50 Facts About Paris

50 Facts about Paris

For the knowledge seekers and trivia masters, eParis presents 50 Facts about Paris!

  1. The Eiffel Tower has a nickname, La Dame de fer which means the iron lady.
  2. The Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Paris, and was also the first road to benefit from pavement separating pedestrians and traffic.
  3. The Eiffel Tower weighs a stunning 7000 tons and requires 50 tons of paint every seven years.
  4. The Eiffel Tower swayed 13cm during a great storm in 1999.
  5. It is a law that no building in Paris can be over six stories tall. The reason is so that the city has ample sunshine.
  6. There are more dogs than children in Paris. The dog population is estimated at 300,000.
  7. France is the most visited country in world bringing in millions of visitor to Paris alone.
  8. Rumor is Napoleon was short; however he was actually above average for French men of that time.
  9. Paris was originally named Luteita, and was a Roman city.
  10. Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce used to journey around Paris and look for fights with men larger than themselves.
  11. A German general was ordered by Hitler to destroy all Paris monuments before retreat, he refused to do so.
  12. It took 666 years to construct the Louvre. Originally built as a palace it has become the most visited museum in the world.
  13. The Louvre contains over 35,000 works of exquisite art and would take a person approximately ten months to view each piece.
  14. King Louis XIX was ruler of France for a mere 20 minutes.
  15. Paris has a single stop sign in the entire city.
  16. Due to the variation of ambient temperature, the top of the Eiffel Tower can shift away from the sun by as much as 18cm.
  17. Paris has over 2 million occupants with 1 in 7 being non-French.
  18. The Paris sewer system which matches the streets above is cleaned by rolling large stone balls down it.
  19. There is a café in Paris that if you do not say hello and please your coffee will be more expensive.
  20. A Paris apartment was left empty for nearly 70 years while the rent was paid promptly. Inside the apartment was a painting worth 2 million euros that was only discovered when the renter passed away.
  21. It is estimated that 45 million tourists visit Paris annually with half of those visitors being French.
  22. Paris is called the City of Light because of the artists, sculptors and writers that made it their home and let to enlightenment.
  23. The oldest and most famous university in Paris is the Sorbonne.
  24. The iconic character James Bond was modeled after a real French spy named Wilfrid Dunderdale.
  25. A hospital worker got lost in the Paris Catacombs in in 1793 and was found 11 years later.
  26. When Hitler visited Paris in WWII, the French cut the elevator cables on the Eiffel Tower so that he was forced to climb the steps to reach the top of the tower.
  27. The Paris business district of La Defense is the largest business district in Europe.
  28. France utilizes 12 different time zones which is the most used by any country in the world.
  29. Until 2012, it was illegal for women in Paris to wear pants.
  30. Paris is residence to over 50 theaters, 70 museums and approximately 4.5 million people ride the metro each day.
  31. The most visited attractions in Paris include Notre Dame, Euro Disneyland, the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.
  32. A replica of Foucault’s pendulum swings in constant motion in the Pantheon.
  33. Paris’ name comes from Parisii, which is a tribe of Gauls who were noted to have settled on the island off the Seine, Ile de la City in 250 BC.
  34. The first known establishment in Paris was a restaurant. Now Paris is famed for over 8,000.
  35. The average age of Parisians is 20-30 years old and there are two times more singles in Paris than families.
  36. Each summer the shores of the Seine are turned into temporary beaches. Tons of sand are brought in by a river barge which is spread along the Seine. This turns the area in a mini beach for all to enjoy.
  37. Plaster of Paris, conveniently named was invented in Paris. It is made from gypsum, a powdered rock often used by sculptors such as the famous Rodin.
  38. The government of Paris passed a law that would forbid Tom Cruise from becoming an honorary citizen.
  39. 40 people were killed in 1450 in the middle of Paris by a rabid pack of wolves.
  40. It was fashionable in the 1700s for women in Paris to wear hats with lightning rods attached when going out into storms.
  41. There are approximately 181 known cafes in Paris where you can get an espresso for €1.
  42. There are approximately 9,057 open terraces in Paris. If a person would to spend each day of their life visiting a different café, bar or restaurant, it would take you 29 years to see them all.
  43. The bell that resides in the Notre Dame weighs and astonishing 13 tons.
  44. Paris has over 6,100 streets.
  45. The shortest street in Paris is the Rue des Degrés located in the 2nd arrondissement. It is a mere 5.75 meters in length.
  46. Paris has over 1,124 bars in the city.
  47. Paris has one metro station that looks like you are inside a submarine.
  48. For thirty years a man in Paris invites strangers to his home for a dinner party each week.
  49. There is a brothel in Paris that was frequented by King Edward VII. King Edward was said to fill the bath with champagne to bathe along with his prostitutes. After his death many years later the bathtub was sold to Salvador Dali.
  50. In celebration of the bicentenary of the French Revolution in 1989, the golden dome of the Invalids was re-gilded, using 27.8lb of gold leaf.


Photo by Dustin Gaffke

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