Even though France entices romantics with fairy-tale castles, picture-perfect villages, and spire-topped cathedrals, the country also astounds realists with its modern but timeless architectural style. On the other hand, France is much more than its architecture and all of the tourist attractions that it has to offer.
France is home to a plethora of unknown facts that, without a doubt, the majority of travelers were unaware of before they visited the nation. So, here are some bizarre facts about France that visitors should be aware of before traveling there.
10 For Over 300 Years, French Served As The Official Language Of England
Even today, it's difficult to believe that French was the official language of England between 1066 and 1362. As a result, Anglo-Norman French was introduced to the nation following the Norman conquest of England in 1066. Aristocrats and high-ranking officials, some of whom couldn't speak English, used this language. In 1362, Parliament passed the Pleading in English Act, which established English as the state's official language. As a result, the general public in England had no idea what was being stated in court using Norman French, which was only used for pleadings.
9 In 1915, The French Army Was The First To Employ Camouflage In Combat
Here's a fascinating fact about France that many people may not have known. Since the French Army was the first to establish a dedicated camouflage unit in 1915, the word 'camouflage' is derived from a French verb meaning 'to compensate for lack of visibility on the battlefield.' During this time, artists known as camo fleurs created camouflage patterns to be painted on weaponry and automobiles. A few years later, in 1917, the British Army followed suit and established its camouflage division.
8 France Is Credited With The Invention Of The Camera Phone
An enterprising Parisian named Philippe Kahn came up with the idea for the camera phone in 1997, and it was the first of its kind in the world. His newborn daughter, Sophie, was the subject of his first photograph, which he mailed to his family and friends. Kahn utilized a Casio QV-10, the world's first personal camera to feature an LCD screen. He then used the speakerphone from his automobile to link his smartphone, a Motorola Startac, to his computer, which he had ripped out of his car. He used a long wire to connect the camera to his computer, connected to a server at his residence via a network connection.
7 The Croissant Was Originated In Austria, Not France, As Is Commonly Believed Today
Although France may be considered the famous home of the croissant, the pastry was invented in Austria in the 18th century. The kipferl, a predecessor of the croissant that originated in Vienna's coffee shops in the 13th century, was the first crescent-shaped morning treat. The kipferl, which was originally made of a denser and less flaky dough, later crossed the border into France and became known as the croissant. In Paris, an Austrian bakery owned by August Zang attracted imitators, and the French version of the kipferl was named after the crescent shape that it was given: the croissant.
6 Food Waste Has Been Outlawed In France, Making It The First Country To Do So
Unsold food can no longer be thrown out or destroyed at grocery stores in France, which became the first country to do so in February 2016. Stores are now required to give unsold groceries to food banks and charitable organizations. Superior-quality food approaching its best-before date in supermarkets may be subject to significant penalties, including fines of up to €75,000 or imprisonment for up to two years. Furthermore, all French stores are prohibited from destroying food to discourage "dumpster divers" from rummaging in garbage cans and recycling bins.
5 Among All Countries, Only France Boasts As Many Nobel Prize Winners In Literature As Any Other
Since 1901, France has produced some of the world's most notable writers and intellectuals, as proven by the fact that 15 French individuals have received the coveted Nobel Prize during that period. In actuality, Sully Prudhomme, a French poet, and writer was the first person to win the distinction that year, and he was followed by influential individuals who are now considered to be among France's most famous poets, novelists, and writers – who were all born after World War II.
4 A Face Transplant And An Artificial Heart Transplant Were Both Performed In France For The First Time
France is the first country to perform face and artificial heart transplants for the first time. The artificial heart transplant took place in December 2013 at the Georges Pompidou Hospital in Paris. The bioprosthetic device, which stimulates the contractions of an organic heart, is powered by an external lithium-ion battery and weighs almost three times as much as the real organ. Then, in 2005, French surgeons made history by becoming the first to execute a face transplant. Isabelle Dinoire is the first patient to have a face transplant after her pet dog disfigured her.
3 Couples Are Not Permitted To Kiss On Railway Platforms—It Is Against The Law
In 1910, the Société Nationale du Chemin de Fer adopted regulations making it illegal to kiss in French train stations, notably on their platforms, which became effective in 1912. Last but not least, the limitation was imposed to prevent costly service delays and overcrowding in train stations from occurring. When it comes to an illicit kiss, there is no formal punishment, regardless of how long the law was in place or what the sentence is for an unlawful kiss today. But this is something all the tourists that will be visiting France should remember.
2 People Can Marry The Dead In France
In southern France, the Malpasset Dam ruptured in December 1959, resulting in more than 420 casualties. One of the victims was the fiancé of a pregnant lady named Irène Jodard. President Charles de Gaulle devised legislation that officially recognized the couple's marriage to ease her distress. As long as there is evidence of the intended wedding, the president retains his authority in this matter. Preparations for the wedding should be completed before death, and there are no guarantees of inheritance or other financial benefits.
1 In Paris, Women Were Not Permitted To Wear Trousers
Women were barred from "dressing like men" in Paris in 1800 by the city's police chief. A doctor's certificate and police consent were required for a woman to wear pants. Until 1892, ladies riding horses and bicycles were exempt from the mandate. It was judged inappropriate to modify texts because of foreseen or unforeseen differences in fashion, which came to the fore in 1969 when a repeal request was denied, bringing the issue back to the forefront. For the first time, a woman could not be charged with wearing pants in 2013.