Saturday, June 11, 2005

Street sign in Paris

I love the street signs in Paris, they have this little old style flavor that makes foreigners think the city is so romantic! This one is particular, though, because it is standing right in the middle of a street, which is very unusual in Paris. Generally they are attached to the first and the last buildings of the street so that people know where they are. It was not always so though... Before 1728 there were no street signs (or very rarely). From this date onwards it became compulsory for the owners of the first and the last house of each street to engrave its name. In 1806 Napoleon took the street naming under his wing and passed a law saying that the names should not be engraved anymore but painted. In 1847 the paint was gone (so was Napoleon, by the way...) and the authorities turned to a well proven technique: china! And here we are, in 2005 still using it even for the new streets.


  1. And that is another proof that we are not anti american! We name some streets after your presidents!

  2. Came across this Eric...not to mix art and politics and blogs, but thought it was interesting for our American friends. Hope you don't mind.

    "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are...Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

    -- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, November 8, 1955

  3. To my knowledge there are 2 other avenues named after US presidents:

    avenue du President Kennedy (16eme)
    avenue du President Wilson (16eme)

    No other country seems to be represented.. except France of course!

    A precision: street names are required at the end of each block, not only at the end of the street.