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Did you know ?
The eight bridges linking the island to the river banks were destroyed and rebuilt many times. Some of them, however,
have retained their medieval names: the Pont au Change was the place where foreigners exchanged their currency before entering
Paris while the name of the Pont au Double refers to the toll levied on crossing the bridge.
Queen Marie-Antoinette's dressmaker is said to be at the origin of what we now call haute couture, but the first real
fashion houses date from the second half of the 19th century. Their progress was so rapid that an entire pavilion was devoted
to high fashion at the 1900 World Exhibition!
The Moulin de la Galette, one of Montmartre's two remaining windmills was the venue for a popular ball which inspired
Renoir's famous painting: Le Bal du Moulin de la Galette, now in the Musée d'Orsay.
In 1671, while Louis XIV was visiting Chantilly at the invitation of Le Grand Condé, the most famous French chef, Vatel,
killed himself because the fish he had ordered for the royal meal did not arrive on time!