Story of a City

Fun Facts

Paris is filled with endless fascinating facts and random pieces of trivia. I will keep adding them as I find them!

  • Paris gets its name from the Parisii tribe. They were Celtic Gauls who settled in Paris in the 3rd century BC.
  • Point ZeroThere is a bronze star set into the ground across from the entrance to Notre Dame. This marks point zero for all roads in France.
  • Traffic in Paris is often congested and full of impatient drivers ready to honk their horns if you hesitate for one second longer than they want you to. Remarkably, however, there is only one stop sign in the entire city, located in the 16th arrondissement. The rest of the traffic flow is either governed by traffic lights or the rule of giving way to the vehicle on your right.
  • Paris’ motto is “Fluctuat nec mergitur”, meaning “It is tossed by the waves, but does not sink.” This motto can be found on the city seal located in front of Hotel de Ville, Paris’ City Hall.
  • A French woman named Jeanne Louise Calment holds the record for being the oldest verified person in history. Born on February 21st, 1875, she died in Arles, France on August 4th, 1997, aged 122 years and 164 days.
  • 2037785639_ada6e93f84_oThe Louvre Museum was the most visited museum in the world in 2014, with 9.3 million visitors. That is more than the entire population of many European countries, including Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Ireland, Denmark, and Finland. France was also the most visited country in the world in 2014, with 84.7 million visitors.
  • Paris Syndrome is an actual psychological disorder, with symptoms including dizziness, sweating, anxiety, hallucinations, and states of delusions. About 20 cases are diagnosed each year in Paris, mostly affecting Japanese tourists.
  • In 2013, the Georges Pompidou Hospital in Paris was the site of the world’s first artificial heart transplant. France was also the location of the world’s first face transplant in 2005.
  • Paris has 37 bridges in total that span the Seine River. The oldest is the Pont Neuf, which ironically means “The New Bridge.”
  • The Père Lachaise Cemetery is the final resting place for dozens of celebrities and famed French citizens, including Chopin, Sarah Bernhardt, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, and Jim Morrison. Because of this, this is the most visited cemetery in the world.