France in pictures: 27 important news stories from 2015


It’s been an eventful 12 months in France, from two devastating terrorist attacks in Paris to extreme weather conditions and a cheese heist, Here’s our selection of pictures and stories that have made the headlines in 2015


1. The year started with the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices on 7 January and the world showed their grief and solidarity with the victims and the values of free speech that the satire newspaper stood for via the slogan Je Suis Charlie.


2. A week later the Philharmonie de Paris, designed by Jean Nouvel, was officially opened with a performance by the Orchestre de Paris. They played Faure’s Requiem to honour the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.


3. The Louvre in Paris was officially named as the most visited museum in the world for 2014, after it received more than 9 million visitors.


4. To the delight of shopaholics across the country the French government voted to allow Sunday opening for the first time, but only in certain areas and certain shops…


5. It was also the time for extreme weather. A record 13 feet of snowfall in Pyrénées, over three days…


6. …while in early March a ‘super tide,’ triggered by a solar eclipse, caused Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy to become an island again.


7. A €55 million replica of the prehistoric cave, Grotte Chauvet and its amazing 36,000-year-old cave paintings, opened in the Ardèche gorge.


8. 2015 was a year of significant anniversaries, the first was the 70th anniversary of VE day (Victory in Europe) on 8 May, which marked the end of WWII in Europe (although the fighting with Japan went on until September).


9. For the first time the honorary Palme d’Or was awarded to a female filmmaker, French film director Agnès Varda at the Cannes festival’s closing ceremony.


10. Meanwhile Cannes also faced intense criticism and backlash after some women were reportedly turned away from the red carpet at a premiere for wearing flats – apparently not meeting the dress code.


11. 75 years after the evacuation of allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk in 1940 (during the first year of WWII) a fleet of ‘little ships’ sailed across the channel again to mark the occasion and the rescue of more than 300,000 servicemen.


12. 235 years ago a French naval tall ship called Hermione sailed across the Atlantic with the Marquis de Lafayette aboard, to tell the Americans that the French would help them defeat the British in the War of Independence. To celebrate this event an exact replica of the famous ship once again set sail from France for America’s shores


13. To commemorate the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, where Napoleon was finally defeated by the British, 6,200 re-enactors, 330 horses, and 120 cannon gathered at the original battle site to bring the action back to life in front of 64,000 spectators.


14. Paris announced it will be bidding to host 2024 Olympic Games, 100 years after they held the games in 1924.


15. The secluded coastal village of Ploumanac’h in Brittany was voted as the best village in France by the viewers of the programme Village préféré des Français on TV channel France2.


16. France was hit by a heat wave that saw Paris record its second-hottest day ever and the south west reaching 42ºC .


17. British cyclist Chris Froome (Team Sky) was crowned the winner of the Tour de France, the world’s greatest cycling race, for the second time.


18. The Burgundy and Champagne wine areas are awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status.


19. The towering Arras Belfry was voted the favourite monument in France by viewers of the TV programme Le monument préféré des Français.


20. A world record breaking 433 hot air balloons took to the skies at the Lorraine Mondial Air Ballons show


21. As always, France is closed for business during the month of August as the French take their summer holiday.


22. In another successful record breaking event, around 60 French and Italian bakers baked a 122-metre (400ft) baguette, the longest ever… we just don’t know who ate it afterwards.


23. 600 years ago Henry V led the English to victory over the French at the Battle of Agincourt, one of the deciding battles of the Hundred Years War.


24. In a dairy raid that has left French police cheesed off four tonnes of comté was stolen, thought to be worth around €40,000. Puns please….


25. French actress Léa Seydoux stars as the latest love interest for James Bond in Spectre



26. The Musée Rodin at the Hôtel Biron in Paris, a listed historical monument, reopened after a major restoration in time to celebrate 175th birthday of the artist Auguste Rodin.



27. France was rocked to its core by a terrorist attack Paris in which 130 people were killed. Once again the world united behind France and demonstrated its solidarity with the city by lighting up iconic monuments in the French colours.





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