In 1429, King Charles VII of France exempted the town of Domrémy from paying taxes “forever”, after a promise to Joan of Arc. Taxes were imposed again during the French Revolution.
Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, was accused of single-handedly ruining France’s finances. Official estimates claim court expenses alone were 7% of France’s total budget but the real figure was a lot higher. She was given the name “Madame Déficit” during the French Revolution.
In mid-18th century France, eating potatoes was considered cruel and unusual punishment: potatoes were thought of as feed for livestock, and they were believed to cause leprosy in humans. The fear was so widespread that the French passed a law banning them in 1748.
In 1907, Parisian waiters went on strike for the right to grow a moustache.
If you lose your driving license in France because of alcohol, you can then drive a “No License Required Car”, small and underpowered.
In 1648 an angry mob of Parisians once broke into the royal palace, demanding to see the king. They were led into the bedchamber of Louis XIV, who was pretending to be asleep. Satisfied, the mob quietly departed.
St. Pierre and Miquelon is a territorial collectivity of France only 16 miles from Canada where the locals speak French, use the Euro and have French citizenship.
In 2015, French radio revolted against the law which compelled them to air 40% French language music. Due to lack of popular new French music, Just 10 songs accounted for 74% of all French music aired on NRJ radio.
Le Palais Ideal, a castle of stones, was built single handedly over 33 years by postman Ferdinand Cheval. He had no architectural training, but after tripping over an interestingly shaped rock on his mail route he was reminded of a dream he once had of such a palace and made it his life’s work.
In order to legally busk in the Paris Metro, musicians have to successfully audition before a jury and qualify for one of the 250 to 300 licenses handed out.