Its wears its glorious reputation like a halo - a halo glittering with anecdotes, legends and a certain touch of mystery -, and today the Guide is, paradoxically, at once one of the most popular books in France (some thirty million copies were sold in its heyday) and one of the least known. There are very few complete collections in existence, accessible to the general public: since 1900, 95 editions have been printed, and some are highly coveted by collectors, travellers and fans of Bibendum, "The Michelin Man".
Within the guide, you will notice some of the symbols (we call them "pictograms") found in all of the editions of the Guide, and that have become a trademark of our publications. For each time period covered here, we have chosen a dozen of these symbols, representative of the changes in society during that time: from the light bulb that indicates that there is electricity in the establishment to the symbol for a modem connection today.
The symbols provide information that may be either general or specific to the establishment. They have been used in the Guide since the 1900 edition. Although they seem to be inspired by hieroglyphs or Chinese ideograms, their conception was certainly influenced by cartography, another field where Michelin has a long experience. Created specially for the Guide, the symbols had to be designed to be without ambiguity and remain legible when reduced in size. These symbols are concise, space-saving, objective and unbiased, and can be "read" in any language because they are universal. These little drawings thus were significant in the creation of the international collection of Bibendum's Guides.
Through the Guides, Michelin now has a special presence and provides a special service throughout Europe.
From one country to another, the definitions and modes of selection and classification ensure that the hotel and catering know-how of the establishments listed is not only representative of national traditions and particularities, but also meets the high standards required to satisfy visitors from elsewhere.
From Warsaw to the Canaries, and from Dublin to Athens or Budapest, the eight main volumes, which sell a total of 1.2 million copies, provide readers with details of:
30,700 hotels, 18,180 restaurants, 1,400 Michelin-starred establishments, 1,600 "Bib gourmand" establishments, 1,200 town and city maps, 7,000 pages, etc....Continua