Online dictionary of France travel and tourism: La Defense,La Rochelle,Lacoste,Le Havre,Le Mans,Lens,Les Baux-de-Provence,Les Invalides,Lille,Longchamp racecourse

This is the online dictionary of France developed by Free Light Software. By clicking on a French word, you can find France related sites from French search engines. By clicking on a globe icon, you can display the locality on maps of France and Paris. By clicking on a thumbnail picture, you can enlarge it.
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La Defense

French words: La Défense , Paris La Défense
alternative words: Paris La Defense
keywords: building, locality, paris, paris suburb
related topics: RER
related web sites: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_D%C3%A9fense , http://www.paris-tourisme.com/monuments/defense/ , http://monputeaux.free.fr/ladefense/
explanation: Situated on the western suburb of Paris over 3 towns (Puteaux, Nanterre and Courbevoie), La Defense is the biggest business district in Europe with 150000 workers. In order to cope a lack of office buildings in Paris, the government planed to remodel this area in 1950's. Though the first generation of towers were limited to 100m high, since 1980's, many modern buildings have been added like "Quatre Temps" and "Grande Arche" which prolongs the historic axis. You can get to La Defense by the line A of RER.

La Rochelle

French words: La Rochelle
keywords: sea, tourist resort, town
related topics: Nantes , Bordeaux
related web sites: http://www.larochelle.fr , http://www.larochelle-info.com/larochelle/accueil.php
explanation: Located on the Atlantic cost facing Re island, La Rochelle was founded in 10th century and developed quickly as major harbour between Nantes and Bordeaux. During 16-17th century, La Rochelle had become a strong hold of French protestant movement, Huguenots but they lost it after a long siege (1627-1628) let by Louis XIII's chief minister, Cardinal Mazarin. La Rochelle is the capital of Charente-Maritime prefecture and the population 77,000. A bridge connecting Re island with La Rochelle was opened in 1988.

Lacoste

French words: Lacoste
keywords: paris, shop
related web sites: http://www.lacoste.com
explanation: Born in 1904 in Paris, René Lacoste was not only a great tennis player (won 7 Grand Slem single titles and 2 times Davis Cup) but also a successful business man. In fact, during matches, René Lacoste was wearing a short-sleeve shirt made of a lightly knitted fabric and people loved it. After the retreat in 1933, he founded a company with André Gillier, the owner of a large knitwear company, to market his tennis wear. The famous logo of a crocodile has been introduced because of his obstinate character.

Le Havre

French words: Le Havre
keywords: human heritage, normandy, sea, town
related topics: Honfleur
related web sites: http://www.ville-lehavre.fr , http://www.lehavretourisme.com
explanation: Located 150km northwest of Paris at Seine's estuary in Normandy, Le Havre was founded in 1517 by French king Francois 1st as a replacement of silted Honfleur. Le Havre had developed enormously during the colonization period as an external harbor of Paris, but suffered a heavy bombing at the end of WWII. Le Havre was restored in 1950's following the urbanization plan of Auguste Perret, which later becomes a Unesco's human heritage. Being the 2nd largest harbor of France, its population is 182000.


Le Mans

French words: Le Mans
alternative words: Lemans
keywords: loire region, tourist resort, town
related web sites: http://www.ville-lemans.fr , http://www.lemans.org
explanation: Well known for its car race "24 heures du Mans", Le Mans is in reality one of the oldest towns in France. In fact, called Vindinum, it had been a regional capital of the Roman Empire. During 12th century, Le Mans was disputed between dukes of Normandy and counts of Anjou, then English and French troops during 100 years war. Built between 11th and 15th century, Saint Julian cathedral is one of the largest in France. Owning an university, Le Mans is the capital of Sarthe prefecture. The population is 141000.

Lens

French words: Lens
keywords: sport, town
related web sites: http://www.lens.fr , http://www.lens-tourisme.fr
explanation: Located in northern France, Lens had been disputed against Spain, which controlled Belgium until 17th century, when Treaty of the Pyrenees confirmed its French possession in 1659. Its industrial expansion began in 1842 when a coal mine was discovered in 1842. The town suffered severe causalities as a battle ground in 2 world wars. Though Lens is fighting an economic slump of coal industry, its football club "Racing club de Lens" is one of the strongest in France. It is also a venue of 2007 rugby world cup.

Les Baux-de-Provence

French words: Les Baux-de-Provence , Baux-de-Provence
alternative words: Baux-de-Provence
keywords: castle, southern france, tourist resort
related topics: Aix-en-Provence , Avignon
related web sites: http://www.lesbauxdeprovence.com
explanation: Raised on a tableland between Avignon and Arles, Les Baux-de-Provence had been, during the middle ages, the castle of a small but independent principality: they asserted descendents of a biblical Magi, Balthasar. In 15th century, After having become a part of Provence earldom, Baux was annexed by France together with it. A destruction of the castle by Louis XIII in 1632 and the abandon of the town have allowed a whole medieval city conserved until now. The mineral of bauxite was discovered in 1822 nearby.

Les Invalides

French words: Les Invalides , Hôtel des Invalides , Musée de l'Armée
alternative words: Les Invalides museum, Les Invalids, Tomb of Napoleon
keywords: church, museum, paris, tourist resort
related web sites: http://www.invalides.org , http://www.paris-tourism.com/hotels/fr/object.php?idContent=33 , http://www.paris.org/Musees/Invalides/
explanation: Concerned with the fate of invalid soldiers, French king, Louis XIV decided to build a hospice for them in 1670, following the architect plan of Liberal Bruant. After its completion in 1676, a royal chapel with the famous golden dome was added in 1706. Mortuary ash of Napoleon Bonaparte, died in St Helena in 1821, was moved there in 1861. "Esplanade des Invalides", a huge terrain used for military parades, stretches to Seine river. North-west wing of the hospice is now served as a military museum.

Lille

French words: Lille
keywords: town
related topics: TGV
related web sites: http://www.mairie-lille.fr , http://www.lilletourism.com
explanation: Metropolis of northern France, Lille is a young town contrary to others like Boulogne and Arras which should have a Roman background. Built on a river islet (Lille means "the island"), Lille had seen the owner several times changed (Flanders, Burgundy, Austria, Spain) until 1668 when Louis XIV conquered it. In 19th century, it was a center of French industry thanks to coal mines nearby. Lille is the capital of Nord-Pas de Calais region with the population 215,000 and reachable from Paris in 1 hour by TGV.

Longchamp racecourse

French words: Hippodrome de Longchamp
alternative words: Longchamp Hippodrome
keywords: paris, paris suburb, sport
related topics: Bois de Boulogne
related web sites: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippodrome_de_Longchamp
explanation: Though horse races had been already carried out at the same place, Longchamp horse race facility was built in 1857, at the place of Longchamp abbey, which had been destroyed during French revolution. Located in western Paris inside Boulogne forest park and owning 3 tracks covering 17 hectares, Longchamp organizes many prestigious courses, such as the famous purebred course, "Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe" which happens on the first weekend of each October.

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