Facts About Paris

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Paris, France otherwise known as the “City of Lights,” throughout the world, Paris is famous for its beautiful city plan, its architecture, museums, cathedrals, shopping, bridges, parks, flea markets, wide and magnificent boulevards, sidewalk cafes, elegant cuisine, and various monuments. It was once confined to an island in the middle of the Seine River, the Ile de la Cité, Paris, was founded over 2,000 years ago, it quickly spread to both sides of the river, the rive droit was the right bank and the rive gauche is the left bank. The rive droit is known for being the commercial heart of the city and rive gauche is home of the University of Paris and all things artsy.

Fact 1:    The best way to tour Paris is by boat. You can catch a one-hour cruise on the Seine in a sightseeing boat or bateaumouche, the tour points out the main monuments, cathedrals, the best view of Notre Dame, bridges, and gives a history of the city. Bus tours are also provided by companies: Cityrama, Vision, and Parisbus are just a few of the larger companies.

Fact 2:    The population of France was largely monolithic in character, until World War II. Most French people are descended from ancient Teutonic and Celtic tribes dating as far back as 200 B.C. The language spoken in Paris is French, which is required in all state-supported schools. After World War II, people from former French colonies in African and Indonesia immigrated to Paris where they could find employment. The population now includes people of African and Indochinese decent. Although, these people speak a variety of languages, French is the only official language of France.

Fact 3:    The French are wildly in love with their pet dogs. Dogs can be seen everywhere, even inside a five star restaurant.

Fact 4:    60 Celtic tribes called the Gauls inhabited the region, particularly the Paris Basin on the Ile de la Cité. The city got its name from one of the tribes called the Parisii.

Fact 5:    In the middle of the twelfth century, King Philippe Auguste turned Paris into a medieval city. He built his castle with protective walls around the city. His castle was a little more than a fortress in the location of the modern-day Louvre. No one knows the meaning of Lourve, only that it is thought to have come from the Latin word for wolves. Philippe kept his wolf-hunting dogs in the fortress.

Fact 6:    The construction of the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris began in the Middle Ages (1163), it is one of the most famous examples of Gothic architecture, and one of the greatest universities in the world, the University of Paris.

Fact 7:    The point of the Luxor obelisk indicates international time; it is the largest sundial in the entire world.

Fact 8:    Pont Neuf (New Bridge) is the oldest bridge in Paris, it was the first road in Paris to be paved, separating pedestrians and traffic. It is one of the first bridges to be built without houses on it.

Fact 9:    At the beginning of avenue de New York, on the southern side of the square stands a life-size gilded model of the flame held by the Statue of Liberty in New York City. It was a gift given to the city for the 100th anniversary of the International Herald Tribune. The flowers on the monument are in honor of Lady Diana whose car crashed in the tunnel under the square.

Fact 10: The Eiffel Tower weighs about 7,000 tons and gets about 50 tons of pain every seven years. The Eiffel tower swayed 13 cm during a storm in 1999.

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