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History Of Paris France

France is a country that is steeped in history and wherever you turn, you can see the magnificent buildings and monuments that have been constructed throughout the centuries.

The first signs of civilisation around the Paris region of France date back to around the fourth millennium BC where dug out canoes have been found, and even as long ago at the time of 250 BC there was a fishing village along the River Seine now know as Paris and because of the strategic position of the area for controlling the rivers shipping, it was always under a different rule, like the Romans who took over after the revolt of 52 BC.

When Attila the Hun invaded the region in 451, it was thought that Paris was to be attacked, but according to legend Sainte Genevieve, who is still the patron saint of Paris today, saved it from devastation.

After this Clovis l commissioned the first cathedral and the first abbey, which was dedicated to Sainte Genevieve and on his death he was buried in Paris in 511, alongside St Genevieve.

Later on Paris became under the rule of the Franks, but the city was neglected by the Empire and suffered grievously from Viking raiders who repeatedly sailed up the river to attack it, and in 885 the city was faced with a massive Viking invasion force, which was believed to have numbered around 700 ships and 30,000 men!

But not all was lost as when the Grand-nephew of Count Odo, was elected King of France in 987 he again made Paris his capital and founded the Capetian dynasty, which still exists today.

History Of Paris France
History Of France Paris

It is as early as the 12th century that the distinctive character of the Paris districts started emerging with the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris being built in 1163 in the Ile de la Cite area of Paris, which was the centre of government and religious life.

In 1180 Philippe Auguste became the king, and under his rule there were a number of major building works, which were carried out in Paris, including a new city wall along with the construction of the Palais du Louvre, paving the streets and establishing a covered market at Les Halles.

When Edward III of England claimed the French throne by virtue of his decent, but the French barons rejected this, and hence the Hundred Years war began and the history of Paris in the 14th century was dictated by outbreaks of plague, political violence and uprisings.

The English then captured Paris in 1420, but unfortunately Henry V of England died at the Chateau de Vincennes, just outside Paris city in 1422 and despite the assistance of Joan of Arc, Charles VII of France tried to retake Paris but failed in 1429.

Of any Valois monarch, Francois I probably had the greatest impact on the transformation of Paris, including the Louvre and establishing a glittering court including people such as Leonardo da Vinci, and along with King Henri IV who made Paris his place of residence.  He then undertook a number of major public works in the city that included the construction of the Pont Neuf, Saint-Louis Hospital, Place des Vosges and the Place Dauphine, plus he also made extensions to the Louvre.

Paris became the intellectual and cultural capital of the Western world during the latter half of the 18th century, as it became a centre of the enlightenment and new thinking, which was encouraged by the state, with King Louis's mistress, Madame de Pompadour, supporting the city's intellectuals and prompting the king to construct striking new monuments.

Unfortunately, it was not long after that Russian and Austrian armies invaded France on the 31 March 1814, with Paris falling to the Russians, which was the first time in around 400 years that the city had been conquered by any foreign power, but Paris was again retaken back by the French and this city continued to grow and expand with more famous monuments being built.

Paris France History

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