Paris is one of those intriguing cities you can visit a hundred times and find something new every time you go. Maybe that’s part of the reason people come back year after year.
Here are just a few of the reasons that make Paris such an extraordinary destination
Roller skating is not for the faint of heart
Every Friday night in Paris around 10pm streets are closed down for a huge pack of skaters. Starting at Place Raoul Dautry in Montparnasse with a 3 hour time schedule including wine and snacks you come back to the Montparnasse Train Station. This popular event was started by a small group of skaters that eventually grew so big the city finally allowed year round access to the roads.
Did you know Paris has a passion for dogs? So much that the population of canines is larger than kids!
The “City of Lights”
Refers to the illumination of the mind and not the sparkling nuances of the night. Paris takes pride in bringing in the gifted artists, poets, musicians and intellectuals of the world.
Talking about lights
Did you know it takes about 80 kilometers or almost 50 miles of wire to light the Eiffel tower? Along with that are 20,000 flashing light bulbs that make a sparkling spectacle for five minutes on the hour. Winter time Ice Skating on the first floor is a popular winter experience for locals and tourists alike.
33 of 37 bridges
In Paris are illuminated after nightfall to make for a very romantic stroll with the one you love.
Paris was actually founded by the Celts of the Parisii sect which gave the city its name Paris. Although the original name of the city was Lutetia Parisiorum which means “Mud Town”. The Seine must have had some muddy shores to get that name!
Just a little frivolous
So much for a Royal Palace. Did you know that the Palais Royal was never used by the French Royals as a home? Instead as a gift to his brother Philippe by King Louis the 14th it became a playground for scandalous escapades.
What a guy!
Guy de Maupassant (the famed French writer) ate lunch at base of Eiffel Tower almost each day. His reason was that he hated the Eiffel Tower and that was the only place in the whole Paris from which he could not see it.
Huge fake out
During WWI, France built a ‘Fake Paris’ near the capital city to confuse German pilots to attack there instead of the real city.
One large step
During WWII to keep Hitler from visiting the Eiffel Tower the French Resistance disabled the elevator so the only way up was to take the stairs. Hitler never went.
Who would have thought?
What is Paris’s most visited attraction? The Louvre? The Eiffel Tower? Notre Dame? Nope, its Disneyland Paris!
Most American’s don’t realize this but tipping in Paris is not expected. A service fee for tip is included in your bill. But if you want to leave a little extra one or two Euro’s is fine. It just might bring a smile to the face of your waiter. A rare thing indeed!
(a) What grave site is the most visited in Paris? Would you believe its Jim Morrison of the “Doors”? Its true! Even though Oscar Wilde. Sarah Bernhardt and the famous composer Chopin are buried in the same cemetery Jim’s wins hands down at Pere Lachaise.
(b) Still on the cemetery note a visit to Saint Vincent is in order. This has to be one of the most extraordinary resting places in Europe. Check out the site of Paris’s own beloved children’s author Marcel Aymé. The monument in his honor is based on his book “Le Passe-Muraille” translated “The Walker Through Walls. The story is about Dutilleul a man of 42 years finds he has the ability to walk through walls. Along the rock wall is a bronze depicting exactly that, a man walking through it!
Rich real estate
Where do the top 1 percent rich want to live? On the Champs Elysees! Behind Bond Street in London its the most expensive real estate in Europe.
Back to the dead people
Know how many are buried in the Paris catacombs beneath the streets of Paris? Six million! Yes, that’s 6 million with over 200 miles of tunnels. Just try to find your family member in that. Good luck….
Oh Stop it
There is only 1 stop sign in all of Paris
Amazing and caring people
The Paris Mosque cared about the persecuted Jews during WWII so much so that they gave them Muslim I.D.’s so the Nazi’s wouldn’t throw them into Concentration camps.
Want to hear something funny about Paris? Pont Neuf which means “New Bridge” is the oldest bridge built over the Seine.
A little weird?
Yes! Saint Denis from 2 A.D. was beheaded by Romans for his faith. Rumor has it after the dastardly deed he picked up his head and carried it to what is now the St. Denis Basilica in Montmartre. There is a statue there depicting the incredible event.
No sheepish people here
Paris has half timbered houses! Dating back to the 15th century on what is now the one oldest street in Paris are a couple restored homes. In all probability these building were built as inns for the sheep farmers transferring the herds to sell at market. You can find them on Rue Francois Miron.
Quite a Metropolis
Out of all the metro stations in Paris there is only one named after a woman, Louise Michel who herself was a socialist. Another interesting fact is that one of the stations, Arts et Métiers was built to look like a submarine. Originally they were going to call the metro “La Compagnie du Chemin de Fer Metropolitan de Paris but was later shortened to metro for Metropolitan. May I add Thank you to whoever changed the name to metro? What a mouthful!