The time of the wars and the World Exhibitions

Commune de Paris, the first metro line, Sacré-Coeur basilica: Paris is transformed in the 19th century

Basilique du Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre, Paris © Thinkstock

1870: Proclamation of the Third Republic at the Hôtel de Ville.

1871: The Prussiens lay siege to Paris, which must capitulate. Then it is the bloody Commune de Paris with its massacres and destructions. The Hôtel de Ville, destroyed, is rebuilt the following year.

1885: State funeral for Victor Hugo: his body is placed at the Panthéon after having lain in state under the Arch of Triumph.

1889: Inauguration of the Eiffel Tower at the time of the World Exhibition.

1900: First metro line: “Porte Maillot - Porte de Vincennes”. The World Exhibition leaves three monuments in the city: the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais and the Alexandre III Bridge.

1910: Great floods invade the quarters along the Seine. The streets and the metro are flooded, the capital is paralysed.

1914 – 1918: The basilica of Sacré Coeur, begun in 1876, is finished at last. Paris is saved from the German offensive by the Battle of the Marne.

1920: The Unknown Soldier is buried under the Arch of Triumph.

1937: The World Exhibition sees the opening of the Palais de Chaillot and the Palais de Tokyo.

1940 - 1944: Occupation of Paris by the Germans. In 1942, 12 000 Jews are arrested and confined at the Vélodrome d’Hiver before being deported.

1944: Liberation of Paris on 25 August. On the 26, General de Gaulle parades on the Champs-Elysées. The German commander Dietrich von Choltitz, responsible for defending Paris, disobeyed Hitler’s orders to destroy the monuments of the capital.