The culture of France and of the French people has been shaped by its geography, by profound historical events, and by foreign and internal forces and groups. France, and in particular Paris, has played an important role as a center of high culture and of decorative arts since the seventeenth century, first in Europe, and from the nineteenth century on, world wide. From the late nineteenth century, France has also played an important role in modern art, cinema, fashion and cuisine. The importance of French culture has waned and waxed over the centuries, depending on its economic, political and military importance. French culture today is marked both by great regional and socioeconomic differences and by strong unifying tendencies.
The Eiffel Tower (French: Tour Eiffel, /tuʀ ɛfɛl/) is an iron tower built on the Champ de Mars beside the Seine River in Paris. The tower has become a global icon of France and is one of the most recognizable structures in the world.