About Île de la CitéÎle de la Cité is an island, one of two natural islands located on the Seine River. These islands are original core of Paris. People have been living on the island for more than 200 years and this one of the oldest residential parts of Paris. It has an ancient and modern history. In the past the island was mainly used for residential and industrial purposed, however today the police headquarters is here, the Paris Hall of Justice, the hospital Hotel de Villa, and more. Only the western and northern parts were cleared of their inhabitants, and you can also find remains of houses from the 16th century.
In front of the Paris Hall of Justice used to stand here a palace where the kings of France lived. When the monarchy cleared this island and moved to live in different palaces, a vast area was opened and many wide square and streets were built, filled with alleyways and bunches of houses. This area then turn into a dense quarter. Île de la Cité is the most western of the two islands and houses big public buildings like the Notre Dame Cathedral, Sainte-Chapelle Church, the magnificent Police headquarters, the Hall of Justice, and more.
The Island's HistoryIn the year 52 BC a Celtic tribe lived on the island in the name of Parisii, and around it Roman construction slowly began. If we take for example the place where today the Notre Dame is located, in the past this used to be a worship site for the Roman God Jupiter. For remains, you can do some minimal detective work and visit the old crypt in the Notre Dame.
At a later period, Christians who were fleeing their homes from barbaric tribes settled here. During the middle ages this island became an important political and military spot.
The oldest residential area to survive until today is "Old Monastery."
Within the construction work that went on here in the 19th century by the Baron Haussmann, the face of the island were changed completed. Haussmann cleared 25,000 residents and placed them elsewhere. He destroyed homes, streets and any building the disrupted the view from the Notre Dame. The square in front of the church was destroyed as well. Haussmann's work was stopped in 1869, before he got a change to destroy ancient remains of the island.
Downstream at the edge of the island, you will find the Wille Glenn (The Green Knight) park, named after King Henry IV.