Why Paris is the City of Light ?
Today famous all over the world, millions of tourists are coming every year. Since 2019, Paris has welcomed 17,5 million of visitors.
Already in the 17th century, many visitors and ambassadors came to see the Sun King…nothing to do with the nickname of Paris of course, which was at that time very dirty and dark because of the many little and narrows streets!
Even a ‘couvre feu’, a curfew, was established: in the darkness, dangerous people were roaming the streets …
To reduce the crime rate, in the 16th century, the Parliament advised the Parisians to put candles on their windows. One century after, it became an obligation.
The visitors were dazzled by this ‘spectacle’.
And moreover, Paris, and the French kingdom, were the most powerful places in the world, under the reign of Louis the XIV.
But we had to wait 1829 to see the first street enlightened with a gaslight (very smelly by the way). The inventors were an Englishman, William Murdoch, and a Frenchman Philippe Lebon, who discovered this system in 1785!
This street is today one of the most expensive in the French Monopoly game: Rue de la Paix, located between the Opéra Garnier and the Place Vendôme.
One year later, 9000 gaslight were enlightening Paris. In 1860, 56.000 were set on the avenues and near the monuments.
The great culture, history, modernity of Paris, and this amazing invention which enlightened the streets of the City, made Paris definitely the City of Light.