Paris - Did You Know ?

-The atheist French Revolutionaries turned Notre Dame cathedral into a Temple of Reason. It stayed that way for several years.

-In August 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre. The police wrongly arrested several people on suspicion, including the young - Pablo Picasso !

-Who was the father of Louis XIV of France ? It may have been his official father Louis XIII. But it may also have been his mother's close friend, Cardinal Mazarin, who himself may have been partly Jewish. It is said that the Sun King himself suspected his biological father was Mazarin.

-Amazingly, in World War I, preparations were well under way before the war ended to build a fake model Paris, mostly of wood and canvas, just a few miles outside the real city, to deceive the German Gotha bombers if they made night raids.

-Eiffel the Entrepreneur. When the French authorities decided to build the Eiffel Tower for the 1889 World's Fair, they wouldn't put up the money. So Eiffel agreed to finance it himself, if they gave him the receipts from the visitors for twenty years. As a result, he made a fortune.

-Safe Sex. At the start of the nineteenth century, Napoleon regulated the Paris brothels, which had to be licensed and have frequent medical inspections. This lasted until after World War II.




 

 

 

Did You Know?
Potatoes were made illegal in France for 24 years ! The French became convinced that the South American vegetable could cause a whole host of diseases, including leprosy, so in 1748, the cultivation and consumption of potatoes was strictly outlawed. It wasn’t until an imprisoned medical army officer named Antoine Auguste Parmentier survived in his prison cell subsisting solely on a diet of potatoes that acceptance of the food began to shift. After being released from prison, Parmentier went on to write a thesis about its health benefits, helping to overturn the law and re-introduce the potato to the French public in 1772. Within 20 years, potatoes became one of the most popular, and indeed, important foods in France. Even the ornamental royal gardens in Tuileres Palace in Paris - originally filled with flowers and exotic plants - were converted into potato fields.




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