I is for Île de la Cité
Located on the Seine and one of Rick Steve’s Historic Walks, the Île de la Cité is one of two little islands located within the city of Paris.
Set up around the 3rd century B.C. In 52 A.D., after being plundered by the Romans, the settlement was rebuilt as the Roman city of Lutetia…Later, from the 6th through the 14th centuries, the kings of France lived on the Île de la Cité. A palace, constructed during Merovingian times (5th to 8th century A.D.), was built at the western end of the island, allowing the island to remain an important political center through the Middle Ages. In the 10th century, a cathedral – one that would be the predecessor to the famous Notre Dame – was erected on the island. (A View on Paris)
At one point, all of Paris resided on this one little island. That is why it remains the heart of Paris. All road distances in France are calculated from the 0 km point located in the square facing Notre-Dame’s pair of western towers. On the Île de la Cité, you will find:
- Notre Dame Cathedral – built from 1163
- Pont Neuf – inaugurated it in 1607
- Ancien Cloître- The oldest remaining residential quarter, that evaded Baron Haussmann’s gentrification mission
- Palais de Justice – Modern day Supreme Court built in the 18th Century. The remains are found in the St. Chappelle Church which is where Marie Antoinette was held prior to her execution by guillotine.
- Place de Dauphine – A cute little residential park