White, or Le Blanc, is the second color on the tri-colored flag. The color white is used in every day France. Champagne ,is a white wine, and is a cherished drink. We also will describe how cities national landmarks and their histories also have every day white, within there teritorial borders. Cities like Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, and Paris.

Champagne, or White Wine
Many people think that since white wine is called white wine, that the color is white too. Actually, white wine has more of a yellow, light golden-brown color. white-wine-pour-225[1].jpgThis is because its color is derived from the skins (like red wines) and juices of green, golden, and even yellowish colored grapes or from the juice (not the skin) from red grapes, like the grapes used in champagne.

Red grapes can produce white wine if they are quickly pressed and the juice is isolated fom any contact from its outer skin. The color is mainly due to plant pigments. The most common pigment, used for wine coloring, are phenolic compounds. The color also depends on the amount of acid in the wine. It can be, and is often, altered with the aging of the wine. The reaction of the different molecules in the wine can cause a browning. This browning can get the color from red to more of an oak color.

Champagne is one of the most popular white wines. It is often called bubbly because it is very effervescence. True champagne, because of the appelations laws in France, can only be made in Champagne-Ardenne.

Champagne-Ardenne
Besides winemaking, Champagne-Ardenne has a long and fascinating history. In that region and its history one of the most important cities is Reims. One of the most interesting places to me is Reims. Reims is the ancient sight of the Cornation of French Kings. Unlike England, France could only be ruled by kings, because of Salic Laws, which prevented any woman to rule. My own maternal grandfathers family can be traced back to many of those French kings. My maternal grandmothers family can also be traced back to this area of France.

Louis the Pious was the first king of the Salian Franks, where the Salic Laws came from, and co-Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. He was crowned in the city of Reims in 816. My family geneaology indicates that I am a descendent from Louis and Charlemagne. In Latin,
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Statue of Charlemagne in front of Notre Dame
Charlemagne's name means Carolus Magnus, meaning Charles the Great. That may sound important, but most people in European descent, are descendents from Charlemagne. So I won't be inheriting the crown of the Holy Roman Empire any time soon.


Louis was crowned in the original Cathedral, which was built around 400. In the thirteenth century the current Cathedral of Reims was started. Over a hundred years later, construction was finally finished. The Reims Cathedral is a Gothic Cathedral compared to a Romanesque Cathedral. One of the biggest difference between these two cathedrals was the use of flying buttresses, and large stain-glass windows. the flying buttresses helped hold the building up so that they could actually have large windows. Interestingly enough many of the stain-glass windows posess images having to do with winemaking.

Reims was important to the coronation of French kings to the point that Louis VII could not become king until Joan of Arc got him to Reims. She paid a heavy price for this act of protection. She was captured by the Burgundians, sold to the British, and burned on the stake for supposedly being a witch. All before she was nineteen years old. Five-hundred years after her death, Joan became one of the Patron Saints of France. Although I have no idea if i'm related to Joan of Arc, I do know I'm related to her English guard, Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, when she was burned on the cross. Joan and the Hundred Years War are a part of the even longer history of Reims and Champagne-Ardenne.

Paris
Paris is also known as the City of Lights. At night, the spectacular lights of the La tour Eiffel can be seen from miles away. During the day, the white Basilique de Sacre Coeur is visable as white. Paris is one of the most magnificant and most toured cities in the world.
Paris, to paraphrase Charles Dickens in the Tale of Two Cities, has had the best of times and has had the worst of times. However, it's Latin motto tells you all you really need to know about Paris. Fluctuat nec mergitur, meaning; it is tossed by the waves, but does not sink. Paris was founded by the Celts' around 250 B.C. as Lutéce on the island in the middle of La Seine called Ile de la Cite. The Romans conquered Paris in 52 B.C. and stayed there about 500 years, til 450 C.E. Roman ruins can still be seen in Paris at the Musée de Cluny. The same museum also has the famous midevil tapestryLa Dame a la licorne, translated in english to The Lady and the unicorn.

The medieval times were a very important time period for Paris and the development of the French nation. Slowly, Paris became the most important city. Not only was it politicaly important, as the seed of the French kings, it was educationally important too,
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Sainte-Chapelle
with the founding of the Sorbonne in 1257. In fact, the left bank area of Paris is still very student centered. The growth of Paris, also, played an important role in the development of the French language. Even though it was based on Vulgar Latin, the langue d'oil was what eventually became modern day French.


Paris is also a religous center in France. Some of the most important churches and cathedrals are located there. Like Notre Dame de Paris and the Sainte-Chapelle. Culturally, it has some of the most important museums in the whole world. Like La Louvre and Musee d'Orsay, which is actually an old railroad station.

Paris has a very important military, it was the sight of many important battles like the ones that took place in the French Revolution. The fall of Paris in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, and most recently it fell to the Nazis' in WWII and was occupied from 1941-1945. Paris only survived destruction because the German General in charge of France, refused to follow Hitler's orders to destroy the city. As you can see, Paris has had the best of times and the worst of times.




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