Paris began its life as a simple Celto-Roman settlement known as Lutetia on the Ile de la Cite. Today the Ile de la Cite is occupied by the Cathedral de Notre Dame, famously shown in the 1923 film “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”. As the Roman Empire crumbled, a new leadership was founded and in 508 CE Paris came into the hands of Clovis of the Franks, considered by the French to be their first king, and the birth of Paris as we know it today. As one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, Paris has been the backdrop for countless films and the inspiration for even more books; its popular landmarks are instantly recognised by people across the globe.
Named after its designer, Gustave Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower is the tallest and best known tourist attraction in Paris. Although seen as undeniably French, the Eiffel tower was originally offered to Barcelona but after they rejected the tower, it went on to become the most recognised symbol of Paris. Indeed, since its completion, the Eiffel tower has attracted more than 200 million visitors.
However, no trip to Paris is complete without a trip to Montmartre: at 130 metres above the city, there is no better view over the beautiful French capital. Montmartre also plays host to one of Paris’ most famous churches, the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur. In addition, just behind the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur lies the artist’s quarter, which in times past has been the location of popular artists such as Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh and Henri Matisse. Today the most famous art to be witnessed here has been created by the music industry, with Montmartre appearing in music videos for songs by popular groups such as Snow Patrol, U2 and Savage Garden. Gather more info on visiting the Montmartre at www.tripsavvy.com.
Situated on the right bank of the river Seine lies the world’s most visited art museum. A pillar of popular culture, the Louvre has been made a point of interest through the bestselling book and film “The Da Vinci Code”. Although probably most famous for its housing of the Mona Lisa, the Louvre actually holds more than 35,000 works of art. As such, any trip to Paris should include a stop off in the Louvre, its sheer size ensuring there is always more to come back to.
Having been the focus of so many books and films, it should come as no surprise that many artists, writers and actors choose Paris as their final resting place. For many of Paris’ richest and most famous, the only place to be buried is Pere Lachaise cemetery. Proudly displaying the tombstones of writers Oscar Wilde and Moliere, and musicians such as Frederic Chopin and Jim Morrison, Pere Lachaise cemetery highlights Paris’ central position as the home of European arts and popular culture.Many flights to Paris land in the Charles de Gaulle International Airport, France’s largest airport. The airport, named after the national hero and former president, is where U2 filmed their video for “Beautiful Day”.Strolling through Paris it’s easy to see why it has become such a central city to European culture and why its beautiful landmarks continue to feature in books and films from around the world.