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Royal Mediaeval Paris: From Merovingian to Valois

15 September 2022

4 days from £1,950pp

Join Dr Sally Dormer in a thrilling exploration of royal mediaeval Paris as it was when ruled by the Merovingian, Capetian and Valois dynasties of French kings, and discover an era when this beloved European metropolis was at the cutting edge of cultural developments.
  • A visit to Paris with Sally Dormer concentrating on the Middle Ages
  • Stay on the Ile St Louis in the heart of Paris
  • Visit to the newly modernised and reopened Cluny Museum
  • Dinner on the Seine aboard an exclusive river cruise
During the Middle Ages, Paris underwent a seismic change that saw it transform from a small cathedral city of little economic or political consequence, to the largest city in Christendom and a leading cultural and intellectual hub. Its rise to prominence owed much to the Capetian dynasty, whose growing power mirrored that of the city’s. It was under early Capetian rule that Paris evolved into a city of three parts, the Île de la Cité, the metropolitan heart, site of the royal palace and the imposing new cathedral of Notre-Dame, begun in 1163; the mercantile Right Bank, a prospering centre of business and trade; and the Left Bank with its important monasteries, such as the Abbey Saint-Germain-des-Prés. The University of Paris, an amalgamation of the cathedral schools of Notre-Dame, was officially chartered in 1200 by King Philip II of France. It quickly emerged as one of the great centres of scholarship in Europe, bringing further importance to the Left Bank. Indeed, by the 13th century, the number of students living on the Left Bank had swelled so significantly that the area came to be known as the Latin Quarter, Latin being the language assumed by so many of its scholarly inhabitants. This boom period in Parisian history would be brought to a standstill with the arrival of the Bubonic plague in 1348, which killed a quarter of the city’s population during the first outbreak, and the Hundred Years’ War. Nevertheless, this remarkable chapter in the city’s history is preserved in the form of some of its most astounding structures and treasures. Join Dr Sally Dormer in a thrilling exploration of royal mediaeval Paris and discover the era that truly gave form to this most beloved European metropolis.

Your Accommodation

Hôtel des Deux Îles

Hôtel des Deux Îles is a 17th-century building located on both banks of the River Seine in the charming and historical Ile Saint-Louis, just 10 minutes away from Notre Dame Cathedral and 20 minutes from The Louvre Museum. The rooms are decorated in an elegant bohemian style, making it a cosy and comfortable setting with attentive staff at your service.
Room Facilities & Amenities
  • Parisian-style breakfast served from 7:30 – 11:00am (additional cost)
  • Honesty Wine Bar
  • Free Tea Time
  • Honesty library
  • Advice on excursions and bookings
  • Document printing free of change
  • Iron
  • Hair curler and straightener – available free of charge
  • Last minute kit including – toothbrush, toothpaste, razor – available free of charge
  • Laundry service (additional cost)
  • Reception open 24/7
  • Multilingual staff: French, English and Spanish
  • Free Wi-Fi access
  • Luggage storage
  • Lift access