The religious discord between the Catholics and the Huguenots of France came to an end during the reign of Henry IV of Navarre, the first king of the Bourbon dynasty. The king started enthusiastically beautifying Paris, turning the former horse market into one of the most striking squares in the world, today known as Place Des Vosges. After Henry IV had been assassinated by a Catholic fanatic, the power passed on to his widow Marie de' Medici. The future king of France, Louis XIII, was only 9 years old. Marie de' Medici had built the Luxembourg Palace, and her cardinal Richelieu had reformed the educational system, changing the official language of the university education in Sorbonne from Latin to French. Richelieu had also decreed to build the church of Sorbonne and the Baroque palace Palais-Royale.
Thanks to novels of Alexandre Dumas this period of French history made Paris famous for all future generations of readers. The Latin Quarter, where many characters of his novels lived, is one of the most popular quarters of Paris. The narrowest street of Paris, amusingly called Rue du Chat-qui-PГЄche (A Cat-Who-Is-Fishing), still exists: not far from there D'Artagnan met Constance in "The Three Musketeers". Here were located the living quarters of the musketeers themselves, near the Saint-Sulpice church. Aramis lived on Rue de Vaugirard, Athos lodged on Rue FГ©rou, and Porthos had an apartment on Rue du Vieux Colombier. D'Artagnan himself lodged on the street that begins at the left facade of the Saint-Sulpice church. A monument for Louis XIII stands on Place Des Vosges, where Dumas accommodated M'lady De Winter. An insignificant king went down in history as the most famous in French literature.
His son Louis XIV turned France into the most powerful state of Europe. During his reign the first boulevards crossed the city of Paris; Saint-Martin canal had been dug; the arcs of triumph appeared at the city border near Saint-Denis; Place VendГґme and Les Invalides have been built. Paris now had its own Academy of Sciences and the Observatory.
During the reign of Louis XV Paris had been turning into the world capital, not without the influence of Marquise de Pompadour, the king's chief mistress. At that time, the Louis XV square had been constructed, and unlike many other squares of Paris, this one is open on all sides. Today the square is called La Place de la Concorde.
Under Louis XV new ideas, principles and social theories flourished: Diderot, Voltaire and Rousseau had been printing EncyclopГ©die, while Beaumarchais collected money to finance the American revolution from the old cafe "Le Procope".
The article by Irina Sukharnikova, translation by Ekaterina Ryabova; specially for Sweet Home Abroad