These two islands form an integral part of Paris’ landscape, creating a popular area. Ile de la Cite and Ile St. Louis are two natural islands in the River Seine. Ile de la Cité is the oldest settlement in Paris and was originally chosen for its location next to the river. It was first inhabited by a Celtic tribe and the Romans took it over in 53 BC. Ile de la Cite is now a well-preserved village that is wonderfully coloured by splendid 17th-century aristocratic homes. Famous names such as Marie Curie, Camille Claudel, Voltaire and Daumier are chiseled into the plaques that label the fine mansions on the island’s streets. Ile de la Cite is also very popular as the location of Notre Dame Cathedral and Sainte-Chapelle, and is served by Pont Neuf – the oldest bridge in Paris.
Named after France’s King Louis IX, Ile St-Louis is the smaller of these two islands and has been a very fashionable residential area since its earliest inception. It’s most significant development came in the 17th century, when consecutive kings oversaw the construction of residential properties across most of the island. The area is still mainly comprised of very expensive apartments and is probably the most romantic quarter in Paris. Ile St. Louis is connected to Ile de la Cite via Pont St. Louis and to both banks of the Seine by several other bridges.
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