The 4th arrondissement is delineated by Boulevards Bourdon and Beaumarchais on the east, Rues des Franc Bourgeois and Rambuteau on the north, Boulevard de Sebastopol on the west and the Boulevard du Palais on the Ile de la Cité on the west, and the Seine River on the south. Ile St. Louis is included in the 4th arrondissement.
It is here in the 4th Arrondissement that you will find many of the superb sites that one comes to Paris to see. The Cathedral of Notre Dame du Paris is the most notable. The Arrondissement encompasses a major portion of the Ile de la Cite and the entire Ile de Saint Louis.
The Ile de la Cite was first settled in 52 BCE by the Romans and became the heart of the City of Lutece.
Under the Parvis, or Square in front of Notre Dame you will find the Crypt which showcases some of the remains of the Roman City.
The Ile de Saint Louis up until the 16th century was known as the Ile des Vace, or Island of Cows, a grazing area for animals. In the 17th century it was transformed into the chic suburb of mansions and palaces, much of that character remaining today.
Further on the Right Bank is found the Marais. The word itself means "swamp" and thus it was until the 17th century. The great success of the Ile de Saint Louis as a conclave for the rich and powerful, enticed other builders to drain the area and reclaim land to expand the areas available for great houses and mansions.
Today it retains it's unique character, with many fine architectural examples and remnants of the medieval character of Paris.
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