Paris is separated in to twenty districts known as Arrondissements. Each section offers something different. Here is what can be found in the First Arr.
At the center of the city is where you will find the First Arrondissement of Paris. Moving counter-clockwise the Arrondissements spiral out. The first arr. is located on the right bank of the Seine River, it also includes the west end of the Ile de la Cite (The heart of the City).
History of the First Arrondissement
The First Arr. is one of the oldest in Paris, it was conquered by the Romans in 52 BC and some parts of the right bank date back to the Middle Ages. Today it is one of the least populated and smallest in area, as a large portion of the Arr. is taken up by the Louvre and the Tuileries Garden.
Places of Interest in the First Arrondissement
Although it makes up just a small area of Paris, there is much to see in the First Arr.. From the most famous of museums to the most elaborate and beautiful chapels.
- The Tuileries Garden – located in between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde the Gardens built as by request of Catherine de Medicis of Italy.
- Les Halles – the once a traditional central market of Paris was demolished in the 1970’s, and is now an underground shopping area.
- The Ritz Hotel – The oldest Ritz in the world is located at 15 Place Vendome. It is one of the most prestigious and luxurious hotels in Paris, and has many ties to literature by Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Hemingway Bar can be found inside the Ritz Hotel.
- Place Vendome – a square located to the north of the Tuileries Garden. In the center of the square is a Column which was erected by Napoleon to serve as a memorial for the Battle of Austerlitz.
- Banque de France – is the central bank of France. It here that the interest rates from the European System of Central Banks in implemented.
- The Sainte-Chapelle – sometimes described as more beautiful then the Notre Dame, the chapel is famous for its beautiful, almost floor to ceiling stained-glass windows.
The First Arrondissement offers an historical view of Paris through a more modern lens. One can learn a lot just from touring the Tuileries Garden which were placed their after Catherine de Medicis missed the public promenades of her native Italy. Or discover the influence of the First Arr on Authors such as Earnest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises.