Paris: History

The City of Lights

Paris History

Paris has been a thriving metropolis and a centre of intellectual and artistic achievement for centuries. The city's roots reach to the 3rd century B.C., and influences as diverse as Celtic, Roman, Scandinavian, and English are woven into the city's rich heritage.

The Renaissance ("rebirth") began in Paris in the late fifteenth century, turning the city into a flourishing centre of art, science, and architecture. During the French Revolution, the storming of the Bastille in 1789 was the first of a series of key actions by the Parisian people. Paris also played an important role in the revolutions of 1830 and 1848. Later in 1871, the city was besieged for four months until France surrendered during the Franco-Prussian War. French radicals briefly established the Commune of Paris after German troops withdrew. During the World `War I, the Germans were prevented from reaching Paris, but in World War II from 1940 to 1944, they occupied the city.

Today, Paris still maintains its importance, character and unique charm. Cities with so many intact historical sites are rare. Monuments, museums, squares and gardens, in all their beauty, remind us of the extent to which Paris is and always has been in demand.