Paris is the most popular tourist destination in the world. Newspapers and magazines the world over write about it, it’s on our TV screens and in films, books, paintings, mugs, place mats, music and a whole heap more places. We think we know it well but there’s always something to surprise!
Here are ten facts about Paris France that you never knew:
1. Paris is the most densely wooded capital in Europe
Every tree is measured and logged. There are two forests – Vincennes and Boulogne and 400 parks and gardens.
2. There are 6100 streets in Paris covering 3,000 km of pavements
The longest road is Rue de Vaugirard (6th and 15th): 4.36 km.
The shortest road is Rue Degrés (2nd arrondissement): 5.75 m.
The narrowest is Rue du Chat-qui-Pêche (5th arrondissement): 1.80 m.
The widest is Avenue Foch (16th arrondissement): 120 m.
3. There are 107 public clocks in Paris
The oldest clock in Paris is on the corner of the Boulevard du Paris, Quai d’Horloge. It is built into a tower that historians say dates back to the mid 1300s.
4. There are 109 Wallace drinking fountains
They appeared on the streets of Paris in the 1870’s thanks to Sir Richard Wallace, an English philanthropist and Francophile. He wanted everyone from every level of society to have access to good drinking water. Charles-Auguste Lebourg designed them from Wallace’s own sketches…
5. There are 30,000 rubbish bins
No excuses for leaving litter on the streets!
6. There are apparently 9,884 benches in Paris
Oodles of of opportunity then to watch the world go by.
7. 2,417 km of sewers carry the waste away for approximately 2.5 million inhabitants
The sewers date back to around 1370 and you can take a tour in the bowels of the city (head for Alma Bridge, Left Bank). It’s an unusual tour which shows you the underside of Paris and it’s history.
8. There are 37 bridges over the Seine
Including 31 road bridges, 4 walkways, 2 exclusively rail bridges and 32 illuminated bridges. The widest point in Paris across the Seine is approximately 200 m (near Grenelle Bridge). The narrowest point is approximately 30 m (Quai de Montebello, on a small branch of the Seine).
Read more about the bridges of Paris
9. There are 153 museums in Paris
The Louvre is the most visited museum in the world and in 2014 had 9.3 million visitors.
10. There are more than 1700 boulangeries in Paris
Every year a contest is held to find the best baguette maker in the city. By winning the contest the bakery also wins the right to supply 40 baguettes to the Elysée presidential palace for a year!
More about Paris
5 brilliant and free museums in Paris
Promenade Plantée – the most unusual park in Paris
Sainte Chapelle, the church that’s like a jewellery box
3 brilliant English language book shops in Paris
Clos Montmartre, the secret Paris vineyard