Why Paris Roofs and Baguettes Are Symbols of France

  Paris rooftops and baguettes, who can apply for the 2022 UN Intangible Cultural Heritage on behalf of France? Why are these two irrelevant things associated with French symbols?
  The so-called “Paris Roof” was built in the mid-19th century. Back then, the French Emperor Napoleon III launched an urban transformation campaign to “change Paris”, and the “Haussmann-style apartment building” promoted by the chief designer, Baron Haussmann, sprouted like mushrooms in Paris. Ottoman ordered that the roofs of such apartment buildings be made of zinc sheet, because it was a cheap, waterproof and easy to cut, weld and install material compared to slate, tile, stone, etc., which were common at the time. Although the zinc plate has aroused the doubts of Parisians and experts, it is indeed a “black technology” that makes Paris modern in seconds, and it has quickly attracted the imitation of other provinces and overseas.
  What particularly shocks those who are new to Paris is that the undulating zinc-skin roof makes the entire urban landscape present a very layered “50-degree gray” as the light changes. This new technology also gave birth to the “maid’s room” on the top floor. The innovative and practical Parisian roof gradually entered the paintings of Van Gogh and Monet, the singing of Yves Montan and Piaf, the footage of the movies “Fear Comes to Paris”, “Spy: Impossible” and even the computer game “Tomb Beauty”. “Shadow”…
  the rooftops of Paris are now an iconic sight in Paris. Although among the many historic buildings in Paris, the 150-year-old Paris roof is still very young, but in Montmartre Sacre Coeur Square, the Eiffel Tower and the Montparnasse Tower are always crowded with a glimpse of the “flower capital symbol” ” – tourists from all sides on the rooftops of Paris.
  Compared with the official archive history of the “black and white” on the roofs of Paris, the various narratives about baguette are more like unproven history.
  Regarding the origin of the baguette, there is a saying that it was invented by Augustus, an Austrian who arrived in Paris in 1837. He is said to have opened a Viennese bakery in the downtown area, an exotic bakery stocked with an assortment of breads and cakes that the French cannot name. Among them, the long bread arouses the curiosity of customers. Because it is not only long, shiny, and very fresh, it is very different from the bread that the French are familiar with. Historian Bienasi believes that this Vienna-origin loaf likely inspired the French to make a baguette with a white and soft heart, but “it is difficult to identify it as a baguette” The true originator of bread”.
  Another widely circulated version claims that the French army commander Napoleon invented the baguette to keep his soldiers fed. At that time, cooks would set up brick stoves wherever the French army went and bake bread on the spot. But the French army’s most popular “bun” is heavy and not easy to carry. After experimenting with various “alternative buns” that were carried around the waist and worn on the head, Napoleon ordered baguettes to be made so that soldiers could carry them in their trousers. However, the French TV 2 feature film “The Birth of the Baguette” researched the uniforms of the French army and believed that putting a baguette in the trousers obviously affected the movement. In addition, after friction, it was a problem whether the bread mixed with sweat could be eaten. “Napoleon invented the baguette” is more like the French wishful thinking of “patriotism”.
  The most plausible, most realistic history of the invention of the baguette has to do with the Paris Metro. In April 1896, the Paris subway construction plan was approved by the city council, and then the whole city became a large construction site, and migrant workers from Brittany, Auvergne, Alsace, Provence and other places entered the Paris subway construction site. Because of differences in language, culture, and habits, workers from east, west, north and south have formed gangs. But French police found that the ban on knives was difficult to implement at the time, because knives were necessary to cut traditional hard-skinned bread when eating. In the end, in order to avoid the bloodshed caused by the fight between the workers, the baguette that can be torn by hand came out. From the perspective of the timeline, the construction of the Paris subway also corresponds to the first record of the baguette in historical materials. This kind of bread is simple to make, and it was almost the only bread that could be ordered in real time and sold as needed. Ideal for breakfast with butter and jam or as a dinner meal with pate, it was an instant hit with all walks of life in France.
  Historian Marcos said the French demand for a modern, fast-paced life contributed to the success of the baguette. In the era of the Paris Commune, the slogan most often talked about was not “liberty, equality, fraternity”, but “baguette, peace, liberty”. To this day, the French can not only eat baguette on the street, but also carry it to vote in the presidential election and to boost morale at ball games. In the promotional stills of the former French First Lady Bruni’s screen debut “Midnight in Paris”, she is not holding the latest fashion handbag, but a freshly baked baguette. In 1987, Balladil, who later served as Prime Minister, specially proposed a bill to reiterate the production standards and prices of baguettes. The baguette, which symbolizes the spirit of France, also won the title of “reflecting the barometer of French life”.