Soon after the Revolution of , a radical transformation of the city began. By the end of the century, the city was the driving force of Western culture. Since then, the city has revived and expanded dramatically, as it strives to be at the heart of a unified Europe. Kings and Emperors in Paris Paris became the power base for the kings of France at the beginning of the Capetian dynasty, when Hugh Capet ascended the throne. The end of the long line of kings came with the overthrow of the monarchy in , during the reign of Louis-Philippe. Gallo-Roman Paris Paris would not have existed without the Seine.
The river provided early peoples with the means to exploit the land, forests, marshes, and islands.
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Excavations have unearthed canoes dating back to BC, well before a Celtic tribe, known as the Parisii, settled there in the 3rd century BC, in an area known as Lutetia. Seven years later, Lutetia was sacked by the Romans. Iron Daggers From the 2nd century BC, short swords of iron replaced long swords and were sometimes decorated with human and animal shapes. The Parisii destroy their own city. Where to see Gallo-Roman Paris Since the midth century, excavations have yielded evidence of the boundaries of the Roman city which had as its central axes the present-day Rue St-Jacques and Rue Soufflot in the fifth arrondissement.
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Lutetia changes its name to Paris after the Parisii. Medieval Paris Throughout the Middle Ages, strategically placed towns like Paris, positioned at a river crossing, became important centers of political power and learning. The Church played a crucial part in intellectual and spiritual life. It provided the impetus for education and for technological advances such as the drainage of land and the digging of canals. When the marshes marais were drained in the 12th century, the city was able to expand.
Sainte-Chapelle The upper chapel of this medieval masterpiece see pp88—9 was reserved for the royal family. A rural life was led by most Parisians, who worked on the land. The actual city only occupied a tiny area.
Notre-Dame The great Gothic cathedrals took many years to build. Work continued on Notre-Dame from to The Monasteries Monks of many different orders lived in monasteries in Paris, especially on the Left Bank of the Seine. University Seal The University of Paris was founded in The Nobility From the midth century, dress was considered to be a mark of class; noble ladies wore high, pointed hats.
A love affair soon developed between the teacher and his pupil. It shows many Paris buildings. By the time the occupying English army left in , the city lay in ruins, with many houses burned. Louis XI brought back prosperity and a new interest in art, architecture, and clothes. During the course of the 16th and 17th centuries, French kings came under the spell of the Italian Renaissance.
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Their architects made the first attempts at town planning, creating elegant, uniform buildings and open urban spaces like the magnificent Place Royale the present Place des Vosges. Printing Press Religious tracts, mainly in Latin, were printed on the first press at the Sorbonne. Home to the aristocracy, it was renamed Place des Vosges in see pp Pont Notre-Dame This bridge with its row of houses was built at the start of the 15th century. The Pont Neuf was the first bridge without houses.
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Diners used hands or spoons for eating. Uniform houses with arcades flank the pavilion. Walnut Dresser about Elegant carved wooden furniture decorated the homes of the wealthy. Nine symmetrical houses line each side of the square. Hyante and Climente Toussaint Dubreuil and other artists took up Renaissance mythological themes. Duels were fought in the center of the square in the 17th century. Beneath this brilliant surface lay the absolute power of the monarch. The mansard roof, with its slopes at both sides and both ends, came to typify French roofs of this period.
Louis XIV as Jupiter On ascending the throne in , Louis, depicted here as Jupiter triumphant, ended the civil wars that had been raging since his childhood. Madame de Maintenon When the queen died in , Louis married Madame de Maintenon, shown here in a framed painting by Caspar Netscher. Paris in the Age of Enlightenment The Enlightenment, with its emphasis on scientific reason and a critical approach to existing ideas and society, was centered on the city of Paris. Meanwhile the economy thrived, the arts flourished as never before, and intellectuals such as Voltaire and Rousseau were renowned throughout Europe.
In Paris, the population rose to about , town planning was developed, and the first accurate street map of the city appeared in Nautical Instruments As the science of navigation advanced, scientists developed telescopes and trigonometric instruments used for measuring latitude and longitude.
The auditorium, with 1, seats, was the largest in Paris. The Age of Enlightenment saw a burst of dramatic activity, and new theaters opened. Madame de Pompadour Although generally remembered as the mistress of Louis XV, she was renowned as a patron of the arts and had great political influence. Chocolate Pot By the 18th century, bourgeois families could afford tobacco, tea, chocolate, and coffee from Asia and the New World. Vestibule with painted ceiling. Pompadour dies street lamps c. Rousseau, philosopher and writer, believed that humans were naturally good and had been corrupted by society.
Paris During the Revolution In most Parisians were still living in squalor and poverty, as they had since the Middle Ages. However, the Terror soon followed, when those suspected of betraying the Revolution were executed without trial: more than 60, people lost their lives. The bloody excesses of Robespierre, the zealous revolutionary, led to his overthrow, and a new government, the Directory, was set up in Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen The Enlightenment ideals of equality and human dignity were enshrined in the Declaration.
This illustration is the preface to the Constitution.
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The French guards, who were on the side of the revolutionaries, arrived late in the afternoon with two cannons. Republican Calendar The revolutionaries believed that the world was starting again, so they abolished the existing church calendar and took September 22, , the day the Republic was declared, as the first day of the new era. The Republican calendar had 12 equal months, each subdivided into three ten-day periods, with the remaining five days of each year set aside for public holidays.
All the months of the year were given poetic names that linked them to nature and the seasons, such as fog, snow, seed-time, flowers, and harvest. The dead and wounded totaled by the end of the day. Storming of the Bastille The Bastille was overrun on July 14, , and the seven prisoners held there released.
The defenders 32 Swiss guards, 82 wounded soldiers, and the governor were massacred. Napoleonic Paris Napoleon Bonaparte was the most brilliant general in the French army. The instability of the new government after the Revolution gave him the chance to seize power, and in November he installed himself in the Tuileries Palace as First Consul. He crowned himself Emperor in May The city was endowed with grand monuments and embellished with the spoils of conquest.
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His power was always fragile and dependent on incessant wars. He returned to Paris in but was defeated at Waterloo and died in exile in Josephine kneels before Napoleon. Where to See Napoleonic Paris Many of the grand monuments Napoleon planned for Paris were never built, but two triumphal arches, the Arc de Triomphe pp—13 and Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel p , were a major part of his legacy.
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La Madeleine church p was also inaugurated in his reign and much of the Louvre was rebuilt pp—3. Examples of the Empire style can be seen at Malmaison p and at the Carnavalet pp96—7. In this recreation by J. David, the Pope, summoned to Notre-Dame, looks on as Napoleon crowns his Empress just before crowning himself.