Paris â€“ for those seeking leisure and the good life, it is the city of Wine, Women and Wonderful perfumes. For those looking towards a great holiday, it is the city of Champs-Ã‰lysÃ©es, Cathedral of Notre-Dame, and the magnificent Eiffel Tower. And for those inclined to fashion, it is the hot-seat of all the happening things. Although, this city is popular for many reasons, including romance and relaxation; it has a history that goes back to the Mesolithic period that dates to about 90,000 years ago.
The Gaul Connection:
It is believed that the history of Paris started taking shape around the 3rd century when it was inhabited by a tribe of the Gauls known as the Parisii. It was considered a strategic point in the trade route and its proximity to the river, Seine, made it a bone of contention among the powerful! It was not long before that Julius Caesar over powered the Gauls and captured this town. At that time it was known as Luteita and the Romans went about building their public baths and amphitheaters.
However the frequent wars with the Barbarians turned it into a garrison town and the actual city was moved to the ÃŽle de la CitÃ©. This was fortified and renamed; and thus was born the Paris that we know of today! It is believed that the nun, Saint-Genevieve, protected the city by diverting Attila the Hun and his troops onto a different course. This event that occurred in 451 is what made her the Patron Saint of Paris.
The Growth to Capital City:
The strategic location and the growth that followed made Paris a hot-seat and in 508 it became the Capital of the King of Franks. While over the next few centuries, Kings came and went and the city was influenced by many political changes; it also witnessed growth in terms of social, economic, and architectural development. Philippe Auguste is one name that has lot of prominence in the development of the city as we know it today. Although there were intermittent periods when the local governing authority gained a lot of power, the royalty never let go off its hold. There was also a period when the English ruled this city for almost sixteen years.
Renaissance and Revolution:
Paris boasts of Renaissance architecture and public squares! Although today, these are landmarks that are also some of the biggest attractions for tourists; most of them were constructed in the 16th century under Francois 1st. It was from the time of Henri IV that the public squares came into being to support the custom of praising and honoring the rulers!
While France enjoyed its share of great sovereigns, it was also plagued by incapable kings and greedy royals who enjoyed their life while letting the common man suffer. And this ultimately led to uprisings and revolts that temporarily pushed the royalty out of Paris. The French Revolution marked the decline of monarchy. The latter part of the 17th century saw the formation of a Republic and the election of the first Mayor. However, things started taking an ugly turn and it gradually ended up being a Reign of Terror that ended with Napolean Bonaparte’s coup d’etat!
Warfare and Well-fare:
Although wars, revolutions, and riots have been a significant part of Paris’ history; the city has continued to grow and prosper both economically and socially. Besides fashion, architecture has been one aspect of Paris that has seen great growth and development. Its flourishing tourism industry probably owes its great success to the great motivation the city offers to its artists and architects!
Paris â€“ a city of art-lovers, fashion-lovers, holiday-makers, builders, businessmenâ€¦and the list goes on. Its history is what makes this city what it is today â€“ full of beauty, full of art, and full of life!