Paris—the ‘City of Light’—instantly mesmerizes tourists as soon as they step out of the airplane and walk through the dark passenger boarding bridge. One does not need to set eyes on the Eiffel Tower to start to feel the charm and glamour of the city. Paris captures the soul and mind of any visitor that sets foot on its historical land that once witnessed the rule of fashionable monarchs, massive rebellions, extraordinary technological development, and a prosperous food culture. Paris has successfully served as a place of inspiration for famous writers and artists, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Victor Hugo, Edgar Degas, and Pablo Picasso.
Despite our grand associations with Paris, we remain unaware of the many accomplishments and overall history of France. I never knew, until recently, that the pencil sharpener, food processor, Etch-a-Sketch, and even mayonnaise were French inventions. After researching Paris, I was astounded to find out that there are practically no stop signs around the city. One of the most important pieces of information that I learned about Paris was its origin and early history. Paris originally belonged to the Gauls, a Celtic tribe, and came to exist in the third century BC; however, it became a Roman city under Julius Caesar’s rule later on. Even today, there still remains evidence of Roman rule over Parisian soil. Visitors can transport themselves to the Roman city of Lutetia without a teleportation machine and free of charge by taking a seat in the arena of Lutetia, a Roman amphitheater that has become a gathering place for family and friends.
Paris keeps the curious eyes of tourists busy, as they look at the numerous sights it has to offer, ranging from the Eiffel Tower to Versailles. However, one of my favorite places in Paris that immerses people in art’s past, specifically the Impressionist era, is Claude Monet's house in Giverny, where you can directly see the inspiration for his phenomenal paintings. One feels as though they have stepped into the center of Monet’s Water Lilies when standing on his Japanese bridge. His garden is full of roses and other flowers whose bright colors can be seen reflected in his paintings. The village of Giverny itself is worth exploring, with the small stone houses surrounded by the lush green scenery. This is definitely a must-see for artists and tourists wishing to escape the crowd of Paris.
While Paris is a beloved destination for tourists all over the world, much of its past remains unknown to those who visit. That is why it is crucial to learn more information about a place in order to become familiar with its history, culture, and significant achievements. After my research, I look forward to seeing Paris in a whole new light when I am able to visit it once again.