|Best Time to Visit:
||May or October (winters are a bit
||Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Pere-Lachaise
Cemetery, Catacombs, Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacre Coeur, Sainte Chapelle,
Pantheon & Grand Arche de la Defense (La Defense)
|Major Entertainment Centers:
||Museum Louvre, Museum d'Orsay, Center Pompidou,
Museum Jacquemart-Andre, Tuileries Garden, Left bank Luxembourg Garden,
Picasso Museum, Rodin Museum & Delacroix. National Museum,
Invalides, Carnavalet & Cluny
||Avenue Montaigne, Rue Du Faubourg-St-Honore,
Place Des Victoires, St-Germain-des-Pres, Place Vendome, Les Halles,
Marais, Marche Aux Puces De St-Ouen & (Clignancourt Flea Market)
|Near by Places (Excursions):
||Versailles, Rambouillet, Fontainebleau &
|Famous Food & Beverages (Gourmet's Delight
||Moules Frites (steamed mussels and French
fries), Oysters, Sea Snails, Venison (deer) & Boar
|Foreign Embassies & Consulates:
||Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada,
Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland,
Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritius, Malaysia,
Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan,
Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, Singapore,
Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, UAE, UK, USA & Zimbabwe
|History & Evolution
Anciently known as Lutetia (meaning Midwater Dwelling),
Paris gets its present name from the Gauls of the Parisii tribe who
established a fishing village in 250 BC on an island in the river that is
the present day Ile de la Cite.
The city was conquered by Romans in 52 BC under the helm of Julius Caesar
and was thus ruled by them for many years. In AD 987, the city was named the
capital of the kingdom of France by Capet (the reigning Count of Paris) and
under Capetians, Paris prospered in the fields of politics, trade and
culture for the next 800 years.
By 10th century, Paris still remained a partly waterlogged marsh and was
subject to periodic outbreaks of epidemics. But despite this all, the city
remained an important European city throughout the Middle Ages due to its
strategic riverside position and thus, in 11th century, the first trading
guilds were established here.
Then came the great emperor Philippe Auguste (1180-1223), under whom the
present day political, religious and academic quarters were established. The
Left Bank, especially the area known as Latin Quarter became a center for
learning and educational institutions.
The next period in Parisian history was the period of Hundred Years
War started in 1337, during which the Black Death claimed a third of
the citys population. Subsequent attempt to capture the throne of
Paris by Marcel, English and Joan of Arc further deteriorated the condition
of the city. The English defeated the French who plunged the city into
revolt and anarchy. This English occupation was disastrous for Paris as many
important architectural structures were destroyed though some were restored
in subsequent years.
The 16th century brought the Renaissance to France, which signaled a period
of intense artistic and scientific renovation. The glimpses of the era can
be still seen in the famous architecture of the city. But the later half of
this century is a blot on the citys history when the Paris was divided
over the Wars of Religion that lasted from 1562 to 1598. This division was
involved three groups the Huguenots (French Protestants), the Catholic
League and the Catholic king.
In 1572, around 3000 Huguenots were murdered in the worst incident of the
war in Paris the Saint Bartholomews Day Massacre. Eventually
came the rule of the famous Sun King Louis XIV which lasted from 1661 to
1715 and involved France in a series of costly wars that caused bankruptcy
and vagrancy in Paris.
In 1789 came the famous French Revolution which was the revolution of the
Reign of Terror for Parisians perpetuated by the fearsome Jacobins
Committee for Public Safety and included the violation of churches, daylight
arrests, looting and executions by less humane means.
Nevertheless, the Revolution gave way to the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte in
the early 1800s. This Empire lasted from 1852 to 1870, during which Paris
was completely rebuilt by Baron Haussmann who commissioned the parks, public
offices and grand boulevards that we see today.
The successive period however was of scientific innovation (including the
construction of the first metro line in Paris), artistic movements
(including Impressionism) and shining architectural achievements (including
the Eiffel Tower).
