IntroductionFrance (frăns, Fr. fräNs) [key], officially French Republic, republic (2005 est. pop. 60,656,000), 211,207 sq mi (547,026 sq km), W Europe. France is bordered by the English Channel (N), the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Biscay (W), Spain and Andorra (SW), the Mediterranean Sea (S), Switzerland and Italy (SE), and Germany, Luxembourg, and Belgium (NE). The natural land frontiers are the Pyrenees, along the border with Spain; the Jura Mts. and the Alps, along the border with Switzerland and Italy; and the Rhine River, which is part of the border with Germany. France's capital and largest city is Paris.
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