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Daily History

July 8 1951 Paris celebrates 2,000th birthday

Paris in 1951

On July 8th 1951, Paris, the capital city of France, celebrated turning 2,000 years old. In fact, a few more candles would’ve technically been required on the birthday cake, as the City of Lights was most likely founded around 250 B.C.

The history of Paris can be traced back to a Gallic tribe known as the Parisii, who sometime around 250 B.C. settled an island (known today as Ile de la Cite) in the Seine River, which runs through present-day Paris.

By 52 B.C., Julius Caesar and the Romans had taken over the area, which eventually became Christianised and known as Lutetia, Latin for “midwater dwelling.”

The settlement later spread to both the left and right banks of the Seine and the name Lutetia was replaced with “Paris.” In 987 A.D., Paris became the capital of France. As the city grew, the Left Bank earned a reputation as the intellectual district while the Right Bank became known for business.

During the French Renaissance period, from the late 15th century to the early 17th century, Paris became a center of art, architecture and science. In the mid-1800s, Napoleon III hired civic planner Georges-Eugene Hausmann to modernise Paris. Hausmann’s designs gave the city wide, tree-lined boulevards, large public parks, a new sewer system and other public works projects.

The city continued to develop as an important hub for the arts and culture. In the 1860s, an artistic movement known as French Impression emerged, featuring the work of a group of Paris-based artists that included Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Today, Paris is home to some 2 million residents, with an additional 10 million people living in the surrounding metropolitan area. The city retains its reputation as a centre for food, fashion, commerce and culture.

Paris also continues to be one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, renowned for such sights as the Eiffel Tower (built in 1889 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution), the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Elysees, Notre Dame Cathedral (built in 1163), Luxembourg Gardens and the Louvre Museum, home to Leonardo da Vinci’s painting “Mona Lisa.”

This Day In History

About Craig Hill

Social Justice Campaigner, Writer, Teacher and Business Consultant. Lived in China and USA. Dealing with disability. My articles have been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and many other international publications. Please consider donating, to support our social justice campaign, by clicking on the "Donations Page" button in the top menu.


7 thoughts on “July 8 1951 Paris celebrates 2,000th birthday

  1. I too feel like joining you in the event of celebration, of course from a big geographical distance.

    Posted by neelkanth | July 8, 2012, 15:51
  2. I spent a week in Paris, I wish it would have been much more. At least I saw the highlights and went into the Eiffel Tower. Still, the memories are warm ones.

    Posted by swabby429 | July 8, 2012, 23:27
  3. Happy Birthday Paris!
    Thanks for great post and good on ya for liking my post!

    Posted by aidaweb101 | July 9, 2012, 13:57
  4. Thanks for this Paris history and the beautiful photo! It’s difficult to take a bad photo of Paris, isn’t it? Interesting that you frequently write about two places I focus on in my studies – and have frequently traveled to – France and China. The Seven Ages of Paris by Alistair Horne is a great way to learn details about the very high highs and miserably low lows of French history. His La Belle France is very repetitive – “Seven” is better. Or – for a painless way to learn about the 1968 Paris May Revolution, you can read my novel, A Time to Cast Away Stones (Sand Hill Review Press). Take a look at my website: http://www.elisefmiller.com. I took those photos myself in 1968…but this IS fiction.

    Posted by Elise Frances Miller | July 17, 2012, 15:45


  1. Pingback: This Day in History July 8, 1951 | My Devotional Thoughts - January 25, 2015

  2. Pingback: This Day in History July 8, 1951 | My Devotional Thoughts - January 25, 2015

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