Kingdom of France

The Kingdom of France emerged from the Middle Ages as Europe’s premier great power. The strength of the French state stood in contrast to the fragmentation of its neighbors. If anything, the centralization of the French government defined its relationship with the world. Everything and everyone existed only to serve the French King, which meant all roads led to Paris. This section aims to uncover the world left behind by the French Kings and later French governments.

Select a Region to Explore in Detail

France did not always rely on a colonial relationship with its regions. In the Early Middle Ages, the balance of power flowed in the other direction. The vassals of France were far more powerful than the state itself, and politics was an uneasy balance between the interests of the Kingdom and its clients. States such as Flanders and Brittany were powerful and de facto independent, and other regions such as Lorraine and Burgundy were not even considered part of France yet.

Regions of the French Kingdom

Conciergerie on the Seine in Paris


The verdant hills of the Île-de-France have served one of Europe’s most important political and economic centers since the early Middle Ages. Dominated by the city of Paris, the surrounding region did not develop in step and today remains one of pastoral idyll. Full of palaces, castles, and bucolic charm, it can be worth a trip outside Paris’s urban jungle. Let us follow in the footsteps of the French Kings and uncover some beautiful destinations often overlooked by tourists.
brown and white concrete building near canal

The Royal Lowlands

Few regions of Europe have been at the forefront of history as long as the French lowlands. Prosperity and conflict have left their mark in equal measures here, bequeathing us a land of dramatic contrast. The soaring cathedrals of the royalist cities of Amiens and St. Quentin and the ancient streets of the merchant cities of Ghent and Bruges tell a story of progress and hope. A walk through the sea of crosses and cratered landscapes of the First World War battlefields speaks of a tragedy on a scale that we can hardly imagine. The full breadth of European history is accessible here. Take a look at the map below to discover more.


Lotharingia originated as the realm of Emperor Lothair I, who inherited Middle-Francia from Charlemagne. The region once stretched from the North Sea to the Alps and wielded immense cultural influence. Today, the vestiges of Lotharingia form a much smaller borderland region between the French and German-speaking worlds. Centuries of cultural exchange, border changes, and wars create a distinct identity visible in the architecture, landscape, and food.