This blog post was updated on September 26, 2014.

A Historical Tour Through Paris, Flickr: djburkeyTo understand the entire history of Paris, you’d have to time travel over 2,000 years from when the city grew from a small settlement to one of the world’s most attractive global cities. It has many nicknames, like the city of love, fashion, but lesser known, history. Many vital historical events that were significant to France and Europe itself occurred in this capital city. Today, they are famous tourist attractions that are admired by millions who book a flight to Paris.
Notre Dame Cathedral: It’s a fine example of French and Gothic architecture and it’s also one of the greatest Cathedral’s known. Notre Dame Cathedral dates to 1163 and had a rough history since then. It wasn’t completed until 1345 and saw many alterations under the reign of Louis XIV. But, it’s ultimate test was the French Revolution when many treasures were destroyed. It would be later restored to what stands today. It was also the famous site for a large mass celebrating the liberation of Paris after WWII and an active Roman Catholic Church.
Eiffel Tower: Paris’ crowned jewel is one that cannot be missed. It’s the symbolic tower most famous to Parisians and visitors who want to catch a bird’s eye view of Paris. The Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 for the World Exhibition, held in celebration of the French Revolution. It was actually supposed to be taken down after, but stood the test of time. It was awfully criticized at the time for not truly representing the beauty of French architecture with its cast iron and dark appearance. Today, there is no Paris without its Eiffel Tower. And we thank the man of the same name, Gustave Eiffel, who created what was the world’s tallest structure until the Chrysler Building in NYC was built in 1930.
Arc de Triomphe: It stands tall during the day and shines bright at night; the Arc de Triomphe is often imitated but truly one of its own. It’s the symbol of the old and new Paris; a place where history has taken place, but an example of Paris moving forward. It was the rallying point for the French after successful military campaigns, but also the march where the Germans came in during their WWII occupation. Did you know that it is where the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from WWI is located? It has the first eternal flame that was lit in Western and Eastern Europe. In modern times, you can rent the Arc de Triomphe for a hefty price for personal celebrations.
Sacré-Coeur: The image of the Sacré-Coeur isn’t as famous as The Eiffel Tower, but it is one of Paris’ major tourist and historical attraction. Sitting on the highest point of Paris, the Sacré-Coeur was dedicated to the unification of Paris following the French Revolution. It was designed to inspire and create faith within the city. Its prime location on a hill makes this a divine place in Paris. From a religious aspect, it was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Nonetheless, it’s a stunning example of Romanesque-Byzantine architectural style with optimal views of Paris.
Versailles Palace: Though Versailles Palace is technically outside of Paris, there’s no discussion of Parisian history without it. What was once a country village in the 11th century turned into the great escape for the Sun King. It was the Royal Residence created to last for centuries, which it did. It features large and lavish rooms, a royal opera and a 250 acre garden that is quintessentially French.

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photo: djburkey

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