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General Charles de Gaulle on the Champs-Élysées celebrating the liberation of Paris, 26 August 1944

On 25 August 1944, the city was liberated by the French 2nd Armoured Division and the 4th Infantry Division of the United States Army. General Charles de Gaulle led a huge and emotional crowd down the Champs Élysées towards Notre Dame de Paris, and made a rousing speech from the Hôtel de Ville.[1]


The Palais de la Cité and Sainte-Chapelle, viewed from the Left Bank, from the Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry (month of June) (1410)
The Palais de la Cité and Sainte-Chapelle, viewed from the Left Bank, from the Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry (month of June) (1410)

By the end of the 12th century, Paris had become the political, economic, religious, and cultural capital of France.[2] The Palais de la Cité, the royal residence, was located at the western end of the Île de la Cité. In 1163, during the reign of Louis VII, Maurice de Sully, bishop of Paris, undertook the construction of the Notre Dame Cathedral at its eastern extremity.

After the marshland between the river Seine and its slower 'dead arm' to its north was filled in from around the 10th century,[3] Paris's cultural centre began to move to the Right Bank. In 1137, a new city marketplace (today's Les Halles) replaced the two smaller ones on the Île de la Cité and Place de Grève (Place de l'Hôtel de Ville).[4] The latter location housed the headquarters of Paris's river trade corporation, an organisation that later became, unofficially (although formally in later years), Paris's first municipal government.




References[edit]

  1. ^ Fierro 1996, pp. 242–243.
  2. ^ Lawrence & Gondrand 2010, p. 27.
  3. ^ Bussmann 1985, p. 22.
  4. ^ de Vitriaco & Hinnebusch 1972, p. 262.