France Culture

On the soil of what is now France, man left the earliest artistic evidence with cave paintings (Lascaux, Chauvet). Spectacular legacies of megalithic culture can be found in Brittany (Breton art). Like the Basque Country (Basque literature) and parts of southern France (Occitan literature), this region has at times developed its own culture. According to rctoysadvice, the area in which French art unfolded was Western France and Burgundy, the impulses of Gallo-Roman culture (Gaul) and the Carolingian Renaissance recordings and refined in monasteries and cathedral schools (Middle Latin literature). In France in particular, standards were set in architecture (French art, Norman architectural style): in the Middle Ages with Gothic cathedrals, in the Renaissance and Baroque with the large castles that the French kings had built, often based on the Italian model. In the 17th century, triggered by a demanding court culture, the “classical” forms of French literature, French music and French theater developed, again inspired by Italy. The painting had become with the school of Fontainebleau already detached from the spiritual context in the 16th century.

In the early modern period, France was the cultural model for large parts of Europe (Francophilia), to which a sustained enthusiasm for theater and the philosophers of the Enlightenment provided plenty of fodder in their own country. Classicism was approaching a climax during the French Revolution. In the 19th century France continued to be a cultural pacemaker in literary terms with naturalism and symbolism, and in the visual arts with impressionism. In Paris, which became a modern metropolis through the urban renewal of Baron GE Haussmann , artists from all over the world were formed at the beginning of the 20th century. Jazz came in Europefirst in France. On the other hand, French culture was also taken to the colonies and developed there in the mosaic of the Francophone community. In addition, photography, records and film, stimulated by French pioneers such as L. Daguerre and the Lumière brothers , opened up opportunities for a new popular culture. This created an innovative film industry in which French directors set trends, for example with the Nouvelle Vague. The traditional chanson became an international hit and the French comic became a global success thanks to ” Asterix”.

Literature and the literary business, music, art and other cultural topics are celebrated and discussed intensively in France to this day. A constant theme is also the meaning and relevance of the French language. In addition to soccer (national team “Le Bleus”), road bike races (Tour de France) and rugby, the French way of life, refined by wine and culinary art (“savoir vivre”), is equally important. With the culinary wealth, a famous bon mot explains the pronounced protest culture of the French: “How do you want to govern a people who own 246 types of cheese?” (Charles de Gaulle).

The culture of the bistro

In France, the bistro – the little eatery on the corner – has become an indispensable part of life; we consider it to be the epitome of the French way of life. This form of gastronomy is not very old, the term bistro – sometimes also spelled »bistrot« – has only officially existed in French since the end of the 19th century. The origin of the word can be traced back to two sources: “bistrouille” denotes a mixture of coffee and a shot of cognac that is common in northern France, but also an inferior wine mixture. The other derivation relates to the time of the Wars of Liberation. After Napoleon’s expulsion, Russian Cossacks camped on the Champs-Élysées. When they stopped in the small taverns and inns, they are said to have shouted “bystro, bystro!”

In any case, the French restaurateurs took over this type of gastronomy and expanded it. In the past, bistros were an insider tip among students. There was good food here for little money, plus a decent wine. The restaurants were simple and the menu contained only a few items. The “madame” cooked simple home-style cooking, which the “monsieur”, the landlord, served with a few friendly words. The atmosphere was very informal and informal and there was a lot of discussion over dinner – also a peculiarity of the French way of life. Many a piece of world literature was also created in a bistro. The Austrian journalist Joseph Roth was often to be found in a bistro, writing articles for the Frankfurter Zeitung or another newspaper over a glass of Pastis.

In addition to the food, tobacco and postage stamps are also offered in the bistro. In the morning you can drink the bitter black French coffee and eat a croissant there. But the bistros have changed in the meantime. In the past they were mostly only provided with high tables where you could eat your meal, today they are equipped with small tables and chairs. After the students, many “high earners” discovered the bistro for themselves. It became a fad, as it were, people went to meet friends, to debate, to see and be seen. The culinary offer also changed, so that there is now a wide range: from simple home cooking to nouvelle cuisine. Only the length of the menu has not changed:

World Heritage Sites in France

World Heritage Sites (K) and World Natural Heritage (N)

  • Chartres Cathedral (K; 1979)
  • Cave paintings in the Vézère Valley (K; 1979)
  • Mont-Saint-Michel and its bay (K; 1979)
  • Versailles (K; 1979)
  • Vézelay abbey church and hill (K; 1979)
  • Amiens Cathedral (K; 1981)
  • Former Cistercian Abbey Fontenay (K; 1981)
  • Fontainebleau Castle and Park (K; 1981)
  • Roman and Romanesque monuments of Arles (K; 1981)
  • Amphitheater and Arc de Triomphe of Orange (K; 1981)
  • Royal salt pans of Salin-les-Bains and Arc-et-Senans (K; 1982)
  • Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière and Place d’Alliance in Nancy (K; 1983)
  • Church of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe (K; 1983)
  • Cap Girolata, Cap Porto, Scandola nature reserve and the Piana Calanques in Corsica (N; 1983)
  • Roman aqueduct Pont du Gard (K; 1985)
  • Historic Center of Strasbourg (K; 1988; expanded in 2017)
  • Bank of the Seine in Paris between Pont de Sully and Pont d’Iéna (K; 1991)
  • Notre-Dame Cathedral, Palais du Tau and former Saint Rémi Abbey in Reims (K; 1991)
  • Bourges Cathedral (K; 1992)
  • Papal Palace with surrounding historical ensemble in Avignon (K; 1995)
  • Canal du Midi (K; 1996)
  • Carcassonne (K; 1997)
  • Mountain landscape of Mont Perdu in the Pyrenees (K / N; 1997)
  • Pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela (K; 1998)
  • Historic Sites in Lyon (K; 1998)
  • Saint-Émilion wine region (K; 1999)
  • Loire Valley between Maine and Sully-sur-Loire, also Chambord Castle as the largest of the Loire castles (K; 2000)
  • Medieval fair town Provins (K; 2001)
  • Cityscape of Le Havre (K; 2005)
  • Historic Center of Bordeaux (K; 2007)
  • Fortifications Vaubans (K; 2008)
  • New Caledonia lagoons (N; 2008)
  • Episcopal city of Albi (K; 2010)
  • Volcanic landscape on La Réunion (N; 2010)
  • Causses and Cevennes (K; 2011)
  • Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps (K; 2011)
  • Mining area Nord-Pas de Calais (K; 2012)
  • Chauvet cave at the entrance to the Ardèche Gorge (K; 2014)
  • Vineyards in Burgundy (K; 2015)
  • Vineyards, wine houses and wine cellars of Champagne (K; 2015)
  • Architectural work by Le Corbusier (K; 2016)
  • Taputapuātea – Polynesian cultural center on Raiatéa, French Polynesia (K; 2017)
  • Chaîne des Puys (N; 2018)

France Culture