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France (FR), officially the French Republic (French: République française), is a country located in Western Europe. France has been a long standing bastion of culture and innovation and continues to play a key role in world affaires as one of the top economic powers as well as a food, wine, fashion, and thus tourism mecca. Detailed <embed><a href="http://www.amazon.com/b?%5Fencoding=UTF8&node=27&tag=centiare-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325"> travel guides</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=centiare-20&l=ur2&o=1" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" /></embed> are available on amazon.com to aid in your travel planning.
Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. French people often refer to Metropolitan France as L'Hexagone (The "Hexagon") because of the geometric shape of its territory. France is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra, and Spain. In some of its overseas departments, France also shares land borders with Brazil, Suriname, and the Netherlands Antilles. France is also linked to England via the Channel Tunnel, which passes underneath the English Channel.
Regions, Departments & Cities
France is divided into 26 administrative regions. 22 are in metropolitan France (21 are on the continental part of metropolitan France; one is the territorial collectivity of Corsica), and four are overseas regions. The regions are further subdivided into 100 departments which are numbered (mainly alphabetically). This number is used in postal codes and vehicle number plates amongst others.
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The culture of France is diverse, reflecting regional differences as well as the influence of recent immigration. France has played an important worldwide role for centuries as a cultural center, with Paris as a world center of high culture. France is noted for its cosmopolitan, civilized approach to life, combined with great concern for style, fashion and appearances. French people are sometimes perceived as taking a great pride in the national identity and positive achievements of France, although many French people would argue that people of all nations tend to do that. The culture of France is diverse, reflecting regional differences as well as the influence of recent immigration. France has played an important role for centuries as a cultural center, with Paris as a world center of high culture.
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- Official site of the French public service - Contains many links to various administrations and institutions
- Guide to France from the French Government Tourist Office