Façade of the cabarets Le Ciel and L'Enfer, 1909

The Cabarets of Heaven and Hell

In 1890s Paris, cabarets in bohemian Montmartre gave visitors a chance to tour the afterlife.
A barricade in the Paris Commune, March 18, 1871

The Fancy Concerts of the Paris Commune

To the barricades! And then...to the opera!
An illustration of claqueurs from an 1853 issue of Harper's Magazine

When Paid Applauders Ruled the Paris Opera House

Professional applauders, collectively known as the “claque,” helped mold the tastes of an uncertain audience.
Sylvia Beach outside of Shakespeare & Co., circa 1935

The Patron Saint of Bookstores

100 years ago, Sylvia Beach, the first publisher of James Joyce’s Ulysses, opened the doors to her legendary bookstore, Shakespeare & Co.
Paris catacombs

How the Paris Catacombs Solved a Cemetery Crisis

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Paris—the Catacombs—was started as a solution to the intrusion of death upon daily life.
Notre-Dame, 1881

Recreating Notre Dame

The famous Paris cathedral was built over many centuries, reflecting the growth and evolution of Paris itself.
Water carrier

The Story Behind “The Parisian Water-Carrier”

Who was the "Parisian water-carrier" depicted in 18th century French sculptor Edme Bouchardon's sketches and how did he earn his living?
Maison de Verre Paris

What Makes a Glass House the Ideal Home for a Communist Gynecologist?

Paris’s Maison de Verre is a marvel of modernist architecture whose rarely seen interior was constructed to foster sociality.
Eiffel Tower

A Short History of Paris for Travelers

Read up on some of the fascinating history of the City of Lights before you head off on your next romantic vacation.

A Telephone Conversation with Malcolm X

This 1965 telephone conversation between Malcolm X and meeting organizers in Paris took place just weeks before his assassination.