Online dictionary of France travel and tourism: Aiguille du Midi,Aix-en-Provence,Aix-les-Bains,Amboise castle,Amiens Cathedral,Andelys castle,Angers,Annecy,Arc de Triomphe,Arles amphitheater

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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Aiguille du Midi

French words: Aiguille du Midi , L'Aiguille du Midi
alternative words: L'Aiguille du Midi
keywords: alps, mountain, tourist resort
related topics: Mont Blanc , Chamonix
related web sites: ,
explanation: 3842m high, Aiguille du Midi has become an ideal place to observe Mont Blanc since the opening of a ropeway from Chamonix in 1955. In fact, this ropeway is the second generation. Beginning in 1910, the initial project was given up in 1950 due to technical difficulties and 2 World Wars without reaching the summit. From there, in summer, you can reach the Italian side via Helbronner cablebox over Glacier de Geant, while in winter, you can downhill White Vallee by ski. Aiguille du Midi means "Southern needle".


French words: Aix-en-Provence , Aix
alternative words: Aix
keywords: southern france, tourist resort, town
related topics: Marseille
related web sites: , ,
explanation: Located in north of Marseille, Aix-en-Provence was founded in 123 BC by the Roman consul Sextius Calvinus and named Aquae Sextiae because of its hot spring. During the middle ages, Aix-en-Provence was the capital of a prosperous Provence earldom inside Holy Roman empire but annexed by France in 1487. Though an university was founded in 1409, Aix-en-Provence has remained an agreeable town with a tree lined street, Cours-Mirabeau, named for the memory of a local French politician. Its population is 134,000.


French words: Aix-lès-Bains
keywords: alps, tourist resort, town
related topics: Annecy , Chambery
related web sites: ,
explanation: Located between Annecy and Chambery in the fore-Alps, Aix-les-Bains has been a renowned spa since the Roman empire. By the way, Aix comes from a Latin word, Aquae, i.e. "waters". Located on the eastern shore of lake Bourget, the largest natural lake, completely inside of France, Aix-les-Bains is also a well known summer resort. You can visit the famous Hautecombe abbey, family graveyard of dukes of Savoy, located on another side of the lake by ship. The population is 26000.

Amboise castle

French words: Château d'Amboise
alternative words: Amboise, Château d'Amboise
keywords: castle, human heritage, loire region, tourist resort
related topics: Tours
related web sites: , , ,
explanation: Occupying a strategic point on the southern bank of Loire river between Tours and Blois, King Charles VII confiscated the castle from the lord due to his treason. King Charles VIII, born at Amboise , began to enlarge it in 1492. After an expedition to Italy, he brought not only Italian furniture but also artists to make it very Italian. King Francois 1st, raised there, continued to improve the castle before moving his court to Blois. Leonardo Da Vinci spent his last life as a guest of Francois at Amboise.

Amiens Cathedral

French words: Cathédrale d'Amiens , Cathédrale Notre-Dame d'Amiens
alternative words: Notre-Dame of Amiens, Cathedral of Amiens
keywords: church, human heritage, tourist resort
related web sites: , ,
explanation: The old Roman style church burned out by fire in 1218, the bishop of Amiens Richard de Gerberoy, wanted a new gothic style cathedral, to settle a relic of Saint Jean Baptist. Built between 1220 -1264, Notre-Dame of Amiens is the largest cathedral in volume (200,000 m3) in France with the highest nave (42 m). Restored by the architect, Viollet-le-Duc in 1849 and survived WWII, Cathedral of Amiens was classed as a world heritage of Unesco in 1981, thanks to its unified aspect and richly decorated frontage.

Andelys castle

French words: Château Gaillard
alternative words: Les Andelys castle, Gaillard castle, Andelys fortress
keywords: castle, normandy, tourist resort
related web sites: ,
explanation: Located 100 km north-west of Paris, the castle of les Andelys was build in 1198 at the top of a hill which dominates Seine river by Richard the Lionhearted, King of England and Duke of Normandy, in order to protect his fief against the French king Philippe Auguste. After Richard's death in 1199, Philippe successfully captured the fortress in 1204. The castle was dismantled by Henri IV 400 years later.


French words: Angers
keywords: human heritage, loire region, tourist resort, town
related web sites: ,
explanation: Located on the bank of Maine river near the confluence with Loire, Angers was founded by the Celtic tribe Andes. After a marriage of the count of Anjou, Geoffrey V with English queen, Matilda, in 1127, their son Henri II founded Plantagenet dynasty. Though Angers was conquered by French king Philippe II in 1204, it continued to be disputed between English and French until 15th century. Angers is the capital of Amine-et-Loire prefecture with population 151,000. Its main activities are electronics and winery.


French words: Annecy
keywords: alps, tourist resort, town
related web sites: , , ,
explanation: Located near Swiss and Italian borders in the fore-Alps, Annecy had belonged first to the same county as Geneva. It began really to develop when le count of Geneva fixed his residence in the 12th century. After the purchase by the duke of Savoy in 1404, it became a part of Sardinia kingdom in 1815. It was annexed by France in 1860 and each August, people celebrate it with fireworks. Built on the northern shore of a lake and crossed by a river, Annecy is called "Venice of the Alps". Its population is 48000.

Arc de Triomphe

French words: Arc de Triomphe
alternative words: Arch of triumph, Triumph arch
keywords: paris, tourist resort
related topics: Louvre museum , Champs Elysees
related web sites: ,
explanation: Commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806 after the victory of Austerlitz, imitating a Roman custom, it was achieved only in the reign of Louis Philippe in 1836. A rotary, "Place de l'Etoile", where it is located, was planed by Haussman in 1854, and corresponds to the west end of a historical axis which runs from Louvre through Champs Elysee. The monument rises to 50m high with 4 columns, each of which is sculptured a French military epic. It also shelters a tomb of the French unknown solders of WWI.

Arles amphitheater

French words: Arènes d'Arles , Amphithéâtre d'Arles
alternative words: Arles arena, Arles
keywords: human heritage, roman remains, southern france, theater, tourist resort
related web sites: ,
explanation: Built at the same epoch as the city's foundation as a Roman colony in 46 BC, Arles arena was one of the largest in Roman empire (136x107m). Thanks to an ingenious combination of galleries and stairs, 21000 persons could watch spectacles. During Middle Ages, the arena was squatted by several hundreds of people but cleaned up only in 19th century. Now it is served to organize music concerts and bull fighting (tauromachie). Since 1981, all the antic monuments of Arles belongs to a human heritage of UNESCO.


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