A masterpiece of classical architecture, the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, located outside Paris, was the forerunner of Versailles. Contained within its walls are three and a half centuries of history. That legacy is now the responsibility of the three brothers who inherited it on the death of their father: Ascanio, Alexandre and Jean-Charles. The château is regularly the scene of construction sites but some restoration must be done by hand, for instance to restore the central wrought iron gates to their former glory. FRANCE 24 takes you behind the scenes.
On 23rd May 1998, a silent protest of 40,000 people, mainly from Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyana and Réunion, took place in Paris between Place de la République and Place de la Nation, marking the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery on 27th April 1848.
Recent visitors to France will no doubt have noticed the return of foreign tourists. Two years of Covid-19 took a heavy toll on what is otherwise a booming business and an important part of the French economy. Now things appear to be looking up again for the tourist industry. For decades, France has been the number one tourism destination in the world, ahead of Spain and the US. So what explains this lasting success? We take a closer look in this edition of French Connections.
Compared to other industrialised countries, French people tend to live relatively long lives. Currently the oldest person alive in the world is a French woman: a Catholic nun living in the South of France. So what’s the secret? Do long lunch breaks and red wine have something to do with it? What’s the economic impact of an aging population and what can the country do to improve care for a growing number of dependent people?
Unaccompanied foreign minors are shunted around from one shelter to another upon arrival in France. They are lodged in hotels, which are not adapted to the needs of its teenage residents. Some of them have to prove their minor status to the regional authorities. They consider themselves lucky to have a roof when most others are left to fend for themselves in the street. A new law will ban housing young migrants in hotels by 2024, but the bill comes with an important caveat. It only includes those whose minority has been recognised by the state and who have been placed under the care of social services.
France's far-left LFI and its Green Party EELV have joined forces ahead of parliamentary elections in June, aiming to prevent President Emmanuel Macron "from pursuing his unjust and brutal policies."
In a decision that was long time coming, Malian ruling junta pulled the plug on a number of military accords with France. French soldiers and European partners are on track to leave Mali by the end of summer.
Marchers around the world have used May Day to hold rallies to voice dissatisfaction with their governments. There were mass arrests in Turkey, as well as violence in the French capital, Paris.
After an unusual campaign, Emmanuel Macron has won re-election as French president, defeating the far right's Marine Le Pen in the run-off. However, a record number of voters cast ballots for the far right and the far left during the two rounds of the election. The abstention rate in the run-off was the highest since 1969 and the country remains polarised. Macron faces a tough challenge to unite the country.
Every second in France, 57 kilos of cheese are produced; that's nearly 2 million tonnes a year. In the French city of Tours, the cream of cheesemakers from around the world compete to win the title of World's Best Cheesemaker. From choosing food to go with their cheeses, to blind tests, to putting together a cheese platter, they put their expertise to the test. The Belgians, Dutch and Japanese regularly make it to the podium, providing stiff competition for the French cheesemakers.
We bring you the story of the Royal Palace, a family dance hall in the eastern French village of Kirrwiller that has become the country's third-largest cabaret after Paris's Moulin Rouge and Lido. Now famous throughout Europe, the Royal Palace attracts 200,000 visitors every year. Behind its success is Pierre Meyer, a former cook who took over his parents' dance-floor restaurant. On stage, Alla Samorodska, a 35-year-old Ukrainian, excels as the lead lancer.
French President Emmanuel Macron defeated his far-right rival Marine Le Pen by a comfortable margin in Sunday's election, early projections by four pollsters showed, securing a second term and heading off what would have been a political earthquake.