Ile de la Cite – the heart of Paris

Paris is a city with a long and glorious history, very beautiful architecture and lots of famous sights which attract millions tourists from around the world. There are so many interesting places and inexperienced traveller can have trouble to choose those which should be visited firstly. However, there are such ones you just can’t ignore – as by the reason of their historical and touristic value as by their location. Cite Island (Ile de la Cite) is among them definitely.

Ile de la Cite – this is Paris, its cradle and heart, the oldest part of modern megalopolis!

That is the place where a settlement of the Parisii had appeared, and nowadays present city has its name in their honor. In the first century B.C. this small town standed on the island was called Lutetia. At that time its population consisted of the Gauls, later the town had been conquered by the Romans – however, Caesar’s people didn’t leave a big legacy here, though there was a lot of legends and sagas about the island.

Nevertheless, we’re not going to come back to history and just let’s talk briefly why this place is attractive in our time.

Undoubtedly, speaking on Ile de la Cite the first what we remember is Notre-Dame Cathedral (Notre-Dame de Paris). No matter from what side you step up to the island you see it, and its sublime shapes will attract your attention. Perhaps, this is the most famous cathedral as in Paris as in all France, so don’t miss opportunity to visit it during your stay in the city – the building will definitely impress.

But Notre-Dame is not the only interesting place at Ile de la Cite. This small isolated area is famed for its compact squares and green parks. Place Dauphine, Vert Galant Square, Ile-de-France Square, Place Jean XXIII – cosy calm places where you can relax on a bench in the shadow of trees and freshen up with water of drinking fountains.

Of course, La Conciergerie is worth of your attention as well – a former royal apartments which had become a jail whose «residents» were hundreds of famous and noble Frenchmen.

Close to Consiergerie you’ll find Sainte-Chapelle (it was sanctified in the thirteen century) whose main relic was the legendary crown of thorns for long time.

Ile de la Cite does not keep anyone indifferent, every person will find something interesting at this small piece of land surrounded with the Seine waters – the only thing you have to do is come to Paris and get new bright impressions! 🙂

Photo: wikipedia