Destination: Paris
Viewing Paris
Viewing Paris
Time Line
Peace & Quiet
Famous People

The Shaping of Paris

c250 BC A Celtic tribe, called the Parisii, settles on the Ile de la Cité.

52 BC The Parisii are defeated by the Romans.

2nd century AD Building of the Gallo-Roman city of Lutetia.

c300 Lutetia is renamed Paris.

508 Clovis, king of the Franks, chooses Paris as his capital.

845 First Viking raid on Paris.

c1100 Abélard teaches in Paris and meets Héloïse. The Quartier Latin spreads to the left bank.

1163-1245 Building of Notre-Dame Cathedral.

1215 Foundation of the Paris University.

c1220 The Royal Palace of Le Louvre is completed.

1358 The merchants of Paris, headed by Etienne Marcel, rebel against royal authority and call for tax reforms.

1408 During the Hundred Years' War, Paris is occupied by the English.

1431 King Henry VI of England is crowned king of France in Notre-Dame.

1437 Charles VII liberates Paris.

c1470 The first printing-press is set up in the Sorbonne.

1559 Foundation of the French Reformed Church.

1594 King Henri IV enters Paris, cheered by the population, and thus puts an end to the Wars of Religion.

1570-1610 The Louvre is extended.

1605 The building of the place Royale (place des Vosges), Paris's oldest square, leads to the development of the Marais district.

1660-70 The Louvre is extended once more.

c1670 The first cafés become popular.

1680 Foundation of the Comédie-Française, France's most prestigious theatre. Louis XIV leaves Paris for Versailles.

1755-75 Building of the place Louis XV (place de la Concorde).

1783 First-ever balloon flight by Pilâtre de Rozier.

1789 The fall of the Bastille marks the beginning of the French Revolution.

1804 Napoleon is crowned emperor in Notre-Dame Cathedral.

1816 Gas lighting is installed in the city. The first steamships sail along the Seine.

1852-70 Baron Haussmann reshapes Paris.

1870 Paris is besieged by the Prussians and is forced to capitulate. During the civil unrest which follows, the Hôtel de Ville is burnt down and is rebuilt in less than 10 years.

1889 The Tour Eiffel is the main attraction at the World Fair.

1900 The first métro line is inaugurated.

1914 Paris is saved from German occupation by the Battle of the Marne.

1919 Inauguration of the world's first commercial airline between Paris and London.

1940 Paris is occupied by German troops.

1944 Paris is liberated.

1947 First-ever fashion parade, organised by Christian Dior.

1968 Series of student demonstrations followed by a general strike.

1973 The boulevard périphérique is completed.

1977 The office of mayor of Paris is reinstated after more than 100 years; Jacques Chirac is elected. The Centre Georges Pompidou is inaugurated.

1986 Inauguration of the Musée d'Orsay.

1989 The Grand Louvre, the Opéra-Bastille and the Grande Arche de la Défense are inaugurated for the bicentenary of the Revolution.

1994 First peace-time march by German troops along the Champs-Elysées.

1996 Opening of the new Bibliothèque Nationale.

1998 The football World Cup final takes place in the newly built Stade de France in St-Denis - and is won by France.

French Riviera
  Top Ten
  What To See
  Where To ...
  Practical Matters