Without further ado, here’s the answer: Brazil. Yes, France’s longest border is with Brazil, a country on an entirely different continent. Not with Spain, Belgium, or any other European nation. Even though most people only think of the European part when they think of France.
You’re probably starting to see the pattern with all these trick questions in our quizzes (I’ll have to switch things up to keep you on your toes for our next one, haha).
Here are the details about France’s longest border and about the Guianas.
France’s longest border
First of all, for those who are new to following us and don’t know that we never make things up, here is the proof from Google.
Here’s an infographic with the length of all 11 borders France shares with neighbors — on different continents.
So while the longest border France shares is with Brazil via the Guianas region, France’s longest border in Europe (or let’s say Metropolitan France‘s longest border) is in fact with Belgium, which narrowly beats out Spain.
France is not just in Europe! A relatively large French overseas region is located on the South American continent and borders Brazil. It’s called French Guiana.
It’s the last remaining part of the mainland Americas that’s still part of a European nation.
As such, French Guiana is legally just as French as metropolitan France back in Europe, unlike many overseas territories that have particular jurisdiction in some countries.
There is no such distinction with French Guiana, except the obvious geographic one. Residents of French Guiana are full citizens of France. The French Guiana territory is fully a part of France.
It’s part of the European Union (EU).
So since it’s entirely part of France, that territory’s border with Brazil (730 km) means France’s longest border is there, not in Europe.
The Guianas region
By the way, this is a fascinating part of the world, relatively remote and isolated. It would be an awesome spot for those who want to avoid overcrowded, touristy places.
The Guyanas region (the name means “land of many waters”) is not just comprised of that French territory, as 5 different European countries colonized 5 distinct Guianas:
- French Guiana
- British Guiana (now the independent nation of Guyana)
- Dutch Guiana (now the independent nation of Suriname)
- Portuguese Guiana (now a region of Brazil)
- Spanish Guiana (now a region of Venezuela)
The Guyanas region was one of the international trips that I had booked for 2019 in my quest to visit every country in the world (to visit Guyana and Suriname). But, after a change of plans, I was able to cancel my non-refundable booking for free, thanks to a pro tip I will share in an upcoming article.
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So there you have it: France’s longest border isn’t with a country in Europe, but instead with Brazil, thanks to the little-known French territory of French Guiana on the South American continent.
What would you like to know about the borders of France or the Guianas? Tell us in the comments below.
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Featured image: Spanish/Brazilian flags (photo credit: Wikipedia Commons)