Île de la Cité: the heart and soul of Paris

Île de la Cité: the heart and soul of Paris

Île de la Cité: the heart and soul of Paris

The oldest part of Paris can be found on the Île de la Cité. This island, which only measures 22 hectares and belongs in the 1st and 4th arrondissements, is home to outstanding historical heritage. A 30 minute walk is all it takes to wander around its edge along the River Seine. But you will need a full day to discover all the secrets of the capital city’s beating heart. Sadly, Notre Dame de Paris is undergoing renovation and is not open to the public. However, other gems are just waiting to be discovered: Sainte-Chapelle, with its stunning stained glass windows depicting 1,113 scenes (€10 per adult, under 18 years free), Conciergerie (€9 per adult, under 18 years free) and more!

And you must pause for a moment at Square du Vert-Galant, which sits low by the water on the western side of the island. Under the willow trees you can admire the boats floating along this majestic river. Why is it called Vert-Galant? It’s not a mythical creature from the water’s depths. In fact, it actually takes its name from King Henry IV who was nicknamed ‘Vert-Galant’ (old charmer in English) because of his turbulent love life. 

© Paris Tourist Office – Photographe : Daniel Thierry

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