About the place
France (French: [fʁɑ̃s]), officially the French Republic (French: République française [ʁepyblik fʁɑ̃sɛz]), is a sovereign state comprising territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The European, or metropolitan, area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. France spans 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and has a total population of 66.7 million. It is a unitary semi-presidential republic with the capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic people. The area was annexed in 51 BC by Rome, which held Gaul until 486, when the Germanic Franks conquered the region and formed the Kingdom of France.