Alright Fresh fans, it’s Week Two of the Ridonculous Race To Name The Place, where we drop a backdrop and you’ve got to namedrop the drop-off for that leg of The Ridonculous Race or drop the ball and drop out! Ready for this week’s answer? It’s Paris, France! Mic drop.
Paris is the capital city of France, home to around 2.2 million of the more than 66 million people who live in the Western European country. It’s official name is actually la République française, meaning the French Republic, and the national motto is “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite” or Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. The motto was first used during the French Revolution but didn’t become official until near the end of the 19th century!
Paris has the biggest population for an urban area in the European Union, not counting metropolitan areas where homes are more spread out, and it sees more than 30 million visitors a year! That makes the City of Lights one of the most popular tourist destinations in the entire world! That’s no shock since it’s home to the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame cathedral, the Louvre museum and plenty of other world famous attractions!
Speaking of the Eiffel Tower, it’s well over a thousand feet of iron lattice that was originally built in 1889 as the entrance arch to the World’s Fair that year. For 41 years after that is held the title of tallest man-made structure in the world! It’s named after the engineer who designed it, Gustave Eiffel. Gustave was no one-hit-wonder; you might know some of his other work… like the Statue of Liberty!
Funny enough, the construction of the Eiffel Tower was the subject of plenty of controversy at the time, with a lot of Parisians thinking that the industrial aesthetic would clash with more elegant monuments and ruin the city’s skyline, calling the tower ‘barbaric’ and ‘ghastly’! A century and change later it’s received more than 250 million visitors, with an average of 25,000 more climbing the tower every day. Looks like Gustave can let his results speak for themselves!