At the heart of the île de la Cité

The island of the city is the center of ancient Lutetia like the medieval Paris and contemporary.

The island of the city is formed by the meanderings of the river Seine. Inhabited by the Gauls Parisis as early as the second century BC and occupied by the Romans Jules Caesar in 52 BC, it covers seven hectares, at the crossroads of the navigation on the river Seine and the Roman road called the cardo (currently in the axis Street Saint Martin and Saint Jacques Street).
This path spanned the River, in Roman times, using two wooden stilt bridges: the Grand bridge (current bridge Notre-Dame) and the Petit Pont.

Cradle of the Gallic Lutècethe island of the City control in Roman times river trade who, in the first century of our era, made the prosperity of communities Paris, evidenced by the Pillar of the Nauts* the effigies, Gallic and Roman preserved at the Cluny museum.

In the part downstream, at the Western tip,. the island was fortified at the end of the 3rd century after JC. She then became residence Imperial and administrative. Julian, the apostate says there was proclaimed emperor by his soldiers in 359-360. Valentinian Ier, another Roman Emperor, moved there during the winter of 365-366. In 508, Clovis, King of the Franks, is fix the headquarters of his Kingdom. This place will remain Royal residence until the construction of the Louvre under the reign of Philippe Auguste in the 12th century. Always at this location. Saint Louis built between 1242 and 1248 Holy Chapel, box of the Holy Crown of thorns. Today stands on these sites the Palace of Justice the city of Paris. The latter are kept a few remnants of the former royal palace: the barbecue Tours, money, Caesar, the clock, the rooms of the guards and the Concierge.

In the part upstream, on the East edge. Christianityborn to the 3rd century in Paris under the pulse of the Bishop Saint Denis, asserts itself in the fourth, fifth and life centuries. In this capital, which takes the name of the people who live - Paris-,. one Holy City builds including a Cathedral Church, a Baptistry, a bishopric and the cloister canonical homes with some Episcopal schools, as well as a Hôtel-Dieu* for the sick and the poor on the banks of the Seine.

In the 9th century of small churches are built on the square to accommodate relics threatened by the Norman Raiders. Around 1100, it is estimated the population of the city island to 3,000 people, including clerics, the ecolatres and the servants of the Royal Palace.

In the 12th century. Maurice of Sully, then Bishop of Paris, undertakes the construction of a new Cathedral on the site of two previous places of worship: Notre-Dame and Saint-Étienne. It then pierces the New Street in the axis of the future Cathedral in the middle of a maze of lanes, half-timbered town houses, as well as seventeen chapels. The breakthrough allows the delivery of construction materials and connect the Cathedral to the existing North-South track.

In its current configuration, the parvis Notre-Dame, expanded in the 17th century, has been released from any dwelling by baron Haussmann - in the 1860-1870s, everything was shaved. On the pad fits the layout of the buildings disappeared (including St. Stephen's Cathedral). The archaeological crypt reported the remains discovered by the excavations of 1965-1967.

Light a candle to Our Lady