French National Anthem History,
La Marseillaise


Here the French National Anthem History,
La Marseillaise

The French National Anthem is called La Marseillaise. It was written in Strasbourg in 1792 (not in Marseille as the name implies) with the encouragement and support of the Mayor of Strasbourg, who felt the revolution needed a stirring song for its troops to march by.

Claude Rouget de Lisle, a young engineer in the army, composed and named it Chant de Guerre de l'Armée du Rhin which translates as 'War Song of the Rhine Army'.

Of course, he didn't know that it would eventually become the National Anthem of France. It began to be sung at banquets and throughout the city after copies were distributed. The revolutionaries from Marseilles marched into Paris singing it and thereafter it became known as 'La Marseillaise'.

It was apparently performed for the first time by the Mayor of Strasbourg in his own house. This building still stands and is now home to the Banque de France.

The French national anthem is heard at official events and major international sporting events. It contains many verses, though usually just the first verse and chorus are sung.

Having read the French National Anthem History, click here to learn the words of the Marseillaise and the translation



Learn more about History and Politics in France


French National Anthem
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La Marseillaise - French National Anthem
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