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Rue de la Bûcherie is a reminder that the boat berths where there used to be a port to land firewood for Paris. And even if this lively quarter between the Sorbonne and the Seine is not as hot as it was in 1968, it still attracts students from all over the world, who speak all languages—except Latin, whose use by scholars gave the Latin Quarter its name.

The heart of Paris lies across the bridge, because the city was indeed founded on Ile de la Cité. 'Lutetia', the old name of Paris, is Celtic for 'dwelling in the middle of the waters'. The island was the kings' residence under the fourteenth century. They built two Gothic masterpieces (Notre-Dame and the Sainte-Chapelle), their palace (now the law courts), a hospital (Hôtel-Dieu) and a barracks that has become the Prefecture de Police.

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