France (French: France), officially the French Republic (French: République française), is a country in Western Europe. Its capital city is Paris. It is a member of the European Union. It is known for its culture, its many monuments and structures, and places such as the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Giverny, Mont Saint Michel, Versailles, and Notre Dame de Paris. France is divided into 22 régions that are further subdivided départements.
The country has been one of the great powers since the end of the 17th century. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it built a big colonial empire across West Africa and Southeast Asia. Nowadays, this does not exist. It is the most visited country in the world. About 82 million foreign tourists visit it every year. France is a founding member of the European Union. It has the largest land area of any member. France is also a founding member of the United Nations, and a member of the G8 and NATO. It is one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. It has nuclear weapons, including active warheads, and also has nuclear power plants.
Some well-known cities in France include Nice, Nancy, Marseille, Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Toulouse, Limoges, Strasbourg, Rennes, Nantes and Paris.
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