Paris, the City of Light, or “La Ville-Lumuire,” is nicknamed as such, because of the city’s prominence during the Enlightenment Period, and also because it was one of the first cities in Europe to acquire gas lighting for its street lights along the Champs-Elysees.
Paris has also been called “the City of Love” not only because it figured largely in the Romantic Era, but also because Paris is beautiful — except possibly, according to Parisians, for the bridges adorned with “love locks.” In any event, Paris holds a romanticized spot in the hearts of many.
There are plenty of Parisian myths to separate from real facts. These seven things you didn’t know will get you started on the path to truth.
The Romans were the original city planners for what would become known as Paris. They built Lutetia (52 BC-486 AD), recreating their traditional city grid design as they established the city’s living areas and major streets as they radiated outward from the Seine River.
The streets ran along a north-south axis (the card maximus) on the Seine’s higher bank on the left side, in order to be able to efficiently cross the great marshes on the Seine’s right.
The Romans determined the best areas in which to construct public monuments, which explains the location of many of the ancient monuments in Paris. Today you can walk certain streets in Paris, such as the Rue St-Jacques and the Rue St-Martin, and follow the Roman street grid.
The name Lutetia carries on today. An asteroid discovered in 1852 is named 21 Lutetia, after the city of Paris.