History

France’s central European geography and two coasts made her frequently occupied and frequently an explorer. Foreign influences enriched France creatively and monetarily. The ancient and still capital of Paris is referred to as The City of Light and Lights for two emblematically French reasons. First as the birthplace of the Enlightenment and modern reason itself, and second as the first extensively gas-lit city. Night became bright in Paris.

Art & Culture

Few European countries are credited with generating as many artistic, political and philosophical movements in as many media and over as many aesthetic epochs as France. And if one European culture is synonymous with gastronomy and heightening cuisine, breads, wines and cheeses also to an art, that too would be French.

Landmarks

Notre-Dame cathedral embodies this home of Gothic architecture and was recently sadly damaged by fire. The Eiffel Tower was the centrepiece of 1889’s World’s Fair and is synonymous with the city, romance and an iconic walk along the river at night. Kingly palaces, their monuments and adjacent gardens spanning centuries of political and cultural periods dot the city. Montmartre is the resting place of headless Jesuit patron St. Denis. Jim Morrison shares ground with Oscar Wilde in the cemetery at Montparnasse.

Surrounds

Paris boasts one of Europe’s first municipal parks and has plans to lead Europe in greenspace. The city rests on both banks of the River Seine with an picturesque island in between. Every style of western architecture is represented in the city. Strict rules of building maintain an urban harmony with respect to both tradition and modernization.

Destination

Julius Caesar refers to a fortified iron age settlement on the left bank of the Seine River in the first century BC as Luteciam Parisioram after the Gallic tribe known as the Parisii. And early hunting camps in the region date back to 8,000 BC. The area around modern Paris has long-been a locus for commerce, politics, education, culture and religion.

From Roman campaigns and medieval migrations, through centuries of commerce and diplomacy, world wars and siege, reconstruction and leadership, France remains a major player on the global stage – culturally and socially as well as politically and economically. New interpretations of art and business are shaped by the young, international and creative workforce drawn to Paris.