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8 things we learned about France in the January issue of FRANCE Magazine

PUBLISHED: 09:56 28 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:09 08 January 2019

Don't forget to pick up your copy of the January issue of FRANCE Magazine, out now

Don't forget to pick up your copy of the January issue of FRANCE Magazine, out now

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One of the best bits about working on FRANCE Magazine is learning something new about our favourite country every single day. Here we share with you some of the weird and wonderful things we discovered about the Hexagone while putting together your January issue…

1) It’s not all about petrol and pistons in Le Mans – the city is also a popular film set

Cyrano de Bergerac, starring the one and only Gérard Depardieu, and The Man in the Iron Mask, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jeremy Irons, were both shot in the car racing capital.

Follow in Leo’s hallowed footsteps by exploring the town’s medieval quarter with Eddi Fiegel on page 44.

The beautiful old city of Le Mans. Pic: Selbymay, CC BY SA 3.0The beautiful old city of Le Mans. Pic: Selbymay, CC BY SA 3.0

2) Europe’s biggest dog sled race takes place in the Alps (and it looks like puppy paradise!)

There was a collective “Aww!” from the office’s dog-lovers when we saw pictures of the Grande Odyssée, the epic race that sees teams of huskies take to the Alps every January.

Find out where to catch a glimpse of the furry competitors on page 17.

3) There are the names of 72 engineers, scientists and mathematicians engraved on the sides of the Eiffel Tower

Next time you visit this quintessential Paris landmark, look out for the names of these renowned Frenchmen including Louis Daguerre and François Arago carved under the first balcony in letters around 60cm high.

Discover more of the tower’s secrets with Heidi Fuller-love on page 82.

Find out the meanings behind the engravings on the Eiffel Tower. Pic: Hjalmar Gerbig, CC BY SA 3.0Find out the meanings behind the engravings on the Eiffel Tower. Pic: Hjalmar Gerbig, CC BY SA 3.0

4) On the subject of films, there’s a hotel in Paris with its own cinema

The movie-themed Hôtel Le 123 Sebastopol has its own basement picture house, screening films every day.

Browse our ultimate Paris accommodation round-up on page 64 for hotels for every budget in the City of Light.

5) You can watch films from a swimming pool at this amazing film festival

We’ve never seen a cinema quite like this! Grab a rubber ring and head to the pool for the Ciné Piscine at Clermont-Ferrand’s Festival du Court Métrage.

See which other film festivals are taking place in France this month on page 19.

The awesome cine-piscine at the Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival. Pic: Baptiste ChanatThe awesome cine-piscine at the Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival. Pic: Baptiste Chanat

6) Galeries Lafayette has its own virtual reality telescopes on its spectacular terrace

Head up to La Terrasse, open 9:30am-7:30pm, to peer through the lens of this special ‘timescope’, allowing you to look back at Paris in 1912 in a fascinating journey back through time.

Shop ‘til you drop with Ellie Mayall’s round-up of Parisian department stores on page 26.

7) There’s a château in the Loire with some rather unusual contraptions in its gardens

In the parkland surrounding the Château du Clos Lucé, once the residence of Leonardo da Vinci, there are some fantastical sculptures inspired by the great polymath himself. The extraordinary machines on display include a revolving bridge, giant crossbow and hamster wheel!

Find out how the Loire’s châteaux are celebrating 500 years of the Renaissance with Rosalind Ormiston on page 30.

The majestic Chateau de Clos Luce, once home to Leonardo da Vinci. Pic: Thesupermat, CC BY SA 4.0The majestic Chateau de Clos Luce, once home to Leonardo da Vinci. Pic: Thesupermat, CC BY SA 4.0

8) Johnny Hallyday once took part in the Paris-Dakar rally, coming a respectable 49th

The recently-departed singer took part in the famous race in 2002, with his co-driver being the experienced René Metge. Rather him than us!

Let Howard Johnson steer you through the turbulent history of the Paris-Dakar rally on page 38.

So what are you waiting for? The January 2019 issue of FRANCE Magazine is now on sale – order your copy now.

Or take advantage of our great subscription offers and get FRANCE Magazine delivered straight to your door every month!

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