History of Paris


(-) 500 000

First human presence on the site. Then, attracted by the -navigable river all year and the fertility of the surrounding land, a group of Celtic just settle around the year 5000 BC. A few hundred years before Christ, they take the name of Parisii.

52 BC

Julius Caesar conquered Gaul and mentions the installation of the Parisii on 7 islands present on the Seine. This is a village of huts called Lutetia, the ancestor of Paris. It is thought that Lutetia then comprises 5-7 000.


After razing Lutetia, the Roman Parisii help rebuild the village becomes a city and adopts many Roman monuments, with a theater, baths and a civil basilica is said to have been built on location currently occupied by Notre Dame.

245 after J.C.

Saint Denis preaching Christianity to Paris and beheaded, apparently, to 272 on a hill near Paris, then called Mount of Martyrs and Montmartre.

4th century

the Roman Empire begins its fall.


Attila and his Huns hordes of attacking Paris. Exhorted by St. Genevieve, Parisians defend the city and then make the saint, the patron saint of Paris. St. Genevieve erected, then the first abbey church of Saint-Denis on the supposed site of his martyrdom.

481- 498

Clovis becomes king of the Franks, a tribe from the north of France and Belgium today. Many consider this coronation in 481 is the date of creation of France. He grow its territory that includes Paris. But mostly, he chose to become a Christian and was baptized in Reims with his army in 498.


Clovis made Paris the capital of his kingdom. After victories against the Alemanni and Visigoths, it extends from the Rhine to the Pyrenees. The conquered territories must abandon their beliefs as Aryanism and become Christians. France will then called the "eldest daughter of the Church". In 511, Clovis dies and his kingdom is divided. It will be based -with St. Geneviève- in the basilica built on the Montagne Sainte Genevieve, at the current location Pantheon built under Louis 15.


King Dagobert 1st is buried in Saint Denis, which therefore become the necropolis of the kings of France.


after the Carolingian period when the capital became Aachen, Hugh Capet becomes king and restores the capital Paris. Then begins the reign of the Capetians.


Building beginning of Our Lady (completed in 1345).


Under Philip Augustus Louvre castle built to protect the west of Paris which should include about 50 000.


Under Philip Augustus always building the first university, which will help the cultural influence of the city.


Capetian not descended from Clovis or Charlemagne and want to forget that their dynasty was created by a simple duke. The most famous of them, Louis 9 -dit St. Louis built the Sainte-Chapelle to house Christ's crown. It also marks the emergence of the Gothic style with which to build higher and larger windows.


Robert de Sorbon created a university of theology, which later will be called the Sorbonne.


The Knights Templar was dissolved in 1312 and in 1314, on the Ile de la Cité, Philip IV is burning bright Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Templars.


beginning of the reign of François 1st, admirer of Renaissance art. Paris then has about 300,000 inhabitants and is the largest city of the West.


Saint-Barthélemy: On the night of August 23 to 24, the noble Parisian helped Catholics massacred nearly 3,000 Protestants, who came to Paris to celebrate the marriage of their leader Henry of Navarre -the future King Henry 4- Marguerite de Valois.


Barricades: The Parisians supported the League and its leader Henri de Guise. Ultra-Catholic League is close to the Spaniards. Fearing for the safety of Henri de Guise, Parisians go up barricades to protect the royal troops of Henry III. It will then consider the League as an enemy of France and is close to Henri of Navarre, the future Henri 4.


Henry IV succeeded Henry III and wants to end the medieval allure of Paris. It enlarge the Louvre and the Tuileries, creates the Place Royale in 1605 which is the current Place des Vosges. It transforms the Ile de la Cité and Saint Germain, and is completing the Pont Neuf and the H & OCIRC; as of City .

14 May 1610

Assassination of Henry IV by Ravaillac. His son Louis 13 only 9 years old and is now his mother Marie de Medici who rule the country.


Another revolt. This is the Fronde. Revolt of the first Parisians who refuse that their advisor is stopped, then revolt of princes. The regent Anne of Austria, his first minister

Mazarin and the young Louis XIV are forced to flee Paris. It is said that Louis XIV kept a very bad memory of that period and that he had in mind to keep the nobles under his control & OCIRC; the. Their prison will be golden and will be called Versailles.


the beginning of Louis XIV's reign. He built the Palace of Versailles but also transform Paris: Invalides building to house the old soldiers, piercing the alley of the Champs Elysées, creation of the Observatory, the Manufacture des Gobelins, solid piers, etc ... < / p>


On a proposal of the philosopher Blaise Pascal, a public transportation system is developed in Paris. Seven public carriages were commissioned between the Porte Saint-Antoine and Luxembourg. The fare is 5 floors.

