Design, architecture, art, theatre France is synonymous with these things, along with romance, fashion, philosophy, gastronomy and wine. Its amazing how this country, smaller in size than New South Wales, remains the epicentre of so much culture.
For millennia, France has nurtured every form of human cultivation. It has been traversed by Romans, pilgrims and revolutionaries alike; its tolerant, open spirit has embraced artists and inventors, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, refugees and royals.
This spirit of openness is why France has lost none of its fascination through centuries of change and revolution, and why some 1.2 million Australians visited in 2014.
This year marks the midpoint in the centenary of World War One, a savage war that must have seemed unending at the time. We revisit the 1916 battles at Pozires and Fromelles, where Australian soldiers suffered terrible losses.
Of course, being our culture issue, we also focus on all the intangible treasures that make France what it is. Explore our top picks of cities, towns, performances, exhibitions, architecture and more. Vive la France.
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