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Famous people from Paris
(1883-08-18 - 1971-01-10 )
, Address in Paris: Hotel Ritz, 15 Place Vendôme
A fashion that does not reach the streets of Paris is not a fashion.
Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, nicknamed 'Coco', was a famous French fashion designer who greatly contributed to world trends and tastes in terms of chic and elegance. She was born outside Paris to a poor family, and was orphaned at the age of 6 along with her four siblings. Thanks to the generosity of a millionaire officer, she was able to move to Paris when she turned 16, and a few years later she opened her first boutique with women’s hats. In 1921, she introduced her world-famous Chanel No. 5 perfumes. Coco started a new era in fashion, promoting classic but expensive simplicity. Her major inventions were a little black dress and a tweed suit, all labelled with her original logo, a symbol for excellence. She died in Paris at the age of 87, but her name remains alive in the world of celebrities and fashion.
(1840-11-14 - 1926-12-05 )
, Address in Paris: 90 Rue Laffitte, in the 9th arrondissement
France is the only country in the world with a 300-metre flagpole.
Claude Monet was a famous French painter, a founder of Impressionism, and a master of plein-air landscape painting. His notable works can be found on the walls of many Parisian museums and art galleries. Born in Paris, he lived there for only five years, as his parents decided to move to Normandy. He came back to the city in 1858 to study at the Swiss Academy. After staying there for several years, he created his own style and also met and influenced other artists, including his friend Eduard Manet. Later, he worked on a series of paintings depicting the same landscapes or buildings, but at different times of the day and in various weather conditions – 'Impression. Sunrise', 'Haystacks', 'Water Lilies', 'Rouen Cathedral' and 'Houses of Parliament'. His famous home was in the village of Giverny, about 80 kilometres from Paris, and this is where he remained an active painter until his last days.
Alexandre Gustave Eiffel
(1832-12-15 - 1923-12-27 )
, Address in Paris: Mansion on rue Rabelais
France is the only country in the world with a 300-metre flagpole.
Eiffel was a French engineer and architect, and the most famous tower in Paris bears his name. Born outside the capital, he came to the city to study chemistry at the Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures. At first, he worked as a project manager for a railway bridge for Charles Nepveu’s company, eventually taking charge of the entire project. 'Eiffel et Cie.' was his own consulting and construction company, which was responsible for several large projects both in and out of France. The engineer also created La Ruche, which is today a Parisian landmark, but which originally served as a wine rotunda. His Eiffel Tower was a major attraction of the International Exposition in 1889. That same year, almost two million people visited it. Another great design from ‘the magician of iron’ was the framework of the Statue of Liberty, a French gift to the United States.
(1899-07-21 - 1961-07-02 )
, Address in Paris: 74 rue du Cardinal Lemoine
If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a movable feast.
Ernest Hemingway, the world-famous writer from the United States, first came to Paris at the end of 1921 and stayed at the Hotel Jacob (today the Hotel D'Angleterre) until he moved into his apartment on Cardinal Lemoine Street. The following year he met another American writer, Gertrude Stein, who introduced him to the “Parisian Modern Movement.” He kept returning to this city, which quite fascinated him. Without a doubt, he was a 20th-Century celebrity, a strong personality, and he fought at the front during wartime. He remains especially famous as a journalist and author of such novels as A Farewell to Arms, The Sun Also Rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls, A Movable Feast (about Paris), and The Old Man and the Sea, along with many short stories. He was honoured with a Pulitzer Prize in 1951 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954.
(1915-12-19 - 1963-11-11 )
, Address in Paris: 72 rue de Belleville
Ooh, I fell in love / Mmm, I was a fool / Yes, Paris can be so beautifully cruel / Paris can be a gay coquette who wants to love and then forget / Stranger beware, there's love in the air ('Under Paris Skies')
Born Giovanna Gassion, Piaf was a French singer gifted with an extraordinary voice that once heard could not be forgotten. After first singing engagement in a night club in 1935, she instantly became a worldwide success and ultimately the most highly paid star of her time. Her fantasy of performing at ABC, Paris's most reputable music hall, became a reality, and she also sang her lungs out in New York, Washington D.C., Mexico and Cuba. The majority of the memorable songs she performed were composed under her supervision, but 'La Vie en Rose' she wrote on her own. Her first song was recorded in 1936, her last, 'L'homme de Berlin', in 1963. Piaf is buried in the Pere Lachaise cemetery, yet her songs still tear at your heart with emotion.
Charles Pierre Baudelaire
(1821-04-09 - 1867-08-31 )
, Address in Paris: Saint-Louis 17 quai d’Anjou, The Hotel Pimodan (now the Hotel Lauzan)
The life of our city is rich in poetic and marvellous subjects. We are enveloped and steeped as though in an atmosphere of the marvellous; but we do not notice it.
This influential cult French poet of the 19th Century was born in Paris, the city that inspired many of his masterpieces. After receiving an education at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, he travelled to India and Mauritius for a year. He was fascinated with the stories of Edgar Allan Poe, and decided to work on translating them into English. In 1857, Baudelaire published his most famous collection of poems, 'Les Fleurs du Mal' (The Flowers of Evil), with themes of death and vivid descriptions contrasting between ugliness and beauty. As part of the Bohemian scene, he gathered in cafés with other artists to discuss and express ideas about art. The Brasserie in the rue des Martyrs was one such noisy, dimly-lit spots where he met with Murger, Courbet and others. For years, he lived in poverty, and eventually became addicted to alcohol and opium. Appreciated much after his death, he’s buried in the Cimetière du Montparnasse in Paris, and his tomb is one of the most frequently visited ones.
(1810-03-01 - 1849-10-17 )
, Address in Paris: Place de Vendome 12
I don't know where there can be so many pianists as in Paris, so many aces and so many virtuosi
A brilliant composer and pianist of Polish origin, Chopin wrote almost solely for the piano. He quickly developed his own style of composition, which was characterised by melancholic melodies, ornamental cadences and a feeling of emotional ecstasy. His compositions, such as 'The Études' and the 'Funeral March' piano sonata, are regarded as treasures of the piano repertoire. Chopin also wrote ballades, scherzos, impromptus, mazurkas, nocturnes as well as waltzes. Of all these, the six mature polonaises ('Polonaise in C-Sharp minor', 'Polonaise in E-Flat minor', 'Polonaise in A Major', 'Polonaise in C minor', 'Polonaise in F-Sharp minor' and 'Polonaise in A-Flat Major') are considered to be his most important works.
(1769-08-15 - 1821-05-05 )
, Address in Paris: 60 rue de la Victoire/ 6 rue Chantereine/ The Petit Luxembourg Palace
France has more need of me than I have need of France.
Napoleon I is a household name, associated with the French Revolution and his ambitions to conquer Europe. Born in Corsica, he first came to Paris to study at l'Ècole Militaire. In 1796, he married Jospehine de Beauharnais. He was put in charge of the French army, and his successes in defeating the Italians and Austrians, and later the Prussians, were spectacular. He seized power as the First Consul, and in 1804 he was crowned the French Emperor at a ceremony held in the Notre Dame Cathedral. His influence grew as his ambition to invade Russia was fulfilled in 1812, but his army suffered badly due to a severe winter. In the wake of these events, he abdicated two years later, only to return to power in 1815. That same year, however, he was defeated in the Battle of Waterloo. He was exiled to the island of Saint Helena, and died there in 1821.