Cool Facts about Paris

Here at travelphant we like to feature cool places and cities and this month we feature Paris and showcase some things you might not know about this famous sity. Paris was ranked among the 3 most important and influential cities in the world recently and remains a firm favorite for a short romantic weekend city breaks with flights to Paris still relatively cheap and luxury hotels in abundance. Here we feature some cool and interesting facts about Paris along with amazing pictures of this stunning city.

6 million people are burried below the streets of Paris in catacombs and is a popular visitor attraction.


It took around 182 years to build Notre Dame.  Under a law dating to 1905, Notre Dame belongs to the French government, which maintains it, but the Catholic Church has the exclusive right to use the cathedral. The largest bell in Notre Dame's bell tower is named "Emmanuel." It was cast in 1631, and weighs over 28,000 pounds!



The popular notion about the name of Paris is that it is derived from the name of Prince Paris, the son of the King of Troy, who fell in love with the beautiful Helen and carried her to his home. Rather, the city was named after Parisii, a Gaul tribe who inhabited the Ile de la Cite region from 250 B.C. to 200 B.C. According to another view, the name 'Paris' may also be derived from the word Paname meaning 'enormous', since the slang nickname of 'Paname' is 'Paris'.



Paris is often known as the City of Light but not because of the bright illuminations emitted by the Eiffel Tower each evening, but for the intellectual people inhabiting the city. It's these groups of intellectual, whose contributions in diverse spheres like art, literature, sculpture, architecture, culture, economy, politics and so on have made Paris a world-famous cultural center.



The erection of Eiffel Tower in 1889 by architect Gustave Eiffel was meant for the Paris Exhibition organized in the city that very year. Yet, this unique construction was supposed to remain a popular tourist attraction merely for 20 years, after which it would be transformed into a superior radio tower having long-range, under military control.



As far as the orientation of Paris is concerned, the city is divulged into two segments, namely the Right Bank and the Left Bank by the Seine River. The right bank of Paris is drained by Droite River, while River Gauche flows through the left bank of the city. Paris is almost at an equal distance of 10 to 11 kilometers (6 to 7 miles) from both the banks. So it doesn't take more than 2 hours to walk across the capital city from either of the river banks.


In front of Notre Dame is "Point Zero" (a round bronze plaque in the pavement) where all distance miles in France are measured from Paris. People place their toe on it, and revolve around it 360 degrees. It's a tradition to do this.


The Eiffel Tower was only meant to stand for 20 years. Gustave Eiffel and the crew constructed the tower in 2 years, completing it in 1889 for the Exposition Universelle (the World's Fair). It served as the entrance arch for this World's Fair marking the centennial celebration of the French Revolution. Originally, people complained it was an eyesore and looked forward to the structure’s 20-year permit ending. The military, however, realized it made an excellent long-range radio tower and the installation of a permanent base in the tower in 1906 ensured its survival.


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