Interesting Paris Facts
In The Da Vinci Code Walking Tour

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What interesting Paris facts tickle your fancy? The quest can be an endless one as there surely is no shortage of topics to choose from. As it relates to Paris tours, perhaps the most curious phenomenon to grace the Paris sightseeing experience in recent times is a good place to start.

Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code is one of the all-time best selling novels and the basis for the Hollywood blockbuster film by the same name. But even before the film made its mark, the many interesting Paris facts and mysterious references found in the novel had already spawn a new industry of their own: The Da Vinci Code Walking Tours.

The depiction of Paris or the inclusion of areas of the city as part and parcel of novels of all kinds seems to be a never-ending source of inspiration in literary circles. Besides the well-publicized The Da Vinci Code, this year I also delightfully devoured the pages of a novel entitled
The Road To Tataouine
by Vanessa Mcmahon.

Like The Da Vinci Code, the journey of The Road To Tataouine begins in the streets of Paris, but takes a dizzying detour inside the George Lucas mythical world of Star Wars, then descends physically and mentally into the depths of Tataouine, Tunisia; the birthplace of Star Wars. Quite a read!


This installment of our many "interesting Paris facts" excursions in the works takes us on the trail of the proverbial Holy Grail, no less! Following the steps of Dan Brown’s storyline, our sponsor Viator’s The Da Vinci Code Walking Tour will be guiding your discovery starting at the legendary Ritz Hotel, located on elegant and historical Place Vendôme.

Aside from being the starting place of the novel, the movie and this tour, the Ritz Hotel is infamous for being the place where Princess Di and Dodi Alfayed had their last dinner before the fatal crash that took both lives. The biggest claim to fame of the Ritz Hotel in Paris however, is simply being The Ritz Hotel.

The column in the Place Vendôme square is a Napoleon Bonaparte tribute to his Grande Armée for their 1805 victory over the Austrians and Russians. The column was made entirely out of bronze melted from the canons plundered from the defeated armies. The column itself had quite a turbulent history over the years, but in its now definitive representation, features a roman style statue of Napoleon at the very top.

More interesting Paris facts on this walking tour include the Carrousel du Louvre, the latest addition to the gigantic Louvre complex. It is a vast modern shopping mall located underneath the Louvre glass pyramid. (Most Paris visitors don’t know this, but it is also a much faster way to enter the museum and avoid the long lines).

Without giving up too much for the one person who has not read the novel or seen the movie, The Da Vinci Code intrigue has a theory that involves the Louvre with the present resting place of the Holy Grail. Shhhh... not another word, people!

The next interesting Paris facts to add to your enjoyment will be a walk across the river Seine on a Paris pedestrian gem, and historically the first iron bridge ever built in the city, the romantic Pont des Arts. You’ll then make your way to the Saint Germain Des Prés abbey, the oldest church in Paris.

Finally, you’ll follow the controversial “Rose Line” inside the massive Saint Sulpice church, which houses Europe’s famous largest organ, an imposing Egyptian obelisk, and splendid frescoes by my favorite, the number one 19th century French romantic painter, Eugène Delacroix.

This 2-hour tour starts and ends at Place Vendôme, and is narrated by an English-speaking guide. Enjoy your stroll!

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