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La Victoire de Samothrace, Unknown, 190 BC

Medieval Palaces

Paris

13th-14th century

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In the 8th century, power shifted away from the Merovingians (Clovis's dynasty) to the Carolingians (Charles Martel and Charlemagne's dynasty).

Charles Martel had initially been an administrator for the Merovingians.

The Carolingians were extremely powerful and expanded eastwards.

Charlemagne, Charles Martel's grandson, shifted the capital from Paris to Aix la Chapelle.

Paris only regained its political importance when a new family took over - the Capetians, founded by Hugues Capet.

The Capetians became one of the longest ruling families in Europe, ruling uninterruptedly from 987-1792, and 1814-1848!

The Capetians made Paris their capital and Paris went from being a provincial city to one of the richest and most vibrant medieval cities in Europe.

Louis IX built the Sainte Chapelle on the Ile de la Cité, to host his collection of holy relics, which included part of the Holy Cross and the Crown of Thorns.

The heart of Capetian power until the 14th century was a royal palace on the Ile de la Cité - remains of which can be seen today at the Conciergerie.