How well do you know Paris? - Quiz

Paris is is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. People come from both near and far to see the sights and soak up the atmosphere of the French capital.

There is definitely a lot of history here, as the site of Paris is thought to have been used as a settlement since between 9800 and 7500 BC. The city we see today was named after the Celtic people that lived here in the 3rd century BC, the Parisii. The town was known as Lutetia in the 1st century BC, when it was a Gallo-Roman garrison town – you will find this name on hotels and restaurants around Paris and now you know the significance. Paris became a Christian city in the 3rd century and the capital of France in 987. By the 12th century Paris had grown to be the largest city in the western world, with a good trading center and a renowned University. It is also the birthplace of Gothic architecture. In the 18th century, Paris became reputed for fashion, science, and the arts.

All of this history has modeled the city in to what we find today, with a wealth of monuments, beautiful architecture, lively shopping areas, some of the most outstanding art collections in the world, haute-couture tailoring and luxury boutiques, relaxing parks and gardens, and the haute-cuisine that can be enjoyed in many restaurants around the city.

So, if you are reading this, the chances are you already love Paris, and probably know a lot about the City of lights. Let’s have a little fun and see how much you really know …

A little quiz …

See how many of these questions you can get right. We’ll ease you in gently, but they do get harder. If you need a little help you can have a look through our Landmarks page or on the Facebook page for hints!

1. Paris is famous for it’s museums. The largest of these, and the most visited in the world is now housed in what was a fortress in the 12th century, before being converted into a royal palace in the 14th century, and into a national museum during the French Revolution in the late 18th century. This is the:
 Musée d’Orsay
 Musée de Quai Branly
 Musée du Louvre
 Centre Georges Pompidou
(We did say we’d start you off easy!)

2. Paris is the birthplace of Gothic architecture. Notre Dame de Paris, the beautiful Catholic cathedral in the centre of Paris, is one of the finest examples of this style. It is also one of the most well-known churches in the world (possibly something to do with Victor Hugo’s book – The Hunchback of Notre-Dame?). It took 185 years to build! When did construction begin?

3. Many of the monuments around Paris have their roots in French military history. The Hôtel des Invalides, or just Les Invalides,  is an impressive complex of buildings that now house museums relating to the history of the French military, and is still the home of some war veterans. The golden dome is a Paris icon, dating from 1708. Located under this dome is the tomb of a very famous Frenchman and military commander. Whose tomb is this?
 Charles de Gaulle
 Maréchal Leclerc
 Henry IV
 Napoleon Bonaparte

4.  The Tour Eiffel (or the Eiffel Tower) was built in 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World Fair, celebrating the centennial of the French Revolution. It is named after its creator ‘Gustave Eiffel’. At an overwhelming 324 m it reigns over central Paris, and can be seen from many vantage points in and around the city. As a testament to the engineering behind the tower’s design for wind resistance, it only sways 6–7 cm in the wind. How much can the towers height vary as a result of thermal expansion on a sunny day?
 Not be silly, it can’t grow!
 5 cm
 15 cm
 50 cm
View from Eiffel Tower

5. It is hard to believe that Basilica Sacre Coeur actually came from dark beginnings. It was built as a national penance for the ‘moral decline’ of France after the revolution, a penance for infidelity and sin. Today the Basilica is dedicated to the 58,000 people who lost their lives during the war. Inside, the apse is decorated with artwork entitled ‘Christ in Majesty’, this is France’s largest:
 Stone carving
 Wooden carving

6. During the Belle Epoque, Parisians knew how to put on a show. The French cabarets, including the can-can dancers, were organised for the wealthy middle class who had made their money during the Industrial Revolution. The cabaret trend spread quickly across Europe. Montmartre housed many of the bigger places of leisure: the Moulin Rouge, Le Chat Noir and Les Folies Bergeres. A few ladies became famous at the Moulin Rouge, Mistinguett was one of them, what is she famous for?
 Cancan dancing
 Her singing voice
 Her flamboyant costumes 
 Her violin playing

7. Paris’ reputation for culture, theatre and shows also extends to the Opera. The Palais Garnier is a remarkable ‘beaux-arts’ building that was built between 1861 and 1875 as the home of the Paris Opera. It was the most expensive building of the second empire. The Palais was used by the Opera until 1989, when the Opéra Bastille opened, since then it is mainly used as:
 A museum
 A library
 A school for theatre and dance
 A stage for the ballet

8. With all that Paris had to offer, its population expanded rapidly. This meant ever growing city limits, but also a growing problem as to what to do with those who died. Originally, the main burial site for Parisians was very central to the city (where Les Halles is today) but this became overfilled and dangerous. With the remodelling of Paris in the 19th century, three new park-like cemeteries were built for new burials: Montmartre, Montparnasse and Pere Lachaise. The central cemetery was excavated and the remains moved to the catacombs, here the bones are neatly stacked and arranged into patterns. These tunnels and caverns were already in place, why?
 They were part of a former settlement on the site that is now Paris
 They were left over from mining activity
 They are a tunnel network put in place for military use to defend Paris
 They were part of an old sewage system

9. Parisians and tourists alike love spending time in the many parks and gardens of Paris: playing, picnicking and relaxing. Some of these gardens were originally royal gardens, like the Jardin des Tuileries, and the courtyard of the Palais Royal. Others were constructed by eccentric rich Parisians, like Parc Monceau. Many have a little bit of history behind them that’s worth looking into. The two big parks on the West and East of Paris, the Bois de Vincennes and the Bois de Boulogne, were commissioned by Napoleon III for both the rich and poor of the ever growing population of Paris to enjoy.  He was inspired during his exile in London after visiting which park?
 Hyde Park
 Green Park
 Kensington Palace Green
 Regent’s Park

10.  There are many shopping areas in Paris that can cater for every taste and budget. The big departments stores on Boulevard Haussmann still feature highly on the list of tourists interested in shopping. Here you can find a little of everything all together, and the buildings are beautiful too. The dome below is the inside of one of these shopping centres, which one?
 Passage du Havre
 Galleries Lafayette

And the winner is…

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Parisian's guide to Paris