Parisian Highlights: Background information when reading Mission to Paris

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Mission to Paris

A Novel

by Alan Furst

Mission to Paris by Alan Furst
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2012, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2013, 272 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Karen Rigby

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Parisian Highlights

Print Review

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.

Arrondissements 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.

The Eiffel Tower 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 Moulin Rouge 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.

The Musee du Louvre

Image of Eiffel Tower by Taxiarchos228
Image of the Moulin Rouge by Steve
Image of the Louvre Museum by Alvesgaspar

Article by Karen Rigby

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.

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