History of Paris

Saint-Germain-des-Prés-Paris-Abbey

Wandering Paris’ Saint-Germain-des-Prés Neighborhood (Past and Present)

Put on your Sunday best and head over to Saint-Germain-des-Prés, an upscale Parisian neighborhood with centuries-old literary, revolutionary and artistic roots. Situated on the left bank of the Seine River– just blocks west of […]

Paris' code of arms reads "Fluctuat nec Mergitur"in Latin. But what does it mean?

Fluctuat Nec Mergitur: Why is it Paris’ Motto, and What Does it Mean?

If you follow Parisian cultural trends with any regularity, you’ve probably seen locals reference the Latin expression “Fluctuat nec mergitur” as the city’s motto. But what does it mean– and where does it […]

Parisian Legends: Interview with Patrick Roger, France’s Own Willy Wonka

As this goes to press, the Salon du Chocolat is gearing up for another run in Paris–an annual trade show devoted to the art (and enjoyment) of chocolate. To celebrate the irresistible stuff […]

Inside L’Officine Universelle Buly, a 19th-Century-Style Paris Apothecary

I’ve always been a bit skeptical of the apothecary trend. It’s generally struck me as a marketing ploy to raise the perceived value or originality of products and crank up their prices– irrespective […]

6 Inspiring Urban Farms & Community Gardens to Explore in Paris Now

Paris has a lot going for it, but if there’s one thing lacking, it’s space. The need to squeeze, adjust and think creatively not only applies to living space but to agriculture too. […]

How to Enjoy Paris Gay Pride (Marche des Fiertés LGBT+) in 2019?

Summer in the French capital necessarily means festivals and music filling the streets, the long days seeming to stretch out even further amid the joyful din. And what better way to kick off […]

Paris' Montparnasse Cemetery is a lovely place to stroll and contemplate. Image: Courtney Traub/All rights reserved

A Stroll Through Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris

Opened in 1824, Montparnasse Cemetery sits on a site that was once occupied by three farms, in what was then a rural, sleepy corner of southern Paris. Home to the graves of denizens […]

Les ARcades de Paris, Galerie Vivienne/David Pendery/Creative Commons

Seeking Belle-Epoque Paris in the Grands Boulevards District: My Full Guide

Technically, the tangled arrangement of wide, grandiose streets known as the Grands Boulevards in Paris stretch all the way from the Eglise Madeleine church in the 8th arrondissement (district) to the Place de […]

Palais Royal in springtime, Paris. Julien Maury/Creative Commons

In Focus: Paris’ Palais Royal, a Haven From the Crowds

It may be just a few hundred feet away from the Louvre, the buzzing epicenter of tourism in the French capital. It may house a Michelin-starred restaurant, opulent boutiques, centuries-old theatres, covered passageways […]

Academie de la Grande Chaumière: The Paris Art Studio Favored by Modigliani, Miró and Lempicka

On a quiet side street in Montparnasse that seems worlds apart from the frenetic Boulevards and terraced cafes just feet away, there’s a typically Belle-Epoque building you’d be forgiven for not noticing. But […]

Inside La Coupole, a Montparnasse Brasserie Haunted With Artistic History

  Referring to the legendary Parisian brasserie on Boulevard de Montparnasse, French historian Georges Viaud once remarked: “If the tables [here] could talk, they would tell the story of La Coupole’s role in […]

The history of French macarons is a disputed, and fascinating, one.

A Short History of French Macarons, From Saint-Emilion to Paris

On a recent trip to the fortified medieval town of Saint-Emilion, my partner and I stayed in a lovely B&B plunged in the middle of the vineyards, outside the city walls. Our amiable […]

Lapérouse, one of the most romantic Paris restaurants

In Review: Lapérouse, a Romantic Paris Restaurant With History Galore

First opened in 1766 as “La Maison Lapérouse”, this distinguished restaurant and bar situated smack on the banks of the Seine is a favorite spot for well-heeled literary and artistic types. It’s a place […]

First time in Paris? These are the best things to see and do during your stay, including a stroll around Montmartre.

First Time in Paris? These Are the 10 Best Things to Do.

At Paris Unlocked, we tend to focus our coverage on lesser-known corners of the French capital, and encourage readers to look well beyond the obvious, tried-and-true or wildly popular sites. But when it’s […]

Medieval Paris: A Self-Guided Tour of 5 Intriguing Places

During the 19th century, the Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann gutted much of what had been medieval Paris-– forging the iconic skyline and enormous, grandiose boulevards we now (wrongly) tend to think of as timeless. […]

Edith Piaf was born in Paris; for fans of "la mome", there are several key sites to see in the French capital. Image credit: Piano Piano/Creative Commons 2.0

Seeking Edith Piaf in Paris? Visit These 4 Places

Affectionately dubbed “the little sparrow” and “la môme” (the kid) in France, Edith Piaf is a musical legend who has (rather surprisingly?) resonated with successive generations of listeners. Thanks in part to Olivier Dahan’s […]

Paris' Belleville neighborhood is rich with street art, working-class and revolutionary history.

Exploring Paris’ Belleville District: A Haven for Artists, Immigrants & Revolutionaries

I’m a former resident of Belleville, that fascinating, messy, somewhat chaotic neighborhood in Paris’ northeastern corner. One that many tourists find odd and even unnerving when they stumble on it– mostly after visiting […]

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