The Little Corporal

napoleon

So many people think that Napoléon Bonaparte was short but in reality, at 5’7″, he was 2″ taller than the average height for adult males at the time. He did however, ensure that his bodyguards were both taller and broader than him, thus giving rise to the myth that he was a bit of a titch.

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Dijon Gastronomy Fair 2014

la Foire Internationale et Gastronomique de Dijon 2014

Visitors staying in Burgundy next month could do a lot worse than plan a visit to Dijon to experience the sensory delights of la Foire Internationale et Gastronomique de Dijon. Now in its 84th year, the Dijon gastronomy fair – one of the best in France – is famous for its exceptional food and wine. This year it is host to over 580 exhibitors, all offering a huge array of goodies for professional and amateur cooks alike, and lovers of […]

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France By Numbers

france map

In terms of land area, covering 247,367 square miles, France is the largest country in the European Union. L’Hexagone has over 2000 miles of coastline, with access to the Atlantic ocean, the Mediterranean sea, and the English Channel. In 2013, almost 85 million tourists visited France, making it the most visited country in the world. And they probably relished some of the 1,000+ different types of cheese and wine, which are available in France’s markets. Délicieux!

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La Musée Maillot’s Extraordinary Borgia Exhibition

les borgias et leur temps

Between now and February 15 next year, art lovers in Paris can visit la Musée Maillol to experience the museum’s newest exhibition, Les Borgias et Leur Temps (The Borgias and Their Times). Regardless of whether their notoriety was deserved, or merely propaganda put about by their enemies, it cannot be denied that the family had some remarkable characters among its number, and that the mere mention of the Borgia name conjures up images of political intrigue, power struggles, and corruption. […]

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Eight Things You May Not Know About The Liberation of Paris

liberation of paris

Following on from our blog last week about the D-Day Landings, we thought you might interested in these snippets about the actual liberation of Paris itself. The fight for Paris’ freedom from Nazi occupation took place between August 19th and 25th 1944. What began with the French resistance, and led to reinforcements from General Charles de Gaulle’s Free French Forces and the US Third Army, commanded by General George S. Patton on August 24th, ended with the surrender of the […]

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France’s Very Own Internet

minitel

Before the rest of the world had the Internet, France had Minitel. The service was launched in 1978, and allowed users to pay their bills, shop, buy train tickets, and check stock prices online. Users also had online mailboxes, and could chat to each other. Sound familiar? Although the service was eventually retired in 2012, even in 2009, there were still around 10 million connections a month.

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La Musée du Vin – a ‘must’ for wine lovers!

musée du vin

At the top of a hill in the center of Paris, not far from the Eiffel Tower, is the Musée du Vin. Housed in the cellars of the 15th century Abbaye de Passy, which was built by les Frères de l’Ordre des Minimes, the museum is home to a permanent display of a wide range of tools and implements relating to 2000 years of French viticulture – the journey from vine to table. The museum offers group guided tours in […]

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How Many Toilets Did Versailles Have?

Chateau de Versailles - 1675

While much has been made of the fact that the palace of Versailles had few toilets when it was built, the reality was that they simply were not needed. Guests would bring their own commodes, and chamber pots would be used too. That’s not to say that people didn’t occasionally relieve themselves in the gardens, or in convenient corners inside the palace. We think a few vespasiennes would not have gone amiss!

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Would You Like Fries With That?

little cantine burgers

If you’re in Paris, and have a hankering for a good ol’ American burger and fries, then head over to rue des Écoles, on the 5th arrondissement, to Little Cantine, where you will find a warm welcome, a great meal, and a cool beer waiting for you. The staff speak perfect English, and serve up authentic American hamburgers and hot dogs, as well as artisan beers from the US. A typical meal, consisting of a giant burger, side salad, and […]

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D-Day Landings At Omaha Beach – What The History Books Didn’t Tell You

U.S. Allies Land at Omaha Beach on D-Day

For those of us who were born post-1945, it’s hard to imagine what all those heroic tales of WWII must have really been like. Books, movies, and documentaries go some way to explaining the reality of war but there’s nevertheless a tendency to think of such things in terms of the overall picture, and not in terms of individual experiences. It’s only when we read personal accounts, written by the people who were there, that we can begin to truly […]

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