History of Paris:
The history of Paris can be traced back 2000 years when Celtic tribes called the Gauls used to inhabit the region. They were a warrior tribe who hunted fish and lived in thatched roof huts and followed the religion known as â€œdruidismâ€. The Roman army under Julius Caesar conquered the Gauls and established the Roman Empire and renamed its capital as Lutetia. This remained so until the Germanic tribes known as Franks â€“ hence the present day name, France â€“ took over. Their king Clovis embraced Christianity and changed the name of the capital to Paris.
The turning point:
Paris was actually an island in the Seine River and was surrounded by walls. The population grew in number and the further walls were erected to accommodate the growing influx. The last of these walls were razed in 1919. The turning point for the city of Paris came during the times of the French Revolution (1789-93). The era of Napoleon witnessed the construction of many monuments and the creation of a modern sewer system to cleanse the city.
The year 1889 saw the World’s Fair come to Paris to unveil the crowning glory of France, The Eiffel Tower. During the World War II, France was heavily bombed by the Germans, but Paris managed to survive somehow.
Modern day Paris:
Modern day Paris is best when seen at night. This is the time when many of the monuments are lighted. There are a number of museums in Paris with the most famous being the Louvre art museum. Today Paris is said to be a major tourist attraction in Europe.
The city of Paris is head by a mayor who is in charge of the police forces and works with the 20 arrondissements (wards) of Paris.
Geography of Paris:
Paris is divided into two by the Seine River. Even today boatmen take tourists on a boat tour around the River by circling the Ile de la Cite. The Champs Elysees is a 12 land highway with beautiful sidewalks that encourage walking, window shopping and other activities. Paris has many gardens such as Jardin du Luxembourg, the Bois de Boulogne and others. There are many fountains in Paris when one can relax and enjoy.
Shop till you drop:
It is said that if you have to shop, go to Paris. It is a shopper’s paradise. The two largest departmental stores are Au Printemps and Galeries Lafayette. France is the home to fashion designers such as Chanel, Yves St. Laurent, Louis Vuitton and others. There are a number of boutiques where you can shop to your heart’s content.
The education system of Paris works in a unique way is that the kindergarten level is termed as Level 13 and you finish with a Level 1 education at the senior level. The University of Paris is one of the most famous schools in the world. School education is compulsory in France. The knowledge of French is a must.
The top monuments of Paris are as follows.
- The Golden Dome of the Invalids: To celebrate the bicentenary of the French Revolution, in 1989 the Dome was re-gilded using 12.65 kg of gold leaf.
- The great watch of Luxor Obelisk of the Concord is the world’s largest sundial.
- The old bridge over the Seine, Pont Neuf was the first bridge to be built without houses on it.
- The church of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie was dismantled in 1802 but the bell tower remained intact and has been converted into a weather station today.
- The Clock Tower of the Conciergerie housed the first public clock in Paris.
- There are still a number of old fashioned timber houses in Paris.
- The best piece of all, The Eiffel Tower is the pride of France.