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Eiffel Tower Eiffel Tower

Watch the beautiful Eiffel Tower on the only trip to the top of its kind in Europe

Saint-Malo Saint-Malo

On the beautiful walkway along the large Sillon beach

Paris Paris

The public square in Place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville – Esplanade de la Libération

Porto-Vecchio Porto-Vecchio

A port town on the French island of Corsica

Saint Raphael Vieux Saint Raphael Vieux

Vieux Port Santa Lucia Boulouris Agay Ancres à Vis

Saint-Valery-en-Caux Saint-Valery-en-Caux

Located on the marina overlooking the sea

Place du Marché Place du Marché

En direct de Munster

Châsse du Curé d’Ars Châsse du Curé d’Ars

Located at the entrance to the choir of the old church

Façade de la Basilique d’Ars Façade de la Basilique d’Ars

Come and pray and discover Saint JohnVianney

Lanterne des cierges Lanterne des cierges

The discovery of the saint's church, of the basilica, where his body is kept

Port de Bastia, North View Port de Bastia, North View

The port of Bastia provides nearly 60% of Corsica’s global maritime traffic

Port de Bastia, South View Port de Bastia, South View

Situated on the northern side of the Saint Nicolas square

Savines-le-Lac Savines-le-Lac

From the lake of Serre-Ponçon

Porte de France Porte de France

Located by the sea, in the picturesque bay of Garavan

Larmor-Plage Larmor-Plage

Enjoy the Lorient playgrounds and its exceptional bodies of water

Port de Plaisance Port de Plaisance

The city's summer and nightlife is concentrated

Plage des Minimes Plage des Minimes

The largest beach in the city of La Rochelle

Virgin’s Rock Virgin’s Rock

With live webcam, enjoy the Virgin's Rock in Biarritz wherever you are

France, Marseille France, Marseille

Locate nearby the Vieux Port of Marseille

Swimming pool at Camping Le Paradis Swimming pool at Camping Le Paradis

Located along a riverbank in the Vézère Valley of the Dordogne

Lake of Serre-Ponçon Lake of Serre-Ponçon

Panoramic view overlooking a beautiful garden, the lake and the mountains that surround it

Centre Station - Les Orres Centre Station - Les Orres

Panoramic view from hotel Escale Blanche

Art Tours in France

Art in France is ever-present. Every region of France boasts works and pieces that are famous the world over. Paris, of course, is a repository unparalleled. The Louvre features master works from Ancient Egypt to Renaissance classics such as DaVinci's Mona Lisa. The Musée d’Orsay features art from 1848-1914, and includes paintings by impressionists Monet and Manet, and sculptures by Rodin. These works are presented in the social, political and technical context of the era in which each was created. The Musée de Cluny possesses one of the finest collections of medieval art in the world. This is by no means a complete listing of the artistic offerings in Paris. France’s many Kings and Emperors collected fabulous art from around the globe, and Paris has special museums dedicated to oriental and African art.

Vercingétorix, Battle of Châlons

Roman Occupation of Gaul - 1 B.C. – 500 A. D.

Around the 1st century B.C., the Romans took control of the Greek ports along the Mediterranean including Massilia, and they annexed all areas bordering the Mediterranean, making the area of Provence the first Roman Province (after which it is named) north of Italy. The Romans called all the inhabitants of Gaul, although they included Celts and other groups, Gauls.

Julius Caesar declared war on the Gauls, and during his eight-year campaign, he conquered all of present-day France and adjacent territories as far as the Rhine. Vercingétorix became the first French hero, a Gaul who was successful in uniting the various tribes in Gaul against the Romans, and who stood up to Julius Caesar.

In 43 A.D., the victorious Romans established Lugdunum, now Lyon, as the capital of Gaul for several hundred years. Gaul prospered under Roman rule with cities and roads and Roman buildings, and the vineyard was introduced to the French countryside. Latin became the language spoken throughout most of Gaul.

During the 4th century, waves of invasions from the Vandals and Visigoths and rebellions from the Franks and Burgundians living in Gaul forced the Romans to withdraw their garrisons from the Rhine frontier, and their power began to decline. Then, in 451 the Huns led by Attila invaded Gaul. The Franks, Visigoths and Romans united against the Huns and drove them back in the Battle of Châlons. By the 5th century, the Franks had won control and took over Gaul from Rome. The rest of the Gauls and remaining Roman inhabitants assimilated with the Franks. The influence of Rome upon France has had an enormous impact over the centuries since their occupation, and it can still be seen today in France’s reverence for architectural engineering, administration, and bureaucracy.

