History of Paris, France (Part 2 of 2)For two centuries after the events described in part 1 of this brief history of Paris, the city continued to prosper —sometimes despite the best efforts of kings such as Louis XIV.
Although he managed to reign for almost 72 years, Louis XIV almost beggared the country with his penchant for fighting, or sponsoring new buildings, like the Palace de Versailles.
Napoleon BonaparteNapoleon Bonaparte swept to power on the heels of the French Revolution in the late 1700s, holding a good portion of Europe in his grasp, from his seat of power in Paris.
However, his zealous expansionism would be his downfall, and after his exile, the city of Paris, like the rest of the country, suffered the fluctuations of politics.
Napoleon IIIIn the mid 1800s, Napoleon's nephew pulled off a coup d'état and became Napoleon III.
During his 17-year rule, Paris flowered once more, and there were several aesthetic and functional additions to the city, including wide boulevards, sculptured parks, and (most importantly) a sewer system.
However, Napoleon III was also dethroned, and the people rose again, demanding the creation of a Republic.
With that metamorphosis of France as a whole, Paris went on to become a cultural centre, rich in the arts, and boasting a hotbed of intellectuals.
Modern-day ParisToday, Paris is still one of the most cosmopolitan centres in Europe, hosting millions of tourists every year, who come for the arts, the wine, and, simply, the ambiance of the City of Lights.
For Beginners Copyright © 2004 M. Feenstra, Den Haag. All rights reserved.