Welcome to Paris!
The “City of Lights” welcomes seven million people each year. It is one of the most amazing places you will ever visit. It caters to everyone’s taste and you will never get bored.
Paris was founded in the third century BC on an island in the middle of the river Seine. In Roman times it expanded beyond the island and was named Lutetia. Today there are a few Gallo Roman ruins that can be visited (Arena of Lutetia, Baths of Cluny….), most of them located in the Latin Quarter (left bank of the Seine, the University district).
In the fifth century AD, the Franks, a Germanic tribe, overran the North of France and Paris first became a capital city.
In the Middle Ages Paris continued to expand and Notre Dame Cathedral was built. Paris grew as the capital of one of the most powerful kingdoms in Europe and remained an international city throughout the centuries.
Many of the great buildings date from the 17th and 18th centuries when the monarchy was at its peak. However around 1860, a radical city planner named Baron Haussmann opened up the old city with its narrow twisting streets. He designed a modern city crisscrossed by broad tree-lined boulevards flanked by spacious apartment buildings. This is the Paris we know today.
The Eiffel Tower was erected for the universal Exhibition of 1889 and quickly became the symbol of Paris.
Among the most famous landmarks, let us also mention the Arc de Triomphe with the tomb of the Unknown Soldier commemorating all the soldiers who fought for France during the First World War.
Paris is teeming with museums. The Louvre (10 million visitors in 2018) displays Egyptian, Greek, and Roman antiquities together with sculpture, painting, and decorative arts collections. There are also remnants of the original fortress with walls and towers dating back from the Middle Ages.
The Orsay Museum which was formerly a railway station boasts of a dazzling collection of 19th century artwork, particularly the Impressionist masterpieces.
But Paris also has a large modern business center on the western edge of town including the modern Arch of La Defense facing the older Arc de Triomphe at a distance of 4 km.
As of 23 March 2019 Paris will welcome the famous Tutankhamen exhibition at La Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, merging Science and Art. Among the 150 pieces of this collection , more than 50 exhibits have never been shown and will travel for the first and last time out of Egypt !
Visiting Paris should include certainly some fine cuisine, tickets for cabarets, musicals and shopping. Discovering Bohemian life on the hill of Montmartre, paying a visit to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart or just strolling along the banks and bridges of the River Seine can be gratifying experiences too.
All around Paris there are numerous other places of interest to be visited, including the stately Palace of Versailles, the Palace of Fontainebleau, and the Air and Space Museum (Le Bourget) where the Ariane rocket and two Concord planes are displayed.
The Pullman Bercv conference hotel is located close to the river Seine, near Bercy Park which was historically a wine trade center receiving barrels by boat from Burgundy. Today the former wine warehouses have been transformed into trendy shops and restaurants forming the “Cour Saint Emilion” (name of the metro station for the Pullman Bercy hotel). The hotel is only 10 mn from Paris center by metro(line 14).