The sightseeing is always more exciting if we know something special about a building, a street, an attraction what the most guides don’t mention. Paris has always been the city of myths and legends, so it’s not so difficult to find interesting facts which are known among a few people.
Here come 20 interesting facts about Paris:
1. Paris and its surroundings include 12 million habitants, this is one of the most densely populated area in Europe. About 20% of the entire French population live in the capital and its vicinity.
2. One of the world most popular destination, more than 13 million tourists travel per year to the Parisian Disneyland, 5,5 million visits the Eiffel Tower, 5 million the Louvre and 3,25 million go to Versailles. According to a survey, 80% of the travellers come to Paris to visit only one certain attraction.
3. It is prescribed by a law no to built any building above 6 m height in the French capital. Why? Beacuse to let the sunshine reach all part of the city.
4. More dogs live in Paris than children. The number of dogs is estimated about 300.000.
5. In the catacombs beneath the city streets there are the remains of more than 6 million people.
6. One of the world most famous and largest cathedrals, the Parisian Notre Dame was being built nearly for 200 years.
7. The Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 for the Paris World Exhibition, completed in 2 years and until 1930 this was the world tallest building. More than 2,5 million nails, 15,000 iron parts and more than 40 tons of paint was used for the construction.
8. Why Paris is the City of Lights? This name has nothing to do with the lights of Eiffel Tower or the illuminated streets. The light in this sense means the intellect referring to the French capital has been a popular place for intellectuals, artists, academics, witers for centuries.
9. Baguette is closely connected to Paris. The standard baguette dough was defined by a law and also figured out its size. The real Parisian baguette is 65 cm long and 6 cm in diameter.
10. The oldest café in Paris is Procope. Opened in 1686, this was the first place in the city where real Italian coffee was served, taken from Italy by the founder of the café, Procopio Cutó. Procope was the first literary café in the French capital. In the 18th century famous people visited the café, as Voltaire, Diderot, Danton, Marat, Robespierre, later Verlaine and Anatole France.
11. Until the 1860s 20.000 residents of Ile de la Cité were still in medieval conditions, crowded, lived in squalor.
12. The first public striptease performance took place in 1894 in Moulin Rouge.
13. Name of Paris is derived from the Celtic tribe (Parisii) who lived here 200-250 BC. The settlement was called then Lutetia Parisiorum, which come from the Latin lutum, means mud and refers to the first settlers who washed their clothes on the muddy banks of Seine. So the today elegant, shimmering city of Paris was once the muddy town of Parisii people.
14. All of the major routes in France lead to Paris and end right at the Notre Dame. The signs along the motorways show the distance from the Notre Dame in kilometers. This is indicated by zero kilometer stone laid in front of the cathedral.
15. In the 1930s the residents of Ile St.-Louis proclaimed the island lying in the heart of Paris an independent republic.
16. In Paris there are more than 70 museums, monuments and cultural attractions.
17. Emile Zola, the great advocate of science and rationalism, feared that the Eiffel Tower would change the weather in Paris and cause huge thunderstorms.
18. Paris was the first city in the world where house numbers were deployed. It was in 1463 and London followed this example exactly 300 years later.
19. Among the 37 bridges of Paris 33 is illuminated after dark.
20. Oscar Wilde’s and Jim Morrison’s grave are in the Pere Lachaise Parisian cemetery.