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How to Visit Hôtel de la Marine, Place de la Concorde

Situated on Place de la Concorde (the largest public square in Paris), Hôtel de la Marine has seen plenty of history since its construction in the latter half of the 18th-century and now invites public inside its doors for the first time in over two centuries to discover some of the secrets hiding within this …

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The Surprising History Behind the Original Shakespeare and Company

Overlooking the towers of Notre Dame and surrounded by cherry blossoms in the springtime, Shakespeare and Co is a firm fixture in the Parisian landscape, particularly when it comes to the city’s rich literary scene. But what may well surprise many visitors to the city is that the shop now situated along the banks of …

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The Long & Surprising History and Origins of the French Flag

Also known as the French Tricolore, the French Flag has a long history, which I’ll be discussing today. If you’ve ever been to Europe, then no doubt you’ll soon recognise one of the most iconic emblems of France. Characterised by its red, white, and blue appearance, the three colour flag of l’Hexagone is synonymous with …

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The Grotestque Chimerae & Gargoyles of Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral

Setting the striking two towers and flying buttresses aside, there is perhaps no architectural feature quite as synonymous with Notre Dame Cathedral, in the heart of Île de la Cité in Paris as those of the gargoyles. Some statues even seem to be in a ‘sighing’ pose, while others are simply grotesque (i.e. they’re not …

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Why is Friday 13th Unlucky, Anyway? Origins of the Superstition…

Friday 13th is widely regarded to be unlucky throughout the English speaking world. A fear of Friday 13th even has its own name: paraskavedekatriaphobia. Some people do anything to avoid flying on a Friday and are less likely to spend money on non-essential products. But why is Friday 13th unlucky, anyway? Well, some airlines and residential buildings …

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An Irresistible Urge to Dance: The Strasbourg Dancing Plague of 1518

Today in Strasbourg, Place de la Cathedral is the place to visit… The gorgeous, soaring late-Gothic architecture of the famous structure that gives the square its name overlooks the throngs of passing tourists and locals. At one point, however, the Cathedral also stood sentry over a town caught in the throes of a mysterious, incurable …

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