- Travel and Places»
- Visiting Europe»
Paris, France: Geography Quiz
Brief History of Paris, France
In 55 BC, Paris was a small flood-prone fishing village on the Ile de la Cité, inhabited by the Parisii tribe, when it was conquered by the Romans. The city grew, and spread to the left bank of the River Seine.The Franks succeeded the Romans and named the city Paris.
During the Middle Ages, Paris thrived as both a religious and an educational center. Great churches, cathedrals, and a university, the Sorbonne, was built.
Paris grew during the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. It became a city of great wealth and power under the rule of Louis XIV. The people revolted in the Revolution of 1789, and Louis XIV was overthrown.
In the early 1800s, Napoleon Bonaparte declared himself Emperor of France. Following the Revolution of 1848, Baron Haussman began an urban redevelopment project to replace Paris's medieval slums with elegant boulevards and avenues.
Baron Haussman's scheme continued into the 20th century. It was interrupted by World War II and the German miltary occupation of the city from 1940 to 1944.
Paris recovered after the war and is continuing the thrive and grow. Many famous and infamous people are associated with Paris, France. Please read about them next, and then test your knowledge of the geography of this great city.
Celebrated Residents of Paris
Famous or Infamous Individual
Claim to Fame or Infamy
Josephine Baker (1906 - 1975)
Baker was an American-born French singer, dancer, and actress whose early performances were at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. In 1925, she danced at a music hall wearing nothing but a string of bananas.
Louis Braille (1809 - 1852)
Blinded in an accident when he was three years old, Braille went on to invent a system of writing for blind and visually impaired people.
Frederic Chopin (1810 - 1849)
Born in Poland of Polish-French parents, Chopin was a child-prodigy composer and virtuoso pianist best known for his solo piano pieces. He was involved with the French author Amantine Dupin, the woman who wrote as George Sand.
Marie Curie (1867 - 1934)
Born in Poland, Marie Skłodowska-Curie, was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and the only woman to win the prize twice — once in physics and once in chemistry. She won the physics prize with her husband Pierre in 1903 for their work with radioactivity, and she won the chemistry prize alone in 1911 for her discovery of radium and polonium.
Salvador Dali (1904 - 1989)
Dali was an eccentric Spanish Surrealist artist who moved to Paris in 1929. His best known painting is "The Persistence of Memory" (1931), a series of melting pocktwatches strewn about a landscape.
Eugène Delacroix (1798 - 1863)
Delacroix was a member of the Romantic school of painting. Romanticism influenced the creation of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist styles, which the author has discussed in other articles for HubPages.
Marlene Dietrich (1901 - 1992)
Dietrich was a German-born singer who gave some of her best shows at the Paris Olympia music hall.
Gustave Eiffel (1832 - 1923)
Eiffel was a French civil engineer and architect best known for his creation of the Eiffel Tower, a structure built for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris. Eiffel also designed the internal structure of the Statue of Liberty.
Victor Hugo (1802 - 1885)
Hugo was a French writer and political activist. He is best known for writing “Les Miserables" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."
Jim Morrison (1943 - 1971)
Morrison was an American poet and lyricist. He was the lead singer of the rock group The Doors.
Rudolf Nureyev (1938 - 1993)
Nureyev was a Russian ballet star who became director of the Ballet de l'Opéra (Paris Opera Ballet).
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)
Pasteur was a chemist and micro-biologist who invented a process known as Pasteurization, which stopped the fermentation of beer and wine. He also developed vaccines against rabies and anthrax.
Édith Piaf (1915 - 1963)
Piaf, born Édith Giovanna Gassion, was a singer who was regarded as being one of France's greatest international stars. Piaf's lifestyle was so wild, she was denied a Roman Catholic funeral mass. In spite of this, more than 100,00 people clogged the streets of Paris on their way to attend her funeral. To this day, fresh flowers are continually being left on Piaf's grave.
Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)
Picasso, born Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, in Spain lived most of his adult life in France. This painter, scultptor, printmaker, and ceramist was a founder of the Cubist school of painting. One of Picasso's most famour paintings, Guernica, is about the Spanish Civil War. I would love to write an article about Picasso for HubPages. Picasso died in 1973, so, unfortunately, his works won't be in the public domain until 2073. No images of Picasso's creations could be included in anything I would write.
Rin Tin Tin (1918 - 1932)
The first dog with the name Rin Tin Tin starred in 23 Hollywood films. After his death in Los Angeles, California, said to have been in the arms of actress Jean Harlow, the dog's body was returned to his native Paris for burial.
Simone de Beauvoir (1908 - 1986) and Jean Paul Sartre (1905 - 1980)
Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir was a French feminist, existential writer, and philosopher. She wrote primarily about politics and social issues. Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was a French existential novelist, playwright, political activist, and philosopher. His most famous work was Being and Nothingness. Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1964, but refused to accept the honor. Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre were involved in a relationship and are buried in the same crypt.
Leon Trotsky (1879 - 1940)
Prior to the 1917 Russian Revolution, this Bolshevik hung out with Vladimir Lenin (1870 - 1924), Marxist leader of the Bolshevik Revolution, in the Dôme Café.
Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883)
Wagner was a German-born composer and conductor, primarily known for his operas, who fled his creditors in Germany and moved to Paris.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1906)
Wilde was an Irish-born author and poet jailed in England for gross indecency with other men. After his release from jail in Reading, England, Wilde moved to Paris.