All About France

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France is located in the northern hemisphere around 46° N and 2° E in Western Europe. As shown in the political map of Europe in Figure 1 above, France is bordered by the Bay of Biscay to the west, the English Channel to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the south as well as the countries of Spain, Andorra, Monaco, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium. France is the largest country in Western Europe with a total land area of around 213,010 square miles (551,695 square kilometers). Two-thirds of the country is made up of fertile plains with about half of the land under cultivation. The physical map in Figure 2 shows that France’s major mountain ranges are mostly in the south, including the Alps, Pyrenees, and Massif Central. Its major rivers are the Seine, Rhine, and Rhône. About a quarter of the land area is covered in forests which is a valuable environmental resource. Cities and Regions of France France is made up of 27 administrative regions but 5 of these are overseas territories. This leaves 22 regions in mainland France as shown in the map in Figure 3. Each region has its own regional council, with elected members and local administration. They have responsibility for making decisions about transport, infrastructure, communication, development, tourism and education. The capital city of France is Paris. Other large cities include Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Nantes, Marseille, Nice, Strasbourg, Toulon and Toulouse. The regions of France are due to be
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