"See you at noon farting ! » This is a typical expression of the French language that you have probably already heard and that can, if you are not the most punctual, sometimes sound like a slight threat on the part of your interlocutor.
In this article, we will tell you about the amazing origin of this expression. For this, head to the Palais Royal Gardens, in the heart of Paris…
If you've ever walked through the Royal Palace Gardens, you may have noticed that there was, in the middle of the grass, a funny little cannon. If you thought, like us, that it was simply a decorative statue ... missed ! It is actually a Meridian. No, we are obviously not talking about sofas, but about a solar canon, invented by M. Rousseau, watchmaker of the Beaujolais gallery.
The canon, installed in 1786, has the particularity of being surmounted by a magnifying glass, itself placed in the axis of the meridian of Paris. This ingenious system allows, when the weather is favorable, to concentrate the sun's rays, which, at noon, gives off sufficient heat to ignite the barrel Wick and trigger a strong detonation.
Far from being a weapon of destruction, this gun once allowed Parisians to put their watch on time, at a time when the automatic watches and where mechanical movements were not always very reliable and could be deregulated.
The Cannon became obsolete and stopped thundering in 1911, when France adopted the Greenwich Meridian as a reference time.
But the canon of the Royal Palace had not said its last word !
If in 1998 the original Cannon was stolen, a replica was then installed in the gardens in 2002. Since 2011, every Wednesday at noon "farting" we can hear again the detonation of this solar Cannon. However today the cannon is activated by an Artificer and no longer by the simple heat of the sun, in order to be more precise.
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