Dates of visit: 15th till 20th April 2014
I’m bringing a brief historical backgrounds and facts about Paris, the city of lights in this entry, “glance through visited places”. This is where the Eiffel Tower is located which was captured by many in their photos whenever they visited Paris, including us. Paris is a famous location for a newly wedded couples to photo-shoot their wedding album, lovers meeting places as well as famous film shooting. All photos that I selected for this introduction, the sequence are not as per actual itinerary. It is a random photos collection.
|Shopping street boulevard, Champs-Elysees|
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France. Situated on the Seine River, in the north of the country, it is at the heart of the Ile-de-France region, also known as the region parisienne, means Paris Region. The city of Paris has a population of 2.3 million peoples but its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe, of 12.3 million. Paris is often referred to as "La Ville-Lumiere", the city of lights, the name took on a more literal sense when Paris became the first European cities to adopt gas street lighting in 1860's. At that period of time, Paris street and monuments was illuminated with 56,000 gas lamps, making it literally the City of Lights. For those who doesn't know, Karachi is also known as "City of Lights" mainly due to city's night life, for which it is famous as the city which never sleeps. In addition, there are an estimated population of over 23.5 million peoples in Karachi Metro itself.
According to Archeological’s record, Paris has been occupied since between 9800 and 7500 BC. It became the site of a town of a Celtic people called the Parisii in the 3rd century BC, for whom the modern city is named. The Romans conquered the city in the 1st century BC and became a Gallo-Roman garrison town called Lutetia. The city was renamed as Paris during the reign of Roman Emperor, Julian the Apostate (the philosopher). It was Christianised in the 3rd century and became the capital of Clovis the Frank in the 5th century. It became the capital of France In 987, under King Hugh Capet.
In the 12th century, Paris became the largest city in the western world, a prosperous trading center, the home of the University of Paris, one of the most influential centers of learning in Europe; and the birthplace of building style that later became known as Gothic architecture. In the 18th century, it was the center stage for many important events in French history, including the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, and an important center of commerce, fashion, science, and the arts, a position which still holds till present day.
Paris has one of the largest GDPs in the world and is one of the world's leading tourist destinations. In 2013-2014, it received an estimated 15.57 million international overnight visitors, making it the third most popular destination for international travelers, after London and Bangkok. The Paris Region hosts the world headquarters of 30 of the Fortune Global 500 companies in several business districts, notably La Defense, the largest dedicated business district in Europe.
Paris is also a beautiful home of the Louvre, the most visited art museum in the world, with outstanding collections of European and ancient art; the Musee d'Orsay, devoted to 19th century French art, including the works of the French impressionists; the Centre Georges Pompidou, a museum of international modern art, and the Musee du quai Branly, a new museum devoted to the arts and cultures of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania; and many other notable art museums and galleries. It also is the home of several masterpieces of Gothic architecture, most notably the Cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-Paris (12th century) and Sainte-Chapelle (13th century). Other notable and much-visited landmarks include the Eiffel Tower, built in 1889 to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution; Sacre de Cœur Basilica on Montmartre, a Neo-Byzantine style church built between 1875 and 1919; and Les Invalides, a 17th-century hospital and chapel built for disabled soldiers, where the tomb of Napoleon is located.
Paris is famous as a global hub of fashion, noted for its haute couture tailoring, its high-end boutiques, and the twice-yearly Paris Fashion Week. It is world renowned for its haute cuisine, attracting many of the world's leading chefs. Many of France's most prestigious universities and Grandes Ecoles are in Paris or its suburbs, and France's major newspapers Le Monde, Le Figaro, Liberation are based in the city, and Le Parisien in Saint-Ouen near Paris.
Paris is a home to the association football club Paris Saint-Germain FC and the rugby union club Stade Français. The 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located in Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros. Paris played host to the 1900 and 1924 Summer Olympics, the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cup, and the 2007 Rugby World Cup. The city is a major rail, highway, and air-transport hub, served by the two international airports Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly. Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily.
What I'm going to share in the next entry is our details itineraries of 3 full day tours in the city. You need at least a week to explore the whole Paris, so, in our case we really stretched our times and energy trying to cover as many possible places.