14 July 1789

Storming of the Bastille and the beginning of the French Revolution.

April 1791

The Constituent Assembly transformed the Parisian church Sainte-Geneviève in national temple to house the ashes of the great men of the country. Mirabeau was the first to be buried in the Pantheon.


All monarchies go to war against revolutionary France. The Marseilles volunteers come to Paris for up to northern armies. They sing the "Battle Hymn of the Rhine Army" written by the officer Rouget de Lisle. The song, quickly renamed "Marseillaise" by Parisians, become "national song" in 1795.

21 January 1793

Louis 16 is beheaded.

October 5, 1795

The young généralNapoléon Bonaparte represses in blood a royalist insurrection in Paris. This action earned him the command of the Italian army, army with which he produced his 1st major military exploits.


The first metal bridge in France is inaugurated in Paris: the Pont des Arts. This pedestrian bridge is designed as a suspension bridge and was built under Napoleon's initiative. It owes its name to the Palace of Arts, now the Louvre, it connects to the Institut de France.

December 2, 1804

Napoleon was crowned Emperor at Notre Dame.


The French architect Jean-François Chalgrin beginning the work of the Arc de Triomphe Etoile commissioned by Napoleon in honor of the Grand Army. Inspired by antique models, the arch of triumph Paris surprises by its monumental size.

February 1848

Mass demonstration against Louis Philippe, where the National Guard joined the people. Abdication of Louis Philippe and proclamation of the Republic by Lamartine.

December 1851

Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, elected president in December 1848 organized a coup in order to restore the empire. By referendum, it will adopt a new constitution and dissolving the assembly proclaiming 2d empire.


Opening Bon Marché, the first department store in Paris.


The Baron Haussmann was appointed prefect of Paris and is charged by Napoleon to modernize the city. The sewer system is developed. Slums are razed, large avenues are traced and will be lined with buildings of a new style (the Haussmann style), green spaces are created in and around Paris (Parc Monceau, Montsouris Park, Bois de Vincennes, Bois de Boulogne, ... etc. ..).


Siege of Paris by the Prussians. Proclamation of the Republic.


The government capitulated to the Prussians that Parisians refuse to accept. This is the beginning of the Commune where government troops will return to Paris insurgents. Nearly 30,000 Parisians will be killed.


The birth of the Impressionist movement in Paris.


Construction of the Sacred Heart on Montmartre hill.


The Guimet Museum opens its doors and is necessary since the 20s, with the largest collection of Asian art (excluding Asia).


Construction of the Eiffel Tower.


Construction of the Petit and Grand Palais and inauguration of the first subway line.


Paris is frequented by many artists, painters and writers worldwide. A cultural bubble is built with the avant-garde, like the Italian Futurists 1912 or Picasso moved to Paris and began his "Rose Period" (the use of warm colors and "rougées"), cubism .. . and the list is (very) far from exhaustive, as you can imagine.

The history of the twentieth century Paris was well heard marked by two world wars (14-18 and 39-45). After the 2nd World War, social and heritage reconstruction phase starts. The policy gives more prominence to the heritage and culture including establishing in 1959, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, with Minister André Malraux. Heritage comes enriched with the construction of new cultural spaces, such as:


The Montparnasse Tower, 210 meters high, was inaugurated and will remain for 20 years, Europe's tallest skyscrapers.


The Pompidou Center opens its doors to the public. This project was implemented by the architects Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Giafranco Franchini under the request of President Pompidou. This poly-cultural center houses a library, exhibition spaces, a cinema, restaurant ... as well as the national museum of modern art.


President François Mitterrand announced the construction and development of the Library of France (BNF) François Mitterrand designed by architect Dominique Perrault. It represents one of the largest libraries of the world.


Opening of the Opera Bastille and construction of the Louvre Pyramid in the square courtyard of the Louvre, work of the artist IM Pei.


Opening of the Arche de la Defense, also called the Grande Arche. This monument was built to prolong the historical axis of Paris, namely Concorde, Arc de Triomphe and now, Arch of Defense.


At the initiative of the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, Paris-Plage is born and becomes over time a key event in Paris in search of the "spirit" vacation when they stay in Paris this summer. < / p>


Opening the contemporary art center Palais de Tokyo.


Under the draft Jacques Kerchache, art dealer and expert in African art and Jacques Chirac (then president), the Quai Branly museum or museum of arts and civilizations of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas opens to the public. This list reflects only a small part of the cultural and heritage potential of Paris, you will discover many other wonders by visiting this city ... Maybe you'll say the same thing the writer Jules Renard, namely "Add two letters to Paris: this is paradise."