napoleon forced all of Europe to reckon with him. After several revolutions, a republican regime was finally established by the end of the 19th century.
In the 20th century, France, after the First and Second World Wars, remained in the camp of the winners, which made it one of the leading countries in Europe. In 1958 The Fifth Republic was founded and the first president, General de Gaulle, was elected.
City of Carcassonne
The medieval city of Carcassonne is located in the French province of Languedoc Roussillon. The main attraction of Carcassonne is a fortress surrounded by 52 towers and 2 rows of fortress walls with a total length of 3 km. The fortress stands on a hill, which offers beautiful views of the Pyrenees and the city below. The fortress of Carcassonne is the largest ancient fortress in Europe, it began to be built during the time of the Roman Empire. The ramparts were built in the 4th century, the castle itself was built in the 12th century. Due to its strategic position, the city changed hands several times. In the 19th century, Carcassonne was restored.
City of Rocamadour
Built into limestone cliffs, with medieval houses clambering up the slopes, Rocamadour is an important religious center and is on a par with Rome, Jerusalem and Santiago de Compostela. He gained fame after the remains of St. Amadur were discovered in a chapel near the city in 1166, after which miracles began to occur. Tourists can climb the Grand Staircase (Grand Escalier) to the religious city (Cité Religeuse) of the 12th century, located at the top, which consists of seven chapels. You can also climb the Way of the Cross (Chemin de Croix) to the 14th century castle, which offers a beautiful view of the Dordogne (Dordogne) valley. Other attractions in the vicinity of the city include the Rocher des Aigles bird of prey center and the Grottes de Lacave underground caves.
City of Avignon
Avignon is located in the department of Vaucluse in southern France. It became the center of Christendom after the Holy See was moved here in 1309 from Rome. After the Holy See moved back to Rome in 1377, Avignon remained his property and was used by members of the Papacy. The main attraction of Avignon is the Palais des Papes. In the Middle Ages, the palace was constantly being completed and, as a result, became the largest Gothic palace in Europe. Today, many rooms of the palace are open to the public, but its appearance is more interesting. The Papal Palace also gave its name to the famous wine Châteauneuf-du-Pape, which is regularly tasted in the wine cellar.
Castles of Loire
In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Loire River Valley was the center of the kingdom. There are more than 1000 castles here, which were the residences of kings and nobility. Going to this historical region of the country, you will see the best preserved and most beautiful of them – Blois, Chambord and Chenonceau. The most impressive is Chambord Castle. It was built at the request of Francis I and was originally conceived as a hunting palace. Inside there are about 440 rooms and a spiral staircase designed by Leonardo da Vinci. The roof of the castle is very impressive. It has many towers. Now this castle is protected by UNESCO. Under Henry II, the elegant castle of Chenonceau was built. It is located on the water. The castle was intended for the king’s favorite – Diane de Poitiers. Later, the wife of Henry II Catherine de Medici lived there. Another castle, Blois, is also associated with the name of Catherine de Medici. Here, during the reign of her son Henry III, the murder of the universal favorite of the French, Heinrich de Guise, took place. His success haunted the weak king and he decided to take extreme measures, for which he was cursed by his mother.