History of France briefly for tourists
France is a country with a rich history and outstanding culture. She has given so much to the world that, in what area of human life you will not look, in each we will see the presence of the French nation. When did the French star light up in the sky? How did the state grow? What cultural treasure does France own? Look for answers to these questions in our short excursion into the past and present of a great country. Gaul and the Roman Empire The first mention of people in the territory of modern France dates back about 2 million years ago. The tools of stone, which became the find of archaeologists in Silac and Lezignon la Ceb, also serve as proof of this. Karnak stones and cave paintings in Lasko and Gargas speak of the activity of a prehistoric man. In the Iron Age, the first records of the region of modern France appear. This territory was called Gaul. It was inhabited by Gauls, Belgi and Aquitans. The largest group was the Gauls (they were Celts who spoke Gallic). The Celts founded Lutetia (Paris), Bourdigalu (Bordeaux), Aquitans – Toulouse. One of the most famous fortresses in France – Carcassonne was founded precisely by the Celts two and a half thousand years ago, they created a large settlement from a primeval site. Later the Visigoths rebuilt the city’s structures into a fortress. But the first colonizers were the Greeks, conquering Provence. The Romans, creating colonies in the Mediterranean, conquer the south of Gaul in the 2nd century BC, making it a province – Narbonne Gaul. In the Gallic War, Caesar takes control of the rest of the territory. Julius Caesar was governor in Gaul, his headquarters is located on the island of Cite. The history of Paris begins on this island. And centuries later, the palace in Avignon, built in the 14th century, becomes the residence of the popes. The Romans are credited with founding Narbo (Narbon), Lugdunum (Lyon) and modern Grenoble. So there was a Gallo-Roman culture. During this period, folk Latin replaced the Gallic language. The Roman era left behind a lot of architectural masterpieces. Time ruthlessly destroys them. But for now, we can admire the ancient buildings: the Pont du Gard aqueduct in Arles, the Roman arenas in Nimes, in the Latin Quarter of Paris, the Cluny Museum, located in the ancient building of Roman terms. Gallia later experienced barbarian raids and the migration of German Francs. In the 5th century, the king of the Franks Clovis I unites Gaul, its northern and central parts, and leads it. Clovis, being a pagan, adopted Catholicism in 496. He makes Paris the capital. In the 5th century, a monastery was built on the island of Saint Honoré, one of the Lerins Islands. Since 542, the historical thread of the creation of the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés stretches. It originally housed the holy relics and many times it was plundered by the Normans. Thus begins the Merovingian dynasty, which ends with the death of Clovis (511). Religious Wars of the Middle Ages The Kingdom of France stands out from the Caroline Empire in the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages bring decentralization to the country. The power of princes in the XI century reaches its zenith. Since 987, the Hugo Capet dynasty has been founded. The Capetian rule opens the door to religious wars. The vassals of the king seize territories outside France. The most significant was the Norman conquest of England by William I the Conqueror. The battle of Hastings was immortalized in a tapestry from Bayeux. Philip II Augustus (1180-1223) does a lot for his country. Thanks to Philip II, the University of Paris is founded, the construction of Notre Dame Cathedral continues. He begins the construction of the Louvre. In the time of Philip it was a castle fortress. At the end of the XII century, the French economy is slowly starting to rise, industry is developing, centralization of power is taking place, which allowed the country to defeat England and complete the unification of its lands. In the 12-13 centuries, a number of architectural structures were built, which became the national monuments of France. One of them – Reims Cathedral – a striking example of Gothic architecture. In 1239, Louis the Saint brings the Crown of Thorns from Venice. To store this relic, the Chapel of Saint-Chapelle is being built. With the death of the last descendant of the Capetians, a conflict ensues between the houses of Valois and Plantagenets for succession to the throne. Rod Valois on the throne of the French Empire (1328-1589) During this period, the central place occupied by the country’s military operations. The Hundred Years War begins. King of England Edward III after the death of Charles IV decides to seize the French throne by force. France loses: the battle of Poitiers deprives the country of the color of chivalry, King John the Good is taken prisoner. France is at an impasse: there is no army, no king, no money. The whole burden of the situation falls on the shoulders of ordinary Frenchmen. The people rebelled: rebels Paris, Jacquerie. The outrage was suppressed. The British decide to take Orleans to open the way to the south of France. The Orleans Virgo, Joan of Arc, leads the French army and in 1429 defeats the British near Orleans. She persuaded the Dauphin to undergo the coronation ceremony in the cathedral in the Rhine under the name of Charles VII.