If one types in “most romantic city in the world”, Paris is the number one answer. Just the name conjures classic elegance and style. Yet Paris is more than just a tourist destination for lovers; it is a city steeped in history and blood.
The Gauls of Parisii tribe settled the area more than two thousand years ago around the Ile de la Cité, upon which the Notre-Dame Cathedral sits today. It is the center of Paris, its heart, around which the city prospered.
In fact, the city got so big the residents had to move the massive amount of bodies in cemeteries, which had been overflowing and causing diseases. In the late 1700’s, the tunnels and quarries underneath Paris streets were used to house the bones of the dead.
Through the years, Paris became a city invaded by almost every army imaginable, first by Julius Caesar, and then by the Huns, Normans, English, and Germans. And in between those periods of being conquered, France, itself, became a bed of violence and greed. How could one forget the storming of the Bastille which led to the Revolution and the beheading of King Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette?
Even today unrest still roams the streets of Paris. Twenty days after the attacks of September 11th, military guards roamed the streets with FAL Battle Rifles and every trashcan had been sealed off to prevent bombs in front of national monuments. And this past June, a 17 year old Jewish boy was attacked and beaten up by a gang of black and Arab members, provoking not one bit of surprise in the neighborhood. So while Paris is a city glittering with romance, exoticism, and culture, keep in mind that these attractions have been paved with brutality.