The capital of France since 508, Paris has a rich 2000 year history. Many churches, monasteries and old districts have been destroyed during the French Revolution and the Haussman redesign time. But, unlike many european cities, Paris has been preserved from destructions during the 20th century World Wars. The history of Paris helps understand Paris as she is today.
Lutecia, as Paris was then called, became Roman in 52 BC (before Christ). Lutecia was a prosperous town of about 8 000 inhabitants until 280 when Lutecia was first destroyed by Barbarians. During the roman times, Lyon was the capital of France, then named the Gaul.
With 200 000 inhabitants in 1328, Paris, the capital of France, was the most populous city of Europe.
Download interesting Paris view of 1615 and recognize many monuments of today.
In 1866, Paris counted 1 600 000 inhabitants. The rapid rise of activity and population in Paris led Baron Haussman to undertake massive town planning between 1852 and 1870.
The Sacre Coeur Basilica was built between 1876 and 1914. Look at the dates on buildings in Paris. Many of them were built between 1890 and 1914.
On this picture, the Alexandre III bridge is crossed by elegant Parisians during the 1900 World Exhibition.
Paris has further extended itself. Paris metropolitan area now counts around 12 million inhabitants.
The Centre Pompidou, La Defense business district, Charles de Gaulle Airport, the Stade de France, Quai Branly Museum and Fondation Louis Vuitton are major contemporary additions to the beauty of Paris.