Free Paris Walking Tour:
Walking Tour Location: Latin Quarter & Île de la Cité
Style: Do-It-Yourself Walking Tour (Self Guided)
Start: Parvis De Notre Dame
End: Pont Neuf Bridge
Walking Distance: 2 Miles
Time: 1.5 Hours for Walk (with attractions 5-6 hours)
Fun Scale: 10 out of 10
Overview of the Latin Quarter:
Our free Paris walking tour focuses on historic Latin Quarter and Île de la Cité which make up the true heart of the city. With pre-historic roots, the area around greater Paris was settled by the Parisii tribe in the 3rd Century BC. In 52BC, the Parisii joined other Celtic tribes to defend Gaul (France, Belgium, & Switzerland) from a Roman takeover which they lost. The Romans quickly laid out the town of Lutèce (Lutetia) on the South side of the Seine River complete with a forum and 15,000 seat amphitheater. In 20 AD local sailors erect the Pillar of the Boatmen in honor of the Roman god Jupiter on the central island where Notre Dame sits today. Area in 40AD, Forum & Baths in 100AD. Grew to pop of 8000, named after the Marsh on the North side. In 280 AD, Lutèce was sacked by Alaman Tribe (Germanic Barbarians) invaders and the remaining citizens moved to the more easily to defend central island. The region remained part of the Roman Empire, was 313 A.D. Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity, re-named Paris in 360. In 451 the Huns threaten, but attack Tours instead and are then defeated by local forces after Saint Genevieve convinced the locals not to flee. Pop before the Romans was 25,000, during 80,000, then down to 30,000, down to 20,000 after Vikings, Between 1170 and 1220, the population of the city doubled, from 25,000 to 50,000; 160,000 by 1250 and 300,000 by the 1300s
In 464 Paris is blockaded by the Franks and Paris surrendered to them. After the Western Roman Empire started to fall, the Franks over took much of modern day France and King Clovis made Paris their capital in 508. In 540 Construction of the Saint-Étienne cathedral, predecessor to Notre Dame begins. King Charlemagne becomes the first Holy Roman Emperor in 800AD. Mid to late 800s, Vikings siege Paris multiple times until Charles the Bad builds two bridges to blockade their ships along with new fortifications and palace. Notre Dame built in a Gothic style from 1163 to 1345. In 1197 flooding makes the King leave the palace for Saint Genevieve Hill until a new Palace is built from 1296-1314.
Louvre fortress built from 1190-1202 like a castle with a moat and added on to for 200 years until it was tore down in 1546 in favor of a traditional French Palace. Francis I had it to look like Palace of Fontainebleau where he was born. The 2 large wings added by Napoleon III in the 1850s. Part opened as a museum in 1794, with the rest after. Remains of the medieval foundations can still be seen on the lower ground floor of the Sully wing. Sainte Chapelle (which contained the remains of the True Cross) was completed in 1248 and Crown of Thorns said to be placed here during construction. 1415 English over took France until Joan of Arch took it back in the mi-1400s.
In 1450 the wolves of Paris were trapping inside Notre Dame and killed. Had grown to the largest city in the Western world in the Middle Ages and by 1550 was the biggest in the world (cite, pop in 1204 was 200,000 and 250,000-300,000 in 1328 which was the 1st census which counted homes). 1558: Mary, Queen of Scots is married to the Dauphin Francis (later Francis II of France), son of Henry II of France.
coronation of Napoleon I and his wife Joséphine, with Pope Pius VII officiating on 2 December 1804 at Notre-Dame. 1831: The novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame was published by French author Victor Hugo, Les Mis in 1862. In the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps.
We hope you enjoy our free Paris walking tour!
Free Paris Walking Tour:
1. Parvis De Notre Dame:
About Parvis De Notre Dame: Is the main square in front of Notre Dame Cathedral
2. Roman Crypt:
About The Roman Crypt: Discovered in 1965, the Roman Crypt dates back to the 1st Century AD when the area was a Roman town known as Lutèce. The settlement was later sacked in 280 by the by barbarians which forced the Romans out. The Parisii tribe of Gaul took over and it was renamed Paris in 360 AD.