Interesting facts about France

The Eiffel Tower was built specifically for the 1889 World's Fair and served as its entrance arch. According to the plan, it was supposed to be dismantled in 20 years. However, the era of radio soon began, and thanks to the installation of radio telegraph antennas, the Eiffel Tower was saved.

Queen Marie Antoinette of France is credited with the phrase "If they have no bread, let them eat cakes!", Which she allegedly uttered after learning that the peasants were starving. But for the first time this phrase was recorded by Jean-Jacques Rousseau even before the birth of Marie Antoinette. Apparently, it was said by some other queen or princess, but who exactly, there is no definite answer.

When someone leaves without saying goodbye, we use the expression “left in English”. Although in the original this idiom was invented by the British themselves, but it sounded like ‘to take French leave’. It appeared during the Seven Years' War in the 18th century in a mockery of the French soldiers who voluntarily left the location of the unit. Then the French copied this expression, but in relation to the British, and in this form it was fixed in the Russian language.

When Alexandre Dumas wrote "The Three Musketeers" in the format of a series in one of the newspapers, a line-by-line payment for the manuscript was stipulated in the contract with the publisher. To increase the fee, Dumas invented a servant of Athos named Grimaud, who spoke and answered all questions in exclusively monosyllables, in most cases "yes" or "no". The sequel to the book, entitled Twenty Years Later, was paid word by word, and Grimaud became a little more talkative.

The person whose head is chopped off experiences pain for a few more seconds, even when using the guillotine. In 1905, an experiment was carried out in France, when a doctor, a few seconds after the next beheading, called the executed man by his name. In response, the eyelids lifted on the face, the pupils focused on the doctor, and then the eyes closed again.

The inventor of champagne is considered by many to be the French monk Pierre Dom Perignon, but this is far from the truth. He developed many techniques that are still used by champagne producers in the process of making the initial wine, but he considered bubbles in the wine to be a sign of marriage. And the British played a key role in popularizing bubbling wine. They imported wines from the Champagne region, and then poured them from barrels into bottles with a cork stopper (which the French did not know then). After the resumption of the fermentation process, carbon dioxide began to form in the bottles, and the wine in the open bottles bubbled, which the British liked very much.

In 1974, Egyptologists discovered that the mummy of Pharaoh Ramses II was rapidly deteriorating. It was decided to immediately take her by plane to France for examination, for which the mummies issued a modern Egyptian passport, and in the column "occupation" they wrote "king (deceased)". In Paris, the mummy was greeted with all the military honors due to kings.

In 1795, the French army carried out a unique operation - a cavalry attack on the enemy's fleet. During the hostilities in the Netherlands, the French noticed that the Dutch ships in the roadstead could be reached on the ice due to the unusually cold winter. The developed plan of the assault was carried out by one hussar regiment, which captured 14 ships of the line and several merchant ships without firing a single shot.

Anatomy professor Guillotin was opposed to the death penalty. However, since it was not in his power to abolish it, he advocated a more "humane" method of execution than the then widespread burning at the stake or quartering. The machine, which almost does not cause pain during execution, was eventually designed by another person, but it was named "guillotine" in honor of Guillotin. Despite the widespread myth, Guillotin did not fall under the guillotine himself, but died of old age. After that, his family members asked the government to change the name of the guillotine. Having received a refusal, the family changed their last name.

During the occupation, French singer Edith Piaf performed in POW camps in Germany, after which she was photographed for memory with them and German officers. Then, in Paris, the faces of prisoners of war were cut out and pasted into false documents. Piaf went to the camp on a return visit and secretly smuggled these passports with which some of the prisoners managed to escape.

When the French revolutionary crowd took over the Bastille, only 7 people were detained there.

French writer and humorist Alphonse Allay a quarter of a century before Kazimir Malevich painted a black square - a painting called "The Battle of Negroes in a Cave in the Deep of Night". He also anticipated John Cage's "4'33", a minimalist piece of music from one silence by almost seventy years, with his similar work "Funeral March for the funeral of the great deaf."

In modern French, there is a double spelling of the word "vodka": wodka - for Polish and vodka - for Russian.

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