|The Ile de la Cité is an island located on the Seine, in the heart of Paris. It is considered the ancient cradle of the city of Paris, formerly Lutetia. Indeed, around 52 and 51 BC, Julius Caesar refered to Lutetia (the ancient name of Paris ), as a camp of a Gallic tribe know as the Parisii ( ' Paris ' is the name retained to identify the capital of France ).
Thoughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the Ile de la Cité was the political and religious centre of Paris, with nearly twenty churchs covering an area of 25 hectares.
In the heart of the medieval city, the centre of the Ile de la Cité was active since the early centuries of the city.
In the 18th century, it was marked by dip changes in its religious organisation. Parishes were dissolved and churches destroyed. Following the Revolution, the destruction of the island ' s churches accelerated.
In the mid-19th century, Paris was the second most populos city in Europe, but its tangled streets, cramped houses and lack of public facilities (water, sewers ) encourage the spread of epidemics. The renovation project was entrust to Eugčne Haussmann to improve the health of the capital while creating a coherent urban ensemble. His plan was to raze almost all the buildings on the island and to keep only the most important monuments!
Now, apart from the beauty of the great buildings, the charm of the Ile de la Cité lies mainly in its peacefull and romantic atmosphere. It is pleasant to stroll along the quays of the Seine, and to browse the books displayed on the stals of the “bouquinistes” (booksellers ), another great symbol of Paris.
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