If you have a plan to visit Paris – a city which is dubbed as the most romantic city in the world – anytime soon, then it would be a good idea to at least know the history of Paris first before you actually set foot there. Famous for its Eiffel Tower and home to 12 million Paris citizens, this city of love is one of top holiday destinations located in France.
History of Paris: Early Settlement
Who would have thought that Paris has a long way back into history? The first settlement in Paris was predicted to happen around 250 BC or over 2,000 years ago. By then, the name of the place was definitely not Paris, but Lutetia, a Celtic name which means “a dwelling place in the middle of the waters.” The place was renamed as “Paris” only in 212 AD.
So, where did the name “Paris” come from? Good question. It is most likely from the name of the Celtic tribe which first settled there, Parisii. They established their dwellings near Seine river.
Since Lutetia’s soil was so rich, prosperous and its location was so strategic, it became an important point in the Gauls and Romans conflict for centuries before it ended in 52 BC won by the Romans. When the conflict ended, Lutetia developed into more and more important city. In 212 AD, the name of the city was changed from Lutetia into Paris, after the name of its first inhabitants.
Paris has gone through a lot of politics changes from Julian, Emperor Constantine’s nephew, in 357, then invaded by Atilla the Hun, ruled by Merovingian kings, Carolingians, to the famous Louises kings. Spiritual wise, Paris maintained Christianity as its main religion for the majority of its history, proved by its endless Catholic landmarks scattered throughout the city which we can even see today. Two of the most famous are the cathedral of Notre Dame and the Basilica of St. Denis.
Paris will also always be known for its position against Henry IV together with the other member of Catholic League until Henry IV defeat Catholic League in 1590. The resistance, however, did not diminish after Henry IV sat on the throne. He was assassinated by a Catholic fanatic on May 14, 1610 after surviving 18 assassination attempts.
History of Paris: French Revolution
The year 1789 was one of most recognized years in history book because in that year, one important revolution took place, the French Revolution. Despite its growing and promising status as the city of arts, sciences, and philosophy, Paris underwent a bankruptcy after it funded the Seven Years’ War and its involvement in America’s War of Independence. After a disastrous harvest failure in 1788, things were out of control and riots broke to reach its peak on a very fateful day, 14 July 1789. A mob stormed and invaded the Bastille, giving birth to French revolution.
History of Paris: Industrial Revolution
Paris arrived in the Industrial Revolution in the early of 19th century. This revolution had made Paris’ inhabitants to rise up significantly to 900,000 people. Thousands of country side dwellers came to the city to work on railroad projects. With that number of population, the city was listed as the second largest city in Europe and third in the world.
History of Paris: Today
Paris is today the capital city of France. It is famous as honeymoon destination and trend setter of world’s fashion. Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe are two of the most iconic landmarks and inspired many novels and movies. One of its nicknames is “La Ville-Lumière” which means “The City of Light,” referring to its role as the center of enlightenment and its beautiful arrays of street lighting.
Named as one of the greenest city in the world, Paris is also one of the most expensive cities to date. With a 2000-year history stretched, there are about 3,800 historical monuments in Paris and four sites which are declared as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Paris is also home to the largest business district in Europe and 33 big company’s headquarters. There are approximately 42 million tourists visit the city, which makes it the most visited city in the world.