The Paris World’s Fair lasted for seven of the twelve months of that year. The Gare de Lyon, Gare d’Orsay (now Musée d’Orsay), Pont Alexandre III, Grand Palais and Petit Palais were erected in the French capital specifically for the fair. The Métro opening was also timed to coincide with this great event. On July 19, in the midst of the fair, its numerous visitors were offered a new amusement — they were given a ride from the Château de Vincennes to Porte Maillot for 15 old centimes for the second-class ride and for 25 centimes for the first-class ride. Europe’s fourth (or fifth if the Vienna city railway is to be counted) subway, or chemin de fer métropolitain in French, meaning the metropolitan railway, presented the word “metropolitan” or “metro” for short. The world’s first metro was built in 1863 in London by Metropolitan Railway, also meaning the metropolitan railway. But this English “metropolitan” did not become a common name. It was the Paris metro that gave the word the wings.
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