Hemingway said, ‘If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.’ She has everything you want – patisserie’s, quaint architecture, River Seine and let’s not forget to stroll to the morgue!
ParisByM presents you with the quirky, unknown side of Paris. You may already know some Paris facts, but not these. Read more below to discover these unusual Paris Facts.
1. Only a few people know Square de l’Île de France was the site of the former Paris morgue
Did you know that Jean XXII Square offers a spectacular vista on the flying buttresses of Notre-Dame? Next to it, another green area forms the eastern tip of Île de la Cité: Square de l’Île de France. From the Napoleonic era until 1910, up to 40,000 visitors would come there in a single day. This place of entertainment provided lots of gossip on the possible identities of the corpses and causes of death.
2. Shakespeare & Company is the most famous English-language bookshop in Paris
It is named after the original store, owned by Sylvia Beach, which published James Joyce’s classic novel Ulysses in 1922.
People from around the world rush to Shakespeare and Company to shop there, but perhaps more interestingly they also come to sleep there. If you are lucky enough to stay, you get a free bed working around two hours/day. You may or may not fit depending on your size and there is a serious lack of personal space of course, but who cares? You’re living in Paris for free in one of the most famous bookstores in the world, and your only real job is to read books. Isn’t that awesome?
3. The Eiffel Tower Sways
It sways! This iron structure swayed 13 cm during a storm in 1999, which blew at 240 kph. Temperature variations may also cause this tower to sway. During the 1976 heatwave, the top of the tower shifted away from the sun by 18 cm. (Gustave Eiffel had allowed for a variation as much as 70 cm). No doubt, Gustave Eiffel was a genius and the Eiffel Tower will stay strong and tall for a long time!
4. Area of Montparnasse is named after Mount Parnassus from Greek Mythology
Another fun Paris Fact is that the area of Montparnasse in Paris is actually named after Mount Parnassus. Parnassus is where the Muses lived and for this reason was associated with many of the arts such as poetry and music, and learning. The many literature students who recited poetry in the streets on Montparnasse adopted the name, “Mont Parnasse”.
5. Dining with Strangers
There is a man in Paris, who invites complete strangers to his house for a dinner party each week and has been doing this for 30+ years. Almost every Sunday Jim Haynes hosts a salon at his place. It takes place Sunday evening from 20h00 to 23h00. The idea is you can meet and talk with people who come from around the world. You got to register on his website first to be invited. If you’re not afraid of the unknown and dining with complete strangers you can register here.
We hope you enjoyed our unknown Paris facts!
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