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QUIZ: Could you pass the French citizenship interview?

Obtaining French citizenship is a long and complicated process that requires - of course - a lot of paperwork. But one of the requirements is to have a thorough knowledge of French history, geography, politics and culture - we've put together a test on the type of things you will be required to know.

QUIZ: Could you pass the French citizenship interview?
Could you impress Marianne - symbol of the republic - with your knowledge of France? Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP

Becoming French is a difficult process with different requirements depending on whether you are applying based on residency, marriage or family – you can find a full breakdown of the requirements here.

You may also need to be able to speak and write French to a certain level – you can take our citizenship French language quiz HERE.

And the whole process involves a lot of documents and quite a lot of waiting – 18 months to two years is the average amount of time for citizenship applications to be processed.

Towards the end of the process comes the interview – this is an in-person interview at your local préfecture (conducted in French, naturally) where you will be required to prove that you have sufficient knowledge of France, its history, geography, culture, politics and values to become a citizen.

These interviews seem to vary a lot – some people report an in-depth grilling, while others say it was simply a quick and friendly chat.

READ ALSO: What might you be asked in a French citizenship interview?

But it’s best to be prepared, and you can get a book called the Livret du Citoyen – available to download from the government website here – which lays out the kind of things you need to know.

We’ve put together a quiz – based on the questions and answers in the Livret – divided into sections on history, geography, culture and politics. 

Bon courage! 

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    1. Hi Karen, do you have any adblockers on? If so, these might prevent you from being able to click through links

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Five not-so-famous things about Notre-Dame cathedral

The Notre-Dame cathedral is Europe's most-visited historic monument, drawing some 12 to 14 million people each year.

Five not-so-famous things about Notre-Dame cathedral

Here are some lesser-known facts about the Gothic cathedral that is being painstakingly rebuilt after being partly engulfed by fire  five years ago:

One-time wine cellar

In the 1790s, during the French Revolution, the cathedral was plundered and seized as public property.

Anti-clerical radicals attacked the facade, removing biblical statues and decapitating them in the cathedral’s square, in acts reminiscent of the guillotining of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette.

Over the next few years, before Napoleon crowned himself emperor there in 1804, the cathedral was used for a variety of purposes, including storing barrels of wine for the Revolutionary Army.

Saved by a novel

Salvation came in the form of a novel — Victor Hugo’s 1831 “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”.

The hugely popular novel triggered an outpouring of emotion among Parisians over the state of disrepair into which the cathedral had fallen, leading to a major restoration.

Between 1844 and 1865, it was revamped by architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc, who added the spire that collapsed in the 2019 blaze.

Modern monsters

The fearsome-looking guardian-demons adorning the upper gallery of Notre-Dame’s twin towers — including a winged, horned creature cupping his head in his hands — are relatively recent additions.

While the leering gargoyles that spout rainwater from their open mouths were there from the start for drainage, the chimeras, which are purely decorative monsters, are Viollet-le-Duc’s inventions.

He was inspired by the work of renowned French caricaturist Honore Daumier as well as descriptions in Hugo’s novel.

The gargoyles and chimeras mostly survived the 2019 blaze.

Protest spire

The image of the spire in flames crashing to the ground made front-page news around the world.

But it wasn’t the first time the 96-metre steeple had grabbed headlines.

In January 1969, during the Vietnam War, Communist activists raised a North Vietnamese flag atop the spire after sabotaging the staircase leading up to it.

Firefighters needed a helicopter to remove the flag.

A chopper was needed again a few years later in October 1972 to remove another flag, this one hoisted by separatists from the northwestern French region of Brittany.

2,000 oaks

One of the biggest losses in the 2019 fire was the medieval beamed roof known as the “forest”, most of which dates from the early 1200s.

To rebuild the roof and spire the government ordered the felling of 2,000 oak trees.

Drones were used in some places to select mature oaks with long, straight trunks. After being cut, they were left to dry for between 12 and 19 months before being used in the restoration.