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Quite literally the centre of Paris!
This probably won't mean a lot to many people, but this exactly the sort of quirky attraction that I love to unearth on my travels.
This unprepossessing bronze star set into the cobblestones in the Place du Parvis in front of Notre Dame is 'Point Zero', the exact spot from which all distances are measured in Paris (the equivalent in London is the Eleanor Cross outside Charing Cross station). It isn't all that obvious, but having to expend a little effort in finding it makes its discovery all the more special, and it's a good way to get the kids to run off some energy (provided that the square isn't too crowded). To ensure extra childish delight, just make sure you've got a little something to reward the winner!
Center of French Universe
This brass compass star is considered the exact center of the city and the point from which all distances from outside the city are measured.
People drop coins and do other things supposedly to give good luck. It's a little hard to find at first, it's not very close to the entrance of the cathedral, but just keep looking down, you'll find it.
- Historical Travel
Maybe you’ll travel a little further than Paris when you visit France. Should you do so, you may be interested to know that distances from Paris are measured from a brass plaque known as Point Zero (main photo). The legend engraved in the surrounding stone is not easy to see, so in my second photo I’ve applied some “virtual graffiti” to highlight the embossed words POINT ZERO DES ROUTES DE FRANCE (Point Zero of the roads of France). You’ll find this in the Place du Parvis, the large square directly in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, where the hordes of tourists (photo 3) are generally oblivious to it (as most also are to the archaeological crypt beneath)!
- Historical Travel
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