back to top
Travel

40 Surprising Facts About Paris

To show off at parties.

Posted on

1. Paris was founded in the 3rd century BC and was previously called Lutetia.

2. According to some, Lutetia was located in present-day Nanterre. The residents called themselves "Parisii" and therefore gave the name "Paris" to Lutetia.

3. In total, there are 38 cities called "Paris"across the world: from the United States to Sweden and even in Panama.

4. The Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Paris. It was built in 1604.

5. The Panthéon, or "temple of the Republic" as it is sometimes called, was originally a church called the Église Sainte-Geneviève, built in 1791.

Advertisement

6. There are in total 1,803 monuments and 173 museums in Paris.

7. There are also 450 parks and gardens in the city, spread out across more than 1,200 acres.

8. There are more than 400 movie screens in Paris, a hundred of which are operated by France's government art program, Art et Essai.

9. There are on average 10 film or commercial shoots in the streets of Paris each day.

10. Shooting in Paris is free except for scenes shot in a garden, museum, or swimming pool. In this case, the film crew has to pay a fee to the city.

11. Up until 2012, you could only find one single "STOP" sign in all of Paris. This sign was located at the exit of a construction material company in the 16th arrondissement. The sign has since been removed.

12. The motto of Paris is "Fluctuat Ner Mergitur", which means "Tossed but not sunk" in Latin, referring to a ship.

13. Because of its large area, the XVIth is the only one of Paris' arrondissements (municipal districts) to have two zip codes: 75016 and 75116.

14. The rue du Pélican in the 1st arrondissement of Paris was originally called the "rue du Poile-Con". It was only in 1806 that this street was given its current name.

15. There are dozens of pianos in the train stations of Paris. Initiated by the SNCF, the project "Play me I'm yours", is in numerous cities across the entire world.

16. The regional train system in Paris was going to be called the "Métro Express Régional Défense-Étoile", which would have resulted in the initials M.E.R.D.E. But since that translates to "shit," the name was very quickly changed to "Réseau Express Régional".

17. The statues all around the Place de la Concorde represent eight large cities of France: Lille, Strasbourg, Marseille, Nantes, Lyon, Brest, Bordeaux, and Rouen.

18. At the Concorde metro station, there is an inscription with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1789. A piece created by the artist Françoise Schein in 1990: "Letter after letter, the text spreads out across the entire surface of the archway and the walls on the platform of line 12."

19. The Roman numerals on the pavement of the Place de la Concorde are the numbers of a giant sundial, and the shadow of the obelisk functions to give the time.

Advertisement

20. At 231 meters, the First tower, which is situated in the business quarter of La Défense, is the highest skyscraper in France.

21. There are approximately a dozen ghost stations in Paris. Among them is the station Porte Molitor, built in 1923, that was originally intended to access the stadium at the Parc des Princes. Today, the tracks are used as a garage for the trains.

22. Likewise, the station Porte des Lilas (1921-1939) was established as a shuttle between the lines 3bis and 7bis. Today, it is used mostly for filming.

23. With 302 stations, the Paris Métro is the 4th largest public transport system in the world.

24. In the 10th arrondissement there is an old Haussmanian building that is actually fake. In reality, it hides a ventilation system for the RER.

25. There are ten Statues of Liberty in France, five of which are in Paris.

26. Moreover, you can find the Flame of Liberty next to the Pont de l'Alma. It was offered to the French people in 1987 by the International Herald Tribune to symbolize the friendship between the French and the Americans.

27. It has become a memorial site for Princess Diana.

28. The Place des États-Unis (in the 16th arrondissement) was originally called the Place de la Bitche, but the name was modified because it was a little bit embarrassing, for obvious reasons.

29. The longest street in Paris is the rue Vaugirard in the 15th arrondissement. It is 4,360 meters long.

30. The shortest street of Paris is the rue des Degrés in the 2nd arrondissement. It is 6 meters long.

31. There are remains of Roman ruins in the capital, the Arènes de Lutèce next to the Place Monge.

32. The oldest café in Paris is called Le Procope and is located in the 6th arrondissement. It was founded in 1686.

33. Paris is #1 in the world when it comes to the number of libraries; it has 830 of them in total.

34. The French army is the only one in Europe that still has carrier pigeons in its ranks. Kept at the Mont Valérien close to Paris, these pigeons can be used to carry out transmissions in case of a major catastrophe.

35. The 20 districts of Paris had many, many different names in the past. The 11th arrondissement was once the Arrondissement de Popincourt, for example.

36. Originally, the Marché de Rungis (founded in 1110) was set up in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris.

37. Today, it is the largest market in Europe, which has an area larger than that of the Principality of Monaco.

38. In the world of fashion, Paris is the only city to present haute couture shows.

39. There are 470,000, trees in Paris. They counted.

40. Believe it or not, the monument that is visited the most in Paris is the Notre-Dame cathedral with more than 14 million visitors in 2014.

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss