Traditional finish of the Tour de France
46th finish on the Champs-Élysées
Capital of France, commune-department and prefecture (75)
Population: 2,190,000 (Parisians)
Specialities: French gastronomy, over 13,500 brasseries and restaurants
Personalities: too many to mention!
Sports: Paris Saint-Germain (football Ligue 1 and women's team, handball Division 1), Stade Français Paris (rugby Top 14). Events: Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Paris Marathon and Half Marathon, French Open tennis (Roland Garros tournament), judo (Paris Tournament), etc.
Economy: new technologies, research, fashion, luxury, tourism (most visited city in the world, about 30 million tourists every year)
Culture: 31 monuments (Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Sacré-Coeur, Invalides, Panthéon, etc.), 173 museums (Louvre, Grand and Petit Palais, Centre Pompidou, Orsay, Quai Branly, etc.), 3 opera houses, 208 theatres and cabarets, 430 cinema screens
Festivals: Fashion week, Solidays (three days of concerts against AIDS), Fête de la Musique, Paris Plage, Marche des fiertés, Paris Quartier d'été, Cinéma au clair de lune, Techno Parade, Printemps des rues, Nuit Blanche, Festival d'Automne, Fête des Jardins de Paris...
Label: UNESCO World Heritage Site on the banks of the Seine
Signature: Fluctuat nec mergitur (It is beaten by the waves but does not sink)
Websites: www.paris.fr / www.parisinfo.com
PARIS AND CYCLING
Remembering the original “bulldog”
A century after his third place in the 1921 Tour, Honoré Barthélémy, one of the first riders to be christened "the Bulldog", deserved a tribute. Born in the 13th arrondissement of Paris in 1890, this true Parisian "titi" (kid) obtained his best result in the 1921 Tour de France, but it was the year before that he became a legend. He crashed heavily nor far from Aix-en-Provence, got up half unconscious and headed for Nice with a fractured collarbone and a dislocated wrist, climbing the Allos, Galibier and Aravis passes on his own and without being able to pull on his handlebars. Dented, he still managed to reach Paris two weeks later in 8th place overall and as the first Frenchman. He was carried in triumph to the Parc des Princes. After the Tour, a persistent pain in his eye contracted during a fall where a flint had penetrated the eyeball, forced him to wear a glass eye and it was this way that he climbed onto the podium of the Grande Boucle in 1921. He suffered another terrible crash in 1922 on the descent of the col de Port, so much so that the locals installed his wheel at the place of the crash to warn the riders of the risks involved. Also dubbed "le Hargneux" (The Aggressive), he went on racing until 1927, regularly removing his glass eye because of the dust before putting it back on at the finish. True to his legend, he died in 1964 in a motorbike accident in Champigny-sur-Marne.
The Eiffel Tower
Originally 300 metres high, and later extended by numerous antennas to reach 324 metres, the Eiffel Tower has remained the highest building in the world for over 40 years. A symbol of Paris, it is the most visited paying monument in the world with 7 million visitors per year.
Notre-Dame de Paris
When it was completed at the end of the 14th century, it was the largest cathedral in the West. It was built over two centuries on the site of former pagan temples, so the style is not uniform. The cathedral underwent a major and sometimes controversial restoration between 1844 and 1864, led by the architect Viollet-le-Duc.
On 15 April 2019, a major fire ravaged the cathedral, destroying the spire and almost the entire roof. President Emmanuel Macron has pledged that it will be rebuilt within five years.
Considered the most beautiful avenue in Paris and, by Parisians, the most beautiful avenue in the world. Created in 1616 by Marie de Medici who decided to have a long tree-lined avenue laid out in these fields. Its current layout up to the Etoile was completed in 1724. In 1838 the Champs-Élysées were laid out by the architect Jacques Hittorff.
Every visit to Paris should include a stop by the Louvre to discover the countless treasures in the French capital’s largest museum. It displays works of art from the Western world from the Middle-Ages to 1848 but also from the ancient Eastern, Egyptian, Greek or Roman civilisations as well as graphic arts and items from the Muslim World. From room to room, the former royal palace reveals more masterpieces: Mona Lisa, The Raft of the Medusa, Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace.
In all, some 35,000 works of art. In eight centuries, the Louvre followed several architectural movements from the 12th century medieval fortress to the 1989 glass pyramid by Pei. The latest addition was the wing designed by architects Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti and housing the Arts of Islam, an undulating glasshouse covering the Visconti courtyard and flooding with light the 2,800 sq. metres of the new department. Visting the museum is especially pleasant during night sessions. With fewer people the, the Louvre display a different atmosphere and striking panoramic views over the Pyramid, the Cour Carrée and the Seine.
The Paris mushroom
Known in France as the Paris mushroom, its real name is agaricus bisporus, and it is known in English as common mushroom, white mushroom and a dozen other names. It was first cultivated under Louis XIV in Versailles and then under Napoleon in the catacombs of Paris. Hence its name. But it was only at the end of the 19th century that its cultivation developed, not in Paris, but in Touraine and the Saumur region. As the bispore agaric is the easiest mushroom to grow in a mushroom house, it quickly conquered the whole planet and is nowadays produced mainly in China and the United States.