France is a great country, and there are many fun and interesting facts for kids that France has to offer. Below you will find some of those facts that you probably won’t belivee.
The Eiffel Tower, Only slightly better than a guillotine!
France’s worldwide trademark, The Eiffel Tower not even originally intended to be displayed in France, but in Barcelona, was a design submitted to the Universal Exhibition in Paris, in 1888. Pretty simple and straightforward, right? However, did you know the second most popular design was a giant Guillotine? Unique but true, the Exhibition felt that although a guillotine accurately represented the centennial of the French Revolution, a simple tower might be more palatable to visitors and natives alike.
French Food; it’s Saucy Origins!
If the french are known for anything with their cuisine, its the robust blend of flavors that burst through in their sauces, be it wine based or cream based. But these sauces, although amazing and depth filled and truly unique now, have a much less Shakespearean origin. During the French Revolution, such a great amount of resources went to the troops, often times the locals could only get spoiled meats and cheeses. It was inedible, the smells and flavors were impossible to overcome. The earliest meat sauce identified in France was one using Port Wine and beef drippings to better mask flavor. Its popularity and success was so great, the tradition continued and was improved long after the revolution.
Escargot…Surprisingly Not French!
The prototypical dish of the French, Escargot….isn’t really French at all. Its Italian! The earliest recorded history of snails as a n edible dish is actually found in Rome, they were considered to be a delicacy and food for only the upper class. For the record, because I’m sure you’ve got to be wondering at this point, escargot is when a snail is removed from its shell and gutted, then cooked in chicken stock, or some occasions garlic butter. On a personal note…I find it rather rubbery.
The Only Bibles here are Bibliotheques!
When last polled in 2004, the Institut français d’opinion publique, or the French Institute of Public Opinion found that 44% of France identified as atheist. This makes France the most atheistic country, with the netherlands and Belguim falling in place behind them at 27%. This is more than double that of the United States of America, where only 19% of its population identify as atheist.
Giving New Meaning to “Make Love, Not War”
In 2003, Durex’s polling showed the citizens of France to be those who had sex most often during the year. Who’s surprised though, when handshakes are substituted for cheek kisses? A friendly nation makes for a nation of friends.
France, older than you think!
France is one of the oldest nations in Europe, declaring its independence from the Carolingian Empire in the year 842. The name France is derived from the Frank tribe who originally settled the area now recognized as modern day France.
France, Go for the gold!
Here’s a list of all the times and locations France has hosted:
1900 – Paris, France
1924 – Paris, France
1924 – Chamonix, France
1968 – Grenoble, France
1992 – Albertville, France
Educating the Masses!
France has won the most Nobel literature prizes,more than any other country, 16. Those inductees are as follows:
1901 – Sully Prudhomme (The first Nobel Prize in literature)
1904 – Frédéric Mistral
1911 – Maurice Maeterlinck
1915 – Romain Rolland
1921 – Anatole France
1927 – Henri Bergson
1937 – Roger Martin du Gard
1947 – André Gide
1952 – François Mauriac
1957 – Albert Camus
1960 – Saint-John Perse
1964 – Jean-Paul Sartre
1969 – Samuel Beckett
1985 – Claude Simon
2000 – Gao Xingjian
2008 – J.M.G. Le Clézio
Jean-Paul Sartre was one of the few men to ever turn down a Nobel prize, and can be noted as the first person to refuse his prize. A Rebel of literature, he also refused to accept the Légion d’honneur, a French recognition.
Along the line of more noble Nobel’s, Sully Prudhomme was the first man to receive the Nobel prize for literature, paving the way for dozens if not hundreds of great authors ahead of him.
In June of 2007, France secured the record for most expensive weapon ever sold at auction. Napoleon I’s sabre selling for a whooping 4.8million pounds, or 7.332 million dollars American. Seeing as it only costs an equivalent of 50 dollars today to make the same sabre, that means that a 146,000 times profit was made on the weapon. Possibly the largest markup in history! The only comparable weapons sale would be a Colt Walker pistol sold for 920,000 dollars, average manufacturing cost, 45 dollars, leaving it at only 20,000 times markup.
Other famous Napoleon paraphernalia put up for auction? Legend says that Napolean’s grave was robbed, and that certain oddities, including his skull and “divining rod” are now in private circulation around the world.
A Street in Paris is Worth a Thousand Words!
France is the birthplace of all things cinema-graphic, having invented photography, animation, and classic cinema. The first permanent photograph was invented in 1826 by French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. Ironically enough, the very first photograph ever was incidentally destroyed. Whats the oldest photograph still in existence? Nothing exciting or dramatic, a simple Paris street, and a man having his boot polished.