Paris, the capital of France is a city with a GDP of more than US$850 billion. It is home to 30 of the Fortune Global 500 companies whose core trade includes; defense, oil, automotive manufacturing, airplane manufacturing etc. Check out the brief history of the city below, and get to learn how this once small village came to be.
1. 4500–4200 BC - It is thought that there was once a hunter-gatherer community in Paris around this time as evidenced by a canoe discovered in Bercy in 1991.
2. 250 BC - The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones occupied the area.
3. 52 BC - The Celtics are conquered by the Romans and they settle at left bank Sainte Geneviève Hill and the Île de la Cité, building a city called Lutèce which boasted palaces, theaters, temples, baths and an amphitheater
4. 400 AD - In this period or thereabouts, the Roman Empire started to crumble and this emboldened the Germanic invasions in the 5th century against the city of Lettuce. The residents fled in flight.
5. 360 AD - On the twilight years of Roman Occupation, Julian the Apostate, Prefect of the Gauls was proclaimed emperor and made the city the capital of the Western Empire. However, his reign would last only 3 years. The most significant thing he would do during his reign is to restore the city's name - Paris.
Paris under Merovingian Dynasty
Throughout the 5th to 10th Century, the city of Paris would see occupation, rule and shifting of the capital by such rulers as the Salian Franks (5th Century) which included the Merovingian dynasty and Carolingian dynasty. The rule of the Salian Franks was very unstable and finally, the rulers gave up the crown in 987 AD when Hugh Capet, count of Paris was elected ruler of the Kingdom of France. Historians reckon that this was the birth of the modern day France.
Middle Ages to 18th Century
This period was also characterized by instability, war and diseases. The most notable events during this period were:
1. 1200 - Philippe-Auguste founded the University of Paris.
2. 1466 - The Black Death, a communicable plague that afflicted most of Europe killed more than 40,000 Parisians.
3. 1682 - Age of Enlightenment was born. Philosophers such as philosopher Voltaire and Didero brought education to the masses through the encyclopedia published in 1751
The French Revolution
If you live in a democratic country, then you owe a lot of thanks to the residents of Paris in 1788. During this time, a bad harvest triggered a revolution when Louis XVI sought to lord it over people with skyrocketing prices. The revolution will later be quashed by Napoleon Bonaparte and about 1300 people executed; however, the seeds of agitation had been planted as Napoleon himself, the emperor of the First French Empire would later be overthrown.
19th Century to date
The city of Pars would see several other wars including the WWI and WWII but will rise out of the rubble every time. Today, France is popular for having hosted the 1998 world cup, having two international airports that include the Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly, as well as having world beating infrastructure.
Of course this is a shallow inspection of the city of Paris. There is so much the rest of the world can learn from the Paris' checkered history. If you love travelling, Paris is one of the very few cities that have a history that spans for more than 2 millenniums.
For more information flights to France and accommodation in Paris, please contact one of our Travel Specialists at North South Travel today