3 things you probably didn’t know about Paris
As a tourist in Paris, it’s easy to soak up the cafe culture, drool over freshly baked baguettes and enjoy the romantic feel in the air. It’s also easy to tick off things on a “must-see list” such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, or the Arc de Triomphe.
But how sad it would be if that was the end of it! There is so much more to Paris than meets the eye. There are secrets long forgotten or perhaps never heard of around every corner and even underground.
Did you know these three interesting facts about Paris?
1. There are roughly 9,060 bars, cafes, or restaurants with open terraces
Bars, cafes, and restaurants abound in the City of Love. But did you know that there are an estimated 9,060 of them with open terraces where you can sit down and take in the beauty of the city?
Basically, if you were to spend each day of your life in Paris visiting a different open terrace of a bar, cafe, or restaurant, it would take you about 30 years to see them all – and that’s just the current ones… there’s probably a new one opening already as you are reading this!
2. The Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty have something in common
French architect and structural engineer, Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel was not only responsible for the build of the world-renowned Eiffel Tower (designed by the two chief engineers in Eiffel’s company Emile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin), but he also had a hand in the Statue of Liberty in the United States.
When the Statue of Liberty’s initial internal designer, Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, unexpectedly passed away in 1879, Eiffel was appointed as his replacement. Eiffel and Koechlin rejected Viollet-le-Duc’s original idea to make the bronze exterior of Lady Liberty bear all her weight and instead installed an iron skeleton inside of her for support.
3. You can overnight at the Shakespeare and Co. bookstore
George Whitman founded the Shakespeare and Co. bookstore in Paris in 1951 with the motto “be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise”. It is said that Whitman travelled the world as a self-proclaimed “tumbleweed,” blowing from place to place, “sheltered by the grace of strangers”.
He opened the doors to all sorts of writers, artists, and intellectuals who needed a place to rest their heads for a night or two. In exchange, the “Tumbleweeds” are asked to read a book a day, help out in the shop for a couple of hours, and write a single-page autobiography for Whitman’s archives.