Early History of Paris (4200 B.C – 400 A.D.) The Ile de la Cité is where the city was first setteled by the Celtic tribes called the Parisii. By 400 A.D., Paris named originally Lutetia was a garrisson town by the Romans and only renamed Paris after the roman occupation.

Medieval Paris (12th to 13th Century) This was the period in Paris history when key monuments and important sites were built, including the Sainte-Chapelle Cathedral. The beginning of the century also signaled the construction of a fortress which includes the Louvre, as well as the rest of what we now know as Medieval Paris.

15th to 17th Century During this time, the Louvre was build and became the political center of France. However, the Ile de la Cité along with the Cathedral of Notre Dame remained the spiritual center of the French Kingdom throughout the Paris Renaissance.

1800’s Paris during the French Revolution in the late 1800’s was in a physical and societal chaos, prompting Napoleon III (who led Paris during the Second Empire) to do a total renovation of the city. This was the period of the city when high structures were built along with beautiful parks, sweeping vistas and tree-lined boulevards. Basically, it was during the middle of the 19th century that the Paris that we know of today was built under the direction of Napoleon III. Want to know about Napoleon Bonaparte? Visit our Napoleon Bonaparte page. Perhaps this was the period in Paris history which was the most colorful. Also called the “La Belle Epoque” period, it is during this time that music, fashion and the arts thrived.

1900’s Paris during the World Wars was in chaos. From 1940 to 1944, the city of Paris was occupied by the Germans. By 1942, there was a massive deportation of French Jews and by 1944, the city of Paris is liberated by the Allied Forces. By learning a bit about some of the key dates in Paris history, from the early to contemporary Paris, you would have an idea about the events which turned the City of Lights into the dazzling place that it has become today.

Early History of Paris
Medieval Paris
Paris Renaissance
Paris during the French Revolution
Napoleon Bonaparte
Paris during the Second Empire
Paris during the World Wars
Contemporary Paris