Interesting facts about Paris
It was the Gallic fishermen, the Parisii, who, settled on the island de la Cité, the largest in the Seine, and who 200 years BC founded Lutèce, which was to become Paris. From 52 onwards, the Romans settled there in a small town which was devoted to inland waterways transport and it would leave its strengths to the town of Paris: the vessel evokes the shape of the island, the capital's cradle and its inhabitants' oldest activity.
The name Paris was adopted around 360.
Building the cathedral was going to turn the island into an intellectual and artistic centre: there, a certain Alexandre de Paris invented the twelve foot verse, which is named after him, while the philosopher Abélard murmured sweet nothings to Héloïse, the niece of canon Fulbert, in the cloisters of Notre-Dame. The Cité was covered with churches, chapels and convents. At the end of the 13C, there were at least 22 bell towers! Yet the Cité did not only tend to its spiritual affair: Parliament, the kingdom's highest legal authority was located there and the upheavals of history did not spare the Cité.
It would be Haussmann who would remodel the Cité and who would give it its present day appearance: 25,000 people had to leave ruined houses and enormous administrative buildings were erected, wide avenues and large squares replace the old alleyways. The Medieval Cité was history.