0321 GMT November 20, 2019
Chirac, president from 1995 to 2007, died on Thursday aged 86 after a long period of ill health, with President Emmanuel Macron in an address to the nation praising "a man whom we loved as much as he loved us," AFP reported.
Ahead of a national day of mourning announced for Monday, the French presidency threw open the doors of the Elysee Palace for anyone wanting to sign a book of condolences.
Chirac is also to be given the honor of a public memorial ceremony on Sunday, a mass on Monday, and a minute of silence at public institutions, schools and football matches.
Even his opponents hailed his charm and qualities as a political fighter, as well as how he stood up to Washington in 2003 by opposing the Iraq war.
Hundreds queued on Thursday evening and again Friday afternoon to sign the condolence book at the Elysee, with a long line stretching down the gravel courtyard normally strictly off-limits to the public.