Monday, May 22, 2023



Paris, the  City of Lights  (Ville lumière) 

"Khair ho Teri lailaaon ki 
In sab se keh do,
Aaj ki shab jab diye jalein to 
unchi rakhein lau
Aaj mera dil fikr mein hai
Aey raushniyon ke shahr ".......( Faiz Ahmed Faiz)

For three successive evenings , we walked along the Seine river in Paris city. The moment  night descends over here, this "City of Lights" looks like a bride.

The origin of this nickname ( The City Of Lights) dates back to the mid-1600s when  King Louis XIV was trying to restore faith amongst his citizens after domestic unrest. He wanted to make the city safe again. The lieutenant-general of the police force took up the task of lighting the city to catch any offenders hiding from the law.Lanterns were introduced on every street of Paris, and the citizens were asked to light up their windows with oil lamps and candles. No European city had street lamps until this point, and Paris was the first to set up a structured system of street lamp lighters, thus making it the first well-lit city at night.  It was among the first European cities to use gas street lamps back in the 1860s, making it literally a City of Light .

With over 50,000 street lights across the city it's no surprise that Paris is now referred to as the City of Light. In addition, 33 of Paris' 37 major bridges are illuminated each night.
 From the late 18th century to the 19th century, the city of Paris became increasingly known as a centre of education and ideas throughout the whole of Europe, inspiring poets, philosophers, engineers and scientists galore. As well as the gradual increase in wattage, this context of innovation and enlightenment is what helped reinforce the symbolic significance of Paris as ‘The City of Light’.
Today, there are over 296 illuminated sites in Paris, if you count everything from hotels and churches, statues and fountains, national buildings and monuments, and out of 37 major bridges in Paris, an impressive 33 of them are illuminated to full glory each sunset.There are over 2.4 km of lights from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe, including 450 decorated trees – 330 trees sparkle along the avenue and 120 trees on the pavement. An amazing spectacle of lights  .

Paris is also  known as the City of Love. Everything — from its charming streets to ornate architecture, the café culture to elaborate pastries — exudes a certain “je ne sais quoi” (that's French for “I don't know what" ), the perfect phrase to sum up something inexpressible.

( Avtar Mota)

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