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<P align="center"><font color="blue" size="3">A History of Paris in Dates</P>

</font><font color="blue" size="2">Third Century BC: The Parisii, a Celtic tribe, found the settlement of ‘Lucotesia’ on an island in the River Seine. ‘Lucotesia’ probably means ‘marshland’. The River Seine running through the area has a number of small tributaries.

53 BC: The Romans conquer Gaul. The city receives its first name: ‘Lutetia Parisorum’, and becomes one of Caesar’s colonial towns.

Fifth Century AD: The Huns under the leadership of Attila invade Northern France. The inhabitants of Paris put up stiff resistance and save their city.

508: The Franks end Roman domination. Paris becomes the capital of a Frankish state.

Ninth Century AD: Paris develops into an important trade centre. Navigation on the River Seine is a vital economic factor. The Normans repeatedly attack the city.

Tenth Century AD: The last Carolingian king is Louis V. After his death Hugo Capet becomes the new ruler after a vicious power struggle. The Capetian dynasty rules France until the French Revolution of 1789. The swamplands around the city are slowly being reclaimed. Paris extends on the left bank of the Seine.

Twelfth/Thirteenth Century AD: Robert de Sorbon is the founder of a theology school in 1253. It will eventually develop into the famous Sorbonne University. The city is divided into three areas: ‘Île de la Cité’ becomes the political centre, the ‘Quartier Latin’ the artistic centre, and the Right Bank of the River Seine becomes the commercial centre.

Fourteenth Century: The city walls are extended. Erection of the Bastille.

Fifteenth Century: Epidemics and social unrest ravage the city. In 1420, Paris falls to the English. Jeanne d’Arc tries to recapture the city, but the English siegeonly ends in 1436.

Sixteenth Century: Conversion of the Louvre into a city residence. Fights break out between Catholics and Protestants. During the night of 23 August 1572 the so-called St.Bartholomew’s Eve Massacre instigated by Cathérine de Médici claims the lives of 3,000 Huguenots. Many more flee. The Edict of Nantes (1598) sees Henry IV guarantee the religious freedom of the Protestants. The King himself converts to catholicism for political reasons.

1682: Louis XIV moves the seat of government to Versailles. Absolutism triumphs. Magnificent palaces are built, gigantic debts are amassed. Paris numbers half a million citizens.

1789: The storming of the Bastille leads to the French Revolution. In 1792, Louis XVI is arrested and beheaded the year after. France is proclaimed a Republic.

1815: Louis XVIII ascends the throne after the fall of Napoleon. Once again a member of the House of Bourbon takes control of the state.

1851: The Second Empire begins with Napoleon III. Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann transforms the city: whole neighbourhoods are demolished, grand squares and avenues are constructed. In 1859/60 a total of 11 villages, such as Montmartre, are annexed. Paris is a conurbation of 20 arrondissements (districts) with a total of 1.8 million inhabitants. Paris receives three World Fairs (1855, 1867, 1889). They symbolize the growing prosperity of the city.

1900: The Métro (Underground) is opened.

1940-44: Paris is occupied by German troops. General Dietrich von Choltitz disobeys Hitler and refuses to destroy the city. The Allied Forces and the French Resistance led by General de Gaulle liberate the city.

1958: Charles de Gaulle is elected President. In 1963, De Gaulle and the German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer sign a Franco-German Friendship Treaty.

1968: Students and police fight running battles in the Quartier Latin.

1970s: The Old Market Halls are torn down. A ring-road is constructed and the Centre Pompidou is opened.

1989: In celebration of the Bicentenary of the French Revolution President François Mitterrand has the Opéra-Bastille built, as well as the Louvre pyramid and La Grande Arche (The Giant Arch).

1999: Official opening of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France François Mitterrand. This National Library on the eastern side of the city contains 12 million books.</font>

  • Last visit to Paris: May 1996
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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