PANORAMA — Paris is the city of the Present, as Rome is of the Past. Others may imitate it, but no metropolis of modern times can really be compared to the French capital for its elegance of decoration, the refined gaiety of its manners, and the superb arrangement of its streets and boulevards, together with the magnificence of its architectural triumphs. If Switzerland is “the play-ground of Europe,” Paris is its favorite place of amusement. Hither come yearly hundreds of thousands of pleasure-seekers from every quarter of our globe. There is everything in Paris to please, instruct and charm. Almost every window is an exhibition of art. Each prominent street is frequently the centre of some Carnival. The river Seine which divides Paris into two very nearly equal sections shoots arrow-like beneath twenty-eight bridges, many of which are eloquent of history. This French metropolis has a population of nearly two and a half millions, but is exceedingly compact on account of the French custom of living in apartments rather than in separate houses. It is a beautifully clean city. The care bestowed upon its thoroughfares is something which excites the admiration of all tourists, and is in painful contrast to the way in which the streets of many of our great American cities are neglected. Perhaps this is one out of many reasons why “Good Americans, when they die, go to Paris.” (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)
It was founded in the 3rd century BC by a Celtic people called the Parisii, who gave the city its name. By the 12th century, it was the largest city in the western world, a prosperous trading centre, and the home of the University of Paris, one of the first in Europe. In the 18th century, it was the centre stage for the French Revolution, and became an important centre of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts, a position it still retains today.
It is the home of the most visited art museum in the world, the Louvre, as well as the Musée d’Orsay, noted for its collection of French Impressionist art, and the Musée National d’Art Moderne, a museum of modern and contemporary art. Its notable architectural landmarks include Notre Dame Cathedral (12th century); the Sainte-Chapelle (13th century); the Eiffel Tower (1889); and the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur on Montmartre (1914). In 2014 received 22.4 million visitors, making it one of the world’s top tourist destinations. It is also known for its fashion, particularly the twice-yearly Paris Fashion Week, and for its haute cuisine, and three-star restaurants. Most of France’s major universities and grandes écoles are located here, as are France’s major newspapers, including Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Libération. (from Wikipedia)
- Seven Ages of Paris
- How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City
- Paris: Journey into the City of Light