France Fun Facts That Will Blow Your Mind
The land of love and light, the land of wine and cheese, the land that trumps all other lands as a tourist holiday destination. That’s France! We spent some time discovering this beautiful land of culture and champagne and loved unearthing so many interesting and fun facts of France. These facts about France range from the obvious to the fascinating. So if you’re thinking of visiting France, here are some fun France facts for you to enjoy. Allez la France!
Fun France Facts #1
France has over 400 different varieties of cheese.
General de Gaulle, the famous statesman once said:
How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?
It might be an obvious interesting France facts that the country is the leader of the wine world, but did you know how many varieties of cheese they make? Over 400! And if that’s not enough, when you delve into sub-varieties it’s actually closer to a thousand! That’s probably why there are as many cheese maps of France as there are wine maps. Just Google ‘cheese maps of France’ and give it a try.
Fun facts France #2
The woman who lived the longest was French.
Jeanne Calment, born on 21st February, 1875, lived for 122 years and 164 days. This supercentenarian from Arles, France outlasted her daughter and grandson by a few decades and died on 4th August, 1997. No one in recorded history has had a longer lifespan yet. Vive la France! Vive les Française! The only other person who almost caught up with Jeanne, was Sarah Knauss from the US who lived to 119 years and 97 days.
A study examined Jeanne’s life at age 114. This should go on the list of interesting facts about the French. At age 114, Jeanne walked without a stick, exercised daily, smoked a cigar, ate chocolate every day and drank a glass of port wine daily. Definitely facts about France and French longevity to remember!
Fun France Facts #3
There is an association of the most beautiful villages in France called Plus Beaux Villages de France.
We travelled in France for a bit, and saw that most of France is rural life. And with over beautiful 32,000 villages, it was difficult to choose which to visit without knowing some facts about France.
So here’s an interesting facts of France; we found Plus Beaux Villages de France, an Association that lists 157 of the most beautiful villages, from La Romieu to Charroux. That takes a load off – knowing which of the 32,000 villages to visit. Now if only we had time to visit all 157. Ah well!
Fun facts France #4
You can marry a dead person in France.
Maybe this sounds more like a morbid fact rather than an interesting fact of France, but you can marry a dead person in France. Yes, one of the interesting facts on France is that under French law, you can marry your partner after they are dead if you can prove that you’ll intended to marry while they were alive. Of course, you need permission from the French president for this.
The most recent posthumous marriage was that of Xavier Jugelé and his gay partner Etienne Cardiles in Paris. Xavier was killed during the attack at Champs-Elysees in April 2017, and President Francois Hollande granted them permission to marry.
Fun France Facts #5
France was the first country to ban throwing away of excess food.
Here’s the best France food facts. In 2016, France banned its food stores, grocery stores and supermarkets from throwing away excess food. This only made us love the French more. Food cannot be wasted! Any excess food cannot be burned or thrown away. It must be donated. This leads the way in tackling a bit of the world’s starvation problems. A few other countries have followed suit. More should!
Fun facts France #6
The French love their food.
Right now you’re saying, duh? Doesn’t everybody? Yes, but an important facts about France culture is that in France eating is an art. From the aperitif to the dessert, every dish is made with passion. There are quite a few lists of the top ten French foods out there.
But did you know that horsemeat, frogs’ legs and snails are also quite common food. We’ve even seen some zebra meat in stores.
And macarons, how can we forget macarons aka macaroons. It’s a known fun facts on France, that they love macarons and madelines. If you want to get the best French macarons delivered to your door, click here.
Or if you’re like us and would rather have wine, click here.
Fun France Facts #7
There are 44 UNESCO heritage sites in France.
Some of the sites in France include the Roman ruins in Arles, the Cisternian Abbey of Fontenay, the 13th century cathedrals (Chartres, Amiens, Notre Dame and Bourges), the Papal Palace at Avignon, the Pont du Gard which is a Roman aquaduct from the 1st century and so many more.
Fun facts France #8
Kissing on platforms is forbidden.
A law passed in 1910 prohibits kissing on platforms. This law was put in place to prevent delayed train departures. Maybe because trains in the earlier days waited for everyone to get on board. Nowadays, if you miss a train, you miss a train. But back to the law – it’s still in force, but not followed. Add that to your France facts interesting list!
You can see people kissing at train stations all over Paris. You can probably see people kissing all over France. It’s the land of romance after all. But isn’t it strange, some couples you see kissing, you think, ‘How sweet!’, while some other couples you see kissing and you think, ‘Get a room!’ Did anyone else notice that?
Fun France Facts #9
The shortest reign was that of King Louis XIX, lasting a whole twenty minutes.
Another interesting facts France is that during the revolution in July 1830, Louis’ father King Charles X and his descendants were was forced to abdicate. So once King Charles X signed the abdication document on 2nd August 1830, Louis became king. But Louis too had to sign, and 20 minutes later was no longer king. The shortest reign as a king of France!
Fun facts France #10
French people refer to France as L’Hexagon.
Here’s an interesting facts about French geography. Because of its hexagonal shape, French locals refer to France as L’Hexagon. Just look at the map of France and your eyes will be opened to the hexagon that is France.
Bonus Fun facts France
You can feel a king or queen by laying your head in a Chateau for the night.
No you can’t be a real king like Louis XIV; but in keeping with its culture of romance and love, France doesn’t just offer you rooms, hotels and apartments to stay in. A Fun fact about France is that many of the erstwhile chateaus in the Loire Valley, now serve as rentals, giving you the chance to sleep like a prince. Check them out by clicking here.
Chateau de Breuil in Cheverny is a charming 18th century Chateau very close to Cheverny, Blois and Chambord castles. Check out the features here.-> Chateau de Breuil in Cheverny
Located in the heart of Cour-Cheverney, halfway between Blois and Chambord, the Relais des Trois Chateaux was founded in 1850. Fun facts of France is that it’s still inhabited by the Marquis and his family. Find out more about the this lovely Chateau here -> Relais des Trois Chateaux
If you’re looking for a mix of modern amenities and old world charm, in the heart of Paris, the Saint James Paris is the perfect choice. It’s at the doorstep of Avenue Victor Hugo and within walking distance of many attractions. Look at the exceptional ratings this chateau has here. -> Saint James Paris
Of course, if you’re just looking for a laidback bed and breakfast with free WiFi that’s popular with couples, our choice is Villa Paris. Simple, homely and away from the hustle and bustle, but with easy access to Paris. Check it out here. -> La Villa Paris
Few more interesting facts about France!
Fun facts for France #11
Contrary to popular belief, kilts originated in France, not Scotland.
Fun facts for France #12
Another France interesting facts that you may have already known is that there are 17 regions in France for wine production.
France fun facts #13
Mayday! This distress code comes from the French word that means help me, M’Aide!
Fun facts for France #14
With an area covering 6,43,801 square kilometres, France is the largest country in the European Union.
Fun facts France #15
Jeans the tough clothing that we wear everywhere, were first tailored in Nimes, France. Levi Strauss then copied the idea and started making durable clothes for Californian gold diggers in United States in the 1800’s.
Fun facts of France #16
The French Army still uses carrier pigeons and keep them at Mount Valerian.
Did you like this list of fun facts about France? What other interesting French facts should be on here? Comment and let us know!