The capital of France is one of the most visited cities in the world. Paris has many world-renowned destinations such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Louvre Museum. The city of love is also the global centre for art, fashion, culture, and gastronomy. Paris has two natural islands surrounded by the Seine river: the Île de la Cité and the Île Saint-Louis. If you are planning to stopover in the city, here are some interesting facts about Paris, France.
General Facts About Paris
1. Celtics were the first settlers of Paris
A probably not a well-known fact about Paris is that its first settlers were Celtics.
A Celtic tribe known as the Parisii established their settlements on the Seine river banks around 259 BC. After it became a popular trade hub, the Romans took over around 52 BC and further expanded the city.
After the fall of the western Roman empire, Paris became France's capital and thrived as a business hub. Napoleon Bonaparte seized power after the French revolution and developed the city's infrastructure.
2. Paris is regarded as the fashion capital of the world
One of the most well-known facts about Paris is that it is the fashion capital of the world.
Some of the world's greatest fashion designers, including Coco Chanel, Jean-Paul Gaultier and, Yves Saint Laurent, called Paris their home.
Paris is also home to famous fashion houses and brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Dior, and Givenchy. The annual Paris Fashion Week attracts many fashion designers and enthusiasts all over the world.
General Facts About Paris
3. Paris has a unique café culture
You can find a café almost anywhere in Paris. Most of the cafés have tables and chairs spilling out onto the street. Cafés in Paris dating back to the 1600s, and they became popular among the intellectuals for philosophical conversations.
Many writers, artists, and politicians advanced their projects in cafés. Nowadays, they are where people come to hang out.
4. Paris has over 5,000 cafés, and street food finds
It is always important to be aware of the best cafés to visit when the city has hundreds, and thousands of cafés and food finds.
Galette Fraicheur (a salty crepe) at Chez Alain Miam Miam, Bao Burger at Little Baobei, Patacon (Venezuelan sandwich) at Aji Dulce, Za’atar Flatbread at Man’ouche and Cordon Bleu Rolls at Les Petits Rolls de Paris are some street foods you can try during a Paris stayover.
5. Photographing the Eiffel Tower at night is illegal
Eiffel tower is perhaps the most iconic site in Paris. The 324m (1063 ft) tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world. The construction started in 1887 as a part of the 1889 World's fair.
But one of the least well-known facts about Paris is that it is illegal to take photos of Eiffel Tower at night.
Taking photos of the tower during the night is illegal due to the copyright law of France. The lights of the tower are protected by this law making it illegal to take pictures during the night.
6. Paris houses Jesus’s crown of thorns
The Crown of thorns is the crown placed on the head of Jesus during his crucifixion. It is one of the most precious and closely guarded relics in all Christendom.
This crown is in the famous Notre Dame Cathedral and put on public display on the first Friday of every month. Currently, the crown is in the Louvre Museum after a fire destroyed the Notre Dame Cathedral in 2019.
7. Paris has the world’s largest art museum
The Louvre museum is the largest art museum in the world. The museum has over 380,000 objects and displays about 35,000 works of art. It would take about 200 days to see every piece of art displayed at the museum.
Among these arts, the Mona Lisa, the raft of the Medusa, and Liberty leading the people are the most popular.
8. Paris undergrounds hold the remains of more than 6 million people
The catacombs of Paris are underground ossuary which holds the remains of more than 6 million Parisians. In the 18thcentury, Paris needed a place to put dead bodies as the city’s cemeteries were full.
As a result, authorities used an abandoned underground quarry as an ossuary and moved around 6 million bodies from cemeteries between the 1780s to 1814.
9. Paris has many fake buildings
Paris has fake buildings to cover unsightly infrastructures such as ventilation shafts and electrical substations.
The building at number 29 rue Quincampoix has painted windows to hide the ventilation shafts from underground road tunnels. Number 44 rue d'Aboukir and 145 rue la Fayette are some other fake buildings.
10. Paris holds an annual competition to select the best Baguette
An interesting fact about Paris is that it holds an annual competition for the best baguette.
“Grand Prix de la Baguette de Traditional Francaise de la Ville De Paris" is the annual competition hold to select the best Baguette in the city.
A panel of judges uses a scoring system to award the title, and the winner will receive a cash prize.