GEOGRAPHY • Shares a borderwithBelgium, Germany, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Italy, Andorra and Spain • France isthesecondlargest country in Europe, withthefifthlargestpopulation in Europe. • Twothirds of France ismountains and hills, withtheAlps, Pyrenees and Vosges ranges. MontBlanc in theAlpsisthehighestmountain in Europe. • TheMediterraneancoastincludesthe popular touristarea, theFrench Riviera.
CLIMATE • France islocatedmid-waybetweentheequator and the North Pole. • a temperateclimate • Mostareas do getextremelyhotorcold. AlongtheMediterraneancoast, thewarmGulfStreamcurrentprovidesformildwinters and hot, drysummers. • Mountain areastendtobecolder, with considerable rain and snow.
CULTURE AND SOCIETY • Nationalname: RépubliqueFrançaise • Population (2010 est.): 64,057,792 • Monetaryunit: Euro (formerlyFrenchfranc) • Capital and largestcity (2003 est.): Paris, 9,854,000 (metro. area), 2,110,400 (cityproper) • Languages: French 100%, rapidlydeclining regional dialects (Provençal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish) • Ethnicity/race: Celtic and LatinwithTeutonic, Slavic, North African, SoutheastAsian, and Basqueminorities • Religions: RomanCatholic 83%–88%, Protestant 2%, Islam 5%–10%, Jewish 1%, unaffiliated 4%
HISTORY • Theearliesthumans in France date back about 50,000 years • ItwascalledGaul and wasconqueredby Rome • Germanictribesknown as FranksbeganenteringGaul • Several noble familiesruled France untilthemonarchywasoverthrownduringtheFrenchRevolution in 1798 • Period of radical social and politicalchange. • Transformation as feudal, aristocratic and religiousprivelegesevaporated • Old ideas abouttradition and hierarchy of monarchy, aristocracy and religiousauthoritywereoverthrownby new Englightenmentprinciples of equality, citizenship and inalianablerights
GOVERNMENT • About 10 yearsaftertherevolutionNapoleon Bonaparte seized control declaringhimselfemperor • AfterWorldWar I, France emerged as thedominantEuropeanpower. • DuringWorldWar II itwassplitintoanoccupiednorth and unoccupiedsouth • Alliedarmiesliberated France in 1944 and in 1946 theFourthRepublicwasbornheadedbyGen. Charles de Gaulle • Aftertheestablisment of theFifthRepublic de Gaulle waselectedPresident of theFrenchUnion
In more modern times, France has beenone of theleadingcountriespushingthe EU monetaryunion. • It has both a president (Nicolas Sarkozy) and • a prime minister (François Fillon).
SPORTS • Sport playsanimportant role in Frenchsociety and the country has a strongsportinghistory. Themost-watchedsports in France are football and rugby union. Someother popular sports in France are : • Tennis • Cycling • Motorsports • Ice Hockey • Basketball
SAINT GERVAIS SUR MARE • Saint-Gervais-sur-Mare is a commune in the Hérault department in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France • As of 2008, the population was 824