Believe it or not
Believe it or not, here is a selection of interesting and unusual facts about France.
Beaujolais Nouveau cannot be sold before one minute past
midnight on the third Thursday of November. The uncorking of the first bottles
is traditionally marked with torchlit parades and fireworks.
One punishment for an adulterous wife in medieval France was
to make her chase a chicken through town naked.
Though traditionally there are around 300 to 400 varieties
of French cheese, there are in fact over 1,000 different types available in the
The concept of denim clothing was born in the
Languedoc-Roussillon city of Nimes – de Nîmes; get it?
France’s official name is the French Republic (République
Française). It became a republic in 1792, after centuries of royal rule, as a
result of the French Revolution. The Revolution started with the storming of
the Bastille fortress on 14th July 1789, an event that is celebrated every year
all over France on Bastille Day.
The legal system in France is still largely influenced by
Napoleon. French law is still based on the principles set down in Napoleon
Bonaparte’s Code Civil in the 1800s.
Paris was originally a Roman city called Lutetia.
In France you can marry a dead person. During World War I, a
few women were married by use of proxy to soldiers that had died weeks earlier.
This practice came to be called posthumous marriage. Posthumous marriage for
civilians originated in the 1950s, when a dam broke and killed 400 people in Fréjus,
France, including a man named André Capra, who was engaged to Iréne Jodart.
Jodart pleaded with French President Charles De Gaulle to let her go along with
her marriage plans even though her fiancé had died. She had support from the
media and within months was allowed to marry her fiancé.
At the Petite Syrah in Nice, France, it pays to display
proper gentility –not saying 'Hello', and 'Please' makes your coffee more
Trees in Paris are counted and recorded by the council –
there are 478,000!
It is illegal to kiss on or at the train stations in France
This law prohibiting kissing at the train station was put in
place by the Société du Chemin de fer to avoid delays? It was thought that people kissing at train
stations would be so distracted that they might totally miss the huge, loud
trains…some kiss that would be!
Between the hours of 8am and 8pm, 70% of music played on
French radio stations MUST be by French artists.
Ever wondered why you hear the same music over and over
through the day. They do it because it is the law. This law was made to preserve
French musical culture and the French language. The French language police
claim that the younger generation tends to listen to too much American and
In 1925, the con artist Victor Lustig created a fake ad
stating that the Eiffel Tower was up for sale. This ad was sent around to
Parisian scrap metal merchants, who he invited to a meeting in a prestigious
Paris hotel. One of the merchants signed a huge cheque for the 7,000 tons of
metal. He even paid a bribe for the exclusive rights… before learning that the
Eiffel Tower had in fact never been put up for sale by its rightful owner, the
Paris city council.