60 Facts About Paris


Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of the world's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, gastronomy, and science.

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The Paris Region had a GDP of €739 billion in 2019, which is the highest in Europe.

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Paris is especially known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre received 2.

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Paris is often referred to as the 'City of Light', both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment and more literally because Paris was one of the first large European cities to use gas street lighting on a grand scale on its boulevards and monuments.

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Christianity was introduced in the middle of the 3rd century AD by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris: according to legend, when he refused to renounce his faith before the Roman occupiers, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as Mons Martyrum, later "Montmartre", from where he walked headless to the north of the city; the place where he fell and was buried became an important religious shrine, the Basilica of Saint-Denis, and many French kings are buried there.

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In 1163, during the reign of Louis VII, Maurice de Sully, bishop of Paris, undertook the construction of the Notre Dame Cathedral at its eastern extremity.

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In spite of Henry IV's efforts to improve city circulation, the narrowness of Paris's streets was a contributing factor in his assassination near Les Halles marketplace in 1610.

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Paris built five new bridges, a new chapel for the College of Sorbonne, and a palace for himself, the Palais-Cardinal, which he bequeathed to Louis XIII.

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Paris grew in population from about 400, 000 in 1640 to 650, 000 in 1780.

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Paris was the centre of an explosion of philosophic and scientific activity known as the Age of Enlightenment.

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Paris was the financial capital of continental Europe, the primary European centre of book publishing and fashion and the manufacture of fine furniture and luxury goods.

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Population of Paris had dropped by 100, 000 during the Revolution, but between 1799 and 1815, it surged with 160, 000 new residents, reaching 660, 000.

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Paris began erecting monuments to military glory, including the Arc de Triomphe, and improved the neglected infrastructure of the city with new fountains, the Canal de l'Ourcq, Pere Lachaise Cemetery and the city's first metal bridge, the Pont des Arts.

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The first railway line to Paris opened in 1837, beginning a new period of massive migration from the provinces to the city.

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Paris became the laboratory of Naturalism and Symbolism (Charles Baudelaire and Paul Verlaine), and of Impressionism in art (Courbet, Manet, Monet, Renoir).

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The population of Paris dropped from 2, 850, 000 in 1954 to 2, 152, 000 in 1990, as middle-class families moved to the suburbs.

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Paris is located in northern central France, in a north-bending arc of the river Seine whose crest includes two islands, the Ile Saint-Louis and the larger Ile de la Cite, which form the oldest part of the city.

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Paris has a typical Western European oceanic climate, which is affected by the North Atlantic Current.

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Almost all of its long history, except for a few brief periods, Paris was governed directly by representatives of the king, emperor, or president of France.

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Security of Paris is mainly the responsibility of the Prefecture of Police of Paris, a subdivision of the Ministry of the Interior.

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Paris is one of the few world capitals that has rarely seen destruction by catastrophe or war.

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Paris is the fourth largest municipality in the European Union, following Berlin, Madrid and Rome.

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Jewish population of the Paris Region was estimated in 2014 to be 282, 000, the largest concentration of Jews in the world outside of Israel and the United States.

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Paris is the home of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

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Economy of the City of Paris is based largely on services and commerce; of the 390, 480 enterprises in the city, 80.

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Paris Region is France's leading region for economic activity, with a GDP of €681 billion and €56, 000 (~US$70, 000) per capita.

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In 2018, Paris was the most expensive city in the world with Singapore and Hong Kong.

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Paris's manufacturing is mostly focused in its suburbs, and the city itself has only around 75, 000 manufacturing workers, most of which are in the textile, clothing, leather goods, and shoe trades.

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Greater Paris, comprising Paris and its three surrounding departments, received 38 million visitors in 2019, a record, measured by hotel arrivals.

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In 2018, measured by the Euromonitor Global Cities Destination Index, Paris was the second-busiest airline destination in the world, with 19.

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Centre of Paris contains the most visited monuments in the city, including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Louvre as well as the Sainte-Chapelle; Les Invalides, where the tomb of Napoleon is located, and the Eiffel Tower are located on the Left Bank south-west of the centre.

