10 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Paris
So you think you know a lot about Paris...
Beyond knowing the height of the Eiffel Tower or which monument is the most visited in Paris, here are 10 facts which I'm sure you didn't know (or at least not all of them):
1. The Ritz Paris opened in 1898 and was the first hotel in Europe to provide a bathroom in its rooms.
2. Once upon a time, the Champs-Elysées, now full of shops, bars and restaurants was simply the countryside.
3. The Place des Vosges is named in honour of the Vosges department as it was the first French department to pay taxes.
4. The Pont Neuf was the first bridge in Paris to be made out of stone when all other bridges were made out of wood.
5. The statue of Napoleon on top of the iconic Vendôme Column was changed on numerous occasions and the column was completely taken down in May 1871 by commoners who had even laid down horse poo so that the column (with Napoleon) would fall in the muck…
6. The Luxor Obelisk replaced a statue of Louis XIV after the French Revolution when Louis XVI was guillotined on the Place de la Concorde.
7. It was Philippe Auguste (King of France between 1180-1223) who laid the first stone of the Louvre which then took 8 centuries to be entirely built under the reign of several royal families!
8. The royal families initially resided on the Ile de la Cité, which used to be the heart of Paris. Charles V was the first king to live in the Louvre in the 14th Century.
9. Before the French Revolution in 1789 people had to pay taxes on the entrance/exit of all merchandises into the centre of Paris. This is why all the Cabarets started in Montmartre and other surrounding areas, such as Ménilmontant, because they were located outside of the wall which enclosed the centre of Paris and so the alcohol wasn't taxed making it cheaper for customers.
10. The Place Vendôme was initially built for Louis XIV - at first he didn’t like how it was done so he asked for it to be completely destroyed and rebuilt.
Do share any interesting facts you may know about Paris in the comment section below!