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?
As those who have read PARIS will know, the Parisian neighborhood of Les Halles, now known for its vast mall complex, was once the site of the Cimetière des Innocents, Paris’ largest cemetery. What started in the 12th century as a smallish graveyard ballooned to a resting place for over 2 million corpses ! By the 1780’s, the cemetery had become so overfilled and unhygienic that Louis XVI closed it, and ordered all bodies be exhumed and transferred to the Catacombs. Today, only one relic remains from the neighborhood’s eerie past - La Fontaine des Innocents – a fountain built in the sixteenth century which once marked the entrance to the graveyard.




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