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    22 Cool Paris Facts Most People Go Their Whole Life Without Knowing

    There's more to the City of Lights than the Eiffel Tower and cheese.

    1. Paris has its own Statue of Liberty.

    Statue Of Liberty Replica Against Cloudy Sky

    2. When the Eiffel Tower was first being constructed, Parisians despised it — and some still do.

    Eiffel Tower at sunset

    3. Paris retains an army of carrier pigeons.

    4. There’s an annual competition to determine the best baguette in Paris. And, as you'd imagine, it's serious business.

    5. Paris is broken up into 20 arrondissements (or neighborhoods) that are numbered to resemble the spiral of a snail shell.

    6. The city's first café has been in business 90 years longer than the US has been a country.

    7. Built in the 17th century, one of the city's oldest buildings is now home to a (delicious) Vietnamese restaurant.

    8. There are 14 cemeteries in Paris, including one that houses the tomb of Jim Morrison and another that’s home to a horde of stray cats.

    9. The city has two natural islands (and several artificial ones).

    10. Every summer, the city hauls in tons of sand and palm trees and brings the beach to Paris.

    11. The quality of water in France is top-notch and you’ll find free sparkling water fountains throughout Paris.

    12. Some people who visit Paris suffer from Paris Syndrome: a feeling of disappointment that the city wasn’t what they expected.

    Gargoyles atop Notre-Dame Cathedral

    13. Below the streets of Paris is a subterranean labyrinth of tunnels that house the bodies of over 6 million people.

    Skulls and bones in an underground cavern

    14. But, only a select few know how to access the full 170+ miles of underground tunnels and chambers beyond the Catacombs.

    15. These same tunnels also connect to bomb shelters that were used as protection during World War II.

    16. Many Parisians take a monthlong vacation in August, leaving the city empty.

    17. Some of the city’s metro stations are elaborately decorated, including one that feels like the inside of a submarine.

    18. And some have metro entrances that look like they're crawling with snakes (at least to me).

    19. A deserted railway line circles Paris, much of which is overgrown with plants and closed to the public.

    20. The first known photo featuring people was shot in Paris in 1838.

    Old photo of a tree-lined Paris street

    21. If you tried to see every piece of art in the Louvre, Paris's most famous museum, it would take you around eight months.

    The beautiful, old Louvre Museum building and a glass pyramid in the courtyard

    22. And finally, Leonardo da Vinci's famous Mona Lisa painting was once stolen from the Louvre — and it took over a day for anyone to notice it was missing.

    Person hanging the Mona Lisa painting on a wall

    Any interesting facts about Paris I missed? Chime in below!

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