Paris from Above

In April 2019, news that the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral was on fire drew international attention to Paris. Onlookers waited with bated breath to see if the historical monument would make it through the night. Unfortunately, the fire destroyed the cathedral’s spire and extensively damaged its roof. Still, one piece of good news also spread through the media. At least some of the 180,000 bees that call the rooftops of Notre Dame their home had survived the fire. 

Many were surprised to learn of the bees’ very existents. But Notre Dame isn’t the only Parisian monument to house beehives in Paris. In addition to Notre Dame, the Opéra Garnier, the Musée d’Orsay and the Grand Palais are just a few of the Parisian monuments that house honeybees. In all, there are more than 1,000 beehives in Paris. Urban bees are often stronger and produce more honey than their rural counterparts and the city’s major high-end food shops boast an offering of local Parisian honey.

Bees aren’t the only airborne creatures to make Paris their home. The City of Paris estimates that there are between 80,000 and 100,000 pigeons in the city, almost one pigeon per every 25 human inhabitants. While Parisians often see them as a nuisance, it’s hard to imagine the urban landscape without the ubiquitous bird.

With this puzzle, we invite you to see Paris from the perspective of the city’s winged inhabitants. 

Do you recognize these aerial photos of famous Paris monuments?

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