Paris is one of the most famous cities in the world and is often described as one of the most romantic. It’s easy to reach, full of fascinating architecture and home to the world’s largest art museum.

The history of this incredible city dates back over 2,000 years and the area that is now known as Paris was originally inhabited by Celtic tribes known as the Parisii. After the fall of the Roman Empire the city grew rapidly and became famous for its wonderful Gothic architecture and eventually, in the 16th century, its cultural and intellectual revival known as the French Renaissance.

In the 18th century, the city played a key role in the French Revolution of 1789, which led to the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of a republic. Today, modern Paris is a symbol of art, fashion, and culture.

This blog looks at some of Paris’ famous facts, and some fictional nods from the big screen, TV and novels. Of course, we’re also going to tell you a little bit about or France river cruises, too!

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Paris Interesting Facts

  • The Eiffel Tower was initially built as a temporary structure for the 1889 World’s Fair and was almost torn down afterwards, but it was saved because it proved to be a valuable communications tower.
  • Known as the “City of Light” not because of its nightlife, but because it was one of the first cities in the world to have street lighting.
  • The famous Louvre Museum is the world’s largest art museum and is home to over 35,000 works of art.
  • The city is famous for its cafe culture, and there are over 9,000 cafes and bistros in the city.
  • The Catacombs of Paris contain the remains of over six million people and were originally built to alleviate the overcrowding of Paris’ cemeteries.
  • Paris is divided into 20 districts, called “arrondissements,” which spiral out from the centre of the city like a snail shell.
  • The Palace of Versailles, located just outside of the city, was the royal residence of the Kings of France for over 100 years.
  • The Arc de Triomphe, one of Paris’ most famous landmarks, was commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte to commemorate his military victories.
  • The Moulin Rouge, a world-famous cabaret, opened in Paris in 1889 and is still running to this day.
  • The Seine River runs through the heart of the city and is lined with some of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Musée d’Orsay.

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Fictional Paris

  • “Les Misérables” by Victor Hugo: This classic novel is set in 19th century Paris and tells the story of Jean Valjean, a former prisoner who struggles to escape his past and start a new life.
  • “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” by Victor Hugo: Another novel by Hugo, this story is set in medieval times in the city and centres around the hunchbacked Quasimodo and his love for the beautiful Esmeralda.
  • “Midnight in Paris” directed by Woody Allen: This film follows a disillusioned writer who travels back in time to the 1920s, where he meets famous artists and writers like Ernest Hemingway and Salvador Dali.
  • “Ratatouille” directed by Brad Bird: This Pixar animated film is set in modern-day Paris and follows the adventures of a rat named Remy who dreams of becoming a chef in a French restaurant.
  • “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown: This bestselling novel is set in various locations throughout Europe, including Paris, and centres around a conspiracy theory involving the Holy Grail.
  • “Amélie” directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet: This quirky French film is set in the Montmartre neighbourhood of the city and follows the whimsical adventures of a young woman named Amélie.
  • “Inception” directed by Christopher Nolan: This mind-bending film takes place in various dreamscapes, including a Parisian street that folds in on itself.

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Paris River Cruising

Edith Piaf, Claude Monet, and Picasso – all were inspired by France’s magical north. On its journey to the Atlantic coast, the Seine does not leave out a single facet of this beauty. Right at the start, it flows through Paris. Innumerable attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre or the Champs-Elysées attract visitors from all parts of the world Normandy is unpretentious and stunningly beautiful. On its journey, the Seine passes chalky-white fluvial terraces and bright green meadows.

Our French river cruises are always a big hit and our 2 highlighted sailings are Picturesque Provence and Ardèche and Impressions of Paris & Northern France.

These 8-day river cruises are perfect for exploring the unspoilt French countryside alongside the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Order our free river cruise brochure for full information and to browse our entire river cruise collection.

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