France, officially the French Republic, is a country consisting of territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. France has long been a global centre of art, science, and philosophy. France hosts Europe’s fourth-largest number of cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The European part of France is called Metropolitan France and it is located in one of the occidental ends of Europe. France possesses a wide variety of landscapes, from coastal plains in the north and west to mountain ranges of the Alps in the southeast, the Massif Central in the south central and Pyrenees in the southwest. Metropolitan France has a wide variety of topographical sets and natural landscapes. France has historically been a large producer of agricultural products and is the leading agricultural producer and exporter in Europe. In 2012, with 83 million, France is ranked as the first tourist destination in the world, ahead of the US (67 million) and China (58 million). The culture of France and of the French people has been shaped by geography, by profound historical events, and by foreign and internal forces and groups. France has a long and varied musical history. It experienced a golden age in the 17th century thanks to Louis XIV, who employed a number of talented musicians and composers in the royal court. Apart from its strong and innovative film tradition, France has also been a gathering spot for artists from across Europe and the world. Fashion has been an important industry and cultural export of France since the 17th century, and modern “haute couture” originated in Paris in the 1860s. Today, Paris, along with London, Milan, and New York City, is considered one of the world’s fashion capitals, and the city is home or headquarters to many of the premier fashion houses.