France, officially the French Republic, is in Western Europe and has a number of territories in North America, the Caribbean, South America, the southern Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and Antarctica. Metropolitan France has the largest area among European Union members. It is bordered (clockwise starting from the northeast) by Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Monaco; with Spain and Andorra to the south. France is linked to the United Kingdom by the Channel Tunnel, which passes underneath the English Channel.
Over the past 500 years, France has been a major power with strong cultural, economic and political influence in Europe and in the world. France has its main ideals expressed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. The French Republic is defined as indivisible, secular, democratic and social by its constitution.
France features cities of high cultural interest, beaches and seaside resorts, ski resorts, and rural regions that many enjoy for their beauty and tranquility. Small and picturesque French villages of quality heritage are promoted through the association "The Most Beautiful Villages of France". The "Remarkable Gardens" label is a list of the over two hundred gardens classified by the French Ministry of Culture. France also attracts many religious pilgrims on their way to St. James, or to Lourdes, a town in the Hautes-Pyrénées that hosts a few million visitors a year. French cuisine is renowned for being one of the finest in the world.
France’s capital, Paris, has some of the world's largest and renowned museums, including the Louvre, which is the most visited art museum in the world, but also the Musée d'Orsay, mostly devoted to impressionism, and Beaubourg, dedicated to Contemporary art.