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Fun Facts About Paris

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Ah, Paris! If you want to know more about this amazing, international city, read on for some fun facts about Paris.

Fun Facts About Paris

Basic Facts About Paris

Paris is the capital of France.

It is located along the banks of the Seine River, in the northern-central part of the country.

The main part of the city is 41 square miles, but it spreads to an area of 890 square miles.

Around 2 million people live in the city of Paris, but that number rises close to 11 million when you add in those who live in the surrounding area.

The weather in Paris is temperate, but winter can have some cold snaps. In July, the average temperature is in the upper 60s Fahrenheit.

When people think of Paris, they picture its famous sites: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Notre Dame Cathedral.

But there is much more to Paris! Read on for some amazing facts about Paris.

Fun Facts About Paris

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Fun Facts About Paris

Paris…the City of Light and the City of Love. Check out these amazing fun facts about Paris.

1. The New Bridge is the Oldest Bridge

Paris runs along the banks of the Seine River, so there are many bridges that connect the city proper with the surrounding areas.

The oldest bridge is the Pont Neuf.

Ironically, the name Pont Neuf means “New Bridge.”

The bridge was opened in 1607. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Pont Neuf was an innovative bridge of its time. Prior bridges were made of wood (and often collapsed).

The Pont Neuf is made of stone. Taxes were imposed on neighboring regions to pay for the bridge materials and construction.

It is also the first Parisian bridge to have sidewalks!

Fun Facts About Paris

2. Paris Is Over 2000 Years Old

Paris gets its name from a Gallic tribe called the Parisii, who inhabited this area of France in 250 BC.

The Romans conquered the area and named it Lutetia, but the name didn’t stick.

Over time the inhabitants renamed the city Paris after their ancestral tribe.

In 508, Clovis I, King of the Franks, made Paris his capital.

3. The Guillotine Was Invented by the French

“Off with their heads!” The French Revolution is synonymous with executions performed by the slicing guillotine.

Strangely, the guillotine was designed to ease suffering.

The inventor, Joseph Guillotin (who did not want the invention named after him…oh well), designed this machine because sometimes the executioner would miss his mark.

The person would suffer from the errant blow and not die right away.

By contrast, the guillotine never missed.

The guillotine was still used in France until 1981 when the death penalty was abolished.

Fun Facts About Paris

4. Paris Has Military Pigeons

You have heard of military dogs, but have you heard of military pigeons?

The French army is the only army in the world that still trains carrier pigeons to carry messages.

They carry messages tied to their legs (just like the owls in Harry Potter).

The pigeons are housed in Fort Mont-Valerian, a fortress that overlooks Paris.

In World War I, pigeons carried messages to troops (they were like drones we use today!).

With the advent of advanced technology, why does Paris need military pigeons?

They are trained for a potential emergency where all power is knocked out.

The Paris carrier pigeons are ready for duty!

Fun Facts About Paris

5. Parisians Did Not Like the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is the most iconic structure in Paris, but it was never built to last.

It was built for the 1889 World’s Fair and was meant to stay up for 2 years before it was dismantled.

When it was first built, Parisians thought it was an eyesore.

It loomed over the other buildings of the city and had no apparent purpose.

Gradually, Parisians fell in love with the tower as it soon became a symbol of their city.

6. If You Are Walking in Paris, You Might End Up in a Movie

Paris is the city of romance, fashion, and food. Is that why it’s featured so much in TV and film?


Unlike other places, it is free to shoot movies, commercials, and TV shows in Paris. That is one reason why Paris features so heavily in TV and film.

On average, 10 films, TV shows, or commercials are shot in Paris every day.

If you are out and about in Paris, you may just end up in the background of a movie!

Fun Facts About Paris

7. The Statue of Liberty Has a Sister in Paris

The Statue of Liberty in New York was a gift from the nation of France to the United States in 1886.

But it’s not the only one of its kind.

French sculptor Frederic Auguste designed the copper sculpture and engineer Gustav Eiffel (yes, he is also responsible for the Eiffel Tower) built the metal framework.

Artists constructed similar (but smaller) versions of the Statue of Liberty, and one is in Paris. It stands near the Eiffel Tower.

Also in Paris is a life-sized replica of the torch of Lady Liberty.

8. Paris Has an Underground City

Under the city of Paris lies a network of tunnels and rooms that stretch over 170 miles.

In the 1800s cemeteries in Paris ran out of room.

The government had to come up with a place to bury bodies. They decided to use the abandoned rock quarries underneath the city.

They dug tunnels to navigate between the quarries.

Over 6 million former residents are laid to rest in these underground burial chambers called the Catacombs.

The Catacombs have saved lives. During World War II, the Catacombs served as hideouts for the French Resistance fighters.

Fun Facts About Paris

9. Paris Is the City of Light

Why does Paris have the nickname “The City of Light”?

Is it because of its gorgeous skyline (including the Eiffel Tower) that is lit up at night?

Is it because it has been a center for arts and culture, illuminating the world?

None of the above.

It is because Paris was the first city lit by electric streetlights.

10. Paris Has “Ghost” Metro Stations

Paris has one of the busiest underground metro systems in the world.

The series of tunnels stretches for 136 miles and includes 304 stations.

Even so, there are some metro stations not in use. These are called “ghost stations.”

These stations may have been built and never used, or they were used and then closed.

There are at least 14 of these ghost stations, but people search for more.

Sometimes these ghost stations are used as movie or TV sets.

Fun Facts About Paris

Read More About Paris

This beautiful city has a rich history, delicious food, and incredible sites.

Do you want to learn more? Check out these books on Paris.

Hey Kids! Let’s Visit Paris, France

This book explains the history behind some of the biggest tourist attractions in Paris. It’s chock full of fun facts about Paris!

Paris: 51 Fascinating Facts for Kids

This book is exactly as described; it’s full of fun facts! Best suited for middle grades.

An American in Paris

This travel guide is full of quintessential information on the city.

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