Dark Ages - 6th through 10th Centuries

Clovis and Charlemagne - After Rome’s power waned, the Popes of the Catholic Church in France took over and had supreme power. They could excommunicate cities and countries and make churches and the performing of sacraments like baptism and burial illegal. This kept the French kings submissive to the oppressive Church. This period in France’s history was marked by political upheaval and terror, with fighting between the regions, so fortifications were built throughout the land where people could take refuge from invaders. Civilization was kept alive through monks in monasteries who could read and write, and they also kept vineyards and made medicinal liquors.

In 496 Clovis (from which the name Louis is derived) was anointed the first Christian King of France at Reims, gaining the politcal support of Catholic bishops and making the Franks the most powerful group in Europe. His descendants became known as the Merovingians who stayed in power until the 8th century. Reims became the sacred place where subsequent French kings would be anointed with the same oil used on Clovis, while Paris would become the capital of France.

In the 8th century, Muslims invaded France from Spain, and the Frank King Charles Martel defeated them at the Battle of Poitiers. King Charlemagne, or Charles the Great, was crowned by the Pope in 800 as Holy Roman Emperor of a domain incorporating France, Germany, Northern Italy, and Northeastern Spain. He was the first of the Carolingian dynasty of kings and the first monarch to rule over all of France (with the exception of Brittany). Eventually, the Viking invasions in northwestern France around the River Seine during the 9th century weakened his empire. Not long after the death of his successor, the empire was divided and central power declined. In 911, to put a stop to the Viking attacks, France granted the northwestern lands around the Seine and Loire Rivers to them – the area that become the Duchy of Normandy.

Middle Ages - 11th and 12th Centuries

In 987 the Count of Paris, Hugh Capet became King of France, beginning the Capetian dynasty of kings. Theoretically he controlled all of France, but his power in actuality extended only to the surrounding area of Paris. It was the dukes who exercised the power in France with the institution of feudalism, and built massive fort castles and walled cities where everyone, including peasants, could seek refuge during attacks from other Dukes and Counts. The Norman Dukes had become so powerful that William of Normandy conquered England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and became King of England.

Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the most influential and controversial figures in the history of France. She traveled to Constantinople, and when she saw the culture and luxury there, she decided to divorce the boring King Louis VII. Following her divorce, she married the English Henry Plantagenet, who soon became King Henry II of England, taking under his control all of her French territory, becoming head of the Angevin Empire of the Loire and Western France. His territory then was much larger than the French King’s. Many châteaux in the Loire Valley were built and occupied by the Plantagenet dynasty.

King Philip Augustus was Eleanor’s former step-son and rival. In 1214 at the Battle of Bouvines, he won back some of Aquitaine and began to drive out the English. The memory of this battle is cherished by the French as the beginning of the Kingdom of France. Eventually he won back Normandy, Poitou, Maine, Anjou, and Touraine. Philip set up the Royal Archives and established the Sorbonne University to train officials because he no longer wanted to rely on hereditary nobles to help run the country. He is said by some to be France’s most brilliant king who was the real founder of the French State.

However, the Inquisition began under Philip, who led a crusade against the Albigensian heretics of southern France, the first Protestants, many of whom were nobility. He also sought to wipe out Eleanor’s influence and her civilizing manners and courtly love.

In 1305, Pope Clement escaped factionalism between Rome and Constantinople (the Great Schism), and moved the seat of the Papacy to Avignon. Seven French Popes ruled the Church from Avignon for 68 years. They were influenced by the French Kings. The Capetian dynasty was replaced by the Valois dynasty in 1328 when Philip VI became King. This started the Hundred Years’ War between England and France.

The Hundred Years’ War 1337-1453 - Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc)

The period of the Hundred Years’ War between England and France for control over France was not only marked by war, but by the bubonic plague, called the Black Death, which ravaged Europe from 1348 to 1352. The plague was responsible for killing up to one third of the entire population of France and ruining the economy. But the French were determined to rid their country of the English and put the rightful heir on the throne. They had lost many significant battles including the Battle of Poitiers in 1356 and the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. But the worst insult came in 1419 when French King Charles VI made English King Henry V his heir.

It was at this point that teenaged Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc) of Doremy-la-Pucelle made her mark on history. Jeanne rallied the French saying that God would grant victory to their country when the rightful heir of the French throne was crowned. Jeanne d’Arc made it her mission to get le Dauphin, Charles VII, to the sacred site at Reims to be anointed King of France. She was successful, and proceeded to lead a victorious French army against the English who had beseiged the town of Orléans. However, storming Paris proved unsuccessful, and when she tried to win back Compiègne from Burgundy, she was captured and held. Betrayed by French allies of the English, a 19-year-old Jeanne d'Arc was burned at the stake as a heretic in Rouen in 1431. Nevertheless, the French forces won the Battle of Castillon, which marked the end of the Hundred Years’ War in 1453, when the English lost their land in France. The Hundred Years’ War gave the French King two important powers that characterize modern nations: the authority to raise his own army and the authority to collect taxes to support the army. Jeanne was canonized a saint in 1920.