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Birthplace of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, Paris is the capital of France and its largest city. It was settled by a Gaulish tribe, the Parisii, over 2,000 years ago.
In the 18th century, pre-revolutionary Paris was a metropolis of vast extremes in terms of wealth and poverty.
Plomb du Cantal is the highest peak of the Cantal mountain range, which is largely made up of eroded volcano peaks. Plomb du Cantal is itself 6,000 feet high. This is where Grenouille retreats for seven years in a fit of misanthropy.
The Hôtel-Dieu is the oldest hospital in Paris. It was founded circa 651 on the Île de la Cité. Until the Renaissance, it was the only hospital in the city. having survived centuries of tumult, revolution and several fires, it remains in operation today.
Les Halles is an area of central Paris, for many years the site of a huge market.
Structures were first erected there for merchants in 1183. In the 1850s, a glass and iron structure was built to house the stall holders selling their wares. It was for a time known as 'the belly of Paris'. In 1971 the market was replaced with an open-air shopping centre.
Huguenots were known as French Calvinists from the 16th to 18th centuries. Since then, they have been commonly known as French Protestants. By the close of the 17th century, around 200,000 of them had been driven from Catholic France in religious persecution drives.
Versailles is a vast, ornate royal chateau. Expansion of the royal hunting lodge there began in 1661 at the behest of Louis XIV when Versailles was a country village; it is now an outer suburb of Paris. It was the centre of political power in France between 1682 and 1789, the eve of the Revolution.
Marseille (once Massalia) is France's largest commercial port and the oldest city in France. After Paris, it is the second most populous city in the country.