The island of Cite is one of the main tourist sights in Paris. There are many attractions on and around the island. Old houses, beautiful embankments and bridges create a romantic atmosphere which tourists want to feel in Paris.
The island of Cite is a place where Paris was founded. In the Neolithic era, the island was home to a settlement of the Celtic tribe of the Parisians. In 52 BC, these lands were conquered by the Romans. They created the province of Gaul here. The capital of Gaul was a settlement on the island of Cite, which the Romans called Lutetia. It later became the capital of the Kingdom of Clovis called Paris.
A very beautiful view of the Island of Cite opens from the Bridge of Arts, which is located downstream. From here, the island looks like a big ship. The low quays of the Seine give a special charm, where people can walk near the water. At the very tip of the island is a small cozy garden Vert-Galant.
On the east side, you can walk around the large Square of St. John 23. There is located the main attraction of Paris - the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. Near the eastern tip of the island is the Ile de France square, where a memorial to the Victims of Deportation is erected.
On the east side, there is a beautiful view of the island of Cite from the neighboring small island of Saint-Louis, which is built up with residential buildings, but walking along its quays is also a pleasure. From here you can see the Gothic structure of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris.
Cite Island is connected to both banks of the river by 9 bridges. On the east side, the island of Cite is crossed through by the Pont Neuf (New Bridge). The Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Paris. It was built in 1578 by King Henry III and became the center of the city`s commercial life for a century. Near the bridge there is a monument to king Henry IV. Other bridges are also very beautiful; each of them has its own design.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the island of Cite was built up with monumental houses in the classical style. Half of the island is occupied by houses where placed the various bodies of the justice system: the Palace of Justice, the Prefecture of Police, and the Commercial Court. Not far from the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris is the Hotel Dieu hospital, which appeared on this site in the 7th century.
In addition to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, there are several other interesting sights on the island of Cite. Here you can see a masterpiece of Gothic architecture - the Sainte-Chapelle. On the embankment is the former Palace of the Conciergerie. During the French Revolution, the palace became a prison. The Palace of Justice is closely attached to the Sainte-Chapelle. Although it is an administrative building, anyone can enter it through the main entrance.