French Icons

History of the French Flag

Written by on July 19, 2019 in French Icons
History of the French Flag

The French call their flag Le drapeau tricolore. English speakers know it as the French Tricolore. It’s one of the most iconic flags in European history. But how did it come to be? The evolution of the French Flag The flag of France before the French Revolution featured the fleur-de-lis on a blue background. The […]

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The Pyramid at the Louvre

Written by on March 28, 2019 in French Icons, Paris
The Pyramid at the Louvre

When it comes to innovation in architecture, Paris has long been a leader and in the last 150 years, dozens of architectural gems have made it famous for originality and boldness. Just a few include the Eiffel Tower, Pompidou centre, the Louis Vuitton Foundation and La Grande Arche in the Défense business district. These new […]

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Who was Jean Jaurès | History of France

Written by on December 18, 2018 in French Icons
Who was Jean Jaurès | History of France

Wherever you go in France you’re sure to come across a Place Jean Jaurès, a rue Jean Jaurès, Avenue Jean Jaurès, schools and even metro stations of that name in Paris and Lyon. Every French school child will learn about Jean Jaurès. He is one of the most well-known figures of French history, though he […]

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A Soap story from Marseille | Savon de Marseille

Written by on December 18, 2018 in French Icons, French Style
A Soap story from Marseille | Savon de Marseille

Genuine Marseille soap is made by artisans with the provenance, passion and long-standing tradition in their blood to lay claim to makers of genuine Marseilles soap. A bar that contains 72% olive oil – and once tried, you will always be loyal to its soapy concoction. History of Marseille Soap In 1688 Louis IV passed […]

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A glimpse of the future at the Millau Viaduct Aveyron France

Written by on October 21, 2018 in French Icons, Midi-Pyrénées
A glimpse of the future at the Millau Viaduct  Aveyron France

The river and gorges of the Tarn are well known and undoubtedly it’s worth losing yourself for a while here in what is the deepest canyon in France. But this really is a place where the vastness of nature meets the enormity of human creation. And, if the Pont du Gard transports you back to […]

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Yves Saint Laurent Museum Paris

Written by on May 7, 2018 in French Icons, Paris
Yves Saint Laurent Museum Paris

Yves Saint Laurent was a genius – a visionary who became a legend at an early age. Today his name graces a variety of products from luxurious cosmetics to high-end handbags. Knowing a bit about his background will enhance your visit to this excellent new museum. Early Yves Saint Laurent Saint Laurent’s career began with […]

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Where to drink absinthe in France

Written by on February 26, 2018 in French Icons, Wine and Drinks
Where to drink absinthe in France

My insomnia sparked the whole thing off. I listened to a radio programme in the wee small hours entitled ‘Absinthe Makes the Art Grow Fonder’. It told of madness, creative genius, smuggling, fairies, suicide and debauchery in le demi-monde of Montmartre in la Belle-Époque. Captivated, I set out to discover more. Until that point my […]

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The history of absinthe, the once forbidden drink

Written by on February 26, 2018 in French Icons, Wine and Drinks
The history of absinthe, the once forbidden drink

Banned for almost 100 years, believed to induce madness in those who drank it, absinthe is making a come back. Invented by a French doctor, the highly alcoholic drink has a colourful history. What is absinthe and where does it come from? A certain Dr. Ordinaire (you couldn’t make that up) fleeing the guillotines of the French […]

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French berets from the world’s most specialised beret seller

Written by on August 2, 2017 in French Icons, French Style
French berets from the world’s most specialised beret seller

The beret – there’s nothing quite like it to define French-ness. The beret is an icon, a fashion accessory and a statement – it’s instantly recognisable as a symbol of France all over the world.  You only have to see someone wearing one and you can’t help thinking of France and French flair. Of course […]

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The lusty dance of Paris – the Can-Can

Written by on February 7, 2017 in Book Reviews And Interviews, French Icons
The lusty dance of Paris – the Can-Can

  The Can-Can dance was raucous and risqué, reaching its height of popularity in 1900 during the Belle Époque. Parisian cabarets promoted the dance and Jane Avril and La Goulue popularized it in the night clubs of Montmartre. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec depicted it in his famous painting, At the Moulin Rouge: The Dance. And, Jacques […]

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