Early History

There’s no better place to start reliving the early history of Paris than by visiting the events which occurred at the Seine River, one of the most beautiful and important spots in the “City of Lights”. This body of water was – and is still now considered to be the lifeblood of the city.

Life in Paris used to be confined to a small island in the Seine River which was called the Ile de la Cité. With the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris and the Palais Royale, the Ile de la Cité was considered to be the religious and political center of France during those days.

2,000 Years Ago: A Look Back at the Early History of Paris

Did you know that the history of Paris spans more than two centuries? During the ancient times, the Paris that we know of today is called Lutetia or Lutece. It was during this time that the city was conquered by Julius Caesar. Again, Lutetia was considered to be the region’s center under the Roman rule – which lasted well into the Middle Ages.

It was during the Middle Ages that the history of Paris really took shape. Aside from being a religious and political center, the building of the Sorbonne University lead to the city earning another tag: as being an intellectual hub.

In the middle of the 1300’s, its people or the Parisians declared themselves independent with the leadership of Etienne Marcel.

From the late 1700’s to the late 1800’s, the city played host to some of the key actions of the Parisian people. First, there was the storming of the Bastille in 1789. Second were the revolutions which occurred during 1830 and 1848.

Then in 1871, Paris was under siege for four months during the Franco-Prussian War until the country of France surrendered.

The city was given a brief respite when the Germans were prevented from reaching Paris during the First World War – but they did manage to occupy the city during the Second World War from 1940 to 1944.

So when exactly did Paris flourish to be the artistic and unique tourist’s dream spot that it is today? It was during the La belle époque period when music, fashion and the arts in the city thrived.

Today, about 6 million tourists flock to see the Eiffel Tower on an annual basis. When you combine this figure with the other tourist spots which attract visitors to Paris from all parts of the world, it is no wonder why “The City of Lights” has become a unique, and charming vacation destination which is full of history at the same time. The colorful early history of Paris makes the city one of the most interesting capitals in Europe.