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Ile de la Cite - Notre Dame

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Ile de la Cite is considered the birthplace of Paris (Complete Paris History). Among Paris' original attractions, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Palais de Justice, and Sainte Chapelle continue to draw tourists to the Ile de la Cite.

Ile de la Cite translates into Island of the City in English.

Along with the Sainte Chapelle, la Conciergerie was part of the original royal Palace here on the Ile de la Cite. The Gothic vaulted Salle des Gens d'Armes and massive kitchens with four huge fireplaces remain from the medieval period. The palace became a prison under the watch of the Concierge during the Reign of Terror after the French Revolution.

Outside, the Tour de l'Horloge stands the first public clock built in Paris, built in 1370 and just recently restored, it is a sight to see.

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At the eastern end of the island, a bridge connects with the Ile Saint Louis, a former swampy pasture transformed into a residential area with pretty, tree lined streets.

Though Ile Saint Louis hosts no remarkable monuments, it's considered one of the most pleasant places in Paris for a stroll or lunch. It has retained it's charm and authenticity throughout the past centuries.

  • Notre-Dame Cathedral : Place du parvis de Notre-Dame, 4th; phone : 42 34 56 10 - open Mon-Fri, Sun 8am-6.45pm; Sat 8am-12.30pm, 2-6.45pm
  • Sainte-Chapelle : 4, bd du Palais, 1st; phone : 43 54 30 09 - open Oct-Mar daily 10am-5pm; Apr-Sep daily 9.30am-6.30pm.
  • Concierge : 1, quai de l'Horloge, 1st; phone : 43 54 30 06 - open daily 10am-6pm