Around 250-300 BCE, the capital of what is now known as France (or, more formally, The Republic of France) was established on the River Seine.
It was inhabited by an Iron Age Gallic tribe, the Parisii. In 52 BCE, it became a Roman settlement, known as Lutetia Parisiorum, and by approximately 300 CE was known as civitas Parisiorum, the precursor to the City of Paris.
Comprised of twenty arrondissements (administrative districts) arranged in an outward spiral from the city's center (see map at right), Paris includes two natural islands - Île de la Cité and Île Saint-Louis, both located on the Seine River. This "City of Light" boasts a population of over 10.4 million people in the greater metropolitan area (2009), and is renowned for its cuisine, tourism, fashion, culture, and history.
Famous sites in Paris include the Musée du Louvre, the repository for works such as Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and the ancient Greek statue, Venus de Milo; the Catacombs, which house the remains of more than six million Parisiennes; the Palace of Versailles, an opulent example of 18th century Baroque architecture as well as home to Marie Antoinette and King Louis XIV (and now the Museum of the History of France); the Eiffel Tower, conceived as part of the 1889 World's Fair to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution; the Moulin Rouge, a 19th century cabaret; the Arc de Triomphe, a 19th century monument in memory of those who died during the Napoleonic wars; and the Champs-Élysées, an avenue lined with luxury shops and theaters.
This article was originally published in July 2012, and has been updated for the
June 2013 paperback release.
Click here to go to this issue.
This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.
Discover your next great read here
Wherever they burn books, in the end will also burn human beings.
Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.
Your guide toexceptional books
BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.