Lutèce: Paris, before it was Paris

I love Paris. Yes, I love the culture, the art, the fashion; but I also love the history. How old is Paris? Evidence of human existence in Paris dates back 700,000 years. Yes. 7,000 centuries. It boggles the mind.

Moving to a more “recent” timeline, I find it fascinating to know that Paris was actually part of the Roman Empire in the 1st Century, AD, and wasn’t even known as Paris until the mid 4th Century. Julius Caesar conquered most of what is today’s France in the 1st Century AD. He named the area we now know of as Paris, Lutetia. Did you know that? Paris wasn’t even Paris until around 360 AD when cities began to take on the name of the resident tribe. In this case, Lutetia (or Lutèce) took on the name “Paris”, for the Parisii tribe who had settled there centuries before. 

Roman era arena, Lutèce, in Paris

Day 1: Divas in Paris

The first day of our trip this October, we’ll spend time in the Arènes de Lutèce (5eme) where we’ll review our itinerary and thoughts we may (or may not) want to share about our Paris journey. The arena is almost empty every time I’ve been there, maybe a few kids playing tag or soccer, or a few others walking around or sitting in the “stands”. Back in Roman times, the arena accommodated 10,000 – 15,000 spectators. Most people, today (including the Parisians!) don’t even know about this place. Can you imagine? Living in a city with a Roman-era arena dating from the 1st century – and not know it. 

The Arena Lutèce is one of my favorite spots in Paris. I love to sit in the relative quiet, and think about the history of that exact spot; imagining normal people gathering there for concerts, sports, plays, (gladiator fights, executions… let’s not think about those) etc., over 2000 years ago.

I love Paris.

If you’re on our update (aka: email) list, AND you open and read the updates, you will have seen this. If you’re reading this before October, 2018, consider joining me in Paris. There is space for only a few of us. Check out our confirmed plans, (so far) for the October trip to Paris. Maybe you’ll be enticed to join us!

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