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Paris France History

The area of modern Paris had been inhabited since the fourth millennium BC. The land came under Roman control in the  I century BC, when they founded there a settlement called Lutetia, renamed Paris in 212 AD. In the 3-4 centuries  the city was ruined and declined.

The territory fell under the control of Frank tribes, who rebuilt the city and made it the capital of their state. During the 8-9 centuries it suffered massive Viking invasion, and after the suppression of invaders became the capital of strengthening France.

Paris rapidly enhanced its importance as royal capital, education and ecclesiastical centre. This period was marked by the construction of imposing palaces, including the magnificent royal residence in Louvre, and grand churches, among which Notre Dame de Paris. The city hosted such prominent artists as Leonardo da Vinci  and Benvenuto Cellini, became the university centre and the favourite place for poets and philosophers. During the brilliant Baroque epoch it was enriched by numerous ornate palaces, churches and theatres.

French Revolution, commenced with the fall of Bastille, overthrew the monarchy and established Republican regime, which, however, was involved in internecine hostility and ceded to the establishment of Directoire, shortly followed by the Napoleon’s rule. The restoration of Bourbon monarchy met fervent dissent, but finally succeeded. The city at that time became the state’s greatest industrial centre, facing great social contrasts. The 1848 Second Republic shortly was suppressed.

Under the rule of Napoleon III the city acquired its present form and the main districts were formed. He started a series of exhausting wars with Prussia, lost and abdicated in 1870, the following crisis causing the emergence of Commune of Paris. The end of the 19th century, the Third Republic period, managed to generate belle époque – the golden age of culture.

During the First and Second World War the city did not suffer overwhelming demolition, notwithstanding extremely brutal Fascist regime. Under the rule of Charles de Gaulle and his successors, Pompidou and Giscard d’Estaing, the city acquired its modern look and become one of the most charming and eclectic cultural centres. Modern Paris features amazing hi-tech architecture and since 2000-2001 significant environmental improvement tendencies. 

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