Introduction to France

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007 at 12:00 am

France MonacoThe country of France is composed of different overseas islands. The metropolitan area of France spans from the Mediterranean Sea all the way to the English Channel and North Sea. It includes the Rhine to the Atlantic ocean. The people who inhabit France refer to its metropolitan area as L’Hexagone or The "Hexagon" because of the distinct geometric form of its geographic form.

The country is surrounded by different countries such as Germany, Italy, Monaco, Belgium, Luxembourg, Andorra, Switzerland and Spain. It shares its land borders with countries such as Brazil, Suriname the Netherlands Antilles.

France possesses beautiful land which includes fertile soil which is perfect for agriculture, verdant forests, rivers and mountains. The country’s highest point is on Mount Blanc which is located along the mountain range that runs along its border and Italy.

The landscape of France is characterized by varying terrain from empty plains to the country’s highest point. In the northern part of the country, the land consists mainly of the Paris Basin. This is a land that is quite level on most of its places which progressively slopes down. In the middle of that basin is Paris. The east side consists of limestone while the west side is distinguished by ridges and cliffs than run along the English channel.

The north of the Paris Basin features the plains of Flanders and Northwestern Europe. The mountains of Vosges and Ardennes make up the northeast and east regions. The southwest part of the basin connects to a large low-level area which is the Aquitaine Basin. The south-central region of the country is composed of the Massif Central mountaintops whose granite plateaus vary from 4,000-6,000 feet which are products of volcanic activity.

The country of France is home to three main rivers which are the Rhone, the Seine and the Lorie. The Rhone river flows all the way from the Swiss Alps going down to the Mediterranean Sea. The Grand Rhone runs to the southeast and the Petit Rhone goes to the southwest. The length of the Rhone River is just above 500 miles.

The Seine River is located in the northeast of France. Its length is 485 miles coming from the northwest while running through Paris which ends in the English Channel. Finally, the Lorie is the longest river in the country which stretches 634 miles long. The water from this river is provided by the melted snow from the mountaintops. It flows through the Paris Basin and the coastal plains.

France’s climate consists of either "oceanic", "continental" or Mediterranean. The climate which is called oceanic predominates the western areas of the country. It is characterized by normal rainfall, cool summers and winters. The temperature range in this oceanic climate is fairly small.

The transition or continental type of climate is found in the eastern and central regions of the country which sees warmer summers and much colder winters which have a tendency to snow more most especially in the higher areas. Finally, the Mediterranean climate sees limited rainfall, hot summers and fairly cool winters.