The Romans conquered the city two centuries later, and preferred the more familiar hilly ground of the Left Bank.
From this shaky start French monarchs gradually extended their control over their feudal rivals, centralizing administrative, legal, financial and political power as they did so, until anyone seeking influence, publicity or credibility, in whatever field, had to be in Paris — which is still the case today. The wars and plagues of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries left Paris half in ruins and more than half abandoned, but with royal encouragement, the city steadily recovered. Parisians, both as deputies to the Assembly and mobs of sans-culottes, were at the forefront of the Revolution , but many of the new citizens welcomed the return to order under Napoleon I.
The emperor adorned the city with many of its signature monuments, Neoclassical almost-follies designed to amplify his majesty: the Arc de Triomphe, Arc du Carrousel and the Madeleine. At the fall of the Empire, in , Paris was saved from destruction by the arch-diplomat Talleyrand, who delivered the city to the Russians with hardly a shot fired.
The Rough Guide to Paris by James McConnachie, Ruth Blackmore (Paperback, 2008)
Nationalists grumbled that the occupation continued well into the Restoration regime, as the city once again became the playground of the rich of Europe, the ultimate tourist destination. He finally completed the Louvre, rebuilding much of the facade in the process, but it was his Prefect of the Seine, Baron Haussmann , who truly transformed the city, smashing through the slums to create wide boulevards that could be easily controlled by rifle-toting troops — not that it succeeded in preventing the Commune , the most determined insurrection since It was down these large boulevards, lined with grey bourgeois residences, that Nazi troops paraded in June , followed by the Allies, led by General Leclerc, in August Although riotous street protests have been a feature of modern Parisian life — most famously in May , when students burst onto the streets of the Quartier Latin — the traditional barricade-builders have long since been booted into the depressing satellite towns, known as la banlieue, alongside the under-served populations of immigrants and their descendants.
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All accommodation budgets are catered for, too, whether you're after a grande dame city institution or a backpacker-friendly party hostel. Both for weekend breaks and longer stays, The Rough Guide to Paris fits the bill. About the Author Rough Guides are written by expert authors who are passionate about both writing and travel. They have detailed knowledge of the areas they write about--having either traveled extensively or lived there--and their expertise shines through on every page.
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