From the baguette to French fashion, via art of all types, this article will take you through Paris’ Culture and History.
You will also discover the main things to see in the city.
Then we finish with a note of humor with famous examples of French clichés ;)
Culture & History
Paris was first chosen as the capital city by Clovis. It was just after he kicked the Roman Empire out of France in 500 A.D.
But, Paris, as a city, was born during the Second Empire, 50 years after the French Revolution of 1789.
It was Napoleon III, the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte (also known as Napoleon I), helped by the government official Haussmann, who gave the lead to renewing the city.
Paris, before 1850's looked more like a dirty medieval village than a capital city.
A completely new urban plan for the city was drawn up in the 1850s.
The small medieval houses were replaced with massive buildings. All the narrow streets were replaced with big avenues, with the aim to make a lighter and cleaner city, in order to eradicate all the diseases caused by filth.
In just 20 years, Haussmann's and Napoleon III work had created buildings, roads, shops and train stations to link Paris with the other main cities of France.
And guys, as you may remember if you weren't sleeping in class or chatting with your friends, that's period was, for Europe, the beginning of the biggest economic change: The Industrial Revolution (from 1880 to 2000).
Yes, a revolution yet again in French history :D.
The new infrastructures that were set up helped the city profit from the economic boom. It created a modern and rich city.
By that time, people were making more money and the standards of living were better. So their yearning for culture grew up. It helped of all kinds of artistic expression to develop with paintings, sculpture, theatre…
There was also a lot of cultural exhibitions, such as the big exhibition in 1889, during which the Eiffel Tower was 'temporarily' exposed. Yes, I said 'temporarily' as fate decided otherwise…
All the changes made the city popular and created the image it now has throughout the world.
Let's see what kind of activities brought the lovely image that you have about the city of light ;)
Paris is first known as the "City of Art"
City's atmosphere attracted so many artists to the point that some districts were only occupied by artists.
Let's mention for example Montmartre and Latin's Quarter.
If Paris is important as City of Art, it is because all kinds of art found their way into the city from a multitude of times and places.
From writers such as Victor Hugo and his famous "Hunchback of Notre Dame"to foreign painters such as Picasso who found a place to express his creativity freely.
Close to our eyes, Paris spirit is still inspiring filmmakers such as Woody Allen and his "Midnight in Paris" or Jean Pierre Jeunet and his "Amelie Poulain".
The City of Light also inspires music creation, not to mention the successful song and video clip of Adele "Someone Like You".
As well as being an artistic city, Paris, by being the capital of France is also recognized as the 'City of Flavor' with the delicious French Cuisine.
So when you are in Paris, we suggest that you try at least once a French breakfast with baguette and croissants.
During the afternoon, allow you to have a sweet and soft break and try these typical Parisian cakes called 'Macarons'.
And because eating all those sweet things can make you thirsty, why not try once in your life real Champagne?
For those who want to fit in the personage, you may need some new clothes to appreciate Macarons and Champagne.
Do not worry because in Paris you are in the "City of Fashion".
Ladies, what a French glamour to walk in the City with an Hermes bag and this smell of Coco Chanel?!
Gentleman, just avoid to bring your girlfriend for window shop if you don't wanna run out of money :D
"Mesdemoiselles" to finish your dream we will definitely make you see "la vie en rose".
Because you finally are in the "City of Love", here is the time for you to enjoy that lovely atmosphere created by the cultural melting pot and all those flavors of the world.
Get ready for this feeling of romance when you will feel Paris' spirit and, who knows, maybe experience a romantic relationship here ;D.
To discover more of Paris, you should peak a sneak in the Paris Guide section ;)