By Orest Ranum

Through the 18th century Paris was once one of many nice wonders of Europe, well known for its outstanding royal monuments and as a centre for technological know-how, literature and the humanities. extra so than the other ecu urban, Paris mirrored the spirit of an age - an age that reached its zenith with the reign of France's sunlight King, Louis XIV. First released in 1968, this ebook makes an attempt to catch that spirit. In his exploration of Parisian heritage, Orest Ranum levels commonly throughout the streets and quarters of town, conscious of the achievements of city planners, architects and engineers, in addition to to urban politics, social currents and the spirit of non secular reform. in the back of all of it lay the rule-creating authoritarianism of absolutely the country, which, satirically, unleashed Parisians' inventive impulses in every little thing from literature, portray and tune to structure, arithmetic and physics.

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Escape from the torrents of urine would have been difficult in the narrow streets, and the Pont Notre-Dame and the Pont-au-Change leading to the Right Bank might both have been too crowded or too far away for escape. People, horses, carts, hawkers, beggars, and bankers jammed these bridges from morning until night. Garbage, manure, and mud lay as much as a foot deep on the surrounding streets. But for those who could take their eyes off Gargantua, there were other things to see. There was the cathedral itself.

The stakes and ashes on the Place Maubert impressed students and citizens tempted by Calvinism, but fear alone could not have kept Paris from going Protestant. Fanatical preaching and sober thinking on the part of clergy, judges, and merchants attached to the Crown and to Spain helped give the emotional horror of public executions an intellectual basis. The circle of abbeys surrounding the Left Bank began again at the Seine, just a few streets east of the Place Maubert. 01 9/25/02 8:00 AM Page 39 39 A Tr a v e l e r ’s Vi e w i n 1 6 0 0 the residence of the Knights of Malta.

Despite repairs under Francis I, from the fifteenth century on the Châtelet was partly in ruins, as shown in a Silvestre engraving of about 1650. Beyond the Châtelet stood the central commercial and marketing section of Paris. After Philip Augustus established the Halles there as a kind of perpetual fair, the Right Bank became the stronghold of commercial society in Paris. Street names were usually functional: the rue de la Savonnerie (soap), rue de la Chausseterie (stockings), rue de la Cossonnerie (fowl), and rue de la Lingerie (linens).

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