When it comes to great cities on the global stage, Paris has enjoyed fame and fortune for centuries, an opera diva in the center of an international cast. Paris’ audience members travel far and wide to witness her performance, to explore her majestic monuments, examine her artist collections, or capture her joie de vivre.
I am one of those curious spectators. You may be, too. But no matter if we have been once or a thousand times, we can’t pretend to know all that happens behind the stage curtain. So, let us take a look at Paris by her numbers to see how well we know the City of Light.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT PARIS
1 Dead Lover. France is one of the few countries in the world with posthumous marriage laws. If you have sufficient proof of intent to wed someone who has since passed away, you can apply to marry your deceased love. #TrueLove
25+ Years. At the rate one per day, it would take you over 25 years to visit every café in Paris. There are over 9,000 open-terraced cafes across the city. Good luck with keeping your waistline in check; those croissants are mostly butter, by the way.
37 Bridges. Of all the bridges arching over the Seine River, the oldest bridge in Paris is the Pont Neuf. I suppose that can be a wee bit confusing since Pont Neuf translates to “New Bridge.” Confusing and ironic.
213 Years. The law stating it was illegal for Parisian women to wear trousers remained on the books for far too long. Originally instituted to bar women from being a part of the “men’s world,” the ban on pants was not formally lifted until 2013. I have to admit that I broke the law back in 2009; I hope the Fashion Police won’t hold it against me…
666 Years. What began as a military outpost and fortress in the 12th century, the Louvre is now one of the most visited museums in the world. Almost seven centuries have passed to complete the look of the Louvre that we know today, including the addition of the Louvre Pyramid in 1989.
1,665 Steps. When the Nazis invaded Paris during World War II, the Parisians did not want to grant Hitler a view of their beloved metropolis from the Eiffel Tower. The lift cables were cut in secret. With such a daunting number of steps to climb, Hitler refused to take the steel stairway up to the top.
2002 A.D. To the relief of landlocked residents, the beach came to Paris in 2002. Since then, tons of sand are dumped onto the walking path along the Seine every summer, creating a recreational area for Parisians and tourists alike. Ah, c’est la vie.
200,000 Euro. Taxi drivers pay the government big bucks to receive their license. The outrageous financial sum is part of the controversy surrounding ride-sharing companies in la capitale. Cough, cough, Uber!
30+ Million. The steady stream of tourists passing through the Louvre, Notre Dame and Eiffel Tower is a constant part of the Parisian pulse. Repeatedly, France ranks #1 as the most visited country in the world, and Paris claims to receive more tourists than any other city on the planet. In 2014, that number surpassed 32 million. Were you one in
a 30 million recently?
Salut tout le monde! Did you find any of these facts about Paris surprising? Have you been to the “Paris beach” before? Are you a pants-wearing-criminal like me? How did you experience Paris?
Editor’s Note: This special assortment of fun facts about Paris was brought to you by my own Interwebs research. Sources include the following websites: Fact Slides France, TootlaFrance, NPR, Mail Online and Mental Floss. If you find any of this information horribly inaccurate, please let me know by leaving a kind comment below. Merci!