Paris, the capital and most populous city of France , has dazzled us in movies and novels. Who has not dreamed of walking through its streets and ecstatic contemplating the majestic Eiffel Tower? Among its streets, squares, museums and monuments hides innumerable surprises. Join us to discover 40 Curiosities of Paris , The city of light.
The Roman "Lutetia" gave way to the populous city that we know today. Paris currently has a population of just over 2.2 million inhabitants, but in its metropolitan area more than 12 million people live together, making it the most populous in the European Union. It was founded by a Gallic tribe, the "Parisians", in the third century BC. in what today is the Ile de la Cité. At present, the commune of Paris is divided into 20 "arrondissements" or municipal districts.
40 Curiosities of Paris
1. Paris was the seventh most visited city in the world in 2017. 14.5 million tourists passed through its streets.
2. The Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Paris and was the first to be built in stone instead of wood as was the custom in the sixteenth century.
3. The first mayor of Paris, elected in 2014, was Anne Hidalgo. This woman of Spanish origin, born in San Fernando, Cádiz, in 1959, emigrated with her family to France when she was 2 years old.
4. Under the Column of July (Colonne de Juillet), in the Place de la Bastille, there is a necropolis containing the remains of the 504 revolutionaries killed in the three days of the July Revolution of 1830 to which 200 were added. bodies of the revolutionaries who died in 1848.
5. The tower of Santiago (tour of Saint-Jaques) is located in the gardens of the same name in the fourth district of the city. Only this tower remains of what was the church of Saint Jacques de la Boucherie which was the starting point of the pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela.
6. At the top of Montmatre is the Sacré-Coeur basilica, however before this Catholic church there were built two Roman temples dedicated to Mars and Mercury.
7. In 1871, after a fire, the police prefecture moved to the building that today occupies the Ile de la Cité. Before it had been a poultry market and that is why sometimes French policemen are called "poulets".
8. One of the curiosities of Paris are its Catacombs. They served, from 1786, as ossuary to the cemeteries of the city. That's where the bones of more than 6 million people ended up.
9. The Catacombs of Paris They have more than 300 km. but only a small part can be visited.
10. The Louvre is the largest museum in the world and has opened two branches: in 2012, a small Louvre in the city of Lens in the Pas de Calais and in November 2017, the Louvre in Abu Dhabi.
11. In the Pantheon you can see the tombs of illustrious people such as Voltarie, Monnet, Victor Hugo or Marie Curie.
12. The Pantheon did not originally have this function, but it was the church of Sainte-Geneviève, built in 1791.
13. The Pont des Arts was known as the bridge of lovers because they placed padlocks on their railings. In 2015 they were covered with glass panels as they had been on the verge of collapsing due to the weight of the locks.
14. At the top of the Eiffel Tower there is a secret room built by Eiffel himself and which can be visited since 2015. If you want to know more, you can read the post: The secret apartment of the Eiffel Tower.
15. In some areas on the banks of the Seine you can see second-hand book stops. They are there since the sixteenth century.
16. The oldest house in Paris is dated 1407 and is located at 51, rue de Montmorency, Paris 3.
17. One of the curiosities of Paris Less known is at the junction of rue de la Roquette and rue de la Croix-Faubin. If you stand there you will see 5 slabs on the ground that are not covered by asphalt. They are the stones on which the guillotine that used the jail was supported until 1899 near the Roquette square.
18. Paris has several famous cemeteries, among which the best known are those of Montparnasse and that of Père Lachaise.
19. The lovers of literature come to Montparnasse because they are buried in it among other famous authors: Baudelaire, Simone de Beauvoir, Sartre or Julio Cortázar .
20. In the Père Lachaise you can see the tombs of Balzac, Bizet, María Callas, Oscar Wilde , Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf or Isadora Duncan and you will also see many sculpted bats as it is said that there is a hidden vampire symbolism .
21. In Paris you can visit ... 178 museums!
22. And see nothing more and nothing less than ... 1,803 monuments!
23. One of the curiosities of Paris is that in its streets 10 productions are filmed daily between movies, series and advertisements.
24. Paris has a motto related to ships: "Fluctuat Ner Mergitur", which would mean more or less "agitated by waves but not sunken", something similar to our "Touched but not sunk".
25. The motto is included in the coat of arms of the city and historians believe that it refers to the form of ship that has the Ile de la Cité.
26. A nice anecdote related to the transport of the city relates that in principle the regional train network in Paris was to be called "Métro Express Régional Défense-Étoile", but its initials would have formed the word "MERDE", so it finally He chose to baptize her as "Réseau Express Regional".
27. The Paris metro has 302 stations and is the fourth largest in the world.
28. In the Parisian "métropolitain" there are several ghost stations. One of the most well-known although not used for the transport of passengers is the one of "Porte des Lilas" since in it the cinematographic filming is frequent.
29. London has some buildings in the neighborhood of XXX that are a simple facade that hides the subway tracks and Paris could not be less. The Haussmannian building of 145 rue Lafayette, near the Gare du Nord, is also a pure facade. Hide a vent of the RER tunnel. In 1980, the façade was preserved so as not to disturb the harmony of the street.
30. In the 15th district you will find the longest street in Paris. It is rue Vaugirard and measures 4'360 km. long.
31. If you want to know how much shorter we will tell you that 6 meters and is called rue des Degrés and is in the 2nd district.
32. One of the curiosities of Paris It's your oldest coffee: the Procope. It is in the 6th district and was opened in 1686 by the Sicilian Francesco Procopio Dei Coltelli.
33. Near Paris, at Mont Valérien, the French army maintains a dovecote with carrier pigeons. It is the only one in the world that still has them. They are prepared to act and carry out transmissions in the event of a major catastrophe.
34. If you go around the cathedral of Notre-Dame, one of the most visited places in the city, you will discover another one of the curiosities of Paris . It is a quiet tree-lined square that receives the name of Plaza Juan XXIII. They say that roses bloom in it throughout the year. Is it true?
35. At number 31 of the rue du Pont Neuf there is a plaque that recalls that in that place, in 1620, Molière was born. Actually this mention is false, the playwright was born a few hundred meters from that building on the corner of rue Sauval and rue Saint-Honoré. The plaque was placed by a man who mistakenly believed that this was his birthplace, but no one has ever removed it.
36. The most visited place in France and Europe is not in Paris, although it is very close. It's about the amusement park Disney Land Paris .
37. The Sainte-Chapelle, built on the orders of Louis IX, later St. Louis, originally contained several relics, including the "crown of thorns", one of the curiosities of Paris , who is now at Notre-Dame. The crown cost three times more than the construction of the chapel itself.
38. On the arcades of Notre-Dame you can see the statues representing 28 kings. They are the kings of Judea and Israel, however, during the revolution they were beheaded thinking they were kings of France. They were restored in the 19th century, but the severed heads are preserved in the Museum of the Middle Ages of the City.
39. If you're a movie buff, you might like to know that in Montmatre you can visit the "Café de Deux Moulins". It was used by Jean-Pierre Jeunet in 2001 as the workplace of Amélie Poulain, the protagonist of the film Amélie .
40. As the last of these curiosities of Paris , we will tell you that in the world there are 38 cities that are also called Paris. They are located in places as distant as Sweden, Panama or the USA.
As you can see, the French capital has a myriad of mysteries to discover and interesting places to visit. What do you think about our selection of curiosities of Paris ? Do you know any that we have not taken into account? Tell us about it and we can expand this list of curious facts about the City of Light.
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