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In 2019, Greater Paris had 2, 056 hotels, including 94 five-star hotels, with a total of 121, 646 rooms.

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Centuries, Paris has attracted artists from around the world, who arrive in the city to educate themselves and to seek inspiration from its vast pool of artistic resources and galleries.

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Paris was central to the development of Romanticism in art, with painters such as Gericault.

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Paris Museums were closed for much of 2020, but gradually re-opened in 2021, with limitations on the number of visitors at a time and a requirement that visitors wear masks and show proof of vaccination.

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Largest opera houses of Paris are the 19th-century Opera Garnier and modern Opera Bastille; the former tends toward the more classic ballets and operas, and the latter provides a mixed repertoire of classic and modern.

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In 1911, the dance hall Olympia Paris invented the grand staircase as a settling for its shows, competing with its great rival, the Folies Bergere.

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Later, Olympia Paris presented Dalida, Edith Piaf, Marlene Dietrich, Miles Davis, Judy Garland and the Grateful Dead.

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Casino de Paris presented many famous French singers, including Mistinguett, Maurice Chevalier and Tino Rossi.

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Since then, Paris has been the centre of the French publishing industry, the home of some of the world's best-known writers and poets, and the setting for many classic works of French literature.

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Paris did not become the acknowledged capital of French literature until the 17th century, with authors such as Boileau, Corneille, La Fontaine, Moliere, Racine, Charles Perrault, several coming from the provinces, as well as the foundation of the Academie francaise.

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Small Paris bookstores are protected against competition from discount booksellers by French law; books, even e-books, cannot be discounted more than five percent below their publisher's cover price.

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Paris became a major centre for jazz and still attracts jazz musicians from all around the world to its clubs and cafes.

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Django Reinhardt rose to fame in Paris, having moved to the 18th arrondissement in a caravan as a young boy, and performed with violinist Stephane Grappelli and their Quintette du Hot Club de France in the 1930s and 1940s.

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Several yearly festivals take place in Paris, including the Paris Jazz Festival and the rock festival Rock en Seine.

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Since the late 18th century, Paris has been famous for its restaurants and haute cuisine, food meticulously prepared and artfully presented.

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Several of the best-known restaurants in Paris today appeared during the Belle Epoque, including Maxim's on Rue Royale, Ledoyen in the gardens of the Champs-Elysees, and the Tour d'Argent on the Quai de la Tournelle.

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Since the 19th century, Paris has been an international fashion capital, particularly in the domain of haute couture.

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Paris is the departement with the highest proportion of highly educated people.

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University of Paris, founded in the 12th century, is often called the Sorbonne after one of its original medieval colleges.

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Paris is home to several of France's most famous high-schools such as Lycee Louis-le-Grand, Lycee Henri-IV, Lycee Janson de Sailly and Lycee Condorcet.

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Paris hosted the 1900 and 1924 Summer Olympics and will host the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games.

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Paris has most recently been the host for UEFA Euro 2016, both at the Parc des Princes in the city proper and at Stade de France, with the latter hosting the opening match and final.

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Paris is a major international air transport hub with the 5th busiest airport system in the world.

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Orly Airport, located in the southern suburbs of Paris, replaced Le Bourget as the principal airport of Paris from the 1950s to the 1980s.

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Paris offers a bike sharing system called Velib' with more than 20, 000 public bicycles distributed at 1, 800 parking stations, which can be rented for short and medium distances including one way trips.

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Paris today has more than 421 municipal parks and gardens, covering more than 3, 000 hectares and containing more than 250, 000 trees.

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The Jardin des plantes was the first botanical garden in Paris, created in 1626 by Louis XIII's doctor Guy de La Brosse for the cultivation of medicinal plants.

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Open from 1804, these were the cemeteries of Pere Lachaise, Montmartre, Montparnasse, and later Passy; these cemeteries became inner-city when Paris annexed all neighbouring communes to the inside of its much larger ring of suburban fortifications in 1860.

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Paris holds the headquarters of the La Poste, France's national postal carrier.

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