The southwestern French city of Bordeaux saw its highest ever temperature since records began of 41.2 degrees Celsius (106.16 Fahrenheit) Tuesday, weather service Meteo-France said.
The new record surpassed a previous all time high of 40.7C registered in August 2003, with the current heatwave set to break more historic levels in France as the week goes on.
A French nuclear power plant prepared to shut down Tuesday as western Europe baked in a new heatwave already breaking longstanding records.
Overheating tourists in Paris and Berlin plunged into fountains and ornamental ponds to keep cool while zoo keepers in the Netherlands handed out food caked in ice to look after thirsty animals.
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