Nothing much happened in the history until the 20th century when war clouds
started brewing over Europe and resulted in destructive World War I. Then
World War II broke out in 1939 and by 1940, France gave in to Hitlers
armies and Paris came under German Occupation. However after the French
Resistance movement, General Charles de Gaulle (who led the movement) became
the President of France at the end of the war.
New constitution was drafted in 1946, but lasted only till 1958. After de
Gaulle, Georges Pompidou became President, followed by Valery Giscard dEstaing
and Francois Mitterand, who commissioned several grandes projets in Paris
like the Centre Pompidou, the Grande Arche de la Defense and the Musee d
Orsay. In 1995, Jacques Chirac succeeded Mitterand, to be followed by Lionel
Jospin who continues until today.
The sights of Paris are enough to fill an entire library of travel books.
Much of these sights are strung along its river, each having their own
distinct personalities so you can experience a lot without covering much
Full of attractions for all ages, the city has range of museums, monuments,
and cultural treasures along with two islands.
Synopsis of romance and gastronomy, the city of Paris is truly a magnet for
The symbol of the city of Paris, Eiffel Tower has an interesting story
behind it. Gustave Eiffel, the architect the Tower never knew that it would
become Pariss signature sight and attract more than six million
visitors a year.
This 984ft (300m) long tower was the worlds tallest building until
1930. It has three levels of which the highest offers a wonderful panoramic
view of Paris.
The tower was originally built as a temporary structure to commemorate the
centenary of the French Revolution and was opened by the Prince of Wales.
Years ago it was considered an eyesore by many and there were petitions to
have it pulled down, but it was saved only because it had become an
important antenna for telegraphy.
One cannot visit Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower as even if you do
not want to visit it, you will see its top from all over Paris.
Champ de Mars
Notre-Dame is the another most enduring symbol of Paris. This large
Cathedral over the Place de Parvis was built between 1163 and 1345 and is
considered one of the worlds Gothic masterpieces.
The massive interior is dominated by three spectacular and enormous rose
windows, a vast 7,800-pipe organ, a great historic bell and seating capacity
of 6,000. The 387-step climb to the top of the towers is worth the effort
for fabulous view of the city.
The cathedral also houses a museum that displays its history, while under
the square in front is the crypt that houses Notre-Dames
Place du Parvis, Ile de la Cite
Louvre is one of the largest and probably the most famous art museums of
the world. Opened in 1793 (soon after the Revolution), the museum originally
displayed the spectacular treasures looted from the royal palaces. Today
this vast dwelling is home to an extraordinary collection of paintings,
sculptures and antiquities from all over the world.
Amongst its 300,000 displays, some of the best-known and unique attractions
are Leonardo da Vincis enigmatic Mona Lisa, which is protected by
bulletproof glass within its own room, Venus de Milo and Winged Victory. The
other permanent collections are divided into Egyptian, Greek, Roman and
Asian antiquities, painting, drawings and sculpture which are impossible to
see in one day.
Arc de Triomphe:
Placed in the middle of the Place Charles de Gaulle, Arc de Triomphe is one
of the greatest arches in history. The arch was commissioned by Napoleon in
1806 to commemorate his victories, but he was ousted before it was
completed. It is engraved with names of generals who commanded French troops
during Napoleon's regime.
The arc is designed by Jean Chalgrin who picked up the design of the Arch
of Titus in Rome.
Arc de Triomphe also has an observatory reached through 234 steps,
providing pleasant views of La Defense, the Champs-Elysees and the
middle of the Place Charles de Gaulle
Sacre Coeur Basilica:
Basilica is an another major tourist driver in Paris. Located on top of the
Montmartre hill, this majestic Roman-Byzantyne style church is the design of
Paul Abadie, who had already restored two cathedrals in France.
Its large dome towers 83m (272ft) over the top of the Montmartre hill and
its architectural style is in sharp contrast with other contemporary
buildings in France, which were mostly built in a Romanesque style.
Butte Montmartre (the highest point in the city)