Paris, the fashion capital of the world, houses grandiloquent monuments that mesmerize travelers from across the globe. While the Baroque architecture, the reminiscence of the French Revolution and World Wars can rekindle the history buff in you, the restaurants offer the perfect romantic dining experience with your better half. However, among so many obvious things, there are fascinating things about Paris which you may have noticed but never given a thought. Here are 10 such intriguing facts about the ‘City of Love’.
1. City Without Skyscrapers
Although ‘La Defense’, the financial district on the outskirts of Paris, houses tall corporate buildings, the height of the buildings in the city center has been restricted to just 37 meters. The law regarding the height of buildings has seen several revisions with the earliest recorded account being in 1667. Paris XIV limited the heights of buildings in the city to just 16 meters as a precautionary measure to prevent the occurrence of events like the ‘Great Fire of London‘ in 1666.
2. The Secret Catacombs
3. The Gargoyles of Notre Dame Cathedral
4. The Original Moulin Rouge
Unlike the Hollywood depiction of Moulin Rouge, women didn’t have to sell bodies. They simply had to make intriguing conversations with men and entertain them. Skilled in the art of seduction, the women could keep the European elite engrossed for hours, sometimes forming short-lived romantic relationships.
The original Moulin Rouge was ravaged in a fire in 1915 and later rebuilt and opened to the public in 1921.
5. Paris Was Saved By A Nazi General
It was actually a Nazi general namedwho saved Paris from the wrath of Hitler.
As it became clear that the Nazi’s might lose Paris, Hitler ordered that explosives be strapped to everything – the Arche de Triomphe, Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower – everything. The idea was to be ready to blow up the city in the event that the allies came too close to taking it back. von Choltitz was responsable for the ocupation of Paris at the time – he made sure the explosives were set. The allies arrived, and Hitler made the call: he ordered von Choltitz to blast apart the most beloved monuments and buildings of Paris, but von Choltitz could not do it – he could not bring himself to give the final order. Later that day, a famous phone call passed between Hitler & von Choltitz. Hitler asked the general, “Is Paris burning?” The general replied simply, “Yes.”, and then hung up the phone.
6. Doorways of Paris
Do you know that mystery, secrets and intriguing stories are right there under your nose? You may be mesmerized by the vibrant colors and the architecture of the doorways of Paris. But have you noticed the chasse-roue located at the corner or foot of the gates and garage entries? Well, these were constructed to protect the corners of the building from the protruding hubs of horse carts and wheels. They are made from stone or iron.
7. Statue of Liberty in Paris
France had gifted the Americans Statue of Liberty in 1886. 3 years hence, the US gave France a smaller version of the statue to commemorate the French-America friendship.
The artificial statue in the middle of the river Seine is a surprise that you wouldn’t want to miss from the top of Eiffel Tower. In fact, there are over 30 replicas of Statue of Liberty in the world. But wait, there are 3 such replicas in Paris alone.
8. Luxor Obelisk Is From Egypt
9. The Shortest Street
There are over 6000 streets in Paris while the shortest one is just 18 feet. It’s technially a staircase.
10. Paris Syndrome
11. Number Of Glass Panes in The Louvre Pyramid
picturesque terrace cafes
1200 bakeries or boulangeries in the city
Do you know that filming movie sequences on the streets of Paris is free?
Cosmopolitan Cafe Culture. There are over 10,000 cafes in Paris.