History Main article Writers Paris Musée des beaux-arts de Lyon fine arts museum housed former convent of 17th century including Baroque chapelle Saint-Pierre, The lands making up French Republic shown same geographic scalePolitics la LoireBrittany Animated map of growth decline of French colonial empireFrance had colonial possessions various forms since beginning of 17th century but 19th 20th centuries its global overseas colonial empire extended greatly became second largest world behind British Empire Including metropolitan France total area of land under French sovereignty almost reached 13 million square kilometres 1920s 1930s 8.6% of world's land Known Belle Époque turn of century was period characterised optimism regional peace economic prosperity technological scientific cultural innovations 1905 state secularism was officially establishedThe French conquest of Morocco was one of longest toughest annals of European colonialism French historian Daniel Rivet puts casualty rate among Moroccans who resisted French occupation 100,000Contemporary period (1914–present). The Maison Carrée was temple of Gallo-Roman city of Nemausus (present-day Nîmes) one of best-preserved vestiges of Roman EmpireIn 600 BC Ionian Greeks originating from Phocaea founded colony of Massalia (present-day Marseille) shores of Mediterranean Sea This makes France's oldest city same time some Gallic Celtic tribes penetrated parts of current territory of France this occupation spread rest of France between 5th 3rd century BCThe Roman-era Theatre of Autun (Latin Augustodunum) Saône-et-Loire one of main historical sites of BurgundyThe concept of Gaul emerged that time corresponds territories of Celtic settlement ranging between Rhine Atlantic Ocean Pyrenees Mediterranean borders of modern France roughly same those of ancient Gaul which was inhabited Celtic Gauls Gaul was then prosperous country of which southernmost part was heavily subject Greek Roman cultural economic influencesAround 125 BC south of Gaul was conquered Romans who called this region Provincia Nostra (Our Province) which over time evolved into name Provence French Julius Caesar conquered remainder of Gaul overcame revolt carried out Gallic chieftain Vercingetorix 52 BC Gaul was divided Augustus into Roman provinces Many cities were founded during Gallo-Roman period including Lugdunum (present-day Lyon) which considered capital of Gauls These cities were built traditional Roman style with forum theatre circus amphitheatre thermal baths Gauls mixed with Roman settlers eventually adopted Roman culture Roman speech (Latin from which French language evolved) Roman polytheism merged with Gallic paganism into same syncretismFrom 250s 280s AD Roman Gaul suffered serious crisis with its fortified borders being attacked several occasions barbarians Nevertheless situation improved first half of 4th century which was period of revival prosperity Roman Gaul312 Emperor Constantin I converted Christianity Subsequently Christians who had been persecuted until then increased rapidly across entire Roman Empire But from beginning of 5th century Barbarian Invasions resumed, Germanic tribes such Vandals Suebi Alans crossed Rhine settled Gaul Spain other parts of collapsing Roman EmpireEarly Middle Ages (5th century–10th century). Cathedral of St John There some international private schools Lyon area including, The city boasts wide variety of sports facilities teams most popular team city's football club Olympique de Marseille which was finalist of UEFA Champions League 1991 before winning competition 1993 club also became finalists of UEFA Europa League 1999 2004 2018 club had history of success under then-owner Bernard Tapie club's home Stade Vélodrome which can seat around 67,000 people also functions other local sports well national rugby team Stade Velodrome hosted number of games during 1998 FIFA World Cup 2007 Rugby World Cup UEFA Euro 2016 local rugby teams Marseille XIII Marseille Vitrolles Rugby. Marseille famous its important pétanque activity even renowned pétanque capitale2012 Marseille hosted Pétanque World Championship city hosts every year Mondial la Marseillaise de pétanque main pétanque competitionMatch Race France 2008. Protestant (20,000) Ecole Centrale de Marseille part of Centrale Graduate School In addition two Centre de la Vieille Charité described above main museums are. The Lycée Louis-le-Grand Musée d'Orsay Le Lycée du Parc ESME-Sudria Tourists from around world make Louvre most-visited art museum worldGreater Paris comprising Paris its three surrounding departments received 23.6 million visitors 2017 measured hotel arrivals These included 12 million foreign visitors 11.5 million French visitors Of foreign visitors greatest number came from United States (2 million) Great Britain (1.1 million) Germany (802.6 thousand) China (774.4 thousand)In 2016 measured MasterCard Global Cities Destination Index Paris was third-busiest airline destination world with 18.03 million visitors behind Bangkok (21.47 million) London (19.88 million) According Paris Convention Visitors Bureau 393,008 workers Greater Paris or 12.4% of total workforce engaged tourism-related sectors such hotels catering transport leisureMonuments attractions. Examples of France's military Clockwise from top left nuclear aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft French Chasseurs Alpins patrolling valleys of Kapisa province Afghanistan Leclerc tankThe French Armed Forces (Forces armées françaises) military paramilitary forces of France under President of Republic supreme commander They consist of French Army (Armée de Terre) French Navy (Marine Nationale formerly called Armée de Mer) French Air Force (Armée de l'Air) French Strategic Nuclear Force (Force Nucléaire Stratégique nicknamed Force de Frappe or Strike Force) Military Police called National Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie nationale) which also fulfils civil police duties rural areas of France Together they among largest armed forces world largest EUWhile Gendarmerie integral part of French armed forces (gendarmes career soldiers) therefore under purview of Ministry of Armed Forces operationally attached Ministry of Interior far its civil police duties concernedWhen acting general purpose police force Gendarmerie encompasses counter terrorist units of Parachute Intervention Squadron of National Gendarmerie (Escadron Parachutiste d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale) National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale) Search Sections of National Gendarmerie (Sections de Recherche de la Gendarmerie Nationale) responsible criminal enquiries Mobile Brigades of National Gendarmerie (Brigades mobiles de la Gendarmerie Nationale or short Gendarmerie mobile) which have task maintain public orderThe following special units also part of Gendarmerie Republican Guard (Garde républicaine) which protects public buildings hosting major French institutions Maritime Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie maritime) serving Coast Guard Provost Service (Prévôté) acting Military Police branch of GendarmerieBastille Day Paris.
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