Paris, the city of light

“The real journey does not consist in seeing new landscapes, but in having a new look”

(Marcel Proust)


Paris was founded in the 3rd century BC. by the Parisii, a Celtic tribe that settled on present-day Île de la Cité, and later conquered in 52 BC. by the Roman Empire, giving it the name of Lutetia which in time would become Parisius, Paris in French. By the end of the 12th century, Paris had become the political, economic, religious and cultural capital of France. The royal residence was located at the Palais de la Cité on the Île de la Cité, and during the reign of Louis VII, the construction of Notre-Dame Cathedral was undertaken at its eastern end.

Throughout the 13th century, under the reign of Philip II, the Louvre Palace was built, today the seat of the largest museum in the world. In the 16th century, Henry IV began the construction of the Pont Neuf, he built an extension of the Louvre that connects it with the Tuileries Palace. and created the first residential square in Paris, the Place Royale, now the Place des Vosges. During the reign of Louis XIII, Cardinal Richelieu, built five new bridges and the current Palais-Royal.

But the one who made a big change to the city was Napoleon III, and his newly appointed prefect of the Seine, Georges-Eugène Haussmann, with his public works project to build new boulevards, the Opera Garnier theater, a central market (today Forum des Halles), new aqueducts, sewers, parks and buildings that make up the identity of this great city and whose image remains to this day.

At the end of the 19th century, the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur was built on the top of Montparnasse, while Paris hosted two important international exhibitions: the Universal Exhibition of 1889, which was held to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution, commissioning Gustave Eiffel to build the Eiffel Tower. This tower, located at the end of the Champ de Mars on the banks of the River Seine, symbol of France and its capital, is the tallest structure in the city and was the tallest in the world for 41 years, with a height of 324 meters. For the Universal Exhibition of 1900, the Pont Alexandre III, the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais and the first line of the Paris metro were built.

Since then, the “Ville Lumière” has been a meeting point for artists, painters and writers who have enveloped it with a bohemian air that has captivated the world. (Ver video).

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